Make no mistake, content marketing is the buzzword of the year. Businesses across the board are jumping on the bandwagon in hopes to revitalize their marketing strategy and continually improve their relationships with consumers.
As information-hungry consumers who are constantly connected, we crave instant answers from Google and habitually search a new product or brand in order to determine its value – What is this product? What does it do? Where can I find it? Who makes it? Can it help me in my daily life? Is it worth buying?
This is where a polished website is crucial and builds the foundation to a successful content marketing program.
Build a Strong Home Base
A strong website will be the groundwork of your content marketing program, acting as the home base for your consumers as they go through their buying process.
Here they can always return to find original, high quality content such as blog posts, e-newsletters, product brochures, and other information about your business on a regular basis.
And since it’s your owned property, you can control your overall messaging, unlike other platforms, which can be confining in terms of creativity or distribution.
But don’t forget that although content is key, your website’s design and usability is just as important.
Guide Consumers Through Your Website
Your website should also be a consistent part of your strategy when creating new content.
Whenever relevant, a call-to-action should appear in blog posts or infographics to drive consumers to your website and even specific web pages for downloadable guides or related content that would be beneficial during their buying process.
This can be for a variety of reasons: to keep tabs on warm leads by collecting their contact information for future outreach; targeting certain consumers for future product deals; or testing the merits of a monthly newsletter.
By staying with consumers throughout their buying process, you’ll be able to reach out to them when appropriate and generate concrete leads for your business.
And when you house your content directly on your site and have multiple web pages with beneficial information, consumers are also more likely to stay on your website to explore instead of leaving after getting the information they need.
Measure, Report, Optimize, Repeat
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, only 21 percent of B2B marketers say they are successful at tracking ROI in content marketing programs. But the number went up to 35 percent when businesses had a documented strategy in place.
In simple terms, those who have a standard process on measuring content performance will more than likely be better equipped to make the right decisions when it comes to content.
CMI also reported that website traffic is the top metric of choice for businesses looking for data to inform future content decisions – 63 percent of businesses say it’s a reliable measurement year-over-year.
By running an analytics program, like Google Analytics, you can easily see data on what content is attracting consumers, how it’s convincing consumers to stay on your website longer, and which consumers will be more receptive to direct contact by your sales team in the future.
Not only can analytics inform your strategy, creating consistent, quality content and distributing through a wide range of communication channels will help improve your overall SEO ranking.
If you take the time to build a solid web presence all directed through your site, next steps in building your content marketing program will be that much easier. So if your business plans to increase your content marketing output in 2016, make sure your home base is ready for your consumers.