As a business owner in these digital times, you have probably heard it proclaimed that “Content is King”! While this might be true, that information is only valuable to you so far as you can effectively deploy that knowledge to your advantage. Simply generating hundreds of articles each month isn’t necessarily the best way to make content work for you.
Strategic content marketing should involve the identification, qualification, segmentation, scoring and ultimately the closing of leads into sales through an accelerated yet predictable fashion.
The idea is to get your content creation efforts to start generating qualified leads and increasing your customer base with an article, social media post or video you put out. That takes planning and quite a bit of know-how.
There are several methods to get your consumers to take action using fresh content. One of the best ways is to use that content to tell a story about your brand. Telling the right kind of story ensures a few things:
- That your customers get to know about your brand
- That your customers get to trust your brand
- That your customers begin to identify with your brand
These are all attributes that will lead to more sales down the line. The story you tell, however, has to add some sort of value to the lives of your potential customers. If you teach them something that helps them solve a particular problem, they may have they will not only learn to respect your brand, but they will also have no problems recommending it to their friends and family.
Effective Ways to Bring in More Customers Using Content
To effectively market to an increasingly desensitized consumer requires that you do much more than just hurl advertisement after advertisement at them. According to a Lab 42 survey, a great majority of people just do not trust adverts:
- 72% of the respondents believed that all ads are very exaggerated
- 96% believe that weight loss ads are photoshopped
- Only 3% believed that what ads claim is true
This survey shows you that you can no longer depend on traditional advertising methods. As such, your brand must find a new and more effective way to communicate with a consumer base whose media consumption habits have evolved and have become more sophisticated.
Apart from creating highly informative and updated content, there are several other things that you should constantly be doing as well:
Create Content Demonstrating Your Value
Focusing on creating content that solves the problems your potential customers is all about creating content that shows your value as a brand. It is absolutely vital to have an end goal for each piece of content you generate. Ideally, all your pieces should lead to a couple of things:
- Educate your customers about your brand
- Lead them to a landing page and sales
When you create content that showcases your value in a practical manner people will be more inclined to buy from you. For example, if you are own a wedding photography business, your website should be riddled with content that not only showcases your work but also shows people how to get the best wedding photographs in all sorts of settings. This will not only show your readers that you are good at what you do, but it will also give them ideas on how to get the best wedding photographs for every setting. With every piece, you are also showcasing your expertise.
Produce Content Reflecting the Stages of Your Customers Journey
Although every piece of content you create should ideally lead the customer to that all-important “buy” decision, you should also take into account that not every customer who visits your website is at that stage of their journey. As such, you should strive to create content that caters to each stage. This is all in an effort to provide your customers with the answers they need. Some specific content examples you could try include:
- Content for the ‘interest stage’: these should be EBooks, guides, tip sheets and podcasts telling them all about your brand and your products/services.
- Content for the ‘consideration stage’: videos, white papers, case studies and reports on real-life examples of how your product or services help solve day to day problems that your customer base experiences.
- Content for the ‘buy stage’: FAQ pages, demos and free trials to make your customers comfortable enough to give you a try.
You should also focus on creating content for the ‘loyalty or retain stage.’ This is where your after sales service comes into play. You can use emails, community forums and push notifications to keep your customers informed of any new developments as well as remind them that you exist and that you still have a lot more in store for them.
Get Customers to Engage with Your Brand
People do not like it when they do not feel like their opinions matter. Simply spewing dense chunks of information at your customers might educate them but it will also bore them and leave them feeling a little disenfranchised. What you want to do is to find creative ways to encourage your customers to interact with you. Here are some ideas that you could try:
- Ask for their opinion at the end of each piece
- Showcase video testimonials
- Showcase some social proof (this allows them to see that many others, just like them, are engaging with your brand)
- Hold periodic contests on social media
- Host events
The idea is to make your customers feel as if they are a part of your family and that their voices are heard. Once they realize that they can freely express their honest opinions, then they will be happy to share it with your brand and learn to trust you as well.
Most importantly, however, is that you need to study consumer behavior in your own niche. Unless you know what your customers like, where they go to get the kind of content that they want and their buying trends, then everything you do in the name of content creation and consumer base growth with be taking a shot in the dark.