In my conversations with brand owners and marketing VPs, many of them have indicated that their website is listed as an expense line item rather than an asset.
In today’s market, a website should be the most valuable salesperson on your team — and certainly listed as an asset.
A strong, highly-optimized website is always available, always selling, and always attracting new customers.
Here are three power-packed tips for making your website a sales machine.
Website Visitor Flow
When was the last time you took a serious look at your website?
What about through the eyes of your visitors?
I encourage you to spend time walking through your website from your customer’s perspective. Does your website address the following:
- Does this company understand my problem? Can they solve it?
- Does this company have what I am looking for?
- Is this company an expert in solving my problem, even if I cannot accurately articulate what that problem is?
- Can I find all of this on their website / social media presence quickly and without hindrance?
I would venture to say that many websites fail in these areas.
Websites have evolved from static brochures touting all the good things about a brand or company. Now, they must focus on the problem of their customer and how the brand can solve them.
Your website must now be designed with such an intimate understanding of your buyer that different paths to purchase are created and utilized.
Use Social Media to Expand Your Reach
Social media has changed the way brands and consumers connect. No longer can brands simply purchase exposure and control the conversation, but users have an equally powerful platform to talk back.
Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networks with search engine marketers. That is partly because of the huge user base of these networks. In fact, individuals spend upwards of 6.35 hours on Facebook and generate 3,200,000 likes, comments, and shares each month.
Those numbers make it extremely attractive to brands to reach their ideal customers at the right point of the buying decision.
If content marketing is fire, social media is gasoline
A recent study found that 89% of businesses that utilize social media in their marketing plan saw an increase in their exposure.
QUICK TIP: Avoid overly self-promotional social content. Create content that your fans want to share; content that makes them look good for their effort. A general ratio to aim for is 8:2; 80% of your content should be helpful to your audience, up to 20% can be promotional.
Social is not just for small- or medium-sized businesses, enterprise brands are seeing success, as well. Fifty-two percent of enterprise businesses say that social media is the most important factor in client / customer relationship building and brand management.
People often forget, even in B2B, that humans are still the point of contact and decision-makers.
The Rise of Visual Media
Just because Twitter and Facebook have more users, don’t ignore the growing trend of visual social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram.
Together, these platforms account for billions of social interactions.
Pinterest is second (only to Facebook), for driving users from their site to corporate websites. This is a huge opportunity for smart brands to take advantage of visitors who are ready to buy! It should be noted that the average annual income of a Pinterest user is $75,000.
Benefits of Using Social Media
- Showcase Your Brand
- Builds Business-Client Relationships
- Enhances Company Trustworthiness
- Builds Credibility
- Increases Sales
- Cuts Marketing Costs
- Increased Awareness & Exposure
- Increases Marketing-Qualified Leads
- Allows Quick Access to Customer Feedback
- Boosts Website Visitor Traffic through Search Engines
- Decreases Customer Acquisition Costs
Use your website as the hub of all of your marketing efforts and social media as the spoke — or entry point — to expand your voice. It makes no sense to root the foundation of your business on the rented land of social media.
Social media should be a tease that brings a visitor back to your website for conversion. [Tweet this Quote]
Blogging & Website Content
Over 31% of consumers say that a company blog influences their purchasing decision. On the flip side, 57% of brands have acquired customers via their blog (including this one). We are experiencing an era where consumers are researching more before a purchase and entering the buying cycle with more education. One of the primary sources of their education comes from well-structured content from the brands themselves!
Rather than thinking about purely sales-y content, think of your blog as a way to educate prospective customers on the how to choose the correct widget for their needs, or the benefits of one brand over the other. Address what to look out for, where you may not be the best fit, why they should consider Option #2 over Option #1.
Your transparency will build trust and show that you care more about the customer finding the right solution for their problem than closing a sale. Ultimately, the right buyers will be begging you to take their money.
This concept radically turns the sales process on its head. You will need to train your sales team how to just shut up when the buyer is ready to throw their money at you.
Blogging is a time-intensive activity, but when you consider that each blog post is a potential entry point for a future consumer, it takes much of the sting out of the process. Your investment today will reap customers tomorrow. To me, that is a pretty sound business decision.
Types of Website Content
- Time efficient
- 90% of executives check their inboxes regularly
- An example of a “micro-transaction”; the prospective customer has already given you permission to contact them
- Helps expand your reach and get your brand name out
- Helps grow your email subscriber base
- Attracts search engine bots and organic website visitors
- Establishes your credibility
- Websites with compelling images see 94% more page views
- Images increase Facebook shares by 37%
- High-quality image use increases news release page views by 14%
- Increases consumer confidence during the purchasing decision
- Increases in branding
- Increases time spent on page
The best content marketing strategies include consistency, providing value, and engaging with consumers on a variety of platforms.
When it comes to using your website as a sales machine, content marketing outperforms any other method of advertising over time. Although it takes a lot of work and time, the continual investment into your website, the dividends pay off for years to come.
Spend your time on social media sites where your ideal customers hang out and provide valuable educational resources on your website.
If I raised more questions about your next steps, I would love to clarify or give you specific advice for your unique goals or challenges. Setup a call with me and we can talk about your next steps.