Website Content Strategy: 3 Content Types to Take Your Website from Good to Great
Written by: Rick Whittington
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The fact is that most company websites today cover the "basics," which is information about their products and services, some servicable information about the company, and contact information.
But if you just have these basics on your company website, your website is far from great.
Your buyer leads a more digital life today, and your website has to include content that your buyer needs to convince them to do business with your company.
So what's next for your website? What else do you need in order to convince potential customers to pick up the phone or fill in a form on your website? What's going to take your website content strategy to the next level?
New content can be used to supplement existing content and take your online marketing from good to great. Here are three ways you can accomplish that.
1. Case Studies
- Business objective: Build trust and demonstrate value
- Good content: Customer testimonials
- Great content: Case studies
You need to gain your customers' trust before they buy, and you have to answer a critical question for your customers: what's in it for me?
Not enough industrial companies deomstrate their expertise through their website by posting job photos, descriptions of problems their customers faced and how they solved those problems. Your prospects are not waiting to talk to a sales rep to collect this information anymore.
Integrating customer testimonials in your website is one way to provide the social proof that prospects crave. Existing customers are your best salespeople; their testimony can vouch for your character, work ethic, customer service, or the kinds of results you produce.
Case studies can be used to take your customer testimonials to the next level. Case studies illustrate the problems that your customers encounter, the solutions you provide, and the success your customer has enjoyed as a result. Case studies dive into the specifics behind that glowing review.
Plus, case studies help make your content more customer-centric. Testimonials tend to be all about you. By using a case study, there's more emphasis on the customer and their success. You could be the leader in your market, but you owe it to potential customers to show how you've solved your customers' problems.
Look back through testimonials you already have, then pick one or two clients who represent the major pain points you address. Go back to those customers and ask if you can share a more in-depth account of their story. Chances are if they've already provided the testimonial, they won't mind helping out with the case study. And they'll get some free publicity from you to boot.
2. White Papers
- Business objective: Establish company/organization as subject-matter expert
- Good content: Blog
- Great content: White papers
A blog can be a great tool for reporting on industry developments and sharing your own research and insights. Blogs do a good job of addressing specific customer challenges, but blogs don't generate new sales leads for your business.
Over 70% of organizations blog as part of their online marketing strategy. However, white papers are utilized by only ~20% of organizations. White papers are an excellent opportunity to show that you're active and engaged in your industry and to position your company as a thought-leader.
If you already have a blog, you can use it as a springboard for your first white paper. Take a look through existing blog posts and identify posts that fit under a similar umbrella/topic. You can then use that series of posts to create your white paper.
When you do, make sure you put the whitepaper behind a lead form so you can collect customer information. Requiring some basic information like name and email address will help you identify potential customers and provide their contact information for your sales team.
- Business objectives: Reduce customer phone calls, demonstrate customer service, demonstrate subject matter expertise
- Good content: Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Great content: Videos
An FAQ page is often a useful feature to include on a website. A customer can quickly get an answer to a simple question without having to wait for a rep on the phone; your staff and resources can then be used to address to more urgent matters.
FAQs tend to be text-only, though. While text is useful, there is an increasing demand for multimedia/interactive web content--especially video. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the United States, and more than 4 billion hours of video are watched each month. These stats and others show the increasing use of video by consumers.
Say that one of your most common customer inquiries is about delivery of your product once it has been manufactured. To supplement your FAQs, you could add a video showing product being loaded onto a truck and explaining the freight process.
Check out one of the videos our client put together to explain their shipping process:
Content creation is never really "done" - there's always room for improvement. And when it comes to adding new website content, you don't always have to start from scratch. You can leverage existing resources to create a new piece of content; or you can use new content to enhance what you've already got.
If you're struggling to apply this to your business, we offer a free marketing opportunity review where we can discuss it and share some specific advice. We work with companies to create full content strategies, write for companies, and even advise companies on what types of content would be relevent and useful for them.