The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign, whether online or offline, is to improve sales. Every step of the process is aimed at convincing prospects to purchase your products or services. The strength of campaigns are judged on this idea, and they should be.
However, so much goes into that moment when a consumer or B2B buyer decides to make a purchase – especially since consumers now have a wealth of up-to-date shopping information at their fingertips via the web. In fact, buying behavior is increasingly shifting toward researching and purchasing online: ContentLEAD reported that consumers spent a record-breaking amount online last holiday season. For small business owners looking to improve web conversions, marketing is rapidly changing from fostering the direct desire to buy something to create multiple touch points with shoppers through visibility on the web.
There are a series of channels SMBs often look to in terms of improving their visibility on the web. Whether it’s search, social or email, though, the most effective way to success is with lots of consistently updated content. If you want search visibility, new site content is key: Google algorithm updates reward fresh content by giving sites preferred ranking, according to ExactTarget. It’s important to build a sustainable content strategy that will arm your website with new information. A diverse strategy that focuses on the creation of several different types of content will help an SMB improve the effectiveness of each channel.
If the lure of better search visibility isn’t enough, consider data from HubSpot: Nearly two-thirds of businesses have acquired customers from blog content marketing, and 76 percent of them update their blogs with fresh content multiple times per week.
Finding the right mix of content will make it simple to update your site, and this can put your company on the path to transforming your website into a conversion engine. Here are three strategies for keeping your website content fresh – and bonus, you can then power other channels with site headlines and comments.
1. Create product or service landing pages for all of your business offerings
Prospects visit your website to learn. They want information, and they want demonstrations of successful applications of your products and services. Frequently, SMBs will create landing page content for their core products or services, but they do not always apply the idea throughout their portfolio. As such, any website visitor looking for information on a number of products or even one you don’t give a devoted content page could leave your website disappointed if they don’t find what they wanted.
This is where content marketing campaigns should start. Before you begin creating news content or blog posts aimed at driving prospects back to your website, cover your bases by developing informational content for your website.
Every product or service should have its own landing page that discusses its utility for the audience you’re hoping to target. Whether it’s your highest-selling product or an add-on to your main portfolio, a prospect should be able to land on your website and learn about it. Otherwise, they may leave not knowing its true value to them.
Landing page content should be written in a more evergreen style, so that it doesn’t have to be updated too frequently, but it can still be part of your “fresh” strategy if you make it a plan to add a new product or service page for new offerings as they develop. Developing concise website content that hits on key points will make for a breezy read that allows a prospects to learn quickly and move on. Going back every so often and adjusting a landing page to include new statistics or value propositions will keep pages dynamic and relevant to readers.
2. Adopt a news content marketing approach with the right mix of trends and informational
Once you’ve populated your website with informational product and service landing pages, it’s time to focus on bringing readers and prospects to your website – and giving them reasons to come back.
News content marketing campaigns allow small businesses to create interesting articles that relate to their industries as well as trending topics. Using both of these concepts will give visitors an interesting perspective on your industry. Moreover, news content will keep the site timely and show visitors that someone is updating your site on a regular basis. Consumers are more likely to trust a website when it’s clear someone is checking it (or adding content to it) regularly.
As search engine marketing becomes an important channel for businesses of all sizes, developing website content that helps your small business move up rankings is critical for success. More than half of business owners say search engine optimization has produced viable leads for their companies and fresh, relevant content is increasingly important to SEO success.
News content about your industry is an ideal method for small businesses to keep a website timely, while also bringing valuable subject matter to your prospects. In fact, more than half of Americans search for news online, according to Pew data.
Beyond news, small businesses can create different kinds of content that help establish them as thought leaders. Blogs written in a more casual tone can still be regularly updated and reference industry trends, while also entertaining readers and offering insights on certain topics readers may have questions about. You can choose from a number of formats and tones, but the key is setting an ongoing content marketing plan that will be easily updated. (And it’s worth noting that a lot of business owners are outsourcing marketing activities this year, with some reportedly hiring website content writers.)
3. Gathering and applying feedback from user-generated content
Despite your effort with your landing pages, it’s inevitable that prospects are going to have more questions or comments about your products and services – and (hopefully!) they will have comments about your ongoing content. Believe it or not, this feedback is important to your marketing strategy.
Whether it’s on a comments tool you’ve integrated into your website or an account created as part of a social media marketing campaign, prospects are going to have things to say. Positive and negative feedback is going to come your way. Even the most disgruntled reader will likely leave a response that, at the very least, demonstrates a question your content didn’t answer. You should make it easy for website visitors to share their thoughts: It offers you a gauge of how successful your content marketing is, and it is yet another way to keep your website looking fresh: Other visitors will see when someone else has visited and engaged your pages. This feedback can come in many forms, including reviews, which 83 percent of prospects are influenced by.
Plus, when users leave positive reviews, you might see benefits to your bottom line. According to an Econsultancy report, 70 percent of consumers trust opinions from unknown users they encounter on the web.
Most of the feedback you receive can be used to fine-tune your content to address the issues prospects are most interested in hearing about. A comment that a post is great should inspire more of the same, and a question about something unanswered on a landing page or in an article can tell you where you can work to provide more information. Seventy percent of people consult feedback from other users when researching a purchase.
Ultimately, all of these different types of content will keep your website up to date and drive traffic to your site if carried out successfully. Adjustments will have to be made on occasion, but consistently populating your website with original content will transform your site into a dynamic source of industry news.
While generating sales is the goal, frequent visits from prospects looking for information will increase the likelihood that they convert.