Do you have a plan to grow your business? Not something that’s been floating around in your head but a tangible, written content strategy to engage more customers? Remarkably, most companies don’t have a written plan.
With so many tactics being thrown around, it’s difficult to know where to focus for best results. Which is why a written content strategy is vital to online marketing. It encompasses everything, including online reviews, and improves your chances at reaching your business goals.
“Sell what you love. Then, sell HOW what you love relates to your product. Then sell your product. In that order. That’s how you acquire customers.” -Mack Collier
Strategy is a fancy word for coming up with a plan to sell what you love and putting it into action.
If you build an arsenal of winning strategies and tactics, the outcome often leads to exponential business growth. I’ve compiled a list of the most powerful strategies available to companies who want to engage more customers.
20 Content Strategy Tips to Grow Your Business
1. Create value with useful content.
Useful, intriguing, entertaining content engages people and builds value.
Blog content drives business growth. Businesses that blog regularly receive 77% more traffic and 97% more links to their site than those that don’t.
Content published on social media channels increases visibility, improves search and ultimately engages people to take action.
2. Leverage social media to engage more customers.
Welcome to the era of relationship marketing. Social media is ideal for engaging customers and building relationships.
Above all, social media requires an investment in human resources. You’ll need to manage your online community and of course possess the requisite skills to engage them. The payoff is that with over a billion users on Facebook spending 2 hours per day, and Instagram’s incredible 50% growth since 2015, social media is the channel to develop meaningful relationships with your target customers.
3. Optimize your content for Search.
95% of purchases begin on Search Engines. When you properly optimize your website and its content for search engines, you’ll improve your ranking, provide evidence of trust and drive more organic traffic to your site.
4. Launch the awesome power of social advertising.
Social ads turn visitors into customers. “Paid Social” reaches those users who are most likely to buy.
Here’s how it works:
- Create and publish useful content your customers need to know
- Publish and selectively promote your content on social channels (Facebook, Instagram)
- Define your target audience (those that want to know about your promotions)
- Apply behavioral and demographic filters on your audience
- Capture leads via landing pages
- Build a remarketing audience by tagging site visitors with a cookie
- Serve hyper-focused ads to previous site visitors
5. Create more value with content offers.
Premium content offers like ebooks and email courses generate 3 times as many leads as traditional “outbound” marketing…and they cost 62% less.
Exclusive memberships and newsletters offered at “no-charge” build value to your digital reputation.
6. Get things moving with calls-to-action.
You must ask people to do what you want them to do. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
70% of businesses don’t have calls-to-action on their homepage. This makes it almost impossible to convert visitors into customers. Guide your visitors to the places you want them to go so they’ll do the things you want them to do!
7. Convert visitors with landing pages.
It’s crucial create a “full-circle” strategy to establish goals and execute tactics to reach those goals.
A proper online marketing campaign offers visitors something valuable…then guides them through the purchase decision process.
A landing page is THE tool used to guide would-be buyers. A compelling call-to-action with a lead form brings them closer to the sale and you closer to your goal of growing your business.
8. Build your email list with opt-in offers.
Building your email list is vital to growing your business. People who find value in your product or service want to hear from you. They may not be ready to buy but if they’re on your list, you can maintain a “love drip” of useful information so that when they are ready, you’re the one they choose.
Like them or not, pop-ups work! Offer a free, super-helpful ebook compiled from a few of your blog posts in exchange for your visitor’s email address.
9. Encourage employee participation in content creation.
One of the challenges to company growth is creating enough relevant content that customers either need or want to engage with.
Taking a collaborative approach to these challenges often produces outstanding results and you’ve got your best “brand experts” at your fingertips.
Engaging employees in content creation will broaden your reach. Employees possess the knowledge your customers need and their seasoned expertise fosters more trust than any ad you’ll ever run.
10. Boost sales with email marketing.
Email marketing is consistently voted the most effective marketing channel. Every dollar spent on email marketing has an average return of $44.25.
Once you’ve taken the action to build your list, it’s time to reach out to your fans with offers. But not all email marketing is created equal. Content rules…again.
Spice up your email marketing so much that your customers get excited about opening it. I’m not talking about the same old “direct mail” offers of the past (although many companies still use this worn out tactic). Do something different that keeps them coming back for more.
11. Build, improve and promote your online reputation.
If you’re still in the camp that says, “Online reviews don’t matter.” consider this data:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews.
- 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 86% will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews.
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more with a business that has positive reviews.
- 92% will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
Your digital reputation is more important than ever and sadly, many people believe they have no control over it.
The secret is to develop an internal process to capture your happy, loyal customers’ feedback.
Build a review funnel. Ask, remind and guide happy customers through your funnel. Recover unhappy customers before the vent online.
12. Think outside your content comfort zone.
There are so many cool, fun ways to deliver useful content to your would-be buyers. A lot of new options are available so think outside your normal sphere of content channels:
- Video social ads
- Video streaming (Facebook Live)
- Images/Photos you create
13. Focus on Social Customer Service.
These are the facts:
- 87% of customer Facebook messages are ignored
- 71% of those who receive positive Social care are likely to recommend your brand to others
- Only 19% of those who don’t get any response are likely to recommend that brand
A growing number of consumers prefer to connect via social media. Be there when they need you.
14. Build a home for your online community.
Where do your customers prefer to spend their time? For most, it’s Facebook. Your Facebook page or group keeps you connected and engaged with your community.
The trend in social media is quality over quantity. Treating people as community members fosters quality relationships. I’m not seeing many Facebook pages practicing this so get a jumpstart on your competitor. Invest the time to build a “home” where people want to visit again and again.
15. Provide social sales training to customer-facing employees.
79% of salespeople who use social media as a selling tool outperform those who don’t.
But Social Selling doesn’t happen on its own. It requires ongoing training so that salespeople see the value in using social media to connect, engage with prospects and foster referrals.
Some companies already have salespeople who are using social media to their advantage.
Pro Tip: Implement a Policy for Employee Use of Social Media. Many things can happen out there in social media-land and you don’t want to get caught in a crisis without a life preserver.
16. Appoint a qualified social media manager.
Whether it’s managing your content, your website, or your social media, it requires someone who listens, monitors, responds, engages and nurtures your customers.
The best social media managers possess these attributes:
- Social media savvy
- Branding/Marketing experience
- Ability to focus
- Emotional Maturity
- Empathy and patience
- Clear, Concise, Professional
- Ability to recognize leads
- A sense of humor
17. Instill credibility by cultivating social proof.
88% of consumers trust reviews from other consumers (“people like me”) as much as they trust recommendations from personal connections.
Social proof is also known as influence. We humans have a natural instinct to follow the crowd.
Cultivating social proof by spotlighting customer reviews and opinions in your marketing and increase its effectiveness by 54%.
18. Utilize marketing automation to nurture leads.
It seems weird to think of the words “marketing” and “automation” in the same sentence, but using software solutions and technology to “automate” some lead-nurturing tasks saves time…and it’s more effective.
Businesses who utilize carefully targeted messages to prospective buyers see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6-9 months.
Marketing automation tools to check out:
- Buffer – schedules your content on social channels right from your browser.
- PostPlanner – offers content ideas and many options for scheduling content on social channels.
- Mailchimp – email marketing and list building
- Nimble – social CRM
- Thrive Leads/Thrive Content Builder/Thrive Landing Pages/Thrive Ultimatum – everything you need to turn your WordPress site into a conversion machine.
19. Reward loyal customers.
It’s difficult to sustain customer loyalty in a world where untrustworthy messages are shot at customers through a fire hose.
Answer this question: How can we reward repeat customers for their loyalty? Focus your attention (aka: content marketing strategies) on keeping customers for life.
20. Address your challenges to organizational change.
I saved this one for last because it is likely the most difficult. In this “season of digital transformation,” there are a lot more naysayers to digital marketing than you might imagine. Having managed businesses all my life, I’ve found that change is the biggest obstacle to growth.
Buying into change disturbs some very primal, entrenched beliefs and it’s often resistance to this disturbance that keeps people stuck. When we ourselves see the value of the change, we often don’t consider the impact it will have on those around us who see our “fringe ideas” as dangerous.
Employ these 5 tactics to mitigate resistance to change and open the gates to growth in your organization:
- Consistent, helpful information. Provide specific information and training that makes their desire to change greater than their desire to stay the same.
- Speak their language. The best way to convey the merits of something that’s seen as fringe is to use an analogous example or story that’s familiar to the audience or person. Example: most of us today can’t imagine life without our mobile device. What once was a fringe idea, is now widely adopted.
- Numbers don’t lie. The biggest obstacle to buy-in on change is often a perceived financial burden. Collect and provide data to prove digital marketing is a valuable option to engage more customers.
- Address the emotional quotient. Humans are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Understanding the emotions that come up for people is key to getting others to buy into change.
- Know who to shut out. Keep the Debbie Downers of the world at bay.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~Andy Warhol
Use these 20 content strategy tips to inspire you and your organization. Maybe not every one of them will resonate, but even if just one spurs your business’ growth, you’ll be that much farther in engaging more valuable customers.