In a crowded room, physical gestures such as a smile, eye contact, tone of voice, or handshake can easily initiate a connection between two people. On a B2B website, content is your connector. What responses are you getting? Is your content helping you make a connection or turning off potential buyers?
Many of my clients are redoing their “me-first, static billboard” websites in favor of a more engaging, customer-focused site. This is a good idea. Those who understand the role of content will reap rewards from loyal customers who tend to promote what they like.
On Home Pages that once read like About Us pages I am seeing well focused information in varied formats including video, audio and easily-navigated, visually interesting maps. The content applies tone in its voice and the design reflects the company. This is risk-taking for B2Bs. But it works. Added to these new sites are wells of content including articles, photos, product descriptions, blogs, news, resources and links to social media sites.
The Web Marketing Association’s award winning Best B2B 2010 website, Airclic, is a good example of an engaging, customer focused site. The company sells mobile software solutions for supply chain operations. The wealth of information on their site is impressive but does not overwhelm. The content is so well organized that you forget how much of it there is. Navigation is easily controlled by the visitor. By defining market segments and addressing those information needs Airclic becomes a crowd pleaser. No darting eyes to see who else is in this room. Their visitors get full attention.
Fresh, relevant (right now) content requires skill and attention. A recent report shows that many B2B marketers are committing the necessary resources to develop quality content. This kind of content isn’t found in “how to” articles or copying competitor websites. It requires looking deeply at what problem your product or service solves and what emotions surround that problem. What experiences have your customers shared with you and for what have they showed appreciation? Feed their need intellectually, emotionally, and socially.
The crowd is now online. Does your website attract attention with good design? Are your visitors invited to learn, feel and interact well with your business? Visitors need a reason to engage. The click is interaction. Good content keeps visitors with you long enough to encourage a next step or make a purchase. At the least they’ll get your name and phone number. At most, they will decide yours is the company they want to do business with. Congratulations, you have made a connection with a new customer.