Marketers spend a lot of time and energy on content marketing initiatives — understanding our customers, developing content that speaks to their needs, establishes our credibility, and distributing it through multiple channels. Our goals in doing all of this are to drive demand for our products, traffic to our site and leads into our funnel. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, success (or failure) to engage and convert web visitors with content all comes down to relevance and timeliness.
From its inception in the early 90’s with the advent of the basic commercial website, to the evolution of blogs and email marketing in the early 2000s, to the rich variety of interactive content you find on the web today, a full nine out of 10 marketers — whether they’re B2B or B2C — use content marketing as a key strategy in their marketing mix. And they’re doing more of it. According to the Content Marketing Institute, approximately 60 percent of all marketers are increasing the amount they allocate to content marketing in 2014. In fact, 30 percent of B2B marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing. We’re talking big bucks!
But what good does all that time, energy and money do if, once the visitor is on your website or blog, you’re not able to turn them into a prospect or customer? Don’t miss that opportunity, your career may depend on it. If you tailor your website visitors’ experiences to what you know about their needs and interests, you will show your commitment to their success. In doing so, you’re much more likely to captivate, engage and convert them along the way.
Content Marketing Meets Real Time Relevance
Chances are good that your content marketing efforts will lead potential buyers to your site. Understanding who these visitors are and presenting information in a way that is customized for them will help them navigate the research, evaluation and purchase process and keep them from leaving. Importantly, it will also help you optimize your content marketing spend. Follow these three steps and you will see.
1. Engage Them Right Away
Just because someone is new to your site doesn’t mean you can’t capture their attention in a meaningful way. Even if it’s their very first visit you can still give them a warm welcome by acknowledging where they came from or what drew them in.
For example, if they came from a particular social network or clicked through to your site from a pay-per-click campaign, you can greet them accordingly. Such as, “Welcome Pinterest user, we have a special offer for you today.” Or, “We noticed you were searching for information on how to build a better mouse-trap. Check out this white paper that will tell you everything you need to know.” Also, make sure you understand your referral sources. Referrals from certain known, reputable sites might get a particular “welcome offer,” while others are treated differently.
If the website visitor has browsed your site before, you may have some previously known data about them. You may know what they looked at in the past and for how long. Perhaps they already subscribed to your email newsletter or registered for one of your webinars?
Armed with this information, you can welcome them back and guide them with new, relevant information or resources based on their browsing history, or serve up recommended content based on the types of blog articles they previously consumed. But be careful not to show them the same things again, especially if they’ve already registered for that upcoming webinar!
For previous purchasers, you can lead them to content — like a tutorial, tour or ideas for using the product they bought, helping them get more out of their purchase. Or present them with a three question survey to learn more about their current interests to build out a more robust profile. Then use that data to serve up additional relevant content in real time.
2. Keep Them Engaged
Once you’ve gotten a new website visitor’s or returning customer’s attention, you want to keep it. Increasing time on-site or number of pages viewed will give you more opportunity to guide them through to conversion.
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