When BMC Software relaunched its global website, every content and design decision mapped to one goal: increasing marketing-sourced pipeline that could be attributed to BMC.com. The company achieved that goal by putting customer needs and content first.
Connective DX Director of Content Strategy Derek Phillips and BMC Principal Strategic Marketing Manager Mark Fries provided a behind-the-scenes look at this ongoing success story at a recent Content Strategy Meetup hosted by Connective DX.
Content-first approach addresses complex challenges
Like most large global enterprises, BMC faced some complex challenges with their web content, from telling a consistent brand story across multiple business units to delivering information that customers need to evaluate, buy, and successfully use BMC's products. Derek and Mark outlined five steps they took to meet customers' content needs as well as BMC's business goals.
1. Define specific business goals and align them to touchpoints
Because the primary goal was increasing the marketing-sourced pipeline that could be attributed to the website, the redesign focused on the product pages where buyers make decisions. As Mark pointed out, people get to your pages via Google not your homepage.
2. Define the customer needs
Next, the team made some assumptions about what customers needed to do on the site and then tested them with actual customers. For example, BMC and the Connective DX team had assumed site visitors would be most interested in the business benefits customers could see with BMC's products, and they prioritized that information on the site. But Mark said one of the first "aha" moments they had was discovering that people were actually most interested in the product features. So they quickly reordered the content to prioritize data sheets.
Mark said datasheets are valuable because they’re the one type of content asset that is consistent across vendors, which enables buyers to make "apples to apples" comparisons.
3. Align pages to personas
Before launching into design, the Connective DX team worked with BMC to align site pages to buyer profiles, distinguishing between the goals of different types of site visitors. This including developing user flows for key pages on the site, focusing on what users needed to learn or accomplish on each page.
4. Define the content components: think modular
Derek said defining specific needs and identifying content to meet them enabled a modular approach. Every piece of information is a component with specific direction on its purpose and strategic rationale. "You must first think about the purpose of the copy and then structure it to serve that purpose," Derek said.
Copywriters were able to then translate the content model to copydecks, speeding production and ensuring alignment. This structured, modular approach also made it easier to reuse content across different formats, devices and channels.
5. Think mobile first, mobile always
The team started with the mobile experience, designing in the browser to see how real content would work on smaller screens. A mobile-first approach forces you to consider and prioritize tasks that users need to complete. "Mobile first is actually device-agnostic," Mark said. "The experience will be appropriate on any device, not just mobile devices."
Designing in the browser allows you to quickly jump to building a site rather than building pictures of sites. This allowed BMC to "get their hands dirty with the user experience instead of focusing on pretty pictures," Mark said.
'Redesign' every day, and you never have to redesign again
The launch of the new BMC.com was not an end but a new beginning. Throughout the process, BMC has incorporated what they’ve learned from web analytics to optimize site performance and deliver the content that best meets customer needs.
"You’re not launching a website; you’re launching a hypothesis," Mark said. "Then you’re constantly testing assumptions about what users need and value. It’s never one and done."
In the months since the site launched, BMC has already seen dramatic bump in overall engagement:
- 10% more organic traffic (YOY)
- 50% more data sheet downloads
- 200% increase in trial starts
- 67% increase in “contact me” requests
This is the kind of ROI that digital marketers dream of—and it delivered on the primary goal of increasing marketing-sourced pipeline via the website. But as Derek and Mark told Content Strategy Meetup attendees, there were other positive outcomes as well, including the creation of a framework for optimization and more efficient content creation.
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