What does it mean to provide value?Whether you come from the mortgage, real estate or insurance industry (or any industry, for that matter), the concept is the same when it comes to online marketing:You’re either providing value or asking for it.A bad website asks for it. It says, “take a look at what we do. Take a look at what we are. You should come to us because we need customers.”That’s no way to talk to your audience.A good website and a powerful marketer understands that the customer is always #1 in their own minds, and responds in kind.Providing value simply means that your web presence and marketing efforts provide more value than what they ask for.For example, when you ask for someone’s email address so they can sign up for your newsletter, you might provide them with a download link to a free eBook. That free eBook is worth more than giving up their email address. The result is that someone is incentivized to make the trade, giving you what you intended for all along: the conversion of that potential client into a tangible lead.In this post, we’ll look at Providing Value as one of the fundamental concepts in all of marketing—and examine how you can do it with your website.Rule #1: No Walls of TextOne of the best ways to provide value is to first make things simple for people.Potential clients, after all, are short on time. We all lead busy lives. The first way to create value is to distill information in an entertaining—and digestible way.The opposite of doing that: creating giant walls of text on your website. Demanding that your potential client do all the work in figuring out exactly what it is that you have to offer.The most egregious way to do this is to include lumps of text in your marketing, whether that’s in your online copy or in the emails you send out.So, before you do anything else, remember that what you do online has to be, at the minimum, at least somewhat engaging and worth reading.That means you’re not writing an encyclopedia or Moby Dick. If they wanted to read something that immersive, they’d go to their Kindle and not to your website.But your potential client’s position is different. They’re in the market for insurance, or for mortgage help. They’re looking for something very active and very purposeful. It’s your job not only to show that you can provide those services, but to show that fact through your marketing materials.That means creating an engaging web presence.Please: no giant blocks of text.Rule #2: Put Yourself in the Client’s ShoesThe best way to ensure that you’re creating value is to think from their perspective, not yours.Thinking from your perspective is a sure way to create a boring website.A website shouldn’t be there to serve your interests except on the back end. The front end of the website is what your user will focus on. That means your website should be aimed at providing value first. The fact that it’s optimized for your marketing purposes on the back end is a nice bonus that occurs after the potential client’s needs are met.The good news is that your potential clients aren’t that complicated. They’re just looking for answers.As a marketer, your simple quest is to find out those questions and provide the answers. To “provide value” at this level simply means that you first understand that kind of value it is that the potential client is looking for.For example, you might think you’re providing value by writing blog posts that talk about your business… but is that really answering their questions?You wouldn’t hand out burger coupons to someone looking for mortgage help, would you?That’s “providing value,” but you provide the most efficient value by putting yourself in the client’s shoes first.Rule #3: With Your Marketing Efforts, Solve Your Clients’ IssuesOnce you’ve put yourself in the potential clients’ shoes, you can then cater your marketing to answer those individual questions. For example:
Calls-to-action that point them in the direction of the answer they’re looking for will be far more efficient once you know what their next step should be.
Value offers such as entering contests, quick and easy quote forms, and the rest will come more naturally once you understand your customers’ predicament rather than marketing at them.
Create synergy across your different offerings. For example, make sure that you include clickable links throughout your email blasts to relevant tools and pages on your website. Your marketing efforts working together will make things easier on your customer, thus providing the value that they’re looking for all along.
When you add all of these efforts into your online marketing regime, you’ll find that the potential leads aren’t just interested—they’ll even start engaging. But the key is to put it all together, not count on any single element to save your web presence.Rule #4: Give Something AwayThis might go against your instincts as a businessperson, but one of the best ways to entice people to learn more about what it is you offer is simply to give something away.That can mean just about anything. For example, you might spend the money to build a mortgage calculating tool on your website, which you then give away for free. It sounds like you’re losing in this scenario. But by creating that tool, you’ll be able to attract more and more potential clients…ESPECIALLY if you tactfully link that calculator to a conversion tool, like a landing page or live chat feature.You might also spend money on an email marketing service, for example. And since your emails are free, it feels like you’re giving something away by taking the time to create relevant email blasts.But what you’re not seeing is that these various attractions bring people in.And with the modern web, it’s easy to create something once and continue to give it away, over and over again, with the service completely automated.Rule #5: Make the Decision EasyFinally, when you provide value, you must remember that your potential client will be faced with a decision. Do they click forward or not? Do they contact you or not? Do they fill out your form or not?This decision is often made in a split second—particularly online. That’s why it’s so important that you make their decision as easy as possible.Including a relevant call-to-action that’s easy to find, easy to see, and easy to click is the first step. But there are all sorts of ways you can inspire your potential leads to click forward and begin a business relationship with your company.Putting together everything you read in this post is a great way to start. But you also need the infrastructure to make it happen—to pull these disparate elements together and give something engaging to the potential client.That’s why I recommend trying out leadPops. Sign up for a free trial today to find out what your web presence can look like when you exit “digital business card” mode and start making it all about the potential lead—and how you can provide value for them.