Let me start with a story. In the old days selling products was simple.
You told people the features of the product and they bought it. For example look at the Colgate’s ad from 1910s - Colgate’s Shaving Stick.
The ad focuses on the features of the product: “it slides comfortably over your face, no waste - you get around 270 shaves from one stick, etc.”
A lot has changed since then! Today we live in a very competitive world. We are constantly bombarded with sales causing the consumers to turn off.
What is the solution for effective marketing in 2020? It’s the Value-Driven approach.
What is the Value-Driven approach?
Very simply, it is creating content that provides worth and value to your audience. It is information or advice that educates them. For example, introducing a new technique or product that will make their life better.
Value-Driven will mean different things to different brands - and that’s because every audience is different. And that’s a good thing.
Knowing your audience and having a Customer-Centric approach is one of the key building blocks for effective marketing in 2020.
At the same time, it is one of the biggest challenges that marketers are facing today.
Here are 3 questions that can help you start thinking about Value-Driven content for your brand:
- Is it stimulating? - does it make your audience want to know more.
- Does it educate? - will your audience learn something?
- Is it engaging? - are you creating a bond between you and your audience?
Let’s talk about your Home Page
As they say: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That means your Home Page is actually one of the most important pages of your website.
An effective Home Page answers the following questions in the visitor’s mind:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What can I - “the visitor” do here?
On average, a person spends up to 15 seconds (!) on a website. It’s because today people don’t read the web - they skim it.
If the visitor can not identify what it is that you do in up to 10 seconds, there is a high chance that they will leave.
Attention is becoming one of the most sought after metrics - we’ve very much entered into the mentality of the “attention web”. Click metrics are still relevant but mean nothing if they are not driving any business goals.
To gain more of your visitors attention, you need to clearly communicate your value proposition on your Home Page.
At a glance, your visitors need to be able to easily identify: who are you and what do you do.
What’s your story?
To create an effective Home Page, firstly, you need to figure out what story is your brand telling and start there.
The Home Page acts a bit like a sales pitch - it’s an introduction of a product or service to an audience who knows nothing about it (or very, very little).
Avoid the industry jargon and speak to your audience in “their language” - simple, clear and relatable.
A very fun and relevant example of introducing a “story” is the opening of the "Say Say Say" song by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson.
“Let me tell you about the Mac & Jack wonder potion - guaranteed to give you unbelievable power. Yes my friends it can give you the strength of a raging bull.”
So let’s jump into the structure of a Value-Driven Home Page.
How to structure a Value-Driven Home Page?
1. Value Proposition
When a visitor lands on your Home Page, imagine it’s the first time they have ever come in contact with your brand.
The first question that a visitor has is: “who are you and what do you do”?
You need to be very clear and communicate the value of your business using the Hero Headline combined with an image or video.
This is the “stuff” above the fold.
If the value proposition is something they are interested in, they will scroll down. On average, it’s around 10% of your visiting traffic.
2. Social Proof
Next, you want to show that other people have used your product or service and they found it super useful.
We, humans, are social creatures and if we see that others trust this business it will automatically build credibility.
Use testimonials, reviews, logos of publications you’ve been featured in or even numbers - for example, how big is your community?
Now you can talk about the impact and benefits that your product will have on your customers.
What happens when a customer purchases your product? Present them with the desired future state. Tell them what will happen if they use your app. How will their life change for the better?
I love the explanation of Benefits based on the Mario game.
Your offering is the “flower” and your customer is Mario. Together, your customer is going to grow bigger and throw fireballs.
Once it’s clear to the visitor what you can do for them and how their life will change for the better after using your product or service it’s time to talk about the amazing features of your app or product.
You can get technical here.
Does your app have the X function? Is your new scented candle made out of the vegan & eco-friendly materials?
Next up, you want to demonstrate your expertise in the subject and show your value-driven content.
Use featured blog posts that cover important issues your visitor might have or resources they can download to solve a problem.
It’s a great place to really connect with your audience.
Finally it’s time to prompt the action you want the visitors to take on your Home Page.
For an app this can be an App Store/Google Play Store download section. For e-commerce this is where you can really prompt the purchase.
It can also be a lead-gen function that captures someone’s email - you want to be building out those email lists!
It’s the “ASK” at the end of a sales pitch.
7. Navigation & Footer
Last but definitely not least you need to have a clear and simple navigation that’s both accessible and responsive across devices.
Now you know the structure of a value-driven Home Page.
The best websites are constantly changing to keep up with the evolving life of their audience. They reflect the needs, problems and questions of the visitors.
So stay up to date with innovation and make the habit of speaking with your customers as often as possible so you can keep improving & optimising your digital experience.