Recently, we referenced the 2015 State of Marketing Report that Salesforce published. One of the primary points in the report is that companies are expected to increase their investment in social media marketing in 2015. It would be easy to assume that the increased social media spend is the only real take-away of merit in the report. However, there are a lot of other important details that the survey uncovered. One of the little gems that we found is in regards to company websites. Interestingly, only 56 percent of respondents said that they were currently using a corporate website, but of companies that were using a corporate website, 64 percent ranked it as “Very Effective.”
There are a lot of questions that this information raises. Indeed, simply defining what a corporate website is can sometimes be challenging. Sometimes a corporate website is a blog site with informational links attached. Other companies may have an e-commerce site with informational pages incorporated, while still other corporate websites may be purely informational, especially in the B2B world. Another question is what “effective” meant to the respondents. This could be a measure of how many qualified leads the website creates, or it could be about how well the website shows up in search engines.
The real question that this information begs, however, is how you are using your own company website. We have long preached that having a strong website to which you can drive traffic is essential, even as media and technology perpetually changes and evolves. Your website should blend seamlessly with your social media marketing, your advertising tonality, and more. Your website can give you the tools you need to help qualify and quantify your leads from your various marketing tactics.
It can be easy to look at websites as “so (February 02, 2015).” Many social media practitioners preach today that websites are a bit outdated. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media channels can automatically show up well in organic search, a feat that your website may not always be able to accomplish. There are some who argue that in today’s world of talking one-on-one with customers, websites are too impersonal or too formal. Some of this may even be true to a certain extent. So why worry about a corporate website?
The net versus the fishing pole
I like to think of corporate websites as a net. Fish that are searching for your kind of product can get caught in your net and can get ensnared there. Fish that are looking for information on how to solve a problem can get up in your website. A person who perhaps had no intent of shopping for your kinds of products could end up becoming a loyal customer simply because of the information your website provides.
Social media marketing and other forms of marketing are more like a fishing pole. You toss out content as the bait and hope that someone bites on that particular morsel. Then you have to decide what to do with that fish. Are you going to throw it back into the sea? Are you going to nurture that relationship? You are fully guiding the relationship up to a certain point in that scenario, whereas with the net it is up to the visitor to determine if they want to continue navigating your website to learn more.
Don’t get caught in the hype
Thinking about a corporate website can seem like a low priority when there are always new social media platforms to explore, new mobile trends to study, and increasing focus on the “customer experience.” We believe, however, that the website can really be the eye of your marketing storm. All paths can lead back to your website, and your website can be the foundation for your sales funnel if you take care of it properly.
Have you thought about your corporate website lately? If not, what is stopping you? We’d love to hear from you.
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