B2B marketers don’t understand what content works and what doesn’t work on their websites very well. This is primarily because they judge content solely by the amount of traffic it creates, and not by what kind of traffic it creates.
Six steps to improve your website content:
Build a strategy: Many B2B marketers fall into the trap of creating content on demand. Website content marketing needs to be part of an integrated communications approach, which starts by developing a position that stands out, and then building a compelling content program from there. This will cover all appropriate channels, and engage with influencers as well as with prospects and customers.
Focus on ‘good’ customers: Your website content strategy should be about showing real prospects the aspect of your products or services that are likely to engage and activate their interest. You can write about, or show, your products and services, but you must always bear in mind who your real prospects are and what they want from you and your website. “If roughly 98 per cent of visitors leave a site without making contact, you need to focus on understanding what was interesting to the two per cent,” says Sarah Butler of New Brand Vision Group. She adds: “If you can establish which content works for them and improve it, better prioritise it, or create more of it, as well as inject the right headlines and calls-to-action in the right places, logic says you’ll convert more of the 98%, a 1% difference is an increase of 50 per cent in customers.”
Understand the buyer journey
Communication has evolved to the point where customer interaction with a brand is now a journey in which they choose when, where and how to engage. Therefore, the onus is on the company to be accessible and personal. It’s no longer a corporate marketing job, but a priority to get the speed of response and tone right. This is a great challenge for both large and small organizations, for very different reasons.”
Focus on quality
“Far too much website content is just popped out because people think they need to fill their sites,” argues Rene Power, author of the Content Marketing Handbook. “The result is that websites all too often deter purchases rather than encourage them. B2B marketers need to understand what visitors want from their sites and then give them that. Focus less on production and more on evaluation.”
Bring in the pros
Few B2B marketers would consider using a free designer, developer, copywriter or photographer for their websites. Yet many still rely on free Google Analytics for their evaluation of content. We are seeing a number of paid-for platforms arrive on the market. We expect to see take-up of these rise significantly through 2014. “Traditional analytics is great at reporting performance from one time period to the next, but you also need another layer of insight to know what changes to make to improve performance – without necessarily needing a statistics degree or days on end to find out. Together these create the right framework for website optimisation,” says Harris at Decibel Insight.
A company website is an expensive, critical investment. Like any asset, it requires continual attention and investment to extract the most value from it. The best websites are those that are frequently updated as owners establish a rapid, insightful and decisive feedback loop. The conditions are now right for a critical mass of B2B marketers to achieve this virtuous circle. The end result will be more leads and sales through better quality and more insightful B2B websites, and of course the marginalization of those who have failed to spot this new trend.