Is your website driving leads and business to your company? Is it reducing the cost of your marketing transactions? Does it project a global image? Almost every B2B website we see is an underachiever; not fulfilling its huge potential to increase B2B sales leads, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
But there’s hope. You can transform your impotent website into a strategic competitive weapon, a living, breathing representative of your company. Here’s how:
Identifying what a website must do is more difficult than it seems. Rather than simply presenting company and product information, you need to create a broader definition and vision that includes:
- Audience – Identify who your website needs to attract and support. Good websites anticipate who will be visiting and proactively plan for them.
- Search Strategy – How will visitors arrive at your site? What pages will they land on? What will they be looking for? Where will they come from? Make sure that your search strategy focuses on what the hivemind wants to learn.
- Content – What fresh content do you have to interest your audience? You not only have to plan for the launch of the website but for the many months after.
One way to think of audiences is in terms of their needs. You’ll have people arriving at your site at varying stages of their buying cycle. And you need to address each of those stages with information and offers appropriate to the questions being asked. You cannot simply cherry-pick C-level executives and sales-ready leads. If lead generation is the primary goal of your website, you need to broaden your definition of leads.
Different offers for business and technical decision makers makes obvious sense. But you should also try to address the needs of information gatherers, influencers, purchasers, and researchers. These are all part of the hivemind.
You should also include multiple ways for prospective customers to request assistance or additional information about your company, and its products or services. These may include providing company or staff phone numbers, chat functionality, email addresses, landing pages, and downloads.
Another important way to look at your audiences is through personas. You create a fictional person (a persona) to represent each of your hivemind audiences. Now your marketing campaign can be developed from a very personal point of view – “what would Phil think about that?” with some real advantages:
- Developing personas makes you really think about your hivemind audience and what motivates them.
- Seeing your website from your intended audience’s point of view is difficult, but seeing it from Phil’s point of view is much easier to do.
- When you can answer each question specifically, you can translate those answers to stronger navigation, content and functionality.
Start with your audience and you’ll be on the right track. I’ll cover Search Strategy and Content in subsequent blogs.
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