You’ve taken time, investment and serious effort to build your brand new website. It’s looking really good.
Building a new website is never an easy process – you’re probably feeling quite exhausted, but hopefully really proud of the end result. The website project has forced you to make tough decisions in terms of brand and positioning. You’ve wrestled over the right words, visuals and tone of voice to communicate what you’re all about as an organisation and you’ve crafted a clear story for your team and audience to rally behind. You’ve committed to providing ongoing value to those you serve and have space to publish and store useful content on your site. Your profiles are up and running on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, maybe Instagram: you’ve got it covered.
How do you get the most from your investment in the new web platform? How do you make sure your website starts delivering real results?
The opportunity is huge – the content you create and share via your website is the engine room of your communications and marketing strategy: a large part of the way you’re going to get people to know about your ideas; connect with you; change how people think, act and feel; change the world.
But building the website is just the start of the process; it’s a platform to work from, not an end in itself.
Here are our thoughts about what to do next if you really want to drive results.
How to drive results from your website post launch
1. Keep up the pace
Getting the website up is so much work it’s tempting to launch it and rest on your laurels for a while. Don’t stop! Now’s the time to capitalise on all that effort, and get into some useful habits that will you set you up for marketing success.
2. Create a plan for your content marketing
You’ll have thought about your audience and the content they’d appreciate as part of the website planning and requirements gathering – you’ll likely have heard the term ‘persona profile’ at the time. Now’s a great time to dig out those profiles and revisit this exercise. Re-familiarise yourself and your team with your target audiences and dig deeper to uncover your content sweet spot and content marketing plan.
Think through and document your content marketing strategy. If you want results, now’s the time to get strategic about the content you’ll continue to create and share. Revisit your business goals and priorities. Remind yourself of your customers’ main needs and set out a focused content creation and distribution plan.
“The points where your goals intersect with your customers needs are the areas where you want to focus your content creation energy.”
With your sweet spot in mind plan what you will talk about, in what formats and via what channels over the next 6 months – ensuring you are providing the content your audience is searching for at every step of their journey. Decide who will create this content, and when. Write all of this thinking down. Set goals for the site to measure up against. Create and commit to a regular publishing plan. Plans change but they are a very good place to start.
“A documented strategy makes a difference. Recent research by Content Marketing Institute found that 84% of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing said they have no documented strategy. B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective (66% vs. 11%).”
3. Create and share valuable content
Get the good stuff out there! Put your content plan into action. And don’t forget to promote the content you already have. Tell your current contacts – tell them what’s available at launch and promote each piece of new content. Send it to your contacts, and promote it on your social channels. Use PR to take it wider. PR, guest posts, partner up – do what you can to get the word out.
4. Build your community, with a valuable newsletter
Start a monthly newsletter, motivate people to sign up – make sure the sign up call to action is VERY clear across the site. Work out what you’re going to say to those who join you, your ‘thanks for signing up message’ should read as part of your story too. Don’t forget to invite your current contacts to join up – it’s an excellent way of spreading the word.
5. Get proactive and up the value over time
Use all the valuable content on your site to power up your awareness campaigns. Plan and execute valuable communication campaigns using your new tool kit of cleverly crafted content. Yes, you’ll get inbound leads but outbound is important too. Know who you want to do business with, and make contact with them using your great content. You don’t have to wait for the phone to ring. Target your ideal customer with your brilliantly helpful and entertaining animation/white paper/blog. Valuable content gives you a reason to pick up the phone and speak to a potential target contact – and it’s the perfect conversation follow up too. Get out there!
Super quick post-launch checklist
Next 6 months
1. Content strategy documented – you don’t need to go overboard here – goals, customer needs, content focus over next six months, tools and techniques, publishing plan, team, measures. Write it down and refer back regularly.
2. Stock content planned – the white paper, the guide, the ebook, the research. (How much depends on your size, but everyone should plan for at least one piece of heavyweight stock content over the next 6 months. Our clients average 1 new piece per quarter).
3. Flow content – variety of formats covered. Mix includes at least three of the following. Blog, podcast, video, animation, infographic, Instagram feed.
4. Social media strategy sorted – who’s tweeting, who’s hanging out on Instagram, who’s engaging online?
5. Targets pinpointed – Who are you going to approach proactively with your content? What do you want them to do as a result? When are you doing it?
6. Email newsletter underway. Who’s writing it? What are you talking about in the newsletter? Who’s responsible for engaging with the people who respond?
7. Online influencers identified and contacted. Who do you want to build relationships with? What can you provide for them? What would you like them to do for you?
Wishing you the very best of luck with the new website and marketing push.