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By Axel Kuhn

So you’ve built a great website and you’ve managed to attract some relevant traffic from prospects, potential channel partners, and other industry stakeholders.

Now what?

How do you engage these prospects so that they “stick” to your site, refer you to their professional network, and return again and again?

The answer is Content.

In Marketing 2.0, online content is king.  Online content includes your web pages, white papers, videos, presentations, blog posts, webinars – anything that leverages your experience and expertise and delivers unique, valuable content. Great content increases your ranking on search engines, drives traffic, and keeps visitors from bouncing off your site. Great content gets your site bookmarked for return visits.

And, most importantly, great content establishes your credibility as a thought-leader in your industry, worthy of being added to your visitor’s list of potential suppliers.

Great online content is especially important in B2B markets where the buying cycle involves a heavy emphasis on education. Online content is the most cost-effective way for you to educate your prospects on the dynamics of your industry, your company, and your particular solution. Compare the negligible cost of an online whitepaper with the substantial cost of having to physically print and mail-out product brochures via snail-mail. Compare the minimal cost of holding an online webinar with the massive cost of running a series of lunch-and-learns at various locations around the world. Properly designed, your online content not only makes your site a default destination for information about the industry, but builds a preference for your business-to-business company and your solutions.

So here’s a quick check list of the most popular forms of online content:

Webpages: The workhorse of a website.  Make sure that your website includes an easy to use content management system so that you can easily add and update content without needing a web programmer’s involvement.  And ensure the pages are easily crawlable by the search bots so that all this great content can be indexed by Google and the other search engines.

Whitepapers: Distribute your whitepapers in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, so that they are universally readable using the free Acrobat Reader. Acrobat also gives you a host of security features so you can easily limit how people access and use your content.

Videos: Videos are quickly becoming the favourite of the online content world because they offer “edutainment” (combination of education and entertainment) and because a picture really is worth a thousand words. Forget the expense of broadcast quality video. With a simple “prosumer” video camera, some editing and a little creativity you have a decent video that can communicate complex message quickly and clearly. Check out the introductory video at www.inbound-marketing-automation.ca . Quick and easy.

Webinars: Take your show on the road, without ever leaving your office.  Web meeting tools are so sophisticated today (and inexpensive) that you can run a meeting with participants from around the world as if you were all in the same room. And don’t forget to automatically record the session, and then post it on your site for future use.

Blogs: Perhaps the easiest way to continue to build fresh content for your website, while building your thought leadership credentials in your industry. Remember that by today’s standard, even a 400 page website is considered small by the search engines. Blogging is one of the easiest ways for you to build a more substantial (and influential) site over time.

Finally, remember to map your online content to your prospect’s buying cycle. Ensure that there is information for each stage – from initial education on the general market to the later stages as they compare suppliers and trim their short list – to keep them engaged until they are ready to buy your solution.

This post is part of a series on Building an Inbound Pipeline. Related posts are:

  1. How to turn your Website into a prospecting magnet
  2. How to attract prospects to your website

Post by Axel Kuhn, President, www.inbound-marketing-automation.ca

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