Why You Need an Inbound Marketing Website
You will doubtless have noticed an increase in focus on the subject of Content Marketing over the last year or so.
In fact, Content Marketing has become such a buzz, its given rise to a whole new area of career development for savvy marketers. It’s not uncommon to see job roles such as Content Strategist and Content Marketer making up a digital team now.
In this article, I’d like to explore what’s behind the move towards Content Marketing as fundamental part of Digital Strategy, but first, let’s look at the difference between an Organisation Centric culture and a Customer Centric culture:
You can see that an Organisation Centric culture puts most of its trust and faith in product and service feature sets. There may be a sprinkling of perceived benefits thrown in, and a lot of time will be spent crafting the business introduction and About Us sections of the site to try and demonstrate differentiation.
This strategy worked fine when competition in the digital landscape was less fierce, but now that it is, we have to look at engaging audiences much earlier in the sales cycle.
The following diagram demonstrates a typical search journey with an overlay of two very important factors:
Key Factor 1: 80% of users start their search journey in this way
Key Factor 2: By the time a prospect engages a business for comparative pricing, they are more than 70% commited to a single prospective vendor. This is one of the main reasons a business may witness lower lead or sale conversion rates.
The second statistic is particularly important. The majority of users will compare at least three suppliers to benchmark price and value in the final stages of purchase. However, the typical user who is completing this search journey will already be showing a 70% intent to a preferred vendor.
So targeting customers in the Tracker Phase with an Organisation Centric culture can be highly ineffective because you are relying on countering the feeling of trust, integrity, reputation and value that has been fostered by a more effective Customer Centric culture in this scenario.
Organisation Centric versus Customer Centric Web Development and Content Curating Strategies
See how this translates into two different approaches to website development and content curation:
Six Steps To Adopting a Customer Centric Culture
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of a customer centric culture for your next project, here are six steps to get you started:
1. BENCHMARKING » 2. PERSONAS » 3. USER JOURNEY » 4. CONTENT » 5. CAMPAIGN » 6. MEASUREMENT
Help your board members and stakeholders make decisions based on metrics...
- Produce a Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard to agree which metrics and KPI’s are most relevant to your organisation
- Produce a central hub of KPI metrics that can be recorded on a month-by-month basis. Ensure you have a column for MOM Growth, and group your metrics based on RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage)
- Use advanced Google analytics to help curate metrics for above
- Integrate an advanced metrics dashboard into your Website CMS reporting
Ditch assumption and use real data to profile your audience and create accurate personas...
- Segment your market
- Discover your persona goals
- Discover how your customers learn
- Discover their goals
- Discover their challenges and frustrations
- Discover their preferences
3. USER JOURNEYS
Armed with a factual in-depth understanding of the issues, needs and challenges your audience faces you can now define the following with greater accuracy:
- Key user journeys or the ‘red routes’ your audience needs to follow
- The information they need
- Content and functional requirements that will drive engagement
- Rich media elements that will provide a more compelling experience
User journeys can be mapped on schematic diagrams or static wireframes, but by far the most effective way of demonstrating this in a Rapid Prototype.
A Rapid Prototype is a clickable version of an intended Website. Prototypes can by built quickly and tested in various ways to ensure the requirements of the market segmentation and persona requirements are managed effectively.
Consider what content needs to be available for the different stages of the buying process and define this in a Content Strategy.
What content will answer the questions and concerns your audience has around whether to buy your product or service?
You’ll need to earn your audiences permission to speak to them by whichever channel they prefer (telephone, contact submission, quote request, product demo, whitepaper request etc.) – how will the content on your website achieve this?
What content can you publish to demonstrate your knowledge leadership and how easily can your different audience types get to it?
Here is a logical flow charting the lead and sale generation process:
So armed with knowledge about your audience personas and the kind of content that will engage them, you will be able to plan refinements to the structure and content in your current Website, or drive a better outcome for a new Design & Build.
Now it’s time to develop inbound marketing initiatives such as SEO, Paid Search, and Social Media Marketing:
- Benchmark your Digital Marketing Capability with a score based situation analysis
- Produce a Digital Marketing SWOT adapted to recognise Strategies
- Produce a Digital Marketing Plan Summary
- Produce a Digital Strategy Summary
- Prioritise digital marketing initiatives
- Develop a long-term strategic initiative roadmap
You can search the web for free resources to help with Digital Marketing Planning, team up with a web agency that can help in this area, or choose to work with a dedicated inbound marketing agency.
The skills you currently have in-house, and the scale of your business operations will govern the choice of approach.
"What's measured improves." - Peter F. Drucker
Analytics is the cornerstone of inbound marketing strategy and armed with your Benchmarking tools you can quickly…
- Demonstrate the impact of incremental increases in Conversion Rate Optimisation
- Help departments assign budgets based on ROI rather than percentages of last year’s turnover
- Help to join up what can be a disjointed picture of your online activities
- Help react quickly to changes in customer behaviour
- Help sales and marketing departments align in more efficient ways
The appeal of inbound marketing as a cultural change is driven primarily by its ability to deliver increases in online performance that can have a dramatic effect on sales revenue.
Moreover, this lift in sales revenue comes at a lower cost than traditional marketing methods so the effect can be felt directly on the bottom line.
Adopting an inbound strategy is easier than you think, once your team is on-board. Actions and transactions can be tracked, measured and optimised to increase the value of your online efforts.
No more neglecting the real potential of your Website, or struggling to understand how the digital landscape can all be made to fit together.
Just a clear actionable strategy that will bring management, sales and marketing together in a new customer centric culture.
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