Top 3 Ingredients to Achieve Website Success
Some people say, "Content is not King." I agree, except that actually there are Three Kings: Web Content Management Systems (WCM), Social Media AND Content. They are intrinsically tied in today’s competitive online environment.
Social Media has increased the importance of web content.
The way people find new solutions and products is changing; we do more research online and look more to our peer-network for feedback and advice for both personal and business purchases. Does your website provide the content people are looking for? Social Media is really a communication tool, allowing you to communicate with people (via inbound marketing) who are interested in the content you have to offer. That said, Social Media platforms are also about community; so the community will judge you by the content you share (your own and that of others). Social Media has made the content you have available on your website much more important and thus much more valuable.
How are you publishing content on your website?
Marketing is in my blood. When I was 8 years old I went to the corner store and explained to Mr. Kim that he would sell more if things in his store looked nicer and were better organized. He offered to pay me $20 to prove my point. I did. I am passionate about marketing — but these days I’m particularly passionate about online marketing. I absolutely love helping companies improve their online presence. I’m also passionate about Web Content Management. Why? It is the most important tool in the online marketing arsenal.
If you have a great WCM all your online marketing will be easier and more effective. It’s such a key investment that I would even venture to say that no company should venture out on their own to choose their WCM solution. There are so many factors to consider from both a technology perspective and a marketing perspective. When I started out in this industry I was immediately struck by the fact that most WCM solutions were chosen by IT. WHAT?
WCM solves marketing problems.
Nobody in a company knows a consumer better than marketing. (Perhaps in some organizations SALES does…but in that case there’s a communication issue between marketing and sales.) Yet historically the web was the domain of IT because they were/are the technology experts. In the early days of the web, IT created the websites and were entirely responsible for putting the content on the sites — and often deciding how the information on the website would be navigated. In the early days Marketing never questioned the process because we were overwhelmed by the acronyms like HTML and largely could not envision learning to write in HTML to create pretty pages and put whatever information we wanted on websites. Honestly, in the early days we all wondered how having a website could contribute to profits.
Along came Web Content Management Systems
Brilliant IT people began creating software that allowed non-IT people to edit websites. At first they still had us marketers cringing: “How do I do this?” “Sorry IT, I just edited a page (or at least I tried to) and now everything on the page looks wrong.” But as does all technology, WCM kept evolving and today there are phenomenal WCM solutions out there: if you can use MS Word, you can use the top WCM solutions with gusto. Along this adventurous ride, WCM solutions began offering more than editing content.
We Marketers need to understand our consumer
The web began to grow exponentially and more and more companies began to see the value of having a web presence. Initially we created websites that pushed information we thought was important to consumers, and often that resulted in brochureware websites. Yawn. Search was born and quickly evolved to the point we began to use the company name “Google” as an verb: we Googled things we were interested in. We slowly began to rely on search engines to find information we wanted. Then Social Media began to become popular. And Social Media began to make people aware that they were the ones in control in the online world: we choose what keywords we type into Google (though the recent predictive search in Google helps us focus the keywords we type) and what we search for or pay attention to in Social Media. So yes, there are Kings but consumers are individual rulers of the online universe. Marketers are now challenged with trying to understand what their website visitors want and how to get new people interested in their website (company and content).
WCM solutions are interactive marketing tools
Some people coined this Marketing Automation. I personally don’t like the term because not much about marketing is really automatic. Really good marketers know that our area of expertise involves being good at analyzing, interpreting, psychology, being creative and having a really good sixth sense. If marketing were an absolute science we’d all probably be able to produce better results and paychecks. But wait: WCM is here to help.
Some advanced WCM solutions allow marketers to better understand their website visitors. Not only that but now we can understand in real time and share consumer data with other corporate departments like sales via integration with CRM (and much more).
WCM gives an opportunity to provide measurable data — the days of marketing being considered an EXPENSE are nearing an end.
Great WCM solutions allow marketers to have a better understanding of their website visitors and target information on their website directly to them. Having data on the number of visitors and page views is nice — but that data has huge limitations. WCM analytics can let you know how people are finding you and what they are doing on your website once they get there (and where they leave). Great WCM solutions give marketers great tools. You can test key elements of pages to see what minor details effect how people interact on your website. You can evaluate what information (content) attracts certain groups of people and target relevant content to them (personalization). You can create in your WCM, content that recognizes mobile devices and displays your website accordingly to optimize the visitor experience. You can develop an understanding of how target audiences are arriving on your website, and what they do once they get there. You can capture data about them to continue to market to them. You can capture critical data about website visitors to relay to the sales department. But the best part is that you can do all of this and so much more without any help from IT: WCM puts the control of website marketing into the hands of marketing.
Three Kings for Your Website
WCM, Social Media and Content are the three kings of online marketing. Together they are a strong triad that will help you achieve online marketing success.