Section 2: Baseline Marketing Assets
This is part II of the Demand Generation Readiness series. In the first part, I set the context and gave a list of 16 things to make sure you have in place before jumping headlong into a lead and demand generation practice.
In Part II I covered the first four requirements on the list, called “Section 1: Product, Customer, & Message”:
- A Minimum Viable Product
- Know Your Target Market and the Profile of your Best Customers
- A Reason to Believe – For Your Target Market
- A Message to Support Your Claims
In Part III, I cover the topics for Section 2: Baseline Marketing Assets. The following entry will cover:
- A Decent, Easy to Use Website – Make it Easy to do Business with You
- Good Optimized Content
- Can You be Found by those Seeking? Search Engine Optimization
A Decent, Easy to Use Website Optimized for Search Engines
Is your web site pretty? Here’s an article about how your website impacts your credibility from the Nielsen Norman Group. You don’t want your website to leave the impression that you’re some fly-by-night that’ll be gone tomorrow. Is it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for? Are you prompting them to take action in the appropriate places? Is it easy for them to do business with you, call you, contact you or complete a purchase? Does it clearly spell out the value a visitor will get from your product or service? Does it clearly state W.I.I.F.T. (What’s In It for Them)? And does the website clearly state who the products, services, and content is for?
Most importantly, does your website enable you to iterate, change, and update quickly? Or does it require you to add a task to your web developer’s list of backlog work, or require a phone call to a web development agency just to change a word? Websites that are difficult to manage are a hindrance to any good demand generation program. There are a plethora of free and practically free services to host and manage websites that enable you to make updates on your own. Check out WordPress.com, Wix, GoDaddy, SquareSpace, SpaceCraft – and so many more. Simply Google “small business website builder” and peruse listings in the hundreds, in addition to rankings, reviews, and top lists. Capterra also has a giant list of website building software.
6. Compelling & Engaging Content
Do you give visitors a reason to find you and visit your site? Do you give them a reason to want to hear from you in the future? What you’re talking about, the insight you’re offering, products you’re selling, competitive pricing, etc., should generate interest and compel them to learn more, sign up, register, buy, etc. Even if you’re just selling products online, you’ll still need compelling content to encourage purchase. Just look at Amazon.com: You’ll find customer reviews, Q&A, and detailed product information. Show proof or a compelling reason why someone should buy from you and not a competitor – or Amazon.
Do you have a blog with useful content people can come back to read regularly or subscribe to for updates? Do you have a newsletter that has helpful or useful content, tips, tools, sales, promos, early bird sales, etc., that someone may want or need? Do you have content visitors want – guides, reports, e-books, white papers, webinars, videos, templates, etc., that are useful or helpful in some way? You can’t get something for nothing; give them a reason to register, purchase, sign-up, or otherwise give you their name and email address so you can begin a relationship and/or conversation. If you don’t have content, or don’t have resources to produce content, you need to figure out a content strategy that includes the who, what, and when of creating marketing content. Keep in mind PPC ads fall under the “content” category, as well as website pages. If you don’t have marketable content, avoid hiring a demand generation marketer and expecting them to work on nothing but content. Hire a writer instead. Content is also the key to being found, especially when it comes to search engine results.
7. If I Knock, Will You Be There to Open the Door?
Critical to success is whether you can be found by people looking for what you sell or offer. And there’s always someone looking for something. Does your website show up in a Google search for what you’re peddling? This means search engine optimization (SEO) of relevant content that draws your site to the top of the results in Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. If you can’t be found for what you offer, and you aren’t yet known by name, and you don’t have a budget to speak of for PPC, invest in someone to optimize your website for SEO, stat. The emphasis on good, optimized content can’t be stressed enough. And, by the way, don’t poo-poo social. Some businesses feel social isn’t their “bag,” or their target market’s not on social; however, don’t discount the fringe benefits of having social profiles, a healthy list of followers, and a pool of shared links back to your website – Google and Bing algorithms use social profiles, links, etc., to determine relevance when returning search results. Read this great blog from Kissmetrics on “5 Things You Need to Know about Social Media & SEO.” My takeaway is that social helps businesses be found in search engines when people are looking for you, your products, or your content, so it’s better have a presence in social than not.
Thanks again for reading this and the other entries in the series! If you have any questions or need help with your website, content, etc., feel free to Contact Me or Schedule some time to discuss your content and website needs!
Continue reading the next entry in the series: Part IV: DEMAND GENERATION READINESS, SECTION 3: RESOURCES