Why You Have To Use Content To Market Effectively Online To Compete
You probably noticed that at Marketing Hazards, we are pretty good at producing and promoting content.
The fact is Content is the name of the game today. If you are online and you’re not willing to produce new content, you wont be going anywhere fast.
Advertising without a message or a sales team without a pitch, online businesses without content marketing just wont get noticed.
Blogging is more important for B2B marketers (43 percent say it’s the most important) than B2C marketers, 26 percent of whom claim it’s most important. B2C marketers place more importance on visual content (45 percent say it’s the most important) than B2B marketers (32 percent). (Social Media Examiner)
“Content marketing works because you’re not just attracting visitors to your site and leaving them alone to hopefully buy something. Instead, you’re sending a clear message that you are attuned to their needs and ready to help solve their problems.
The prospect or customer thinks, “this company really gets me.”
“That’s what it takes to be an effective content marketer. When you consistently create and distribute quality (i.e. useful, helpful, interesting, funny, engaging, persuasive) content, prospects will respond. Make it your priority and you’ll succeed.”
1. What makes great content and how can you improve on it?
2. The 3 minute content marketing plan that gets leads and converts to sales
3. 5 options for creating content that isn’t just blog posts
The biggest problem with any content creation plan and blending it with marketing, is the whole process seems to take too long. You don’t get instant gratification. Even after you publish it, how do you know if your content is any good?
Buying habits have changed over the last ten years. How people become customers and buy from you is different. Anyone can research and learn everything they need to about any industry or product long before they buy anything.
Customers reach you much later in the buying cycle. Usually right before they choose to buy a product. You can’t just wait for them to come to you for advice. It is critical to share and give away more information than ever. To build trust and show you know what you are talking about.
To top it off, you have loads more businesses to compete with. Not just in your industry alone, but everywhere else online. People only have so much time to search. How are you going to produce content that stands out?
“The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” ~ Analyst Firm IDC
“Great content is the best sales tool in the world.” ~ Marcus Sheridan
Content marketing metrics routinely tracked by organizations: Views (55 percent); leads (48 percent); likes, +1’s, tweets, shares (45 percent); downloads (41 percent); conversion rate (40 percent). (MarketingSherpa)
WHY DOESN’T IT WORK NOW?
BORING AND BLAND CONTENT
The reason why so many businesses struggle with content marketing isn’t because they can’t create it. It is because they write awful boring and dry stuff that they then publish.
Let’s look at the cycle. If you produce a few blog posts and share them with the world, you’ll drive a little traffic. Now if the title and social post is boring, or unclear (another huge problem), it’s not going to drive much traffic to your site at all.
What little traffic the post does attract, will land on your page, but if the copy is dull, people wont read it. If they don’t read on then they miss your newsletter sign up and your attractive freebie. They don’t become an email lead. You missed them. Opportunity wasted just like that. No lead capture.
The few leads we do capture are sent more boring content, so they wont engage with your business or become good customers.
Why not work hard at getting every line and word to engage the readers and get them to move on to the next paragraph. By keeping sentences tight and short. Using explosive and informative titles that clearly explain WHY it is important to read on.
If you only want to write safe, boring content then that’s fine. But you are missing out and you wont get better customers with it. Boring is not going to get you results. It is almost worse than doing nothing.
“Make your marketing so useful people would pay for it” Jay Baer
You need a CLEAR LINK between your Content and the Next Steps
Let’s look at when you improve your titles and social posts.
You see more traffic coming to your website. You now have posts that are great to read and you can already tell more people are visiting and most important staying on site longer. Reading more of your other posts and your shares are way up.
How do you convert people that read your content into more leads and subscribers?
They wont just call you up and ask to buy something. (maybe if your posts are mind blowing) It might be too early in the process for them.
Chances are good you need to offer them a lead magnet and email capture form that is RELEVANT to what they are reading now.
A car dealership for example.
You might have a great post on keeping your brakes safe in the winter. Anyone reading this post is interested in safety and brakes.
If you offer a next step for them to take: like “would you like us to check your brakes?” or a free “15 point video on how to check your own brakes”. Now you have their attention with something specific and related directly to what they are reading.
Content marketing isn’t hard to measure results from. But many times it doesn’t produce the expected results.
This doesn’t mean the whole process doesn’t work.
It only means you haven’t found the right content for the right audience yet. Try a different type of content. Look and see what other businesses are using. What is the most popular and is shared the most?
We at Marketing Hazards have a very clear content marketing strategy. Simply sharing more of what we are great at, we reach as many people as possible with our message.
Everyone who visits our posts are encouraged to take the next step through an email lead capture so they can get even more useful content.
Your business needs an easy step by step plan for producing, promoting and measuring your content marketing strategy. We might just have that below…
“Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” – @avinash
SO HOW DO WE DO IT?
Why don’t we take a look at how we produce a smart content marketing strategy for our business and how you can do the same.
WHATS THE 3 STEP PROCESS?
We have a simple 3 step process for our marketing that has really increased our conversions. We don’t worry about the final product sale we want when a visitor lands on a blog post. We look at what makes sense to sell to them.
Having a topic that we focus on during this process. Like “car brakes”, we look for the most common questions and problems the reader faces. This is the free blog content. It is step one. Answer common questions.
Next we ask ” if you’re serious about problem/benefit, then you need to watch this”. This is the Call To Action. Step 2 of the process.
We offer something for people who are serious about solving the problem the blog post is talking about. Like the car brake problem above, give them a video solving the problem immediately or a free brake check at your shop.
When you offer something specific and relevant to the reader, they understand it is the next step. We make sure to get the readers email first so we can market to them later.
Step 3 of the process is to say “while I’m here, why don’t we…” Think of the car brake example. Let’s say they checked their own brakes and then came in for the free brake check. Or they are watching the free video.
Ask them ” while you’re here… ” or ” while I’m with you…” this is the best way to make a logical sale. It might be a little sale. We just want to get them to make the hurdle and spend some money with us. To get over the fear of buying a product from a new business.
What is the next logical step to sell to the customer? What should you add to the end of the question “while i’m here why don’t we…”? At the same time we share more content on the email list they signed up for.
Gives you multiple times to build the relationship and offer more help.
Email marketing can quickly improve your conversion rate. It builds a relationship and trust all automatically for you.
Our normal flow in email marketing is:
1. Deliver the content they signed up for
2. Welcome email with our details
3. Value email with more similiar content
4. Different topic content
5. Sales email
6. Different topic content
7. Sales email
We use the saying “if you liked that, you’ll love this” A simple tactic that lets us share more content with subscribers and leads. It shows them that we just want to help. Eventually we send a few sales emails to move them forward towards the next stage. Ask ” what is logical for this person to buy next?”
VARY THE POST AND DELIVERY TYPES
Variety keeps content marketing thriving. Don’t just only write blog posts. Produce different types of content to appeal to different people.
Honestly, most of the time the way you deliver the content is NOT what people are interested in. But it does make a difference if you vary your approach so you are helping people who love video content, audio content or social media posts more than just the written word on a long blog post.
It is a good idea to reuse your old blog posts by turning some of that content into new social media posts or videos. Even making podcast audios helps expand how many people find your content.
Turn old posts into:
Video Video content is getting more and more powerful. On camera or get some animations done and do a voice over slide show video with the info you already wrote.
PDF Compile some of your best content into a longer ebook, or write up a strategy to give away.
Slides You can build webinar, recordings or just giveaway the slides themselves as great useful content
Presentations Do some Facebook lives and record them to giveaway as new content. If you are talking live at an event, record it for future content.
Infographics Easy to have created and people love them today.
We absolutely love video content. It’s a core component of our own content marketing and we find it makes our lives much easier.
All you really need to worry about is how can you help people. Just focus on that and producing valuable content that proves you are useful to customers.
We often hear ” if I give away too much, customers wont buy my products”. A small percentage will never buy, it’s just like all the tire kicker types who waste your time asking questions over the phone.
Content marketing is kind of like a restaurant. People can see the menu and even if they had the recipes, most would prefer to have it done for them.
If you are serious about content marketing, make sure to check out our Email Marketing Guide. It’s a core component of content marketing and shows you how to get more leads to convert to buyers on automation. Signup below