In the early days of Internet marketing, many direct response experts taught digital marketers to focus on the bottom line. The message they tried to drive home was that marketers needed to sell and ask for the sale, rather than dance around the topic and hope that the visitor buys. It seemed that a large number of digital marketers took the advice to heart. Most websites you come across today start by hitting you with their sales message and are specifically designed to close the sale.

But as the Internet matured, consumers have become sophisticated. They are responding less to aggressive sales tactics and are more prone to doing business with websites that provide value. The “megaphone” approach to winning over customers is very limiting. In this approach, you are speaking at potential customers, not to them. You only leave them two choices – buy or leave your website.

Instead of focusing on the sale, more websites are focusing on creating a valuable content . These websites are focused on creating value for visitors in the form of helpful or entertaining content. In addition, they are incorporating collaboration and communication tools into the sites. Users can interact with the content, submit their feedback, and engage in a community with like-minded people.

The difference between the megaphone and content strategies approach to creating a website is that when you use a megaphone, visitors that decide not to buy are never going to come back.  Websites with a strategized educational content offer value and help visitors connect with others, which results in repeat visits. This gives businesses the opportunity to cultivate relationships, nurture leads, and ultimately bring in more sales.

Creating a hub also transforms your website into an authority. People will start to naturally send you links and share your website in social media. This significantly increases the effectiveness of other Internet marketing strategies such as inbound marketing, SEO, email marketing and content marketing. It also leads to a lot of free publicity and exposure.

In summary, creating a hub is a better approach to designing a website and this statement is not based on theory. The digital marketing industry is seeing trends that prove that the visitor-centric approach is better. More companies are investing money into social media, inbound marketing and content marketing. Many of these companies are reporting higher ROI from these strategies compared to traditional strategies like pay per click and SEO. It’s no surprise that the content marketing spend rose from $40 billion to $44 billion over the last year.