There were 87 commercials during this past Super Bowl, but very few of them failed to meaningfully connect their message to their social media platforms. Coca-Cola, for example, aggressively encouraged people to watch the game using it’s fame polar bears on Facebook and Twitter in the days leading up to the big game. But come game time, none of the three commercial spots Coca-Cola used for the Super Bowl included a URL or mention of the social media end of the campaign. They were not the only ones, only 57% of the commercials aired during the Super Bowl included a website or microsite URL.
There were some winners though like Chevy who kept their brand relevant and at the fingertips of the consumers throughout the game. And there was Best Buy who had an “Act Now” promotion, offering people who visited its Web site $50 off a mobile phone purchased in 2012. Customers visiting the site were immediately presented with the opportunity to sign up for the offer. Best Buy created a sense of urgency by limiting the offer only to those who signed up by February 12. This was a smart move by Best Buy realizing not everyone was in the market to purchase a phone at this very moment. To keep in front of the customer they offered an opt-in notification for a new phone eligibility as a reminder to the customer that they could now use their $50 coupon.
The strategy for connecting and getting found has changed but the Super Bowl is evidence that not everyone is ready for prime time. Let’s take a look at six core elements for developing an effective online content strategy that helps you win new customers:
- It has to be strategic. Online content has to connect to business goals and brand messaging. This requires talented writers that understand marketing strategy, and how to deliver copy that integrates across web, social, and search.
- It has to be brand centric.A brand is the sum of experiences and perceptions. When a person hears your company name, or sees your logo, what comes to mind? When they visit your website are they immediately sold something or is it inviting and informative and create an memorable experience? How about the last interaction with a salesperson or a customer-service representative, was it a freestyle experience or one carefully crafted.Whether we like it or not more than ever words, images, and actions define your brand every day and, with selective attention, websites and online content often serve as the first – and possibly only – opportunity to make a memorable first impression. Therefore copywriting, design, layout, and call-to-actions must convey core brand messages, tell your company’s story, and create positive perceptions that motivate a customer to act.
- It must be customer focused. You, the seller, are not in control anymore. The buyer is in control. They will decide often without your knowledge whether you will get their business or not. Your online content therefore must connect with readers. Your copy needs to speak directly to buyer personas, address their pain points and bring immense value. The hard part is this is a continual process. It’s not a website design that allows you in the game like it did five years ago. It’s about continually creating content that is SEO optimized, recognized by Google to where it ranks well, and has authority in that it is easily found. Therefore, whether internal or outsourced, copywriters must have clear direction and understanding of your target audiences, know how to engage them, and strategic around SEO and digital body language.
- It must be high-value content optimized for search engines. Online content must tell a story but it must be optimized for search engines. Google, which controls about 70% of the search market, is telling companies in very plain terms that duplicate, low-value content is bad, and original, high-value content is good. This means there are no shortcuts. If you want to know how you are doing, step into Google’s mindset and answer the 23 questions they are asking in regards to the issue. In short, SEO is an evolving art and science an requires talented SEO specialists and world-class copywriters who are continually measuring and refining content that can be found and produce a measurable result.
- It must be creative. This involves a creative team that is talented and provides specialties around leadership, strategy, content creation and editing, project management, sales process, information technology, web design, video, mobile, graphic, SEO, process management, thought leadership, automation, and marketing.
- It must be results driven. Content needs to be tied to the organizations objectives. It should play a key role in the organizations sales process and deliver measurable results that include generating leads, educating customers, and determining customer intentions. This is achieved by tracking the content’s success through metrics and reporting of pageviews, call-to-actions, content downloads, social media reach, and leads for the sales team. This involves constant strategy based on past performance and encourages the incorporation of new ideas and topics that drive traffic and capture audiences.