Ever get one of those emails “we have visited your website and find it lacking. Let us help your grow your business on line!”? If you respond you will likely get a proposal to help you spend thousands of dollars creating internet content.
I know of a company that spent over $20,000 on a “modern innovation” video. After it was done, the owner sent me a link. After looking at the video (kind of a fancy brochure) I asked him how are you going to use it? He had no answer.
For many small businesses, the challenge is not content creation but content utilization. How are you using content to better serve your customers and prospects?
Here are 3 action items.
Know your numbers
Take a look at your Google Analytics. What are the top pages that viewers are accessing? Most of the time, your home page is first, but what is after that? I have a client that has contact us as the second listing and products and the third listing. The most popular page after that is company history. Consider the questions aligned each of the pages. For contact us, what are viewers looking for? If they want to find a specific person, how well are you fulfilling that person’s needs with a link to firstname.lastname@example.org . When it comes to company history, we have an opportunity to provide some insights. In addition to telling a historical story, how are we addressing the “what makes you different?” question.
Using social media, what kind of content has traction? Twitter, Facebook etc will tell you what postings are popular. Have a new product announcement, convention pictures, staff get-togethers? Look at what is accessed and try to understand, why did viewers think that kind of content was meaningful? How did that content help them learn more about your company?
Align your content with your selling process
Many business feel that the role of the internet is lead generation. But for most small businesses, especially those in the B2B space, people don’t come to your site until they know who you are. The most frequent search term consequently is “my company”. They get the name of your company through referrals, networking or other socialization.
So, look at your top other pages. In the example above contact us, products and company history. Are there easy links on your home page to these other pages? How are the pages linked to a “request a quote form” or an opportunity to sign up for an email newsletter?
Also, consider how you might use the content in your personal selling process. Think about adding a link to the company history page in your email signature. Perhaps a notation, “My Company is celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, click here to learn more.” A great opportunity to educate both your prospects and customers about what makes you special.
While some companies use a contact us form for lead generation, in a B2B environment, you can use the form to qualify your lead. I have a client where their request a quote form is often the last step in closing the sale. The inside sales lead noted “when we get the form completely filled out, all we have to do is call and take the order”.
Many small business owners rely on a network of stakeholders to help drive leads. How is your network using your content to help move prospects down the sales funnel? While it is nice to put a blog posting on your website, think about reusing the content somewhere else. I know of a company that just opened in the downtown area of a local suburb. Had a great posting as to why they chose to locate in that city. Great content for their blog, but think of how much more powerful when it is posted in the blog for the Chamber of Commerce or featured content in the local newspaper.
Fill in the content gaps
What are the questions that your customers and prospects are asking? Often, before I meet with a client I request that they go through an exercise of writing down key questions. While it is important that the business owner of head sales person, do this, but, also ask your team members in customer service or even shipping. After you make a list of these questions, write down the answers. Then, go back to your website and internet environments and see if the questions and answers are available. You’d be amazed how often they are not.
Prioritize the questions and answers. If you have good content, use it. Link it on your home page. Post it on Facebook, use it in a tweet. Think about how powerful posting about your 25th anniversary, with a link to the company history page would be. It would make a great tweet also.
So, now that you have a process to know your numbers and align your content with your selling process, you can talk to someone about creating content.