Did you know that 90% of websites don’t get ANY traffic from google. This proves that it’s not an accident when it comes to search engine rankings. This means most businesses are missing the mark and the opportunity to get free customer traffic.
Content marketing will give your business the edge to get ahead of your competition.
Does this sound like something you’re looking for?
Then stick around cause I’ll be sharing what’s worked for my clients and other successful businesses who have mastered the art and science of content marketing. People who are getting organic traffic from their target market and converting them.
I’ll break down exactly how content marketing can drive traffic for small businesses and how to get started.
This is the first part of a series that will answer exactly how content marketing can uplevel your business.
Preview the Steps (feel free to jump around):
Create Value in Community
Provide Additional Value For Customers
Customers deserve to be valued and the business that shows them how they matter wins. Creating value goes deep and is something that needs to be authentic. Listen to your audience and discover what matters to them. Identify their desires and pain points so you can offer meaningful solutions for them.
Learn what they want and need and show them how you understand them better than they know themselves. Provide what your customers are searching for and are interested in, rather than the latest trend.
Markets change constantly and to stay ahead and competitive, what better way than in partnership with your customers?
By being there for them and providing benefits outright, you provide more value.
Create original content with rich visuals to make it easy to read and understand. Add infographics, helpful images, podcast visuals, and the actionable advice. Share special offers, behind the scenes content, and customized promotions.
The Content Marketing Institute conducted a study showing different content types and frequencies.
Take a look to see how your business currently compares?
Social media posts take a strong lead and then case studies, videos, and e-books follow. Infographics and photos are created least frequently.
No matter what type of content you create, make sure to plan for each type of and include all the components to make it successful. Make sure to add value and usefulness in each article, blog post, visual content, video, infographic, etc., that you create. There are so many special touches you can take to boost the value of your content.
The same study by the Content Marketing Institute shows that demand for infographics is high. Since it came up as low frequency but high demand, this is a perfect place for your business to get traction. It’s also one of the most commonly shared content pieces. People love visually appealing and easy to digest content.
As a copywriter my #1 priority is to:
Add value and usefulness in every piece of content tailored for a specific target audience.
Words and images play a crucial role in customer perception and trust. This is an easy way to start adding more value to your customers and community. Be sure to create and share original content that is more valuable, rich and actionable.
Promote Product Launches Up Close
Content marketing helps you promote product launches up close with your audience.
Customers want to be a part of the action and want to have a say. If you involve them enough they become your loyal customers and brand evangelists.
To make them feel included, make sure to include customers in your process for product ideas, design, marketing, and launch. The more you involve them, the better feedback you get up front and your customers buy-in more.
In the infancy stage of a product or new line, survey and get feedback from your customers first. Find out what they think, want and would improve. This will save your business so much time and money in the long-run. It’s very expensive to learn that your customers are not remotely interested in a product after you’ve invested everything.
Create content that will inform and educate your audience while intriguing them. Visual teasers stir your audience’s curiosity and ensure a successful launch.Show a close-up professional image with your launch date displayed or show off the main benefit creatively.
Pat Flynn shares openly about his struggles and successes when it came to launching his first online course, Smart From Scratch, on Teachable. He first opened the group to a limited number of founding students to validate the idea for the course. Being his first time, he had no idea what the response would be like.
He launched the program to the first 100 students and a day later EVERY spot was filled and a waiting list growing. He received tons of feedback and constructive criticism and then improved the course before opening to a wider audience.
For your next launch, consider including a variety of these promo options:
- Write High Quality Guest Posts
- Publish Press Release
- Utilize Influencer Marketing
- Informative Explainer Video
When you launch your next product or service apply this advice to help your results grow. Your customers have strong opinions, needs and desires to help guide your process of launching products and services.
Solve Significant Customer Pain Points
To build a strong connection and trust with your audience, make sure to understand their deepest struggles and pain points so you can solve them. Help them save time, money, stress, and be successful.
If they are spending way too much on their current system, show how you can change that, help them save, and what they can do with that extra money. Show off your lower monthly subscription plan or demonstrate the increased ROI your previous customers have experienced. Share strong compelling testimonies.
If they are wasting too much time currently or you have a short-cut for a result they are dying for, help them out and provide it.
Value feedback from your customers and take it seriously. Understand that they need to be motivated to take action and that’s on you. You can conduct qualitative and quantitative research to search out the various pain points.
Qualitative research: detailed individualized responses to open-ended questions. (non-numerical data
(e.g., text, video, or audio) to understand concepts, opinions, or experiences)
Quantitative research: uses standardized questions and representative, statistically significant sample sizes.
(numerical data used to find patterns, make predictions)
Because your customers’ pain points are highly subjective, you need to dig deeper to solve their problems creatively.
This data you’ve gathered and feedback will guide your marketing from there. Your messaging needs to be altered and improved to hit the nail for your customers and motivate them to take the next action. Lead with benefits rather than features and present your offer directly and creatively.
Give Digestible & Actionable Advice
To keep customers engaged with your content and the material you create for them, it needs to be fascinating, helpful, motivating or inspiring. It also needs to be easy to read and readily navigate.
People also need to know exactly what you want them to do. How do they leave this interaction and apply what you have shared? This is where a well crafted Call to Action comes in. It should be specific and include one step of action that they can easily do to implement the lessons you just shared.
Create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey and adapt your messaging to best suit them.
Writing effective headlines is a crucial part of grabbing audience attention. Each line needs to be captivating enough to keep them reading. You want them to read, take action, and then share your content since they found it so useful.
Many readers simply skim articles and pay attention to highlights throughout. In order to accommodate this, write with this in mind and make it visually stimulating. Make sure to use headlines, subheadings, bullets, and short sentences to break down your content into easily digestible chunks.
Take a look at this example from Gillian Perkins’ business about page. She uses blank space to her advantage, making it clean and drawing your eye to the highlights. She uses bullets effectively as well as bolding and short sentences. Her message is clear and not cluttered.
Incorporate those tips into your content and utilize lists and visual elements frequently to break up text chunks. Use short, easy to read paragraphs that are easy to understand. Write the way you speak. These tips will help keep your customers fascinated with your content.
Digestible and actionable advice creates loyal customers since they benefit from the transformation you offer.
Differentiate your branding
Determine Unique Value Statement
To stand out among the noise and competition online, you have to distinguish yourself in your market. First priority is to establish your unique value proposition to help you make a splash in your niche.
Conversion experts suggest that the number one asset to test is your value proposition. It reveals what works and what doesn’t.
A value statement is the way your audience can understand who you are, what your about, and what you’re going to do for them in a few seconds.
It requires deep self-reflection and awareness of your customers, their needs, and your market.
To make sure your statement will have a big impact, you can hire a copywriter to help narrow down your differentiating factors and help you get that messaging across effectively.
Here is an example of a great value statement from Aaron O. from IconicContent. You see a strong hero shot, a great headline and subheading, a specific and compelling call to action, and it’s aesthetically pleasing.
Another example comes from entrepreneur Vanessa Lau’s coaching site. Another great hero shot, headline and subheading, message, and super simple call to action. It’s not cluttered and you know you’re in the right spot right away.
Your value statement will be formatted like a block of text with a headline, sub-headline, and one small paragraph of text) with a visual (photo, hero image, graphics).
It will answer a series of questions in the most visually appealing way.
Make sure to include what product or service you’re selling, the end-benefit, who it’s for, and what makes your offering unique and different?
Since most people check out 4–5 different options before they purchase, make sure your offering stands out in this important research phase.
Evaluate Position in Your Market
In order to maximize your results with branding and market influence, it’s important to do your research up front and continually to stay on top of your competition.
Position strategically to ensure you dominate your market. The real way to make sure you dominate, is to serve your customers best and add so much value that they see you as indispensable.
Take a look at the current alternatives and options customers have. Ask yourself a few questions.
What place does your offering occupy in your market? How does the product or service compare in the eyes of customers?
The more specific and niche you can get, the more effective your business will be. Focus on learning what values, beliefs, and attitudes your prospective customers have and how to tailor to their needs.
You can perform a SWOT analysis to make sure to keep track of all the data you find. It can leep your team on track to understand your market, position, and areas of growth.
S:Strengths What does your company excel at?
W: Weaknesses Where can you guys improve?
O: Opportunities What opportunities are available?
T: Threats What threats should you keep an eye on?
Analyze what is working for your customers, what’s not?, what are they needing?, and what are they spending money on?
By digging deep into the research about your customers you learn how to serve them in extraordinary ways and build loyalty.
Broaden Your Network & Brand Image
Put your brand out there in the community in a recognizable and influential way to boost your brand image.
It will help you connect with your existing customers, sell to new ones, and encourage brand recognition and loyalty. Build a strong, recognizable brand through networking.
To connect with your target audience, immerse yourself in their communities. Become an active participant and engage in beneficial ways to help out your community.
I did a simple search in quora on how to improve my content marketing skills as you can see. From there I can ask and answer questions, connect with community members, and go as deep as I want. This is a perfect place to get to know customers and others in the community.
Show your expertise by offering answers and cool solutions or new ways of doing things to save your customers time and money. Show them that your intentions are authentic and your network and influence will grow quickly.
Improve your brand image by being a strong voice offering help, support, and value.
Enhance Your Customer’s Experience
To keep customers coming back again and again, you have to enhance their experience and demonstrate exactly what they get out of your relationship.
Don’t make them guess. Don’t make them question things. Make it clear, succinct and honest.
Create meaningful interactions that leads to loyal customers. You will stand out if you deliver an excellent customer experience. Make sure to do this whenever and wherever the customer interacts with your products.
From: Decision to Purchase to Customer Service to Follow Up
According to a worldwide survey by Salesforce, almost 80% of consumers prioritize customer experience just as highly as products or services when doing business with a company.
Make sure you demonstrate the values that best represent your brand mission. These can include hospitality, accessibility, customer support, or personalization. It’s about alignment more than anything else when it comes to true customer connection and loyalty. Work on discovering and then aligning with your customers values and beliefs to benefit them without strings attached.
Your business should aim to think in terms of brand experience and seek to create touchpoints to leverage the customer journey
Provide customers with benefits and variety, allowing them to customize the experience that is most meaningful to them.
Conclusion: Content Marketing Works
These steps will get you started working towards a strong foundation of content marketing and the benefits that provides. These tools along with time and effort will bring clients, engagement, and sales for your business.
Content marketing helps you focus on the customers that matter to you and keep them at the forefront of your mind. It helps you focus on them, their needs, their frustrations and providing for them. Show them how you can benefit and transform their lives.
Make sure to start with these tips for this week, then come back next week for the next steps to help you build a long-term successful content marketing plan.
Answer in the comments below one new step you can incorporate to add more authentically value for your customers?