It’s way easier than you think and it’s not all about blogging…

The term Content Marketing is banded around as the holy grail of modern digital marketing. But what is it? How can it make your business money instead of sucking up all your valuable time?

Done well, Content Marketing leads directly to more sales and more prospects.

Done badly, it takes a whole load of your time and is frustrating and costly.

Firstly, we are not talking JUST talking about blogging here.

Content marketing is every word you ever write or speak that is shared about your business. Your content marketing is at every stage of your communications with strangers, prospects and existing customers – articles, blogs, emails, social updates, videos, sales pages, the list is endless.

So our first BIG TIP content marketing does not just equal blogging.

Content marketing =blogging

If you shift your thinking and open your mind to appreciate this you will be WAY AHEAD of your competition. We’re going to show you how to make direct profits from giving people exactly the right content, when they need it.

Plus later we’ll show you where your blog does fit in.

Creating good content takes some effort. The good news is you no longer have to ‘guess’ at what your audience wants to read or listen to. With the right thought and research the pieces of content you create will resonate with the right people AND have a long shelf life.

So writing a good content article will effectively become as asset for your business. You can utilise these assets in various ways, for different audiences AND keep using them for months, even years to come. So the work involved today has a long-term benefit for your business whoop!

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Many of us, (we’re including ourselves here) produced ‘one-hit wonder’ blogs or LinkedIn pulse articles, which usually failed miserably as they weren’t part of a proper joined-up plan to help our prospects and customers. They simply didn’t lead anywhere.

Someone, somewhere said all business owners should all be writing blogs. You’ve probably long considered this chore as ‘something else’ on the already bulging ‘to-do’ list. You may be throwing them up ad hoc and resenting the lost time and effort.

Good news. This randomness can stop today.

AS ALWAYS with any marketing, start with your avatar – the perfect person you’d like to work with. Spending time really understanding this person and where they are in their thought process will help you make deliberate choices on the content you write.

Someone who doesn’t even know you exist, isn’t aware of your company or even of the services you offer may well need ‘warming up’ through a great blog post. Simple good content that helps inform, entertain or educate them. (See we told you, your blog does fit in as part of your content plan!)

But if someone has already decided, for example, they need a new car, they will need a different style of content. Here they will be evaluating between different makes and models and a web page showing your car fuel efficiency against major competitors could be the perfect content piece to write. Sending a ready buyer to a blog just won’t cut it, in this instance.

Getting into your customers mind makes your content marketing fly.

What are they thinking right now?

Have they chosen the car, engine size and colour?

Are just looking for the right garage to hand over their cash?

Content about the guarantee you offer, the service deals included and a bank of testimonials from your satisfied buyers could just be the right content to share at this point to convert the sale.

So let’s step in to our six tips for content marketing success to make sure business objectives are met, with profits made.

Content Marketing Success Tip #1

REALLY Understand Your Avatar


Know your customer and determine where they are in their thinking. If you know this you can choose the right channel to post your content on eg a full demo video, posted on YouTube, of a new vacuum cleaner, for someone ready to buy a new model will be the perfect content piece and channel to share this content.

If they hadn’t considered they have a problem with their existing vacuum, then a blog post detailing the correlation between asthma and dust mites could be the perfect content piece.

Listen to you current clients questions and monitor queries on your social feed. This will help you choose the right content to produce, to answer the most frequently asked questions and concerns, through great content.

Content Marketing Success Tip #2

Build Content At ALL Levels Of Your Sales Funnel


Most people believe content is just for the top of the sales funnel. Yes, giving value-first content to let people discover your business IS very important.

Just don’t stop there.

Create great content all the way through your relationship with customers. From the second they are aware of you through to buying customers, content can cement and continue to excite relationships.

Put as much time and effort into the later stages of your relationship, as the first, and you’ll be amazed how your profits improve. The ‘low-hanging’ fruit of existing customers is overlooked by most business owners when it comes to content marketing.

Yet sending a case study about your premium 1:1 service to an existing customer can ascend them to buy your platinum package. WINNER!

Content Marketing Success Tip #3

Content Should Lead To The Next Step…


Failure to not provide the next logical step in your ‘relationship’ with your content for consumers is not only bad marketing, it also gives a bad user experience.

A to B Journey

If a visitor to your car website has landed on your page, found a car they like and seen your efficiency and testimonial comparison page, they now want to test drive. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO BOOK. The next logical step is to try the vehicle.

So have live booking facilities, or an instant call back option. Let them know what a test drive involves, what they need to bring, create the excitement. Make the next step super easy to take.

If they have to go searching for your number, reach an answer machine or fill out a long sign-up page your ‘content’ has failed.

Content Marketing Success Tip #4

Create Long Term Assets


Content that you can use again and again. So from our simple example above once you’ve created your comparison web page pitching your software, cars, legal service, computer protection, whatever it is your offer, against that of competitors, it will be powerful content that will be there for some time. It will keep on giving.

Asset red umbrella

You may need the odd tweak occasionally but effectively someone who is quite a way into the sales thought process, can easily see how much better your business is compared to other options. It may well become one of your most popular content pages.

If you think of each piece as a long-term chunk of value, then you’ll create quality not quantity. Successful content marketing is NOT all about hundreds of blogs.

Taking away that pressure to keep producing an unnecessary volume makes your content marketing more strategic and less reactive.

So for example if we’ve produced a template of Facebook Marketing Headlines we can use this as a giveaway on our site with a Facebook Marketing blog, but also as an email giveaway, a bonus on a course sale.

Each piece for content can satisfy various avatars so for us we may send to Business owners, plus Marketing Managers and Marketing Students.

Don’t ever produce content that like old newspapers is forgotten and ‘wrapping chips’ the next day.

Content Marketing Success Tip #5

Use Great Content To Segment

By this we mean make content SPECIFIC & RELEVANT, not generic and bland. If you are speaking to a certain person, with a specific interest or intent then your content will…

Hit the mark + You’ll be able to ‘retarget’ with offers that match their specific needs

For example people who read a blog about vegan recipes have identified or segmented themselves as a particular avatar. General garden vegetable recipes would not hit the same level of relevancy or help you narrow down the best marketing messages to send as follow-up. Anyone could be interested in vegetable dishes.

It is likely someone who has read a vegan recipe has put up their hand, in the digital world, and said ‘hey I’m vegan or someone close to me is.’

Retargeting is the THE MOST EXCITING development for digital marketers in recent times. It means you can digitally ‘follow’ someone who had landed on a particular web page, through Facebook or Google. A tiny snippet of code, known as a cookie or pixel, tracks that your blog reader has spent some time reading the vegan recipes.

We can now send specific, targeted content to address that interest. So the more specific your original content is, the higher the relevancy score, and success of the follow-up retargeting message will be. In some instances we’ve seen x20 and x30 higher take-up rate of offers that have been sent to following specific interested content.

A content article about improving golf for beginners, with a follow-up offer for golf lessons for beginners will obviously hit all the right buttons. The language used, the frustrations and pains of a beginner will need very different content to that of a pro golfer. A bland ‘golf for every ability’ content piece would just not hit the mark.

The more specific you can be with your content, the easier segmenting your marketing messages becomes and the more profits you make.

Content Marketing Success Tip #6

Publish Your Content On Multiple Channels


When you post your content on multiple platforms you’ll explode your results.

If a blog gets lots of traction, consider making a webinar about that content or a video series.

The subject has obviously ‘hit a nerve’.

So rework the core content as the basis of an email campaign, Tweets, videos etc for several social and media channels.

So not only can ONE great content piece become a long term asset for your business, it can give you the core content for several pieces across multiple channels. The time spent on that one initial piece of work becomes super valuable.

Content Marketing Success Tip #7

Ask for the sale.

There has been so much made of ‘value-first content marketing’ that we’ve forgotten to ask for the sale!

You’re a first date with someone (don’t ruin it with a marriage proposal!). It’s ok though to ask for a second date. In fact, it’s a good thing to lead them to the next step as we’ve already discussed. If you went on a date and didn’t ask for another date then you’re effectively saying you’re not interested.

That’s what many business owners are doing right now. They are orchestrating the perfect first date. Writing a super useful blog, getting people to read it…. then doing NOTHING.

Content should impress – intrigue – entertain – educate and even amuse. Just don’t forget it needs ultimately to lead to a sale. If you don’t want to be salesy keep offering good value packed content AND offer a low priced taster or ‘trip wire’ as we call it.

As this ‘dating’ moves to the next level, you must ask for the sale. It’s not rude. It’s not un-British. It’s smart marketing. It’s what your prospect wants and deserves.

You’ve built the relationship through great, well thought-out content, which changes and reflects where your prospects interest lie and what they need.

Now it’s your right and business duty to offer your main products and services. The multi channeled, various types of content will have built your reputation and authority and answered any questions and objections to buy. Now ask for the sale…

……and importantly continue to send good content to buying customers to keep that relationship alive and kicking.

Being a member of Marketing Jumpleads has been a really good experience.  I’ve met some cool people, doing some interesting things and most importantly it has helped me put ideas into action and get results, which is the name of the game.

Marc Wileman

Dragon's Den Winner and CEO, Sublime Science

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