Customers aren't coming to you, you know

Nobody is just coming to your website. Contrary to popular rhetoric, websites aren't 'digital shopfronts'. Well, they are but not on a high street. Websites are shopfronts in obscurely located shopping centres.

Websites are important because when customers get there, if you play your cards right, they are are going to frickin' love you. But how are you going to get them there?

Back in the day, when the majority of people wanted a good or a service, they'd lug out the Yellow Pages and start the search process. Or, they would head down to bricks and mortar stores and go kicking some proverbial tyres to suss out the best widget or service to outlay their cash on. In those days Muhammud went to the mountain.

According to research paper by Google and CEB, The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing, customers are almost 60 percent through the sales process before engaging a sales rep.

These days, buyers have been looking around quite a bit before you even know they're there. Sure, if your website is listed on an industry directory or you have come up trumps in their web search courtesy of good SEO, they may have checked you out. But, they've also probably looked into peer reviews, studied relevant media articles and reviewed social media.

This means you have to go to them. You need to be "out there" providing thought leadership on their challenges or at least presence. In short, you need to show your potential customer you understand the problem before they get to you.

You can communicate your competence via your own social media accounts; e-newsletters; contributing commentaries in popular publications and blogs read by your target audience. The most important thing is to remember it's not about you.

To impress, I stress, your content should address:

  • News about your business (not!)
  • A problem you can solve
  • Valuable or interesting industry data
  • Tips
  • In a reader friendly tone and style and length. You don't have to be Hemmingway - just yourself (it also helps if you're a bit funny or friendly).
  • How you can be contacted for more insight

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