We all know that the marketing landscaping is changing. Traditional marketing such as television or print ads, billboards and phone books aren’t effective. When was the last time you even opened a phone book? Content marketing is the new wave. It’s a great way to draw customers in and help them learn about your business. There’s just one thing holding back. What is content marketing exactly?
There’s no reason to be embarrassed about not understanding content marketing. Most business owners use it without even realizing it! According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
There are two parts of content marketing that are the most important: valuable content and profitable customer action. We’ll discuss how to achieve both and why it’s good for your business.
Content Marketing Should be Valuable
Content marketing only works if your customers get value from your marketing. This makes it hard to come up with content because everyone is different and what some fine valuable, others don’t. The best way to see if your content has value is to follow these guidelines
- Is it findable? Great content is only valuable if people can find it. This means that you need to search engine optimize (SEO) your content with relevant keywords so that people can find it when they do a search.
- Is it readable? Readers have short attention spans, so it’s important to make sure your content is easy to read. Breaking information down into bullet points and using section headers can really help with this.
- Is it actionable? Like we mentioned before, your content needs to make your audience take action. A call to action is necessary for great content marketing.
- Is it shareable? Going viral is a real thing, and it can be great for business. People should be excited to share your content with their friends. When they share your content, it increases the number of people you reach.
If you follow these guidelines, your content will be valuable, no matter what the subject is.
It’s easy to understand why valuable content is good for the consumer, but what does it do for you and your business? The way people make purchases has changed. Most people will do a lot of research before they make a purchase, so if you can be a part of that research process, people will come to you ready to use your services. Which, brings us to our next point. How can we turn content marketing into profitable customer action?
Content Marketing Should have Profitable Customer Action
Although the marketing landscape has changed, the goal of marketing hasn’t. In order for content marketing to bring in more business, you have to get customers to take action. This action doesn’t necessarily have to be to make a purchase, although that is the end goal. Sometimes action means sharing a post, leaving a comment on a video or contacting your sales team.
In order to get customers to take action you have to prompt them. This prompting is referred to as a call to action (CTA.) A call to action needs to tell your customers exactly what you want them to do. The following tips will help you write a killer (and effective) CTA.
- Use strong verbs to promote action (buy, order, sign up)
- Elicit emotion to draw customers in
- Tell them how you’ll solve their problems
- Put a deadline on the CTA so that people want to take advantage of it now!
There are two stages in converting content consumers in customers. The first stage turns visitors (either of your website or social profiles) into leads. This is the convert stage. In the convert stage you are trying to get your visitors to head your call to action. In most instances you call to action will lead them to a form where they can give you their contact information. Once you get their contact information, you can turn a visitor into a lead.
Managing customer relationships is how you can turn your leads into customers. This step is called the close. The close may require a sales team member to contact your lead and pitch them your product or business or simply answer questions the lead has. Once your team has made the close, you’ll want to keep in touch with your customers and make sure they are still happy with your business and your products. As long as they are, you’ll turn your customers into promoters. Which is the best kind of customer you can have.
As you can see, content marketing is consumer focused, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Check back in next month and learn about what types or content marketing you can use.