How Inbound Strategy Propels Marketing for Manufacturers

For manufacturers and distributers, marketing plays a crucial role in growing brand awareness and creating a more competitive edge. Relying on referrals is not a strategy. Start with investing in a high-quality marketing plan that will pave the road for success. The implementation of a sound strategy will result in better quality leads, more customers, and more growth opportunities than shooting from the hip or just winging it.

 

explicit and implicit objectives

 

Manufacturers and Distributers Face Unique Challenges

Purchasing equipment, materials, or supplies are vastly different than buying a new toaster. The buyer’s journey in the B2B market place is more complex than most other types of purchases. Make sure your marketing strategy accounts for the unique challenges manufacturers face, including multiple targets and objectives, complex and/or highly technical products, and long sales cycles.

1. Multiple Audiences

Manufacturers sell to a number of different buyer personas and each one has different motivators, priorities and agendas. Typical target personas could include:

    • Engineers and designers
    • Distributers
    • Purchasing agents
    • Purchase influencers
    • End-users

Marketers are faced with addressing the challenges and goals for each different persona. Each one is looking for a solution to their specific issues.

2.  Multiple Objectives

Your customers have multiple criteria for purchasing your product. They are broken into explicit and implicit categories.

Explicit objectives are related to your product and are rational in nature. They are focused on element like price and delivery time. The includes things like:

      • Quality
      • Quantity
      • Price
      • Value
      • Delivery
      • Service

Implicit objectives are concerned with your brand and are emotional in nature. They are related to your market position, business relationships, and business practices. These could include:

      • Location
      • Reputation
      • Suppliers
      • Sales experience
      • Expertise

It is generally advised that brand perception weighs heavily in influencing B2B sales. Humans make purchase decisions based on emotion, even after logic is factored into the decision making process. Manufacturers should rely on explicit objectives to attract prospects and leads, and implicit objectives to convert those leads into customers and generate referrals.

3. Complex Products and Services

Complex products and services require a depth of technical knowledge not typically found in marketers. Many companies train their engineers and technicians in sales and marketing in order to help explain the values and benefits of your company’s product or service. People who serve in these roles can be extremely valuable in the sales process.

However, with this approach it’s easy to under-represent the implicit qualities that resonate so strongly in the buying process. Marketers skilled in communicating your brand story and appealing to your implicit objectives will give you a competitive edge. Your subject matter experts still play an important role in the sales process and investing in a marketing strategy will provide the framework for even greater success.

4. Lengthy Sales Cycles

The amount of time that passes between the first touch with a prospective customer and the closing of the deal is referred to as length of the sales cycle. It is common for manufacturers to experience sales cycles greater than 4 months and some up to more than 12 months.

These long sales cycles are for good reason. Products can be complicated or highly technical and deals can involve many players with many objectives. Sales cycles that take a long time can experience more hurdles that can increase the chances of derailing a deal. Companies with a well-defined sales and marketing process benefit by increased transparency during these long processes. This transparency can reveal where sales are stalling and improve the results of your efforts.

How Inbound Benefits Manufacturers

Inbound is an approach to marketing, sales, and service that is about meeting the needs of your audience and creating a trustworthy, authoritative brand with clarity and consistency. By providing valuable content with specific context, your company can offer the right solution at the right time to the right people.

Inbound marketing is especially useful for manufacturers and distributers because it aligns with the way that industrial and B2B buyers operate in today’s business environment. This buying cycle starts with identifying the need for a solution. The buyer then conducts research, including competitive options and specific features, then evaluates potential suppliers and eventually purchases. Factors that buyers take into consideration and form their brand perception about your business are:

  • Corporate website
  • Market presence
  • Brand reputation
  • Product offerings
  • Case studies and solutions
  • Industry leadership, knowledge and experience
  • Email, social media, advertising
  • Sales process

Together, these components contribute to a perceived customer experience that will exert influence on their decision to purchase from you or your competitor. Inbound methodology provides a framework for improving your brand perception at all customer touchpoints.

business blogs

Content is the Core of Inbound

A central component of inbound marketing leverages content as the main vehicle for communicating your brand values, product benefits, and overall value. It is what your prospects consume during the sales process and use to form their opinions, perceptions, and ultimately theirs buying decisions. Content comes in many forms and is used in many ways. Here are a few examples:

Blog content builds credibility and allows you to address the needs of your customers with as much detail as needed. Blog content also provides a forum for building subject matter authority. Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.

SEO content is used when your customer is seeking solutions. Optimizing your content for search engines using organic SEO and based on an SEO strategy is key to appealing to every stage of your customers’ journey.

Email content is used to stay in touch with your customers and cultivate prospects. Leverate audience segmentation to cater to your customers’ interests. Most importantly, make sure your sales CRM is integrated with your marketing efforts.

Social media content builds awareness and provides a channel for connecting with your audience. Promote your content in social channels, and also contribute to the discussions within your industry. Don’t really on social media, especially LinkedIn, as a place to push sales.

Video content is highly consumable and provides an excellent format for improving engagement in nearly all channels. From short, informal social media videos to more polished corporate videos, you can amplify your real sales team and put a face to all your messaging. Video can also include webinars and online conferences.

Case studies empower customers to discover and relate to how you’ve solved problems for other businesses. When formatted correctly, case studies will provide proof of your ability to deliver.

Align Sales and Marketing

Customer persuasion now spans marketing, sales, and service. These functions can no longer operate within separate silos. The new customer experience is more educated, better informed and doing their research before they even engage with your business. By integrating sales and marketing functions, a business can improve visibility into customer data by leveraging multiple digital channels.By using account-based marketing (ABM), companies can see success as a result of data analytics and actionable insights to access even more value from their marketing budgets.

Get Control of Your Contact Management

CRMs have evolved tremendously in the last several years. New tools are available for building a powerful system, customized to your needs. Focus on a CRM strategy that connects all of your customer-facing business units and you’ll reap the rewards of greater efficiency and more consistent results. Many manufacturing executives are slow to adapt. However, those business leaders that do see the merits of integrated functions are able to see great value by aligning their efforts from a customer perspective. This process reduces friction and improves results by creating consistency and clarity through the entire buyer’s journey. Manufacturers gain insights into their customer’s needs and avoid “dropping the ball” on sales and upsetting opportunities.

Your CRM strategy should empower your field reps to more easily develop and maintain key customer relationships as access opens to them. Consider engaging with outside resource that can help build your new strategy and transition your processes and staff to the new paradigm.

Key Takeaway

Manufacturers face many unique challenges in marketing their products and services. Most manufacturing businesses rely heavily on sales and often overlook the true value that a marketing strategy can play in creating a competitive advantage. Building your strategy around your customers and leveraging inbound methodology will provide a data-driven process that will produce greater success with measurable results.

Examples

Some examples of how we’ve helped our manufacturer and distributor clients:

California Lighting Sales »
CSL represents commercial lighting and controls manufacturers

Semtech » and LoRaWAN Academy »
Supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms for consumer, enterprise computing, communications and industrial end-markets.

Unisource Solutions »
Workplace services and furniture distributor

Oregon »
A manufacturer and distributor for chainsaw, agriculture, forestry, and home landscaping and part of the Blount Int. group of brands.

Universal Motion Components »
A manufacturer and distributor of center pivot drivetrains and related components for agriculture


Marketing or Sales? How and Where to Invest to Maximize ROI

How important is customer acquisition to your business? Should you invest in marketing or sales? How can you increase your customer base with the least amount of waste and the greatest chance of success? If you’re a business owner or key stakeholder, you’re likely laser-focused on growing your business and sorting out the right budget allocation for marketing and sales.

Here’s what we recommend: stop thinking about marketing and sales as individual silos. The most productive approach to growing your business today means updating your mindset with a more integrated process for customer aquisition.

Buyers are sophisticated and demanding. Proving value is more effective than trying to convince. Your sales and marketing efforts should be a streamlined collaboration based on a united methodology that reduces friction and increases efficiency.

Marketing and Sales Share a Common Goal

Marketing and sales are separate efforts, yet share a common goal: to attract prospects and convert them to customers. Both business units impact lead generation and revenue.

Today, customers are empowered with more information and choices than ever. Digital content like blogs, FAQs, ebooks, videos, and social media makes it easy for buyers to do their own research, understand their needs, identify options, and take control of the sales process. Buyers now have the ability to create their own customer journey. We no longer want to be “sold to”, we expect to be educated and, sometimes, entertained.

Savvy business owners and executives are building marketing and sales business units that work hand-in-hand, with a focus on customer experience. Smart sales is about attracting targeted leads, qualifying them, then closing the right ones. This is referred to as inbound sales, a powerful tool for reducing friction and improving results.


Inbound marketing has evolved into inbound methodology that can be applied to all customer facing elements of a business including marketing, sales, account management, project management, and customer service.


Inbound sales is the natural extension of inbound marketing, a term and methodology around for awhile now. Inbound marketing helps before it asks anything in return of prospects, providing value to prospects before presuming any value from them. Much of this is done through compelling content that addresses the problems of buyers and makes prospects smarter without any hidden agenda. Inbound marketing creates awareness and attracts leads for a company by putting the needs of its audience first and its own needs second. Inbound marketing has evolved into inbound methodology that can be applied to all customer facing elements of a business including marketing, sales, account management, project management, and customer service.

From “Always Be Closing” to “Always Be Helping”

To get the most out of inbound methodology, sales and marketing need to synchronized. As inbound marketing generates and qualifies leads, sales continues the process to ensure that buyers are the right fit for them and that they’re the right fit for their buyers.

Sales determines this by identifying the individual needs of buyers and guiding them through the decision-making process, a collaborative exploration fueled by helpfulness. Inbound sales shifts the “Always Be Closing” mantra to “Always Be Helping.”

With inbound sales, we rely on analytics to examine digital behaviors from buyers: what forms they’ve filled out, what pages they’ve visited, what content they’ve read, what emails they’ve opened and clicked on. From this activity alone, we can begin to understand the buyer’s journey and start crafting an approach tailored to their needs, even before the first conversation.

inbound marketing tools

Inbound marketing establishes specific buyer personas, develops content and activity that will attract these personas, draws in qualified buyers who are actually interested in what you’re selling, and helps these buyers understand your value.

inbound sales tools

Inbound sales is aligned with your buyer personas and continues this qualification process. That means learning more about targeted buyers through research and direct interaction, guiding buyers to explore their needs and how you might help, and building a relationship of trust that sets the stage for a satisfied customer.

You Need a CRM Strategy

The tool at the core of sales and marketing for every business is their CRM (customer relationship manager). If your product or service is the heart of your business, the CRM is the brain. Today, companies have access to very sophisticated tools for customer relationship management. It’s never been easier to implement a CRM strategy that captures insights, analyzes data, and facilitates collaboration.

Your CRM will serve as the control tower for your inbound marketing and sales efforts, allowing you to align your seller’s journey with the buyer’s journey of your prospects. As buyers move through the different stages – from awareness of their problem, to consideration of their options, to a decision about their solution – you should be moving in tandem, from identifying potential buyers, to connecting with these prospects, to exploring whether there’s a fit, to advising them of their options.

The process should look something like this:

inbound sales process

As you think through your investment in marketing and sales, consider approaching these business units in a coordinated fashion. You’ll find this a more efficient, more productive, and more predictive method for success. Focus your budget on a CRM strategy that powers the sales and marketing process and empowers your entire team with integrated technology, automation, analytics, and personalization tools.


This article was written with the input of Shanna Belott, founder of preDiction, a content marketing firm for thought leaders.


4 Ways to Improve Your Virtual Booth Experience

With the impact of COVID-19, companies have shifted the ways that they address networking and exposure opportunities. Tradeshows and conferences have traditionally served as huge marketing platforms. However, the pandemic has forced every stakeholder in these events to make dramatic adjustments. Here, we cover four best practices for improving your virtual booth experience and improving your marketing budget ROI.

Last year, the tradeshow business was booming, with B2B tradeshows estimated to be a $15.7 billion market in the U.S. alone.

Today, the pandemic has forced the tradeshow market to completely redefine its approach. A business sector built upon the energy of thousands of people personally interacting inside convention halls now has to summon this excitement from a screen.

A cornerstone of the brave new tradeshow world is virtual exhibitsThis trend was born of the mother of Covid-necessity and lacks any instruction manual. Companies, sponsors, and event marketers have scrambled to bottle the buzz of their in-person exhibits within a physically distanced package that can be experienced remote at one’s desk, sofa, RV, or beach chair.

It’s not an easy feat.

What should a virtual booth look like, anyway? If you talk to some exhibitors, the answer is: “make it look like our booth.” They expect to force a screen experience to mimic a real-life, physical experience as closely as possible.

The only issue with this is: people experience and absorb information differently on screens than from a physical booth.

Solutions for virtual booths range from 3D renderings of actual exhibits rendered as interactive graphics, to more conventional websites or micro-sites designed specifically for the event. Marketers must weigh usability and engagement against their expectations of a desired virtual exhibit experience. It’s easy to gauge success if you know what to measure and plan for it.


Along with the drawbacks, there are benefits to virtual tradeshows. The key is to develop a virtual exhibit strategy with a clear-eyed approach that capitalizes on those benefits and realizes the new opportunities.


A virtual experience is never going to be the same as one that happens in-person. While that might be a disappointment for traditional networking and sales, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for business. Along with the drawbacks, there are benefits to virtual tradeshows. The key is to develop a virtual exhibit strategy with a clear-eyed approach that capitalizes on those benefits and realizes the new opportunities.

Four opportunities for improving your virtual booth experience:

Opportunity #1: Your booth is now a website (and you need web design professionals.)

Let’s have a reality check here. Your “booth” is now online. If it’s online, it’s a website of some form. As such, your virtual exhibit needs to start with the same strategic approach to web design that we use for other websites.

According to a survey, only 9% of respondents report that having virtual booths as a part of an event actually keeps them engaged. Before you sink heavy resources and time into your virtual booth, you need to get crystal clear on how to create an attractive, interactive experience for your attendees.

Engaging the right specialists at the right time is crucial for optimal success.

When you approach your virtual exhibit experience, consider your desired outcome before you prescribe the form it takes. Are you pursuing user engagement? Lead generation? Let your design team, trained in UX, design an experience that will achieve your stated business goals.

Most people wouldn’t consult experts like doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, architects, or auto mechanics and instruct them on how they should fix their problems. Usually, you allow the specialists to diagnose the issue, establish the desired outcome, and then prescribe the solution based on the best course of action.

The same should apply to your virtual exhibit. The “doctor” is your web design team. This is what they do every day: create digital experiences that help clients achieve their business goals.

What are your goals, anyway? With the potential to measure everything and fully integrate marketing and sales, think beyond “cool booth design” and understand what your visitors and your company actually value. You have unique opportunities to create high engagement at all points of the buyer’s journey online, opportunities which are different than those presented in person.

Your web design team is trained to develop smart user experiences that achieve desired outcomes. They will guide you to embrace both the benefits and constrictions of best practices in current web design rather than try to emulate other channels.

Include your web design team first and empower them to solve your problems. This will ensure far better outcomes than when you dictate a perceived—and potentially technically flawed—solution.

Opportunity #2: Bridge the gap between sales and marketing to capture leads and leverage analytics

Just like real events, virtual events are great opportunities to gather both marketing-qualified and sales-qualified leads (MQLs and SQLs). The good news is that a virtual experience makes it simple to use automation and integrate with your CRM.

The opportunities and constraints of a virtual exhibit make it more important to think about your tradeshow event as a three-part affair: before, during, and after the actual event itself. Without the easy distractions and natural energy of an in-person event to generate attendance and engagement, virtual exhibit organizers must work harder to create a rich experience for audiences.

Attracting and retaining audiences is the essence of lead generation. If you hope to develop a meaningful connection with event participants, you need to capture and measure attendee data throughout the lifecycle of the event. Without this, you won’t understand who your audience is and what they need to feel engaged with your organization during and after the event.

Your web and marketing teams should integrate lead capture and analytics into every aspect of your virtual exhibit. With the right tools, you can generate audience insights that help you guide visitors along the customer journey. Understanding what your audience cares about, and what they’re responding to, will help you develop and adjust the virtual experience so that there is no wasted effort.

Opportunity #3: Get creative!

If you take advantage of opportunity #2, that means that you’re maximizing lead capture and analytics. With that in place, the next area of focus is to spike engagement.

In a report on virtual exhibits, more than 67% of respondents said that in order for them to want to stay, listen, and engage, they want opportunities for live participation; things like Q&As, chat, polling, and quizzes. Forty-eight of respondents want to hear speakers cover topics that aren’t openly discussed, and 40% expressed interest in supplementary content that is available for download in-session. According to the same report, nearly three in four organizations whose attendance rates are greater than 75% utilize a mix of both Q&A and live polls and quizzes to drive audience engagement in-event.

Without the attraction of live human interaction, what can your booth offer to keep people engaged? Consider ideas such as using gamification, premium content, “virtual swag,” and other promotions and CTAs (calls-to-action) that will hold your audience’s attention. Make sure that your exhibit is optimized for mobile use so that attendees have flexibility in where and how they participate.

One of the key benefits of attending tradeshows is the opportunity for valuable networking. As you design your exhibit, consider ways that you can not only interact with your audience but how you might foster their interaction with one another.

Opportunity #4: Uncover added value and leverage your event website beyond the event itself

A majority of B2B professionals have increased the number of virtual events that their organization either hosts or is a part of. The most widely attended type of virtual events are large-scale, multi-vendor virtual tradeshows and user conferences.

But these types of conferences are also the most expensive and difficult to organize, so you should be thinking beyond the uses of your virtual exhibit for one big-ticket event. Recycle your virtual booth for additional virtual events of all shapes and sizes, and leverage this valuable new asset for other marketing purposes, such as PPC and social campaigns.

The beauty of creating a comprehensive, multimedia experience for your virtual exhibit is that different components can be scaled up or down to suit other marketing opportunities. Leveraging the data that you have captured and analyzed, you have everything you need to target other audiences in customized ways, or to continue the conversation that you have initiated with the audience from this one event.

website redesign success

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Download our comprehensive website redesign guide for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest.

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There is a new paradigm for tradeshows and conferences

It’s not just COVID-19 that is ushering in change for the trade show world. Advances in technology are introducing new opportunities that demand to be acknowledged.

Many, if not most, industries have been interrupted and forever transformed by technology. The companies that succeed—in sectors like music, travel, real estate, and retail, for example—are the innovators that adapt to disruption rather than the dinosaurs that ignore evolution.

So, too, players in the tradeshow world must recognize that their world has changed. For them, hybrid events – part live, part virtual – are probably here to stay.

Companies and attendees will appreciate the significant cost and time savings of a virtual experience. And best practices will emerge about how to turn virtual exhibits into lead generating machines with long shelf lives.

Take advantage of these four virtual booth best practices and keep these tips in mind as you build out your virtual exhibit:

  • Identify and include your web design agency or team early in the planning process
  • Leverage the benefits of microsites
  • Don’t leave leads on the table – integrate and automate
  • Include high engagement content like gamification and incentives
  • Establish goals and measure everything
  • Recycle, repurpose, and update

3 Elements of an Exceptional Website

Getting your website right is crucial for growing businesses. Whether it’s time for a website redesign or you’re starting a new one from scratch, there are three elements you must consider: how it visually reflects your brand, how it communicates your positioning and encourages engagement, and how it empowers visitors to achieve their tasks.

Before you begin to design your new site, you must first start with a strategy for success and maximum ROI. This strategy will include making a content plan, considering SEO, leveraging a lead generation program, and choosing the right technology.

With the right strategy in place, you’ll be in a great position to start thinking about the actual elements that will make up your website redesign. It isn’t just about picking a template and putting a logo at the top. All the elements we explore below must work together in harmony to create an effective website that will help you meet your business goals.

3 Elements of an Exceptional Website

 

Visual Design That Compels and Enhances

Design is often based on a subjective opinion, but good design is easy to see. The visual design of a website is literally the visual appeal of how a brand is represented. It is composed of the colors, shapes, pictures, fonts and typography, white space, layout, and overall composition of the website. Whether a website appeals to us affects how we perceive it—and the brand it represents—how we use it, and how we remember it. Be sure your site appeals to your buyer persona, and not just your personal taste. 

If your budget allows, it’s best to opt for custom design rather than settling for templates. Your website is an important touchpoint with your prospects and customers. Using templates often results in compromising content in order to fit into predetermined features, which in turn results in less than optimal user experience. With a custom approach, bespoke for your business, your website will be tailor-made to accomplish your business goals. 

There are myriad benefits of good visual design, but a few of them include:  

  • Attracting and directing user attention

Getting your visitors’ attention is the key to getting them to engage with the content you worked so hard on creating. People are naturally attracted to appealing design. The right design elements, coupled with a sound marketing strategy, can also help to direct users towards the pages and content you want them to see.

  • Creating an impression

Just as how one dresses affects how one is perceived or how a beautiful product demands a higher price, a website creates an impression of a brand. As mentioned earlier, the visual impact of your site is a significant component of that first impression. In fact, one study found that 94% of user first impressions are related to design.

  • Building connections

A strong visual brand that starts with your website allows for users to instantly recognize your products, content, and other collateral no matter where it appears (i.e., social media, print advertisements, live events). Identifying with your brand creates strong, long-term customer relationships, which are ultimately more profitable and sustainable.

  • Evoking emotion

What your site looks like, including the quality of the photography, the craftsmanship of the typography, and the balance of the layout, all produce subtle emotional responses in your visitors. How you harness that emotional connection can determine the success or ultimate failure of your website. 

website redesign success

Considering a business website redesign?

Download our comprehensive website redesign guide for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest.

Download the comprehensive guide for a high-performing website »

 

3 Elements of an Exceptional Website

Clarity and Brevity Of Language

Websites may be a highly visual medium, but good marketing copywriting is paramount for clarity and consistency. Copy can also affect lead generation and conversion performance. Copywriting and design should be approached as a single effort, fully integrated and influencing each other during the design process. 

Effective website copywriting is equally informed by the brand voice, the marketing and sales goals, and search engine optimization (SEO). Best practices to keep in mind for website copywriting include:

  • Identify your audience, know who you’re talking to, and speak their language.
  • Write clear, concise headlines that are enticing because first impressions need to be great. 
  • Emphasize value and benefits over features. 
  • Keep it lean and provide quality over quantity.
  • Use verbs and multiple words in your calls-to-actions (CTAs).

 

3 Elements of an Exceptional Website

Positive and Inspiring User Experience

Putting the user first in web design demonstrates that a business respects their customers and values the power of design for growing a brand. Great user experience (UX) starts in the planning phase and provides direction and guidance throughout the design and development of the company’s website. By integrating user experience with your business’ priorities, you help your customers achieve their goals while ensuring your marketing communications are addressed. Good user experience is good design and good design builds strong brands. The seven factors that form user experience are:

  1. Useful – Ensure your website is useful for your customers and provides key information and functionality that helps them achieve their goals when visiting your site.
  2. Usable – Your website should be simple to use and easy to interact with. Don’t create roadblocks for your visitors.
  3. Findable – A business’ website must provide information that is easy to scan, browse, and search. Organization of content should be clear and concise.
  4. Credible – Conveying credibility is paramount for any brand trying to establish trust and authority. Authenticity provides credibility and fakers are easy to identify.
  5. Desirable – Desirability is conveyed through branding, image, identity, aesthetics, and design. Desirability builds customer loyalty and evangelism. Your website should be responsive and enjoyable to interact with. 
  6. Accessible – Accessibility is about providing an experience that can be accessed by users of a full range of abilities, including those that may use screen readers or other adaptive technology. Accessibility also means presenting content as simply and clearly as possible.
  7. Valuable – A company’s website must provide value to the business and to the visitor. Without value, a brand is undermined and an investment turns into an expense. 

Happy Visitors = More Business

It’s true that a website redesign can require a significant investment of time and resources. But when the elements of your new design work together to make your site better and your site visitors happy (e.g., ready to buy), the effort will be well worth it. 


Master 4 Cornerstones of High-Performing Websites

If you’re building a new website or considering a website redesign, your mind may immediately go to what the site will look like, what colors you’ll use and how the copy will read. These elements that you choose for your website are critical in creating a good first impression but without the right strategic foundation, your efforts can fall flat. Following are four essential things to consider when engaging in any new website or significant website redesign to maximize your return on investment. If you can nail these foundational elements, you will not only have a website that looks great and compels customers to take action, you will build a site that really produces results for your business.

Here we dig into the four cornerstones of your new website or redesign project that you absolutely must get right to ensure the highest ROI, including content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation, and technology. Approach these strategic components correctly, and you’re on your way to building a powerful marketing tool for your business.

Start With Your Content Strategy

content strategy by Bynder group
Align your content strategy with your business objectives. Do this before you begin the design or redesign process so that your website information architecture fits your strategy—not the other way around.

Too often, content strategy is an afterthought in a website redesign. By considering the type of content you will create in the long term before you start redesigning your site, you’ll be well ahead of the game and setting your business up for sustained growth. 

Content is any tangible media, including written, visual, downloadable, and interactive formats. In many ways, the content a brand or company produces becomes the “voice” of that brand. It represents what you stand for and your values as a business. Content demonstrates industry knowledge, experience, brand values, and more. Content is also critical in educating potential customers who are unfamiliar with your brand, product or service and is an essential element of SEO strategy. In short, the quality of content on your website matters greatly. The majority of a company’s content will live on their website, which is why content strategy is important to consider now, before you launch your new site. 

When you develop your content strategy, consider these questions:

Who is your content for?

Leverage a variety of content types and channels to ensure delivery to each target persona.

What problem do you solve?

Your content should support your prospects as they learn more about you, as well as your customers to keep them engaged and wanting more.

What is your differentiator? 

Communicate your unique attributes and selling points. Demonstrate expertise and knowledge, not only around your product or service but around your target personas. 

What content formats are appropriate for your audience?

Determine your blend of blog posts, videos, infographics and align your content needs with your budget and resources.

What channels are best for your brand?

Consider your owned properties, like your website, blog, and landing pages and also social media properties like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Where do your customers congregate? You’ll want to be sure to share your content there first and foremost. 

What is your management and creation plan?

Effectively managing the enormous task of content planning and development requires organization and communication. Adhere to a calendar while you remain flexible to address timely or newsworthy events. 

If you’re able to answer these questions before embarking on your redesign, you’ll be able to create a site that fully supports your content marketing efforts.

website redesign success

Considering a business website redesign?

Download our comprehensive website redesign guide for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest.

Download the comprehensive guide for a high-performing website »

Get Higher Visibility with Search Engine Optimization 

Optimize your website for high organic search results and it will generate more traffic and more qualified leads. A website redesign is the perfect time to ramp up your SEO efforts. Even small changes can make a big difference in how your site ranks for your high value keywords. 

When considering SEO, pay attention to the following key elements:

  • Optimize your homepage and internal content with a thoroughly considered keyword strategy
  • Ensure the entire website has on-page optimization and all images have alt tags
  • Spy on your competition using backlink checkers to find out who is linking to their site
  • Target long-tail keywords that are specific to your brand or product
  • Publish useful, credible content on a regular schedule
  • Build your content around pillar topics and support each pillar topic with supporting content to build higher credibility with search engines

 

Create a Lead Generation Engine

Your website can be the most powerful lead generation tool in your business arsenal. With the right strategy, you can and should be generating qualified leads 24 hours a day. Those kinds of possibilities make it easy to see why investing in your website makes sense. One survey found that 70% of small business websites don’t even have a call to action on their homepage, which means we know there is a major opportunity for improvement here. 

To optimize your site for lead generation, plan on incorporating:

Calls-to-action

Easy to find and use calls-to-action that direct users where to go, whether that means moving them to another page, compelling them to download content (and get on your email list) or making it simple to contact you directly through a contact form, email or phone number. 

Visitor engagement

Design and voice that encourage engagement. Your site should be in active voice, and should use design elements and copy that make the user feel compelled to act and learn more about your brand. 

Analytics

Software and methodology for tracking, acting on, and measuring lead generation engagement. As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. Be sure that you’re keeping track of your incoming leads with an effective CRM and making changes to your site if you’re not seeing the results you want. 

Sales enablement

A sales enablement plan that supports and coordinates sales and marketing to ensure those leads are not lost. Lead generation is only one piece of the puzzle. You should be prepared to follow up on those leads and help to guide them through their customer journey. 

Don’t underestimate the power of your website to generate high quality leads for you. It won’t happen overnight, and it will take significant strategic effort on the front end, but the results will be well worth it. 

 

Select the Right Business and Marketing Technology Stack

 

tech stack for successful web strategy
Consider value as well as price when choosing your web strategy technology stack. Save time and get bigger returns with right-fit software.

The software and technology you choose to build your website is an important decision and commitment. What you choose to go with will be determined by your budget, your resources, and your work flows. 

Your technology toolbox should include software for: 

  • Content management system (CMS)
  • Customer relationships management system (CRM)
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • Invoicing
  • Sales enablement
  • Account based marketing
  • Customer service

Consider value in addition to price when assembling your technology toolkit. Investing in the right software can dramatically affect the results you get. If your budget isn’t there yet, look for starter level packages that will allow you to grow into more robust features.

Master these Cornerstones for Higher Returns

When you put in the foundational work, the ROI on a website redesign can be significant. With your strategy in place, you’ll be setting yourself up for a website that looks great and works effectively to get visitors into your sales funnel. 

website redesign success

Considering a business website redesign?

Download The Complete Guide to Your Next Website Redesign for more tips on strategizing effectively before you invest.

Download the comprehensive guide for a high-performing website »


Website Redesign Success: Get the Most Out of Your Investment

Businesses focused on growth constantly evolve. A business that remains stagnant may grow incrementally, but to see steady, sustainable growth, innovation must be part of your strategy. To remain highly competitive in the current environment your online marketing strategy, and by extension your website, need to keep up with your company’s goals. 

For large companies, a full redesign every two years is considered best practice while mid-size and small businesses should consider a website update or redesign every three years with incremental updates constantly in the pipeline. 

But the decision to redesign your website should not merely be based on what “most businesses” do. Instead, it’s essential to look to your business goals and metrics in order to choose the best course of action and investment of resources. A high-performing business website needs to combine visual design and message clarity with a strategic approach to lead generation through an organic search and content plan. If your website is not performing in terms of traffic (e.g., you’re not getting enough visitors) or conversions (e.g., visitors aren’t contacting or engaging with you), it’s time to make some improvements.

website redesign success

Considering a business website redesign?

Download our comprehensive website redesign guide for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest.

Download the comprehensive guide for a high-performing website »

A Website Redesign is Opportunity for Business Growth

Being proactive with your marketing budget and approaching your website as a strategic tool will help a business in all economic environments, especially downturns. An effective website can act as a salesperson, a marketing expert, and a customer service agent. Done well, and with the right analytics in place, investing in your website strategically can have an enormous return on investment.

The best websites are equal parts business, design, and technology, meaning you should have a strong foundational strategy in place before embarking on a redesign. When you master the four cornerstones of a high-performing website—content strategy, search engine optimization, lead generation, and technology stack—you’re on your way to building a marketing machine that runs 24/7 and delivers a return on your investment. A good agency can help you with each step of the process and make sure your budget goes as far as possible towards helping you achieve your business goals. 

Inbound marketing methodology ensures success for website redesign
Using the Inbound Marketing Methodology ensures success for website redesign initiatives.

Use Inbound Marketing Methodology for Improved Results

A business website redesign gives you an opportunity to create a site that is guided by marketing strategy and aligns directly with your company’s overall marketing goals. A website design that keeps marketing top of mind, especially when built around the Inbound Marketing methodology, can generate more leads, more sales, improved customer loyalty and stronger brand awareness. 

Utilizing a design process that operates under an Inbound Marketing mindset can have a huge positive impact on engagement and conversion rates because Inbound Marketing creates a positive user experience that will reflect your brand values, while delivering what your visitors want and need. 

 

4 Essential Steps for Success

 

Key steps for website redesign
Design for marketing success with four key steps: target, insight, plan, and measure.

When thinking about designing for marketing success, here are the key steps that should guide your effort:

Identify Your Visitors

    • Who are your visitors? Is your website designed to accommodate the needs of each target persona? 

For instance, does it avoid jargon they may not understand, is it easy to navigate if they are less tech-savvy, and does it clearly direct visitors to the benefits that buying from you would have for them specifically? 

    • How did your visitors get to your website? Knowing where they’re coming from can help you decide what they should see and give you a sense of which marketing channels are working and which need attention.

Tracking your visitor sources can also inform your site design since a visitor coming through a general Google search will have much less information about your company than one coming from an owned social media channel or marketing email. You want to be sure you’re offering enough education and basic information as possible when it’s relevant and getting more into the details of your offerings once some familiarity has been established. 

Get Insight for Your Strategy

    • What is the purpose of each page and is it aligned with marketing goals?

Each page on your site should have a clear goal for the people that visit it. Do you want them to contact you? Fill out a form? Make a purchase? The more clear these goals are, the more effective your website will be in helping you grow your business. 

    • Throughout your website, are your visitors finding what they want and getting what they need? 

The more time it takes someone to find the information they’re looking for — whether it’s pricing or a phone number — the less likely they will be to return to your site or to make a purchase. Easy navigation and clear calls to action are key. 

    • What stage of the customer journey are your visitors in when they reach specific pages of your site? 

Design for each stage of the sales funnel — top, middle, and bottom — and nurture prospects down the funnel with relevant content.

Plan for Positive User Experience

    • Where should your visitor navigate next? 

No matter where your visitors land when they first get to your site, you should have a clear idea of where you want them to go next. If it’s not clear to you, it will not be clear to them and confusion is the last thing you want. 

    • What is the most helpful content you can provide?

During a website redesign, you have an opportunity to drill down into how you can make sure your site is really helping your customers. Figure out what questions they have most often and make sure that you’re providing content that is easy to find and that answers those questions clearly. 

    • What is the best form of content for each page?

You’ll also want to consider the format of the content you’re providing. It might feel redundant to put the same information in both an explainer video and a blog post, but some people would rather watch a video and others would rather scan a blog post. Be sure that everyone can get the answers they’re looking for in a format they like. 

Measure and Improve

    • Measure and optimize towards the content that helps move people down the funnel.

A website redesign is also the perfect opportunity to make sure you are collecting the metrics that will help you continuously improve your site’s performance. Start (or continue) collecting data about how users navigate your site, where they drop off (AKA bounce) and make a plan to improve those sections of the site that are underperforming or scaring people off. 

    • Before testing your design, be certain that you can accurately measure visitor activity using appropriate software.

Free tools like Google Analytics (GA) make it easy to see where visitors to your site are in terms of their customer journey and provide valuable insight into how people are using your site. Other tools, such as HubSpot, also provide integrated analytic data and insights.

 

Achieve Significant ROI with the Right Strategy

A website redesign is no small undertaking and the investment involved may seem daunting. However, the impact of your website on your business’ growth opportunities cannot be overstated. When done strategically with a clear end goal in mind, a website redesign can have a significant ROI and make a big difference for your business. 

Considering a business website redesign? Download The Complete Guide to Your Next Website Redesign for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest. 

website redesign success

Considering a business website redesign?

Download our comprehensive website redesign guide for everything you need to know about strategizing effectively before you invest.

Download the comprehensive guide for a high-performing website »