I recently put together a stackable model for strategic content marketing for clients which places a heavy focus on content marketing. This allows clients to see at a glance how all of the strategic planning and execution phases of a marketing strategy work together and inform the later stages. It’s difficult when putting together proposals for clients for them to visualise how all of the pieces fit together. This content marketing stack attempts to do this.
There is an intensive focus on content marketing for good reason, because content – whether it’s paid, earned or owned is the foundation of all marketing activity.
Think of your website as a hotel you own
If we think of the marketing stack as a hotel building, the design, development, UX and maintenance of websites and apps are the concrete pillars, outer walls and structural integrity of the building. The chaos outside of the building is kept at bay by the sound management and security of our hotel.
The navigability through the building and way-finding through the building and attention to detail is the UX, IA and interface design. This ensures our guests find their way through the building, towards the various amenities and service offerings.
The website content is the reception desk, tourist information, customer service, sales team, marketing team, HR and general manager. It’s the heart and soul of a business – the human side. Content is the memorable experiential side which makes one business stand out from another. After all, you can have the nicest hotel in the world, but if the staff are rude or incompetent, you won’t have buckley’s chance of getting repeat guests. It’s the same with content. When it’s not performing as it should, or when the meaning and intention of your content is not clear – your users will go elsewhere.
Content is the foundational marketing principle from which everything else in a website flows…
I hope I haven’t taken this metaphor too far, and I hope you get my drift. Content is the foundational marketing principle that helps a business to grow from original concept to start-up to multi-national brand.
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No matter what kind of business you’re in, your website needs to effectively sell your offerings.
Organisations that deliberately and consciously invest in conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see a boost in sales.
However the reason many businesses don’t, is that they are far too focused on BAU – the business as usual syndrome.
When more pressing tasks need to be addressed right now, then
optimising the home page of your website takes a backseat. Although what
could be more important than ensuring your website visitors convert
In this article we will explore research into conversion optimisation
and UX and how your business can implement some fixes to increase
1. Use product videos on your landing page
Recent research by HubSpot found that using a self-explanatory product video on your landing page can increase conversion of 144%.
2. Create multiple landing pages for your products and services
Landing pages can be tailored and customised to your Pay Per Click advertising. Put yourself in the website visitor’s shoes.
If a website visitor clicks on a Google Ad and gets forwarded to your
home page, not to a page that directly relates to the ad – will this
visit convert? Most likely no.
That’s because when someone clicks on an ad, they are after a
specific product or service on your website. They don’t want to read all
about your other offerings or your staff or blog posts – that’s
irrelevant to them. Instead they want to be taken to a page that will
give them pricing and everything they need to purchase, with the minimal
effort, if they don’t get this information easily – they leave.
Tailoring your landing pages to have the same content as your PPC ads is really important.
3. Keep the headline simple and related to your USP
You only get 0-8 seconds to tell a compelling story with website visitors. If your headline isn’t good enough, people will abandon their session.
A great way of ensuring you have the best headline is to split test
your landing page’s headline for different visitors, to see which one
Headlines should be short, make an impression quickly and tap into
the pain points of the customer and how the product or service
alleviates these pain points.
Here are some examples
4. Keep your call to action above the fold
Whether you decide to use an opt-in form or a button to gain conversion, keep this prominently placed.
‘Above the fold’ means that the content is visible to website visitors before they have to scroll down the page. This technique is obvious for the brand landing pages mentioned in the previous section.
5. Make sure that your images and graphics mean something
Using stock photos on your home page without any
context and direct relationship to your products or services isn’t good
So how do you correlate stock images to your own brand? You could
superimpose a customer testimonial or short quote from a customer over
the top of your stock image to make it relevant.
6. Use the landing page to overcome common obstacles to purchase
Firstly, do a bit of market research into the kinds of reasons why prospective customers may be turned off from purchasing from your business.
These reasons may be manifold, but if you can resolve some of these
doubts on the home page, then you should use this opportunity to do so.
If your product is largely unknown and also highly priced, in your headline, you should allay website visitor’s concerns by clearly mentioning the 30 day money back guarantee in your headline.
If your product is in a controversial vertical, such as clothing made
in Bangladesh, you could have a video on your home page showcasing the
production process. You could use the homepage as an opportunity to
allay customers’ concerns about the ethical standards of this workplace
and the workers’ rights.
7. Make opt-in forms easy and breezy to complete
As a web user yourself, you will understand the frustration of completing an opt-in form that seems to have a thousand fields.
So make it easier for your website visitors by only asking them for the very bare minimum of information. Their name, email and telephone will do.
8. Use a ‘chat now’ pop-up plug-in
According to the VWO blog
adding a chat now plugin is estimated to increase customer signups by
31%! A simple pop-up can be answered by a chat-bot initially and then
forwarded for human interaction to the website content manager.
9. Add testimonials to your home page
Testimonials and customer recommendations are worth their weight in gold for gaining more customers. Ensure that you use these prominently on your landing page in an interactive or automatic slider.
10. Make your CTA button the most prominent and obvious element on the page
Split test the copy for your call to action button and also the colour of the button itself. One study showed that simply changing the button colour to red increased conversion.
There are many factors that impact the conversion rate for a website. You can get a comprehensive assessment of your brand messaging, marketing and communications needs for your landing page by getting in touch with me on +61 3 9028 7745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are eight core fundamentals that tend to underpin website design and development work. Although take these with a grain of salt. Perhaps, if you’re in the mood, add some lemon and vodka which tends to add further creative fuel to design projects.
1. Be innovative
The best graphic design pushes the boundaries and involves critical thinking about approach and UI. It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of changes to industry standards and then know when to break the rules too.
2. Start with a problem
All design from graphic design to web design to industrial design, should take a problem and solve it. Think in terms of UX and the presentation of information. Make sure that the content on the site is useful to human visitors. And also useful to robots parsing the site. SEO and exceptional content are equally important to good design and should work hand in glove.
3. Be unobtrusive
Keep the design as simple, clean, unobtrusive as possible. Create systems and navigation that are transparent and simple to use. The best design doesn’t scream out for attention, but is subtly beautiful. It announces itself with a whisper and a murmur.
4. Understand aesthetics
Space and Grid: Information on websites should be ordered in a logical way for the eyes of visitors. Work the white space really carefully.
Typography: Keep it tight with only three different types in a maximum of six sizes used throughout the site.
Colour Choices: Keep in mind colour choice, along with integration of an overall brand identity. There’s an intricate psychology to colour choice in design. It’s important to be aware of that.
5. Keep the end goal in mind
Don’t obfuscate the website or design by adding too many elements. Have one call to action. Then neatly and simply guide the user towards this through the design.
6. Design for a long shelf life
Great web design and graphic design employs classic design principles and isn’t faddish or fashionable. You should use a flexible template that can be changed or modified with new content, images and other small modular iterations. It should be mobile-first and driven by the user experience, rather than pushing an obvious agenda. Future-proofed design looks beautiful on all devices. It uses HTML and CSS that’s easy to read and change as required.
7. Build integrity
The purpose of design is to be open, honest and provide everything that a user needs. A great user experience provides all of the sign posts, guidance and help that is required for the user to achieve clearly defined conversion goals on the website. The purpose of design isn’t just about creating the ‘wow’ factor. It’s also practical and helps visitors to reach a specific goal (or conversion) or to gain a deeper understanding into a subject.
8. Aim to fail fast, and pick yourself up
In order to completely capitalise on your skills, you need to fail fast and early on. Sounds rather counter-intuitive but it’s really not.
James Dyson of the bagless vacuuming empire failed with his prototype vacuum 5,127 times before perfecting his bagless model. Through an iterative process of trial and error he eventually made it. This required some grit, perseverance, determination on his part. In order to succeed, one needs to fail over and over again.
Agile Project Management 101 teaches us that failing fast and early on is a low-risk strategy. This means a project may be more likely to ‘break on through to the other side’ and succeed.
Did you enjoy this journey into inspiring design? Then find out if your content assets are working as well as they should, with a FREE CONTENT AUDIT for your business!