Simply having information about your company on your company website is not in itself a complete sales and marketing plan.
Companies need to have content on their site that meets the needs of different types of visitors. Content for those that just arrive and know little about your company; content for those who have some interest, and content for those that are interested and who you want to take the final steps to make a purchase from you. Within all of this strategy, one key remains…. the more traffic you can bring to your website, the more potential you have to increase your sales.
So how can you begin to build momentum in drawing more visitors to your website? Creating "socially shareable content" can be a highly effective way for a business to drive more traffic to their website.
This is the large end of the funnel. "Social content" in today's social media driven Internet experience, is content that has value and is very "shareable" via social media. This type of content on the company blog and website by a business empowers visitors to share with others via social media (Facebook shares, tweets, Pins on Pinterest, etc.) which, in turn, expands your potential audience. This ultimately can lead to more interested traffic coming to your company site. The more traffic, the more potential to find interested persons who will ultimately purchase.
Here's an overview of how using a company website and blog that produces quality, shareable content, along with social media, can work together to increase awareness and visitors to your site that can ultimately result in more customers.
In this first stage, a business needs to focus on publishing web and blog content that readers will want to view and share.
It also necessitates having social sharing tools for the major social networks on the site and blog pages, so that it is easy for users to share.
Content that is most likely to get shared includes items that are:
As well, content that includes great images, or are developed into infographics are often picked up and shared well. Infographics are literally content turned into a image that displays that same information in a visually attractive way. Other items include short video clips and practical tips and lists that are geared to assist a wide audience are proven to be shared more often.
The aim at this stage is to generate valuable information in a wide net that can reach and be relevant to a broad spectrum of people on the web.
This is the large end of the funnel! By sharing new updates and posts weekly, a company can establish some authority and leadership in an arena online so that others begin to look to them as a key resource and come back for more of their content. The end goal here is to increase website traffic.
As content is produced, the company would want to share it themselves via their company and personal social network sharing accounts, and inform those who have shared in the past so that they can be ambassadors to share the new content to their communities and networks.
With general content now attracting traffic and increasing reach of your posts, the next step is content that solves problems.
This is practical and relevant content that demonstrates how your product or service solves issues that customers face. This moves those interested deeper into your content and funnel. These can be case study posts and "how to" posts that would have a email opt-in form at the bottom, or a callout to a ebook that is on a landing page. The landing page would also have a form for the visitor to complete to access the full ebook or more resources. This mid-funnel segment of content is intended to help change anonymous traffic into known potential customers. The goal is to offer information that helps a visitor and causes them to want to know more. Content at this point can also include items like webinars, videos, email newsletter series and more. It is content that is helping interested persons identify with the problems you outline and understand the solution you provide.
For more detail on this stage, see: Moving this broader audience down into the mid-funnel.
After drawing traffic to your site and nurturing interested parties to become known leads via your social and educational content, the goal is now to help those interested persons and companies move to take action and purchase your product. Case studies and information on return on their investment (ROI) is important at this stage to help close this final gap. This information is specific to helping them see the benefit and value that this purchase can bring to their company. This is content that speaks to them about their business growing sales, gaining efficiencies, and having pain points solved. ROI calculators or other means for them to see how their results can be achieved are most helpful.
These three steps form the foundation for social content online strategy. Together they help increase traffic to the site and then identify interested visitors who can become leads and ultimately customers.
It is important to recognize that this isn't a once and done situation as new, relevant content in Stage 1 is always needed. Those coming in may not be at a point of readiness to purchase now as well, so being able to retarget and stay connected to those in mid-funnel over time is important so that your company is top of mind when they ultimately are ready to make a purchase.
It's a ongoing process that must continue to be produced each week and offer value. As noted, the goal in Stage 1 is to increase website traffic. This also increases awareness of your company and brand online. Take time now to evaluate your online content and what you can do to take existing content and create infographics, as well as brainstorm content topics that should be written on to help grow your online digital content strategy.