Inbound marketers know content creation is key to their success, so it makes sense that business blogs are one of their most precious marketing assets. Blogging is a natural way to get more indexed pages on your website, create content around keywords you want to rank for in search, and convert site visitors into customers.
But once companies master blogging, isn't there another way to expand content creation efforts on your website? Aren't there other parts of your website to which you can publish the valuable content you've become so great at creating -- and maybe drive even more traffic, leads, and customers for your business?
In short, yes, there are plenty of other ways to house content on your website (and if you're a HubSpot customer, making an addition to your navigation is simple)! While you may not update these parts of your website as frequently as a blog (we update our blog multiple times daily, for example) adding these content repositories to your website -- or updating the ones that already exist -- will help you drive even more traffic, and convert those visitors into leads and customers.
Don't let content creation begin and end with blogging. Consider building out or updating these areas of your website with fresh content to create a truly comprehensive content library that you and your site visitors can benefit from.
You're likely familiar with the 'News Room' concept for websites -- many companies have them, including yours truly. The news section of a website is often found under the 'About Us' portion of the main navigation, and contains content like press releases about company and product updates, event information, mentions of your company in the news, and awards received. That's a lot of content!
Perhaps that's why it's so common to stumble across the 'News' section of a website and find nothing has been updated in years. This can be due to lack of new content to publish -- perhaps your company hasn't received much news coverage -- or just plain negligence. While we can't help you with negligence, there are ways to make sure the content on the 'News' section of your website always remains fresh.
First, don't break out all of the components of a website news section into multiple sub-navigations if you don't have the content to fill it. Combine your press releases, event information, company and product updates, awards received, and company news in a rolling feed. In fact, you can think of it kind of like a second blog! And to ensure there truly is content for that second blog, don't just wait for others to write about you. It's okay -- in this context -- to write about yourself. If you're working on a new product release, write a few paragraphs about how features are progressing. If a partner of yours gets news coverage, share that in this section; your partners' successes are your successes, too. Aim for just one update a month so this section of your site never looks dormant to visitors and leads researching more about your company.
(Tip: Some companies are found in the news so often that they face the opposite problem -- there's so much content, their news section looks completely disorganized! Categorize content by month to make it easier for visitors to sort through.)
Resource centers are ideal locations to house your long-form educational content like whitepapers, guides, and ebooks. Many marketers are reticent to launch a resource center though, because the bulk of their long form content is reserved for lead generation and driving reconversions through lead nurturing. You don't want to make that content totally public, right?
Fair point, but there is a best-of-both-worlds solution! First, if there is any content you've created that you're willing to share with the world form-free, publish it. The rest of your content, however, can still be behind a form. Simply draft an abstract or select a poignant excerpt from the content to publish as a sort of preview. Then, direct the visitor to the landing page where the content can be redeemed. We do this with our long-form content in our own resource center to help drive more leads and reconversions. What a great supplement to your calls-to-action in lead nurturing emails and blog content!
Your resource center can also house third-party content like market research and analyst reports. If you work with third party content creators or researchers, offer to publish their long-form content in your resource center. It gets them more visibility in front of a new audience, and it can help you keep the content in your resource center fresh.
Product & Service Data Center
Many B2B companies have technical documentation centered around their product or service -- content like data sheets, integration information, FAQs, and release notes. Sometimes businesses choose to wrap these into their resource center, but if you have extensive documentation to publish, it's best to separate this from your resource center content. Why? Because the traffic to your resource center is in a different stage of the buying cycle than the traffic interested in looking at technical documentation surrounding your product or service.
Publish content here for leads and business partners in the 'evaluation' and 'purchase' stages of the buying cycle -- they are more interested in your solution than those visiting your resource center. And to make the most of this content, don't forget to include 'purchase'-oriented calls-to-action on these web pages, and within the content itself!
If you're in ecommerce marketing, you have a unique opportunity to leverage the non-blog portion of your website to create new content. For every product for sale on most ecommerce sites, there's a product description section underneath that's all too often left blank or filled with generic (or worse, duplicate) content from the manufacturer. Take advantage of this space to write unique, keyword-optimized content that describes the product, compels readers to take action, and helps you rank for important search terms. HubSpot customer OneIHI does this exceptionally well, drafting content that's informative, engaging, optimized, and comprehensive below each product.
To keep the page content fresh, you can also enable user comments and reviews under the product details. And we all know how crucial reviews are to establishing a prospect's trust in your business.
If you set up a learning center, you can create use cases -- pieces of content that show how your product or service can be used to solve your customers' problems. This content can be long-form or short-form written content, videos, or even just images with brief explanatory captions. HubSpot, for example, features customer examples of landing pages, calls-to-action, blogs, and the like that has been made using HubSpot's software.
Encourage customers to submit instances of using your product or service successfully (you can set up a landing page to collect their responses), and incentivize your customer service and support teams to collect such stories to keep the content on these pages fresh. If you opt for visual content like images or videos to demonstrate your use cases, be sure to accompany it with explanatory copy, even if it's brief. Aside from being a helpful complement to the visual content, keyword-optimized copy can help you rank for solution-seeking search terms like "how to create a landing page" or "examples of good calls-to-action."
HubSpot also includes information about what product functionality is being utilized; if you have different feature levels, customers reading these use cases may be inspired by a feature they don't have, and purchase additional services from you. Talk about revenue-generating content!
As with the news section of your website, be sure to categorize your use cases in the manner that makes the most sense for your business -- like location, industry, or product or service type -- to make browsing simple for visitors.
Multimedia Content Library
Although written content is often the focus of marketers' content creation efforts, consumers certainly love to consume other content formats. Do you have an arsenal of multimedia content, like podcasts, webcasts, and videos? Consider creating an item in your sub-navigation to feature this content. Multimedia content requires more time and dedication to consume than written content -- visitors have to pull out headphones, switch on their volume, possibly duck from their boss -- so give them one central location from which to watch and listen to this content. And just like the content in your resource center, your multimedia content can still live behind a lead generation form. Just be sure to write a brief description of the video, podcast, or webinar with the call-to-action!
(Tip: If you don't have enough multimedia content to warrant its own section of your site, you can group this in with the content in your resource center.)
Reviews, Testimonials, & Case Studies
Setting up a dedicated section of your website for reviews, testimonials, and case study content is crucial for leads in the 'evaluation' stage in the buying cycle. HubSpot breaks the content up into shorter customer reviews (pictured below) and longer, more in-depth content in the form of customer case studies.
Case study content typically requires more time and investment to create than customer reviews, so if you're just getting started with this section of your website, consider the tabbed approach you see above. You can begin with one page with only short customer reviews, sourced from all over the web. Notice the HubSpot reviews come from guest blog posts on our own site, external blog posts, LinkedIn reviews, and even Yahoo! Answers. Keeping this content fresh will be much more manageable than churning out new case studies every month.
Once you've accumulated 3-5 case studies for your business -- whether they are video recordings or written content -- create a separate tab or another point of sub-navigation to publish them. As with all other content repositories on your site, categorize the case studies in a way that makes sense for your site visitors and sales team. We've found categorizing case studies by industry helps leads and our sales team find the most appropriate content quickly.
Where else on your site do you house non-blog content? Share your suggestions in the comments!
Image credit: khalid Albaih
Originally published Mar 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016