There’s a common misconception among SMEs that once their super duper, shiny, user-friendly, and the cleverly crafted website is live and SEO-ed within an inch of its life, that customers will come flooding in.
Hate to break it to you, but this isn’t the Field of Dreams where: “if you build it, they will come.” The reality is your website is only the beginning.
If you’ve just spent a sizable proportion of your marketing budget on a sexy new site, this may come as unwelcome news. The fact is times have changed. As your website vies for attention against dozens, or even hundreds, of similar businesses simply looking good ‘aint going to cut it, I’m afraid.
So what can you do to ensure customers will find you AND be driven to purchase?
Making your website work
If your website isn’t delivering the results you expect, the first thing to do is stop seeing it as a static entity. If you want to be competitive and keep the customers coming, your website has to evolve with your business.
Think of your website as the focal point of your marketing. Almost like a portal. From here you can advertise new products, services or news, communicate the benefits of buying from or working with you and position yourself as an expert in your field with regular and original CONTENT.
If content is king, strategy is his steed
How many times have you heard a marketer bang on about ‘content being king’? Quite a few, am I right?
Without wanting to sound like a broken record, the role regular and engaging content plays in your overall marketing strategy is pivotal to building a loyal customer base, maintaining credibility, and converting interest to sales. That’s the reason why so many marketers continue to shout the merits of a long-term content strategy.
Just like the trusty steed carrying his king across the battlefield to victory, a successful content marketing campaign needs a robust strategy driving it forward.
What do you mean by ‘content’?
Okay, so you get the picture. But where on earth are you going to get all this content from? And what exactly do you mean by ‘content’?
Content is the creation and publication of original information that can be used to attract and retain customers e.g.:
- Social media
- Blogging and vlogging
- Email campaigns
- Website updates
- Case studies
- Video and photography
- White papers
Information overload? On the contrary!
Now your website holds all that useful and inspiring information about how amazing you are, what are you going to do with it? While regular SEO (more on that later) will help achieve organic visits to your site, social media offers a consistent flow of information to your target audience, your followers, and fans. Venture into the Twitter-verse and Facebook-sphere, connect with your customers and share engaging content which sells your business or service.
Sound simple enough? In principle it is.
And yet without a proper content strategy in place, a consistent pool of creative ideas and a proactive team to drive it through, many SMEs fall by the wayside. Let’s not forget the intelligence behind the strategy which is influenced by online search behaviour, and how this is implemented with SEO, but we’ll get to that little nugget later.
Despite the growing awareness of content, many businesses don’t see it as crucial to the product or brand experience. How can content strategy create tangible results, converting website traffic, likes and follows into bona fide customers?
This sounds like an awful lot of ‘noise’ let alone work. What will content strategy do for my business?
A clever and creative content strategy will:
- Connect your brand with consumers
- Generate leads
- Enhance visibility
- Help you stand out from the competition
- Strengthen your credibility
By now you should have a greater understanding of the importance of content strategy in your overall marketing plan.
The next challenge is making sure the content you create is genuinely useful to your customers and, most importantly, drives them to purchase.
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