Consumers and those who make purchasing decisions don’t want content marketing that gives them the “hard sell.” Although copy and anything marketing-related should sell, in some way, those who are smart take the subtle approach.
Instead of overwhelming potential customers with the same, “Buy from us!” message, business should aim to sell the benefits of working together without resorting to the content equivalent of a cold sales email.
Promoting Your Brand Through Content
Content marketing represents more of a two-way relationship than traditional marketing and advertising.
Content is a gateway between businesses and their customers. It is an essential element in the marketing mix, invaluable on social media, in emails, and as a cost effective way of generating organic traffic.
Over 70% of visitors to a site never return,(2) and so it’s imperative to hook the one-time visitor into a long-term relationship, which eBooks and other high-value pieces of downloadable content are designed to facilitate.
Why an eBook? Well, you need to get a customer or buyers/budget holders email to continue interacting with a potential client. Since most transactions start in a customer’s inboxes – where the average ROI is 3800% – whether you are making B2B or B2C sales. If you want their email, you need to give them something valuable first.
Consistent content returns, on average, 67% more leads than sporadic posts,(3) making it essential that content of a high quality to your audience is regularly generated. If the content is appreciated enough for a web visitor to interact with it, these are more likely to lead to further engagement, even if it’s only a new follow on a social media page, which in turn creates a warmer lead and more opportunities for a sale.
Creating Quality Content
Quality content is not defined by an objective checklist – hyperlinks, industry jargon, infographics, neat even-length paragraphs – but by its outcomes: what were the results of an article or blog? Did significantly more people sign up for email updates, or did they download a free trial of a product? Every post should contain some kind of Call-to-Action. Users who are interested in buying will appreciate easy steps to get closer to buying, whereas those who ignore them were probably unlikely to commit to a purchase anyway.
Deciding on the content to create can be more difficult. One way is to use search engines. Google Analytics and AdWords keyword tools – and other third-party tools will generate hundreds, even thousands of suggestions of what your customers are searching for, and by providing content that responds to these long-tail searches, companies can make their articles relevant to a larger proportion of potential customers.
Articles that are not relevant to your audience are likely to get lost and ignored, as well as being a waste of time and money to publish. The content provided needs to respond to a need – usually for information on a topic – but it also needs to present itself as a source worthy of listening to and promote its brand. There’s no point in a pet care franchise creating political articles just because they’re timely and likely to get hits.
Although businesses will often create different types of content – news pieces, ‘how to’ articles, case studies, industry-related innovations – they should be consistent in tone and presentation. Brand followers and potential customers expect continuity, and inconsistent content would lose brand credibility and authority. A mix of evergreen and ‘news-style’ posts also provides variety.
When creating content, it is vital that several aspects are considered. Identifying the audience is perhaps the most important: the intended audience informs the topic, crucially, but also the style and tone. Eye surgeries need to portray a formal, professional air to reassure prospective clients, whereas clothing brands for teenagers are likely to be switched off by the same approach, instead preferring more personal and relaxed communication.
What to Expect After Publishing
Beyond the audience, companies need to consider their own aims in publishing the content. Is it to promote their brand? Inform users about a product? Generate sales? Drive traffic to the website? It’s not necessary to do all at once, but having a goal for publishing the post will make it easier to see if it has reached its objectives – whether the content was successful or not.
Don’t forget the small details after publication, like replying to social media comments and email questions. If new readers see an answered questions at the end of an article, they’ll know that the company is knowledgeable and cares to respond to queries. Optimum customer service is expected now, and this should carry over into emails and social media accounts. Content is one of the best ways to not only engage with an audience but to build an enduring profitable relationship, creating leads more receptive to conversion.
Want to get started with content marketing?
We start with a phone call or face-to-face meeting and identify how we can help. We work hard to make sure your brand generates the returns you need from content and high-impact copy. Based in the North East of England? Remember to ask if you are eligible for funding.