With the constant introduction of new technologies and social media platforms, we’ve seen websites taking the backseat while businesses focus on expanding their presence across different platforms. This proliferation of brands creating content everywhere, often referred to as the distributed content approach, is vital to success in content marketing and is being embraced by everyone from BuzzFeed to local businesses.
But what of the humble website? Does it still have a place in the modern marketer’s arsenal of tools? For years now, some have been sounding the death knell for websites, arguing that they’re no longer relevant in the age of social media.
In Pressboard’s e-book, The Epic Guide to Content Marketing, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Meghan Keaney Anderson, explains that what people are missing is that the nature of on-site and off-site content are different, which means their goals should be, too.
Content that your brand publishes on Instagram should be different in nature than what’s on your website, and both should have different goals. It’s these different goals that make content on your website not only relevant, but vital.
With that in mind, here are 6 reasons your website is still relevant for your brand’s content marketing strategy.
Builds your brand identity
Consistency is key! Your website, if done right, should enhance your brand identity by incorporating persuasive messaging and effective photos and graphics that work to develop and sustain a long lasting brand. This includes the mission, vision and core principles of your business that can be used to connect with your audience and convince them to believe in your message. The social media landscape is always changing, but your website and the content on it can always be relied on to set the tone of your core brand identity.
Acts as an evergreen content hub
Content is king. The more information you can share with your audience, the more they will trust in both your brand and the product/service you’re offering. Hubspot’s Meghan Keaney Anderson describes the difference in content on your site and on social media based on their goals:
“Content on your site should be a magnet for search engines, designed to be evergreen and optimized for common queries. Content hosted on your blog and website has a compounding nature to it. If done well, website content will continue to climb in rank and pull in visits month after month. Content published on off-site platforms should be different in nature. It should be optimized for what works on those platforms. Search is not as critical of a driver here. Much of the traction that off-site content gets is due to the shares and interactions it sparks.”
Social media is great, and you should be embracing a distributed content strategy, but your content on your website can compound views and continue to drive business results long after being published.
Gives your brand credibility
When someone is interested in the product or service you’re offering, chances are high that they’ll Google your brand in hopes of finding a website with more information. No website gives the consumer the idea that you are not a reliable brand that is worth investing their time in, let alone their money. It also gives the impression that you are a small business with not a lot to offer in terms of quality and dependability.
A professional website that is consistent with your branding, is aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible will portray an established and legitimate business that your audience can begin to trust. Even if you are a two-man show, a website and the content on it proves that you have a team behind the brand that cares about the success of the company and values a quality in every aspect of the business.
Acts as a virtual storefront
People rely on the Internet to discover new products and compare brands and price points. Your website is ultimately your virtual storefront that displays the products and services your company offers, along with product descriptions, deals, potential packages and reviews from past customers. The easier you can make it for the customer to make an informed decision, the more likely you’ll get the sale.
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, you can use content to do it over social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and you should. But if you want to maximize the potential for sales, why not sell in as many places as possible, including the trusty old website.
The key takeaway is that the website is still a vital part of the distributed content strategy. Marketers used to imagine content distribution like a wheel, with the website as the main hub, with every other platform being a spoke that pointed back to the site. Now as we shift our thinking to embrace content living on different platforms, for different purposes and goals, it’s important to recognize the website as one of those platforms, and an integral one at that.