Your website content tells me everything about who you are as a business. A lot of people (including yours truly) struggle with developing their own website and are frequently dis-satisfied with their website because the content doesn’t necessarily reflect who they are.
There are a ton of articles around developing beautifully crafted websites or websites that are high performing in terms of bringing in leads and viewers. However, inspite of this vast repository of knowledge, businesses have not really been able to unlock the secret to a website that is relevant to their core target customers, enriches their brand and brings in the right customers to their business.
With this article, I want to challenge a fundamental design assumption of creating a website. This flawed assumption is one of the core reasons why tactical articles on building a high performance website do not provide much value even though they are highly insightful and written by authors (like this) who have truly built a business around high performing websites.
The number 1 flawed assumption that brands have when designing their website is that they search for “copy/content that will sell” rather than ask “who are we as a business”.
I assert that your website’s content does NOT reflect who you are as a business. And in the majority of cases, the content is shallow and not really who you actually are. In most cases, the content is outright manipulative and clickbaity.
And I am not saying it is easy to create website content that truly reflects what your business is, actually far from it. It is one of the hardest things you will do because you will need to really dig deep to start articulating who your business really is.
Because if it is not consistent with what your business is, there are repurcussions starting with but not limited to:
1. Engagement — Your viewers engaging your with your website dramatically falls off if your content is not truly reflecting who you are. Content which is shallow and written as filler content can be a guarantee for poor engagement with your intended viewers.
2. Loss of trust — Content that is manipulative and not a true reflection of who you are will cause a break in the relationship between you and your intended viewer. You are able to sniff out inauthentic content, what makes you think your viewer can’t?
This is a question that keeps stumping me. I think it is because a website is looked at as propaganda mouthpiece v/s a platform for the business to truly share its intention, its journey and its work.
A lot of the articles around building your website content starts with some version of: How can you create your content to get more leads, to have more clicks etc etc. So the starting point of creating content is: What content can I create that will get more viewers?
And Not: What content will truly give my viewer an insight and experience of who we are as a business.
The scary part of creating content ‘that sells’ v/s ‘content that tells your authentic story’ is that while it will give you short term success, it is acid for your long term business. It will eat away at your customer base and you will be left with a constant cycle of managing a high level of churn which ultimately will lead to a higher and higher costs of customer acquisition and eat away at profitability.
This starting point of ‘creating content that sells’ is a cancer and like cancer, it spreads and before you know it, your leadership team, marketing team are just machines who are constantly strategizing on how to ‘spin content’ that is increasingly flaky rather than answering ‘how can my business add ever expanding value’ that will naturally lead to higher levels of loyalty and create ever reducing levels of churn.
By digging deep to find the core purpose of your business which lies hidden in plain sight of your existing business. You do not really need to create one as I believe that every existing business through its stakeholders is already doing something that works and that inspires each of their existing stakeholders even if they are not talking about it or even present to it.
To start finding out how your business can find what is already inspiring within, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of this article and I will send you a set of questions to get you started.
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