Today, most purchasing processes begin with an Internet search. Customers no longer want to be contacted unexpectedly by sales people before they have even worked out what they need. They enter the buying process later, when their research is already advanced and they know exactly what they want. But digital marketing can take this a step further and even complete the buying process. Here’s how to make your website your best ally.
Step 1: Write a strategy
The first thing you need to do if you hope to make your website a true marketing ally is to write your strategy. Indeed, we always start this kind of project full of enthusiasm and unfortunately leave out the strategic aspect, hoping to go faster to get into action.
However, spending a little time working on a strategy and especially writing it down will allow you to save time and above all gain in performance. To write your strategy, you need to take stock of :
- Your objectives: to know where you want to go so that you don’t lose track.
- Your personas: i.e. the typical profile of your target customers. This is essential to know how to address them and attract their attention. Indeed, you will not speak in the same way to Nicole, a 65-year-old retired woman, as to Antony, a 20-year-old young man entering working life.
- Your editorial line: you must of course know what message(s) you want to convey, in what form and through what channels.
- Your performance indicators: these indicators will enable you to take stock of the performance of your actions as you go along, so that you can readjust them if necessary.
Once you have drafted your strategy, you can implement what is needed to meet it.
Step 2: attracting visitors to the site
Before you can get customers, you need to get visitors to your website. It’s like a shop, if no one comes in, no one will buy.
However, to hope to transform these visitors into customers, it is better to attract qualified visitors. To do this, there are 3 imperatives that must be met.
Optimise the referencing of your website
It is not enough to create a website for it to appear in the first pages of Google or another search engine. To make your site visible to lukewarm prospects (those who have done a search related to your business), you need to make eyes at the search engines. This is a particularly technical step, as it involves both the design of the site and its content. Obtaining links from other trusted sites is also a good point. To have a well-optimised site, it is recommended to use a specialised agency.
Writing effective content
It is also important to create and distribute relevant content. This will have two effects:
- Attracting customers who come across your content, for example on social networks.
- To promote good SEO with a moving site that includes quality content.
But be careful, it’s not about publishing for the sake of publishing. The content must add value. The reader must be helped in his or her thinking by your content. It can also be inspirational content such as recipes if you sell cooking utensils or food products.
Getting your content out there
Creating good content is important, but getting it out there is even more important. As we said, that’s how you’ll attract customers. There are several ways to get your content out there:
- Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others are great levers, provided you choose them well and use them.
- Emailing: if you have a mailing list of people who subscribe to your newsletter, use it to distribute your content by email: these contacts are just waiting for it – at a reasonable rate of course.
Step 3: Convert visitors into leads
The aim of getting visitors to your site is to then get buyers. To do this, you need to start by turning your visitors into leads, i.e. sales leads that you can follow up to get an order.
To get qualified leads and make your website your best salesperson, you have to encourage your visitors to leave their contact details. To do this, you need to encourage them to click on “call-to-actions” such as “request your free white paper”, “request your personalised study”, etc.
In your information request forms, remember to ask for all the information you need to personalise the content you send to the prospect.
Step 4: Convert leads into customers
You have had visitors. Some have become qualified leads. Now your website must be able to convert them into customers, like any good salesperson. Indeed, a lead, even a qualified one, is not always ready to become a customer. They often still need to think about it.
At this stage of the process, you need to be able to bring leads to maturity so that they become customers. This process, known as lead nurturing, consists of nurturing the buying process with content that is relevant to the profile of your leads and their behaviour towards your content. It is therefore important to ask for all the necessary information beforehand.
Step 5: Turn customers into ambassadors
Word of mouth has always been an incredible source of new customers and the Internet has only amplified this phenomenon. That’s why it’s important to keep pampering your customers after they’ve made a purchase. Firstly, they can buy again, and secondly, they can recommend you.
You can also encourage them to recommend you by rewarding them with gifts or discounts for example. In short, be inventive, but above all make the effort to build loyalty and encourage people to share your content.
When your site is ready to take a prospect to the ambassador stage, he becomes your best salesperson. An active salesperson 24/7. But beware, to remain effective, a website must be constantly fed with quality content, because on the Internet, nothing can be taken for granted.
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