The majority of content found on a website is generally focused on the company's product or services. That's the right kind of information to show because why else would someone come to our website, right?
Not really. That problem is that we're not actually solving problems with that content. At Web Canopy Studio, when we think about how to make a website convert better, and how to tell a story about a product or service, we have to focus on problems.
I was recently asked by a colleague to review a video they wanted to put on their website for marketing purposes.
The video was about 13 minutes long, and it seemed to focus primarily on the features of the product they were selling.
In general, I don't think the video was bad, however, if it was my first time coming to the website, I would have zero interest in watching this entire video back.
Why? Because this video was missing one of the most important reasons why someone would want to watch it:
Think of who visits your website. They’re probably busy people quickly looking for information. You need to capture their imagination and attention.
We need to make sure our content is presented in the right context, to the right audience for the situation.
Marketing Needs to Change Its Focus
If you want to reach people at the top of the funnel, just as they're beginning their buyer's journey, you have to change the way you talk about your product. You have to shift the way you do marketing and the way you think about content for your company.
This is especially important if you're talking about something that's newer or more advanced. You can't talk about your product or be product-focused. It's not good marketing, and it's not good energy to produce information about your product, especially if you're a new company yourself.
I realize that probably runs counter to everything you've been doing or heard other people say. You've been told you need websites with technical explainers and cut sheets and how-to videos and blah blah blah.
But you don't. That's incorrect. It's the old way of thinking.
Product-focused content is not beneficial to your larger audience, the people at the top of the funnel. They don't care what you can do because you haven't engaged their problem. If you can't show how you can solve their problem, they don't care what the product can do.
Instead, you have to focus on their specific problems and their biggest issues, and tell them about the kinds of things that brought them to your website in the first place. Why are they looking for you anyway? Why are they looking for something that would be beneficial to them?
If you can figure that out, you've solved a large part of the problem, both for you and for your customer.
It doesn't matter what kind of content you publish — web copy, blog articles, advertising, videos, podcasts — you can capture your visitors' attention if they see that you are immediately addressing their problems.
So that's what I told my friend with the cool software video. I said, "This is geared toward a very small portion of your market. But you're not doing a favor to all of the other people who will potentially see it.
"So if I were going to redo this video, I would change it so that it's problem-focused over product-focused. I wouldn't even talk about the product until the very end.
"I might even be a little cheesy and put on my late-night infomercial hat and make it a little funny. Funny is always more memorable than stone-faced serious. I would call out their problems first and walk through them with a 'Has this ever happened to you?' approach."
How to Create Product-Focused Content
If you want to create effective product-focused content, follow a basic outline.
- Talk about the problems they have.
- Walk them through the solution, step by step.
- Talk about the things that could fix those problems.
And this is all going to be free advice. In some instances, even the solutions could be free. For example, for someone who wants to create a new website, I might actually walk them through how to set up a new theme on a WordPress site. Or explain the three best plugins to help with security. Or a simple solution to cut down on spam comments.
Because — I've said it before, I'll say it again — I'm addressing their problems, I'm not selling my solution.
And why do something like that? Because there are plenty of people who will tell them which three plugins help with security, or how to cut down on spam comments. (Hint: Change your blog settings to close comments after 14 days.)
So why would you give away information like that? How can you possibly win customers if you tell them how to do your own job?
Because this is where you prove yourself to be knowledgeable. But most importantly, the customer will realize, "Hey, I'm not a web developer, I'm a software developer/alarm company/wealth manager/aerospace startup. But you know who is a web developer? The guy who told me how to cut down on my spam comments!"
You can also do this by pitching your solution after you've shown them how to solve their problem. Share your step-by-step solutions in the beginning and then follow it up with, "Or you can use our product to handle all of that for you."
By following this three-step process in creating problem-focused content, you'll get considerably more people to stay on your website and stay engaged with your marketing. You'll even be able to book more demos as an added bonus because now they'll want to see that great product video you created.
If you'd like to learn how you can use more and better problem-focused content on your website and to get more people to convert on your website, take the website conversion assessment.
It's a great questionnaire that's about 30 questions long. We've got six different categories, five questions in each category, to evaluate how well you feel your website is performing in these individual steps.
You'll get a score and a report that includes checklists, how-tos, and situational elements that you can implement on your own to fix those components of your website conversion framework