Practical Tips for Better Website Content
Music retailers all share the same goal: to grow their businesses and generate revenue. At 2017 Summer NAMM, Will Mason and Nicole Patton of Mason Music honed in on how website content can help you achieve that goal to drive sales, repeat customers and potential buyers who like your brand and think of you first when they’re ready to buy.
Mason and Patton offered three tips to help your website reach its full potential. (Watch the video for the complete session.)
Have a Step-by-Step Process for Creating Content
1. Build a team. You have staff and people who can help; you just have to ask. As you build a team, look for people with different strengths—researchers, photographers, writers, collaborators and community members. Patton remarked that she has a team of people who bring content to her, and her role as editor is to make it usable.
2. Define your target audience. Be thinking about the age, gender, location, education, income and interests of the people you want to engage with the content on your site. This way, they’ll feel as if you’re specifically talking to them. Mason used the Target logo as an illustration. The red outer ring is the audience for your entire website, so you want to create broad content. As you get to the middle circle, you start to define your audience more narrowly and break down your content by categories, such as different sections for music lessons and retail. The bull’s-eye is a specific audience on a page, so someone who lands on that page feels as if you’re writing to them and that you understand their needs, such as a piano lessons page and fuzz pedal page.
3. Brainstorm. Get your team together, and make a list of all the products you sell and the services you offer. This should be easy. Brainstorm topics you want to cover. What matters to your customer, what are they interested in, and what do you know best? Mason shared the five ground rules he came up for their brainstorming sessions. (Watch the video for these rules at 8:45).
4. Create a schedule. You don’t have to get all of your content out at once. Consider using calendar software. Set a goal, and be consistent and realistic. You’ll want to have at least 52 posts in order to generate incredible amounts of leads, according to HubSpot. The key is not to get discouraged. This should inspire you to create content that’s so good, it’s long-lasting and impactful. Mason Music posts every other week.
5. Build the content. Now that you’ve put all of the first four steps together, you have a plan. Put that plan into action.
Create Your Own Philosophy
Don’t just settle for good content. You want it to be engaging, so people stay on your site longer, click the links, take action and share it with other people. Mason used his own marriage proposal story, as told on Mason Music’s website, as an example to illustrate how content can help build long-term relationships with customers. You don’t want a one-night-stand approach.
Mason and Patton boiled their company’s overarching philosophy down to one statement: The quality of your content drives engagement, which improves search rankings. Here are the rules of engagement.
1. Each product, service or topic needs its own page. This is basic. Use the Google keyword planner (Google AdWords), a free tool that lets you see the most-used searches by words and categories. Break out your pages for your topics, such as guitar lessons, piano lessons, voice lessons, violin lessons and so forth. Google is setting you up on a blind date, and you want to make the best impression.
2. Define your goal with a clear call to action. Each page must have an intention and a purpose. Don’t create more pages of content without a goal for each page. Make it clear to your customer what they’re supposed to do next. Mason showed an old page from his website where the call to action was buried in the last sentence of the last paragraph at the bottom of page, so the customer had to scroll down. Plus, the call to action was weak and conditional. The page has been updated and the call to action flipped, so it’s stronger and the button link is at the top of the page. Mason shared that he’s seen a measurable change in engagement on his company’s pages.
3. Be human. There are so many ways you can bring personality to your website. If you have stories, tell them. The Wheel of Feelings is a helpful tool. (Google it.) Mason gave an example of how it works with a sample sentence. One was an informational statement, the other a question about frustration. He reminded the audience that the psychology of buying is based on emotion more so than logic.
4. Exceed expectations. You want people sharing the content on your site. People will talk about experiences that exceed their expectations. Build relationships with your customers. Give more than you get.
Create a Simple Strategy for Getting Your Web Content Out
1. Social media. You can’t just wait around and ask Google to send you the blind dates. You already have people who like and follow you, and they want to read your content.
2. Email. Any time someone walks into your store or you meet someone in your community, ask for his or her email.
3. Paid ads. If you’re selling something on your website, this is a great resource.
4. In person. Train staff to connect with customers coming into your store and to go to the website for more content. Invite customers to check out your website regularly.
Mason challenged the audience and retailers to take the first step today!