[caption id="attachment_5348" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Your website is the face of your company, so it's critical that you feed it fresh, unique, and compelling content that answers your consumers' questions."]
Who, What, Where, When and Why...
Your website is your company's face. It is most likely the first place a new customer will learn about you. It represents who you are, what you do, where you are located, when you were founded and why you are better than everyone else. You need to feed it with content.
Consumers are Asking -- How are You Answering?
According to Comscore.com
over 11 billion U.S. searches were performed on Google in November 2011 and almost 3 billion a piece from the other top search engines, Yahoo and Bing. With this massive amount of search volume, the opportunity for a company to be found by new customers has never been greater. This is precisely why it's imperative to make sure your website's first impression is positive and lasting. In order to do this successfully, you must offer compelling content.
Imagine if you will, two people meeting for the first time. We will call them Bob and Tom. Bob starts the engagement by asking a series of question of Tom. Bob's desired response is to have all those questioned answered in a manner that is believable, unique, to the point and impressionable. Not unlike a website, Tom can answer these questions in many different ways.
- He could simply answer them wrong - loaded with bad facts, misrepresented data, etc.
- He could overload Bob. Offer an answer buried in rhetoric for which Bob really has no interest.
- He could rattle off the answers in a preformatted way, which sounds rehearsed and all too similar to responses received in the past.
All the above scenarios are poor response tactics and, unfortunately, represent various ways in which content is placed on websites today. The consumer is often left with wrong information, information overload, or duplicate information.
Now, let's take our same scenario and say Tom was able to answer the questions adequately using his own thoughts based on his knowledge and experience. Better yet, let's say Tom was able to draw from a knowledge base beyond his own, which is far more accurate and compelling. He is able to pull facts, real world scenarios, quotes and common language most understood by Bob. If Tom was able to do this, his answers would exceed Bob's expectation and leave a lasting, positive impression. In a real life scenario, this isn't easy, but with your company's website, it is as simple as tapping internal resources.
Creating Compelling Content -- You Can't Go It Alone...
Your company and staff are unique. Client interactions, real world experience, varying backgrounds, etc., have all helped form a large cache of knowledge, which is unattainable anywhere else. By tapping into this cache, you are releasing exclusive content that will separate you from your competition. Your website will answer questions in a way your consumers will understand and appreciate. All you have to do is unleash your internal expertise.
5 Ways to Tap the Company Knowledge Base
- Find the company expert on a particular product/solution and set up an interview. Ask for real world scenarios, what the clients are looking for, the verbiage they use, etc.
- Hold round table meetings with individuals from different departments. Have a pre-determined list of topics, sit back and let them talk about them. Take note of how they are speaking, the key points they are making and how that would translate to the customer.
- Create an anonymous form. Not all staff members like the limelight; by offering a discrete way of submitting content, they will be more likely to give true insight rather than regurgitated, industry standard content.
- Ask the customers what they want through an online form. Then have your in-house expert(s) review the consumer's response and devise content that will help alleviate those questions or concerns in the future.
- Hold contests offering rewards to the content that is shared the most in a given time period.
Be creative, work with colleagues, get everyone involved and you will soon see the true benefits of unique, impressionable and compelling content.
So What Benefits can be Expected from Good Content?
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) -- Google dislikes duplicate content and has put higher priority on fresh content. Good content is also shared and linked to; search engines like back links.
- Conversions -- Good content will lead to higher conversions by answering customers' questions and building faith in your offerings.
- Lower Bounce Rates -- Good content will keep visitors on your site longer, opening the opportunity for them to view all you have to offer above and beyond what they originally were looking for.
- Branding -- The way you present your content reflects on your brand. Setting yourself apart with unique content distinguishes your brand from all the others.
- Improved Visitor Experience -- The most important aspect of good content is the visitor experience. Word-of-mouth marketing goes along way, and good experience is its catalyst.
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