Why Your Website is Crucial to Your Content Marketing Strategy
Today, in the age of the connected customer, your owned digital properties are a cornerstone of your content marketing and social strategies. These owned experiences, including your website, mobile sites and mobile apps, play a crucial role across the customer journey with your brand.
The majority of consumers exploring new products or services turn to the Internet as their primary research tool, according to Forrester Research. During this discovery process, customers are naturally going to visit your website to explore and learn about your product. This could happen organically or as a result of being pulled in by engaging marketing content and other campaigns. Think of your website like Rome — just as all roads radiated out from Rome during the Roman Empire, so do your campaigns and customers from your website. It is the hub to which your social media, display advertising and email campaigns ultimately drive.
Ideally, exploration leads to purchase. The owned experience remains crucial even for in-person sales, as 42 percent of offline retail sales will be web-influenced by 2020. But when online, conversion on your website is key. It is such an important channel, that CMOs today rank their website as the most critical online channel to leverage during the buying stage of the customer experience, according to The CMO Club.
What this all boils down to is that your owned properties and website remain critical touch points. Your site is both a channel to deliver content as part of your content marketing strategy and a critical hub to which other campaigns are directed.
A core advantage of your owned experiences is that, unlike social sites, you control the experience. That means you have the ability to deliver the optimal customer experience. The question then, is how do you best engage with your customers on your site and deliver this optimal experience? It’s about sourcing compelling content and fostering interactions. One side of this is your own branded content — content your enterprise creates to tell your brand’s story. But there is another side. You can leverage content and conversations coming directly from your customers (i.e., user-generated content or UGC) to spark interactivity and engagement.
One way to leverage conversations and UGC is to foster an online community on your owned properties. This gives customers and prospects a way to engage using forums, groups and comments. It could be a dedicated customer community (learn more here) or integrated across your website alongside normal branded content.
Alternatively, there is an often-overlooked way to leverage conversation and UGC. That is to source it from the social web (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and weave this user content directly back into the fabric of your site, creating an interactive experience that combines your branded content with original content coming directly from social networks. Employing UGC this way adds enormous leverage to your resource-constrained marketing teams by opening the door to an untapped source of compelling content. The authenticity of this content about your products can also favorably influence buying behavior and conversions.
Our recently announced partnership with Livefyre, for the first time ever gives marketers the easiest, most powerful tools to interweave these two streams of content: brand- and user-created. Now brands can marry content from Adobe Creative Cloud with social content discovered, and curated by Livefyre, and then easily deliver these experiences using Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager. If you are looking for this kind of edge in the battle to win your customers, please contact us to learn more about how Adobe and Livefyre can help.