This is part 2 of the “Content Creation” blog series, see part one here.
As I said in the first post of this series, Your website will act as the main body of this analogy. It’s generally a good idea to focus everything around your website, do you have to? No, but it makes a lot more sense to do so. There are plenty of companies that will point their social media efforts to something other than their website (like an Etsy page, youtube channel, Eventbrite event pages, facebook store etc…) but we should think of all of the data that we’re missing out on when we do this. When we set our content creation and marketing efforts around our website we are able to utilize nearly unlimited amounts of user data, customize conversion channels, leverage analytics, and customize landing pages.
If you’re not convinced that you should start with your website and work outwards from there, let’s ask this: Why are you creating content in the first place? It’s nice to think that there’s companies out there that just make blog posts, awesome videos and fun infographics for our amusement – but in all reality we’re, all just working towards “conversion”.
What is a conversion for you?
Conversion can mean many different things and will vary depending on your company’s goals and industry. A conversion for a contractor happens when someone on their website contacts them, ultimately hiring them out for their services – A conversion for an e-commerce company happens when a website user completes the “checkout” process – A conversion for a blog happens when someone signs up for their newsletter or “subscribes” to their youtube channel.
When we look at our ultimate goal of “conversion”, we can see why it is important that we find one central location around which to focus our marketing efforts.
How a website facilitates conversions of any kind:
One of the hardest things to come to grips with as a marketer is that almost every website is trying to sell you something, get you to sign up to their newsletter, eat at their restaurant, or donate to their cause; even the sites that you wouldn’t have expected – remember when facebook IPO’ed for billions with zero revenue?! They didn’t get all that money because they wanted you to talk to your friends – they wanted to sell.
When setting up your website or creating content and marketing materials it’s important to insure that our efforts happen in a “funneling” manner, or – like with the octopus – we use every part of our marketing body in sync towards our ultimate goal. We need the website to exist to take orders, receive e-mail addresses, sell tickets, display our services – so that we can funnel our traffic towards conversion.
So with that in mind, we need to think, how is your website facilitating your conversions?
Analytics and Conversions
“Ugh, math? graphs? endless data?! Robb, you’re boring me and I don’t care about analytics!” – You
Yes, plenty of people find math, data crunching, and most aspects of analytics to be boring – you’re in luck though, because I find it fascinating. I decided to go into marketing after completing a semester full of statistics, calculus, and math-heavy Chemistry – so yea, I dig math; I also have my Google Analytics Individual Qualification. I also love brussels sprouts, jogging, and reading real books too… weird dude, huh?
With your own website, we have the ability to track users’ movements through the site. We can see:
- Where users came from
- How users navigate – from page to page
- What items users view (this is great for stores)
- What items users put into their “shopping carts”
- and where they’re dropping off
When we use all of this data, we have the ability to make small or large changes to your site, to better facilitate conversion. We can reduce bounce rate (people leaving your website right away), find out what content people enjoy – so that we can create more of it, update pages with high drop-off rates, and update/upgrade checkout procedures. With so much knowledge available it’s quite silly to think that people shy away from using their website to it’s maximum potential.
Along with facilitating conversions, your website will host your landing pages – if you came here from a facebook share, or an outside link, this page is your “Landing page” to my website; it is your first impression of 11eleven Studio’s site, and company. With your own website, you have the ability to create multiple landing pages for different platforms. Say you want your pinterest audience to view your portfolio in a never-ending masonry-based scroll pattern (like pinterest), you can set up a separate portfolio page just for them.
With your own website, and the ability to create landing pages, you should focus on content to place on these landing pages that will be relevant to users from that marketing stream. If, for example, I were to write a guest post on my buddy’s business coaching website: Freak Business Coaching – I would want to make sure that my landing page was relevant to the users that were coming from that stream, so that when they showed up on my site, they decided to stay because it is the type of content that they were expecting. Everything needs to be calculated.
Customization of content
I’ve been talking about all the benefits of having your own website for content creation, but the main thing that I want to convey to you is this: Having your own website enables you to create a consistent image, continually re-enforced by posting quality content, and information that your potential clients will find interesting and helpful. There are plenty of “do it yourself” website makers, that cost way less than traditional websites – and those can be great. If you can use a “website builder” and find all the customization, analytics, and usability of a WordPress site or traditional HTML site – go for it. But be careful, because often times these templates, and design options make your company look single-dimensional, and “cookie cutter”; in today’s marketing arena and fast-paced world, blending in with the crowd can almost always smell D-O-O-M.