Ryan Rudominer, Principal, R2 Strategic Consulting
A website is often the first thing customers will associate with your business. When people first visit your website, they’re not reading; they’re scanning. If your business struggles to show that you offer something your customers want within seven seconds — and that you can be trusted to deliver it — you are losing sales.
Another problem I’ve seen is that sometimes, people are so close to their businesses or products that when it comes to their websites, they don’t know where to start or worse they present too much without any rhyme or reason.
Remember this: The human brain is drawn toward clarity and away from confusion. People have short attention spans. Most customers may only give you seven seconds to make your pitch. If they are confused about what you offer, why you offer it, and how it will make their lives better, they’ll look elsewhere.
These days, most customers are not loyal. Their default is to view products more like commodities.
Your greatest differentiator may very well be your content and your story! Your website and your web content must move beyond transactions and create brand loyalty.
As a longtime communications strategist, I’ve helped clients clarify their messaging and produce better website content throughout my career.
The most successful organizations and brands I’ve worked with have always relied on careful strategic planning to support their communications and marketing.
Whether it was taking the time to do competitive assessments, interviewing stakeholders, or creating sales funnels, we did the necessary work to foster a “we’re in this together” feeling between the company and the customer.
The following are five key ingredients for successful content that drives sales and creates raving fans:
Everything on your website must be created with your customers in mind. Customers buy solutions to internal problems, not external ones. The key to creating compelling copy is being able to answer the following: Can you define what that internal problem is (in other words, how the external problem is making them feel)? What empathetic statement can your brand make toward your customer’s internal problem, and how can it show you are an authority who can solve your customer’s problem?
Make an emotional connection with your customers by inviting them into your brand’s story.Storytelling helps build buzz and stronger connections, which result in greater traffic and sales. However, if the narrative in your marketing collateral is not clear, customers will check out and go elsewhere. Your story can remind everyone WHY your company exists and what it believes, and how its giving back to society. Communicating with a clear purpose can command great power, but only say it if you believe it!
Amplify your content with powerful images of happy customers. To bridge the gap from visitor to customer as quickly as possible, you must showcase exactly what your business is about: Making your customers’ lives better. Visually display the success your client will experience if they use your product or service.
Add urgency to your messaging. Make the stakes clear, as well as the consequences of inaction. Be sure to include a direct call to action button and include an easy-to-understand tagline. That’s the first thing you’ll need on your website.
Build a raving fan community: give more value than they expect. This requires trust, which you can earn by demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs as your customers. How do you attract the people who believe what you believe? Offer for free a piece of valuable and compelling content on your website in exchange for an email address. Engage your customers frequently with added value and they will reciprocate in kind by sharing stories of your service with those primed to be your next customers!
Do you agree or disagree? What’s worked for you in the past? I’d love to see your thoughts!