Your Content-First Guide to Better Digital Marketing

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Digital Platforms

  • Date:

    November 26, 2019

Your Content-First Guide to Better Digital Marketing

Content Marketing Digital Platforms

From educational to inspirational, and sleek sinks to solid subfloors, the home industry lends itself well to digital landscapes. Digital platforms are always evolving, but content is still king — and whether your brand is B2B or B2C (or both), the case for content-first website design still stands.

If you’re responsible for your company’s digital marketing strategy, you know that keeping up a consistent output of unique, surprising and distinct content may be your most crucial challenge. How can you continue providing a great digital experience — and driving traffic to that experience — in an increasingly crowded field?

From white space to measurement, here are seven ways to optimize your digital marketing in 2020.

1. Logical, simple menus and calls to action.

In 2020, highly visual, user-friendly websites will be the rule rather than the exception. Want to keep up with the times? Start with clarity and function.

One worry many people instinctively have is that they will miss out on business by not appealing to everyone at once. However, in design, appealing to everyone can result in cluttered menu bars, buried pages and a lack of prioritization. Furthermore, including everything and the kitchen sink requires your user to make more decisions. Whether they’re a professional builder or DIY homeowner, they’ll be turned off by a website that leaves them with more questions than answers.

A good website starts with a solid understanding of brand personas and target demographics, actions those customers will most likely want to take and an honest, clear guide through each step of the marketing and sales process.

2. Mobile-responsive design.

More than 80% of Americans own a smartphone, and up-and-coming Generation Z consumers have never known life without smartphones. From laptops, desktops and tablets to smartphones and smart appliances, your target expects websites to look great and perform flawlessly across all digital platforms.

When Huber Engineered Woods, manufacturer of an alternative building enclosure system for traditional housewrap called ZIP System sheathing and tape, wanted to reach a new set of contractors, we developed an integrated marketing campaign that blends an informational microsite, testimonial videos from trusted industry pros, and print and online advertising. The responsive microsite meets contractors where they are.

    3. Ample white space.

    Why Skylights is an award-winning integrated content marketing campaign for VELUX. With product information and education for homeowners considering skylight installation, the responsive site boasts great photography, educational resources and, notably, a clean, simple interface with lots of white space. White space prevents crowding and clutter, allowing the user to easily comprehend the page and navigate the site. In a content-driven design strategy, prioritizing the content on the page is key to letting it really shine.

      4. Visual cohesion and storytelling.

      Planned community, nature reserve and high-end resort Palmetto Bluff faced a two-part challenge: clearly articulate the magic of its unique South Carolina Lowcountry property to capture the attention of people who have never visited and communicate a broad range of offerings in a compelling, concise way.

      “A lot of Lowcountry advertising includes sweeping landscape photos that are beautiful but relatively nondescript.” ~John Roberts, Executive Creative Director

      Palmetto Bluff is different than other Lowcountry experiences, and its marketing needed to be different.

      Our Creative team rose to the challenge and delivered video and photography that give the audience a peek at not just Lowcountry living, but also the one-of-a-kind Palmetto Bluff experience. The new asset library helped us build a website that is visually driven, tells a story and clearly communicates the Palmetto Bluff message. As an added bonus, the Palmetto Bluff marketing team has access to a bank of images from this shoot that will benefit the brand’s social media, digital and print paid media, and more.

        5. Testing and multiple iterations.

        Treat your website as a living, breathing and growing creature. Technology changes quickly. It’s important to measure and report on web traffic, click-through rates and other analytics to discern what’s working and what’s not — and to adjust your efforts accordingly. Remember that what worked well three years ago may not be what works well now. At Wray Ward, we’re big fans of the agile process. Of course, it isn’t feasible to overhaul your website on an annual basis. Instead, leverage results to capitalize on low-hanging fruit — and remember that creating a content-first user experience is one of the best ways to lead your target audience to the solutions they’re craving.

        6. Connect with industry thought leaders to build trust and boost performance.

        Leveraging relationships with thought leaders across platforms and publications is a strong way to give your content marketing an SEO boost, especially now as research shows consumers are hungry for home design and improvement knowledge.

        For example, Huber Engineered Woods has long worked with building science expert and home construction influencer Matt Risinger, an outspoken advocate for the superior quality of the manufacturer’s AdvanTech subflooring products. With his knowledge of many subflooring products and years of field experience, Risinger agreed to share his opinion, backed by anecdotal and scientific testing evidence, on the Behind the Build blog.

        The evergreen blog post, as a product comparison, uses strong keywords and phrases in a conversational way. Because Risinger is a trusted subject matter expert in the custom homebuilding community, his content appeals to the Huber Engineered Woods audience and is also useful to a builder or homeowner researching the differences between plywood, commodity OSB and AdvanTech subflooring.

        From industry influencers such as Risinger to internal product engineers, subject matter experts and thought leaders can help bring timely, relevant information to your blog, in turn attracting readers and helping you further optimize your search results.

        7. Maximize those external influencer partnerships.

        Between your website, blog, newsletters and social media channels, you have a lot of owned digital content ground to cover. Influencers, who are usually industry experts and ideally target product users, will help deploy your message across other platforms and reach different audiences. An influencer partnership can help set your product apart and build new brand champions, offer category exclusivity and create potential for new partners in product innovation.

        However, as more people flood the digital space and call themselves influencers, it’s becoming more critical than ever to establish your own definition of an influencer, what your business expects to gain from an influencer partnership and, finally, how to measure the success of influencer programs. Many companies may target influencers purely by the numbers. While 300K impressions sounds better than 75K, you may find that the blogger with 75K followers has better engagement and audience demographics.

        Need help choosing the right influencer for your brand? Read our influencer marketing how-to guide.

        What are you doing to keep your home improvement brand ahead of the competition in a crowded field? Let us know.

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