One of the questions being asked by small and large brands today relates to the relevance and importance of the company website. Some wonder if with the rise in importance of social platforms like Facebook; should they just concentrate their efforts on their FB page. Or that since Google Place Pages now dominate the top search positions should they abandon their SEO efforts. The issue is that costumers and prospects take many differing paths to purchase, so a diversified and integrated approach is the best approach at maximizing lead and sales volume.
The role of the website has changed, and depending on what stage of the purchase process the consumer is entering the site, directional navigation and conversion optimization have become even more critical.
For example, a consumer that knows they want to buy a widget from Acme Widgets, may navigate to the site, simply to find the closet location and their hours; we would asign them to the “purchase” stage of the funnel. The most important thing for these folks is the locator or access to local location pages or Google Places. Where as, a consumer looking to compare Acme Widgets new Left Handed Smoke Shifter to Spacely Sprockets Smoke Diverter needs to get right to detailed product information and purchaser reviews or to comparison shopping engines like NexTag. Now you start to see the pattern. The information needs have not changed, it is where the consumer is accessing the information that is important and today more diversified.
The lesson, now more than ever websites need to become content vessels and collections that can be distributed across numerous platforms so that consumers working through the purchase process can access the information where they are seeking their personalized solution. So have you defined the consumer informational needs, compared it to sales funnel stage and possible online venues where they are likely to seek this information? What you need is a full sales funnel audit to make sure that your marketing content is aligned and distributed to the right venues.
So, much like an editorial or messaging calendar begin to map your customers information needs and label them by which stage in the sales/purchase process they cover. Identify holes, redevelop content to cover these holes. And finally, is the content is all the places where consumers seek the content out? Conduct a reach audit to make sure you have prioritized their most popular access points.
Full funnel marketing is hard and detail oriented. But once it’s lessons are unlocked, the spoils of cost effective sales leads are the reward.
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