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Problem Solved: How Do I Keep My Website Interesting, and Keep Visitors Coming Back?

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There's nothing we love more than solutions—top-notch insights from top-of-the-line experts that help solve common marketing problems. Here's this week's problem and expert solution.

Problem: How Do I Keep My Website Interesting, and Keep Visitors Coming Back?

We've created a cool website. The bell and whistles are working well—not too little, not too much. We're getting lots of visits from lots of cool folks. But now that we're up and running so well, we're panicked about keeping content fresh! How do I keep it interesting, and keep them interested so they keep coming back?

Expert: Bob Knorpp, President, Cool Beans Group

Bob Knorpp, President, Cool Beans Group—a consultancy specializing in advertising, direct marketing, email marketing, sales, and social networking.


Solution

The essential rule about writing a company's website content is this: It's not about the past, it's about the future. So says Bob Knorpp, and he describes the creation of the Cool Beans Group site as an example.

"I needed instant credibility for this fledgling marketing consultancy. I needed to establish that I knew what I was talking about. I needed to somehow distinguish the name, without having completed any projects," he recalls.

"I could have easily filled my website with descriptions and photos of my past projects. But I hated that option," he says. But perusing a list of past accomplishments at a website is like "reading a history book and calling it cutting-edge thinking," Knorpp says.

Instead, he created a living site that focuses on the user's needs. It offers a constant stream of fresh content that includes The BeanCast—a weekly marketing podcast—an accompanying best-practices blog, short audio clips via which Bob addresses current marketing issues, a "best-of-show" feature that offers samples of the site's deeper content, and video clips that augment content on the blog.

How does he keep all of this content cutting-edge? "I go where the marketers are hanging out: I post on their blogs and on the professional magazine websites," he reports. "I tweet on Twitter and I have a Facebook page for The BeanCast. I participate in online forums, and there's even a Wikipedia page for The BeanCast."

How does he keep attracting followers? All of the content is "optimized for relevant marketing keywords," he points out.

According to Bob, the point of creating and maintaining content this way is three-fold:

  1. It establishes you among the experts. "By being seen with the experts in online debate, I make them look good and they make me look good in return," he explains. "Thus, I share in their credibility."
  2. It provides context for clients. The more content you create, the more archives you have to reference, adding depth to the site, he notes. These days, "there is rarely a discussion or new business-pitch conversation that doesn't involve me referencing a particular show or posting" already at the site, he reports. This referencing of past content is "an amazing tool that over time continues to add value to a business," he says.
  3. It makes you better at your job. By constantly engaging in debate on marketing subjects in all these different venues, you avoid stagnation, he notes. "I am always engaged with the latest best-practices, which in turn offers obvious benefits to my clients. The value of this cannot be overstated," he says.

"Having your customers engage with a growing body of content is one of the surest ways to raise the perception that you are expert in your given field, and create a path toward ongoing loyalty and advocacy with your brand," Bob concludes.

Problem solved.

Want to know more? Join Bob on the MarketingProfs Connect community, exclusively for MarketingProfs Pro members. Bob will be in the online discussion area answering questions and ready to chat on Wednesday, February 3, at noon EST.

Can't make it Wednesday? You can idea-share with Bob Knorpp at the MarketingProfs Business-to-Business Forum May 4-5 in Boston. Bring your questions and your URL!


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Claire Coyne is a writer and editor for MarketingProfs. Reach her via clairec@marketingprofs.com.

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  • by Ben Tue Feb 2, 2010 via web

    "I could have easily filled my website with descriptions and photos of my past projects. But I hated that option"

    Am I missing something here? I checked out the site (http://www.coolbeansgroup.com/) and all I found was a static site created entirely in flash with no blog, rather, a couple of descriptions of past projects.

    Where is this 'living site that focuses on the user's needs'?

  • by Sarah Mitchell Tue Feb 2, 2010 via web

    This is one of the smartest articles I've read about developing website content. I'm always surprised when clients complain to me about having a time-intensive website to maintain. I've experienced the exact same thing described by Bob Knorpp, putting the time in to make my website interesting also makes me better at my overall job.

    Thanks for the great tips. I'm going to start investigating the use of podcasts and video clips on my own website.

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