You’ve taken time and effort to build a brand new website. Wow – that was hard work! You finally know what you’re all about as a business and you’ve crafted a clear, compelling story that your team can rally behind. You’ve committed to providing real value to your clients and have a growing library of useful content on your site. You’re up and running on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, perhaps even Google+, 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 the promised sales results?
The opportunity is huge – great content marketing leads to more leads coming in – and those leads are warmer and easier to convert into sales. But building a content-rich 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 sales results from the web.
How to drive results from your website post launch
1. Keep going. 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 continued content marketing success. (You’ll find useful ideas on getting the whole team blogging in our e-book – Feeding the Content Creation Monster)
2. Work to a plan. Have you documented 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.
“The points where your goals intersect with your customers needs are the areas where you want to focus your content creation energy.”
With this in mind, work out what you will talk about and in what formats over the next 6 months – ensuring you are providing the content your buyers would be searching for at every step of the sales process. Decide who will create this content, and when. Write it all 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. Promote your content. Get it out there. Promote the content you have already got. Tell your current contacts and customers – tell them what’s available at launch and promote each piece of new content. Send it to your customers, 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. NB: We’re talking about promoting your valuable content here, not your sales content. (Keep the sales stuff on your website, in your brochures, for your proposals – don’t take that on tour).
4. Prioritise email. 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. Use all the valuable content on your site to power up your sales 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 and your sales team a reason to pick up the phone and speak to a potential client – and it’s the perfect sales follow up too. Get out there!
Super Quick Post-Launch Checklist
Next 6 months
- 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.
- Stock content planned – the white paper, the guide, the ebook. (How much depends in your size, but everyone should plan for at least one piece of new stock content over the next 6 months. Our clients average 1 new piece per quarter)
- Flow content – variety of formats covered. Mix includes at least three of the following. Blog, podcast, video, animation, infographic, Instagram feed.
- Social media strategy sorted – who’s tweeting, who’s hanging out on Google+, who’s engaging online?
- Targets pinpointed – Who are you going to approach proactively with your content? When are you doing it?
- 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?