On a clear night stargazers can look up and get lost in the cosmos, there are over 200 billion stars in the night sky. The internet, like the milky way, is an easy place to get lost if you don't know what you're looking for.
(Photo: John Fowler via Flickr- Under Creative Commons License)
There are 2.9 billion people on the Internet, but most likely, you only need talk with 100 or 1,000 of them to meet your goals. (http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/)
Consider that a moment... One hundred is not even a rounding error, percentage-wise. Neither is a thousand, or 10,000.
Whatever your number, it is probably not anywhere near 2.9 billion.
So don’t speak in broad-brush strokes to a general audience. Why talk in generalities that appeal to a vast and undifferentiated group, when your buyers have specific needs? Instead, be specific. Address the topics buyers have questions about as they get to know your offering (hint: their questions evolve as they get to know you).
With today’s technology you can manage every aspect of your website experience, and make data-driven, informed decisions to shape each interaction. Here are some thoughts about how to take control of your marketing and sales process online to increase the probability your visitors become customers.
The key is to be intentional. Why not create a customer experience akin to entering an Apple store? Greet people. Interact with visitors conversationally. Ask questions. Provide information they need to make decisions. Offer them deals. Ask for the order. You get to write the story for the customer and make it a reality. Think like a perfectionist. Make customers delighted. Steve Jobs did.
We help our clients develop an experience for their customers to follow. We create “content paths” for customers to follow based on their needs and level of understanding. Then, we look at the data. We do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Sounds simple. It actually is, but requires a well thought out plan.
Here are 6 ways to craft a customer experience designed to generate leads, build relationships and help grow your sales:
1. Develop buyer personas. Understand the messages your buyers respond to in order to offer the finest slice of your expertise. Speak with pinpoint accuracy to the narrowest niche of customers you need to engage.
Personas and messaging will help you write and create great articles, videos and premium content that is explicitly for those 100 or 1,000 people who it will resonate with and want to do business with you. Well thought out personas can also help in other areas such as sparking your product management team to come up with great solutions or your customer service people meet the needs of someone seeking assistance.
2. Craft every aspect of your website.
Mimic the sense of expertise, helpfulness and confidence as when prospects and customers are speaking with your best sales and customer service people. Make intentional decisions about the content you present using an editorial calendar. Understand where your customer is in their decision process and regularly offer content that meets those differing needs. Is it introductory? Are we preference setting? Configuring? Determining ROI? Create content for them to understand what they need each stage.
3. Consider the time span of the viewer and edit, edit, edit.
Nowadays, people make decisions in split seconds. Eye tracking studies show attention can stray in as little as 1/20th of a second. So don’t assume visitors will automatically follow your content path. Help them through the door but put up a gate to gather contact details if they want further elaboration.
Always make it clear from the start, you respect demands on their time. If you already know this visitor, don’t make them fill out more forms. Give people you already know easy access to your content. Why not share what they are reading with their sales representative via your CRM. Yep, you can do that with HubSpot and several popular CRMs.
4. Focus on the problems your customers are trying to solve.
"Don’t tell me how to build a watch, tell me what time it is." Said another way, customers don't want to know about your solution; they care that you will solve their problem. Users just don’t value your solutions they way you do.
Just as your product management takes painstaking care to prioritize and incorporate what customers need into products and services, so to must your online experience. It is so important that your marketing address the problems that your customers really have - not the problems your think they have.
5. Talk in the strongest terms about what makes you better than your competition. Look better than your competition online. They are just a click away.
Well-written, in-depth customer stories make for great premium content for prospects to download.
6. Gather feedback from your customers and incorporate that into every aspect of THEIR customer experience.
Whenever you have a customer support conversation, follow with a digital ask: Is there is something that could be improved upon or done differently? Any time there is a purchase made -- whether that is a conference signup, a trial offer, or what have you -- solicit feedback.
Are you focused on the 100 or 1,000 people you need to grow your business? What worked for your marketing and sales two or three years ago is probably no longer sufficient. If you choose to rethink your digital marketing and online presence, this is a chance to evaluate every piece of content for its contribution to growing your business. Speaking to the right customer and creating a tailored content path will help create a bright constellation in a crowded universe of stars.
If you would like a second set of eyes, consider Austin Lawrence. We have helped many B2B businesses and would be pleased to provide objective guidance for yours. We offer a free Inbound Marketing Assessment that will help you think through your customer journey and develop a marketing plan to guide your future campaigns and turn your Website visitors into customers.
Just click the button below, and you’ll be on your way to more Website traffic, leads and sales!