To be successful online your website has to perform several functions.
As the saying goes; people only do business with people they know, like and TRUST.
In a previous article, I outlined the essential items for websites to build trust with a customer. And a key factor in the success we have been delivering for our clients has been focussing on one of those items: producing customer centric content.
Producing such valuable content becomes more crucial when you consider the following statistic:
99 percent of visitors aren't ready to buy on the first visit to your websiteSource: Hubspot 2017
Furthermore, we've found this focus to be equally succesful whether you are selling products (B2C) or services (B2B) or delivering valuable programs to the community (not-for-profit).
It's all me, me, me!
Unfortunately, far too often we find websites acting like that annoying person at the party. That person who, no matter what you're talking about, always brings the conversation around to talking about themselves! Don't be surprised if your website visitor reacts like Christopher Walken below – feeling bored, they leave to talk with someone a little less self-centred.
The customer journey
Customer centric content is vital at all stages of the customer journey.
It needs to operate 24/7 and effectively without you or your team being an integral part of the conversation.
You see, the vast majority of your customers are finding the information they need to make their purchase decision on their own. These customers will have made up their minds long before they ever reach out to you.
on average business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is completeSource: CEB's Marketing Leadership Council 2013
67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitallySource: SiriusDecisions 2013
What content do customers value?
According to SiriusDecisions 2017 Buyer Study, the top four content assets for buyers were:
- analyst reports
- sales presentations
- case studies; and
The top three contents ranked by the companies answering the survey have the same thing in common: they all answer the question: “what value am I going to get from the solution?”
Sales people matter more than your digital assets
It's important to point out that buyers still interact with sales reps during every stage of the decision making process at least half the time.
In the first educational phase of the buying process, where people spend one-third of their time, we found that more than 60 percent of buyers received information from the sales representative of the winning provider.Source: SiriusDecisions 2017
Getting started with customer centric content
In addition to the content assets listed above, you can follow these steps to re-align your existing content:
- Conduct interviews with the team, especially sales, to compile a list of frequently asked questions
- Convert this list to an FAQ page for your website
- Evaluate if each FAQ entry can be converted into a dedicated page, post or article that provides more in-depth information.
More valuable than content
There is one thing more valuable than content. If you're going to produce truly pertinent customer centric content you need first to understand your audience.
So two thirds along their buying path, prospects will consider reaching out to those providers that have provided the best online experience.
Your website content is key to making the shortlist of providers that they reach out to.
Do it right – having content that answered all the customers' questions – would almost like you had been keenly listening to the customer at each stage of their journey.
In other words, your website has to be the best salesperson in the company.
Business owner, Graphic designer, Web developer, Brand and marketing strategist, Adobe Creative Cloud wizard, Business Catalyst Premium Partner, Adobe Community Professional, Passionate Liverpool FC supporter, Muse Advisory Board Member, Semi-retired (tried and failed at least 17 times) Futsal player for Dribblers FC and Toothless Tigers, BC Sandpile activist, Liverpool International Academy and Burwood FC coach, can juggle and do over 1,000 keepie-ups (just not at the same time - come on!)