If you’ve been in sales or marketing long, you know how vital lead qualification is to the sales process. Multiple surveys reveal that time, money, and effort wasted on the wrong people is a major sales issue and a top business concern.
Would you rather speak to prospective customers who a) deeply feel their problem and b) are actively looking for a solution? Or spend 8 hours a day getting swatted down by low-level employees and gatekeepers who don’t understand what you do?
Here’s the thing…
If your website wasn’t designed for conversion, is confusing prospective customers, and looks outdated and tired, that’s exactly what’s happening.
It’s letting confused, unqualified leads through the door who will never, ever buy from you. What a drag.
Make no mistake. Your outdated company website is costing you money by scaring away amazing opportunities rather than being the best salesperson in your organization.
Is Your Site Built On A Myth?
What makes for a great business website versus a website that’s pretty-to-look-at but essentially useless?
Why do some websites consistently generate quality leads left and right while others fall flat?
It’s because many companies build their websites on an archaic marketing myth. That designing a beautiful website will magically attract, convince, and convert your target audience.
This is a hold-over from the advertising days. Modern inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, doesn’t work that way.
“If you build it, they will come” is a lie.
There are tons of hideous sites bringing in 6, 7, or eight figures in sales to explode that myth. Why do so many executives refuse to believe it?
What I’m about to say may be controversial, (coming from a growth marketing agency) but design isn’t the be-all, end-all of inbound marketing. It’s super important for sure. But graphic design is also subjective and fleeting.
Even if we were to all agree on colors, styles, and graphical elements (unlikely), our design choices would soon give way to next year’s trends.
Sadly, many agencies only ever consider design, so the business websites they develop never generate leads or increase revenue. Ask most digital design agencies and you’ll hear them say:
- “The colors are all wrong.”
- “The design looks outdated.”
- “You’re using last year’s typography.”
While it may be true that your outdated website is contributing to a lack of leads, it’s not the only reason. Maybe not even the key reason.
There is something more fundamental that you must address to make your business website productive. What is it exactly?
A Story-Driven Narrative.
Conversions Hinge On Narrative
A few years ago, Gerber Knives published a powerful ad called “Unstoppable.” It was rough-and-tumble, but full of grit and passion. It was tasteful, meaning no cheap tricks like chicks in bikinis.
The ad went viral, generating hundreds of thousands of likes, shares, and views. Gerber Knives succeeded where many marketers have tried and failed. Heck, it stopped me in my tracks and had me reaching for my credit card.
No, it wasn’t the framing, pacing, or b-roll footage that grabbed everyone’s attention; it was the intensely intimate message.
It was the story-driven narrative.
Those words set the mood for one of the most outstanding digital marketing ads I’ve ever seen.
What made their video so good? Something so subtle, yet so profound, that the audience loved it and couldn’t wait to run out and buy a knife?
No, Gerber Knives didn’t suddenly invent an alternative method of video advertising or discover a magic elixir.
They dug down deep to marketing bedrock to uncover a story that would penetrate the soul of every suburban warrior in America. They wrote a narrative for them.
It was a marketing masterstroke. In a few brief minutes, they tapped into the audience’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations and played that story right back at them.
Considering how viral the ad went, it worked.
Story Is the New Paradigm
There is a lesson in Gerber Knives’ viral video success. If you learn it and apply it to your website and marketing strategy, you’ll be able to out-market and outlast the competition.
Fail to heed the lesson, and there’s a high likelihood your business gets forgotten. Not fifty years from now… more like five.
Voice-driven and narrative-based assistants have become normal in many homes. Talking to our devices is transforming how we use and interact with technology. Most of my friends have a voice-activated assistant playing music, ordering from Amazon, and even turning off and on lights.
Assistants like Apple Siri. Amazon Alexa. Microsoft Cortana. Google Assistant aren’t a fad, they’re here to stay.
“Hey Alexa, we’re out of laundry detergent.”
“Ok Google, what’s the best Mexican restaurant near me?”
“Hey Siri, What’s the forecast for today?”
We’re readily adopting our home lives around narrative and voice-assisted virtual assistants, but not preparing our businesses for it?
Voice, words, and the phrases we use are literally transforming the way we interact with technology and with each other!
Yet, so many companies are dangerously close to extinction because they’re prisoner to an old advertising paradigm that prefers the visual over strategy, narrative, and content.
Inbound Marketing = Content Marketing
How do you future-proof your digital marketing, websites, and strategies? Take a hard look at your brand story and narrative.
Content marketing, including strategic messaging, dynamic websites, top quality blog articles, e-books, content downloads, and explainer videos are radically transforming how businesses reach and convert their customers.
A pretty website isn’t enough anymore. You need a website aligned with the buyer’s journey and a compelling narrative to grab the visitor’s attention.
What investments are you making in your story-driven content strategy? Do you understand your audience or are you only guessing?
Are you spending too much time making sure things look pretty (or possibly not at all) but too little time making your content clear and engaging?
Invest in your story. Tap into your ideal customer’s narrative.