CTAs can both reinforce a main message as well as support lead generation. “There are two levels of CTA,” says Peang-Meth. “A primary one that you want to drive customers to—the kind that is designed to start a one-on-one dialogue—and a basic one just to get email,” he says. At their most basic, CTAs should require that prospects input contact information in return for something, whether that is a downloadable white paper or a newsletter subscription.
Collecting more detailed information—say, the type of project a company is considering, extent of budget, and expected time frame—can enable a channel partner to craft customized pitches or schedule a demo. This kind of CTA leads to more involved outreach that can further differentiate offerings.
Focus on Clients
To devise an effective content strategy overall, channel partners must continually focus on their clients. “Good content starts with knowing the audience,” says Randall. One of the best ways to discover what resonates with a website audience is through analytics, a practice that can provide insight into who is visiting a site, where they are coming from, and what they are looking at. This is particularly relevant for mobile technology; analytics can reveal how many visitors are using a mobile device to access a site, in which case channel partners would want to design a website that is responsive to mobile devices and uses text judiciously.
Indeed, analytics should be an integral component of website operations. “Analytics give you the ability to understand who is engaging with your website,” says Elizabeth Brady, principal of EWB Analytics LLC, a digital analytics and consulting firm in Natick, Mass. (Google Analytics is free and offers all the functionality and out-of-the-box reports that most SMBs would need.)
“Basic analytics provide aggregate numbers that show trends over time as to what content visitors are engaged with and how long they are on the website,” says Brady. Channel partners can use such measures to both determine the success of specific marketing campaigns on the website as well as inform content strategy and design going forward.
For channel partners who are tempted to build a website and forget it, there is an important caveat to keep in mind. “More people rely on the internet for information,” says Randall. “A lot of the buying cycle and customer development happens online.” Consequently, a website that is to remain relevant is an ongoing work in progress.