As you complete your 2012 marketing plan, you’ve spent hours building a traffic generation plan. You’ve crunched numbers, negotiated rates, and worked to structure a plan that drives tons of traffic to your site. But have you spent a proportional amount of time thinking about what sort of content the user will engage once he or she reaches your site?
Too many marketers continue to overlook the fact that without the right content, a great advertising strategy is ineffective. Content drives transactions and conversions, and the old adage that “content is king” is as relevant today as when it was first uttered. Take some time to audit your current site content development plan, looking for these 3 items in particular.
If you have retail locations or geo service areas, there is no excuse to not have robust local web pages in place. Research proves time and again that consumers hunger for local content. You may have even refined your advertising strategy to reflect this by geo-targeting your paid search efforts, developing localized messaging in display ads, & claiming Google Places pages. But if you aren’t directing users to localized landing pages, you are losing that local feel – and the consumer as well.
A good local page should have lists of areas served, your local address (providing the NAP – name, address, phone – citation that will help your Google Places ranking), and copy that describes your expertise and history in the region. You’ll find this format will drive conversions and provide an SEO lift on geo-modified searches.
In today’s multi-modal world, we are putting out more messaging than ever across more platforms than ever, and users are exposed to more noise than ever. That is a lot of “than evers,” which is why you must establish cross-platform messaging continuity. Your social media links should direct users to messaging consistent with what they see on the social platform itself or you’ll confuse the visitor. If your paid search ad promotes a 50% off deal, but your landing page doesn’t immediately hammer the offer home, then you’re probably going to lose that customer.
It’s a very basic piece of advice, but it’s something that is missed all the time, especially in today’s siloed workplaces. If person A is responsible for social content, person B is responsible for AdWords, and person C is responsible for site content management, you can see where the ball can easily be dropped unless everyone knows the importance of this upfront.
Incentive to Return
One of our goals as marketers is to build loyalty & engagement. But for a variety of reasons, this doesn’t shine through in site content development. Many brands seem to think communicating features, benefits, and availability of products and services is enough. Does your site take this approach or do you include value adds like helpful tips, interactive blogs, contests, news articles, and other content that gives the visitor a reason to come back on a regular basis?
It sounds difficult for many brands, especially if you perceive yourself as having an un-sexy product or service. But if you sit down with a few colleagues and begin brainstorming topics for an editorial calendar, you might be surprised at how much valuable and compelling info you can convey about your brand. One great tip is to get someone from your sales team or a call center member to sit in on these meetings, as their direct interaction with your constituents may provide insight into what your customers are looking for. Social media monitoring tools are great for this as well – find what topics your audience is interested in and add your spin.
There’s obviously much more that goes into a good content development plan, but these three items are great to get started with. If you can take time to adjust your 2012 plan around these content needs, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition and a step closer to reaching your 2012 marketing goals.