---- — The beginning of a new year provides a natural opportunity for every company to review, evaluate and plan needed innovations for the year ahead. This is even more critical to do with a company’s online presence and technologies because the Web changes and advances so quickly. Below is Part 1 of a two-part series on key areas that marketers should review and evaluate to maximize the digital business opportunities in the year ahead.
Central to a company’s online presence is their website. Websites for 2014 need to take a few keys into consideration. First, have you evaluated a mobile user experience to your site? Depending upon your industry, mobile traffic to your site can account for 25 to 55 percent or higher of all traffic. With the massive ongoing growth of mobile Internet users, businesses need to either have a mobile site solution or a responsive website. A mobile site is a alternative, unique website that is displayed to the user when it is detected they are using a mobile device. Often this is at a sub-domain such as m.yourdomain.com. The other option is a “responsive site” where the behind-the-scenes programming adapts the site display according to the browser of the visitor. So if the visitor is determined to be on a mobile, they see a mobile-friendly view of the site, if on a tablet, a site maximized for the tablet screen, and the same for a full site.
The key is offering the visitor the best possible experience however it is they come to the site. If a user arrives to your site and is not easily able to read content or navigate, studies show they leave abruptly, and in business this means a lost opportunity. Maximize the opportunities by implementing a site strategy that works well for different devices. It’s simply good business, both for marketing and sales.
Related to the Web presence offered to visitors is the actual content offered to those coming to your site. As I have outlined in past articles on content marketing (www.mikegingerich.com/contentstrategy/), a content strategy needs to encompass three primary types of content. Content for the top of the funnel is first. This needs to be broad, searchable and relevant content. It is content that is helpful and serves to expand and grow your audience. Think of it as the “chumming the waters” prior to fishing for sharks. It draws in a crowd and gets them excited about your site, prior to the actual fishing with baited hooks.
The second area of content is mid-funnel content which serves to move visitors into leads. This type of content offers something useful in value in exchange for a simple name and email sign-up. It can be access to an ebook, a video, a podcast, or some other resource related to your products and services that those interested in your offering would find of value. The opportunity it provides a business is the ability to grow their email list, through which campaigns to educate and ultimately offer a opportunity to buy can occur. The value is that these can be set up once and then run continuously to reach hundreds and even thousands of visitors. I’ll outline more on the lead capture tool specifics in the next article.
The final area of content strategy to plan for is the “closure content” or specific sales offer content. This will likely be only 15 to 20 percent of your overall content plan (top of funnel is 35 to 50 to percent while mid-funnel lead capture content is 20 to 35 percent of the overall mix of blog posts and topics on your site). If it is more than that, your audience can get turned off from continual sales pitches, but if you are offering content that is largely of great value to them in educating and resourcing them mixed in with timely offers, then it all works together.
So as the days wind down on the current year and you begin to look ahead at how to grow your business in 2014, a key will be your digital strategies. Start now with evaluating the changes needing to be made to your website, and begin to plan the topics for your content strategy.
Next week we’ll continue with more on the specifics of lead capture technologies, getting your message out via social media distribution, and lead nurture campaigns via email.
Mike Gingerich leads the Digital Marketing and Social Application divisions of web company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.