At the B2B Exchange conference this past February, I sat in on a beautifully executed case study presented by FedEx’s Drew Bailey for Ion Interactive. Instead of holding the audience hostage for a sales pitch (which is what I expected) the session became a discussion on FedEx’s strategy for guiding website visitors to the most applicable content for the visitor.
Challenge: Help Small Businesses Succeed
FedEx had a plethora of content around shipping requirements, best practices, and the different solutions for various small business (SMB) shipping needs. There was too much content. It wasn’t digestible for the SMB audience, which made them frustrated.
Solution: Simplify Customer Education
To help SMBs, Drew’s team started a massive content simplification process.
Step 1: Content Audit
During the audit, Drew’s team set out to answer three questions:
- Of the content that exists, what’s working?
- What is the quickest way customers get to the information they need and finish what they set out to do?
- What content is meeting the customer’s needs?
Step 2: Streamlined Content Strategy
FedEx wanted customers to accomplish their shipping goals easier and faster. That means customers needed to be able to find their correct solution out of many possible services. To that end, Drew’s team drafted an interactive experience strategy. The interactive experiences is set up like a quiz or a form. The form asked guiding questions to help identify the service scope the SMBs need. At the end of the form, SMBs would get a quote or complete an order.
Step 3: Execute Interactive Content Strategy
It took Drew’s team about three months to consolidate their content and finish building the interactive experience. They didn’t start messing with the content on the site until the audit was complete and the strategy was finalized with all the ket stakeholders.
Lessons Learned & Tips
Always consider the customer first. Do some usability testing. It’s also important to measure success along the way and long after your new content strategy has been executed.
Make boring as easy as possible. Boring but painless experiences can be positive experiences for your customers.
Be a leader in the area where you have brand recognition ONLY. Don’t do more and spread yourself thin.
Reduce the number of pages you have on your website by consolidating them into an interactive experience. Note: content within an interactive experience is still searchable and can be optimized for organic search.
Create a “solution binder” and a global master content plan. The master content plan can provide some wiggle room for regional initiatives.
Corral the creation of content! Stick to a strict framework that outlines where and why new content can be created.
Think mobile first, especially for SMB audiences. Many customers start their experience on their phones, then finish their experience on a desktop.
Put interactive content in the right places – not everywhere.
Include all stakeholders early, especially Legal. Allow for a lot of thrashing at the beginning so you have everyone’s buy in when you move forward.
Make sure the interactive experience plugs into your other marketing technologies (CRM, MAP, etc.).
Don’t lean too hard on technology to solve your problems. If you’re considering adopting new technology (like Ion Interactive for experiential marketing), make sure it actually solves the issue you’re trying to fix.
Speaker: Drew Bailey, content strategy manager at FedEx
Solution provider: Ion Interactive