Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.
How will you differentiate yourself and your business in the new Social web? The noise is deafening. People are bombarded with “facts” and a lot of them get disregarded and unheard. The best way to get your message to potential customers is to use content marketing to help your customers find answers.
If your content isn’t hitting the mark, your business’ message is getting lost in the noise.
Nate Silver, New York Times writer, just released his book about sifting through the noise to get to the relevant data. I find this a fascinating endeavor as it’s something all of us as consumers must do in order to get the truth about a product or service we want to buy. We turn to our trusted network for advice, we look at others’ online reviews and we search for helpful relevant information from the brand to help us decide.
In a recent post from Kevin Jorgensen of Innovative Marketing Resources, he sites that 90% of purchase decisions begin with exposure to content marketing. It’s the one activity that impacts 90% of your business! Stand out or you may miss 9 out of 10 sales opportunities.
Awesome content marketer Marcus Sheridan says that “When a customer has read 30+ pages of your content, there’s an 80% better chance at closing the sale.” That’s the power and potential of content marketing. When you want to get noticed by consumers, your job is to produce content and promote it well.
The goal of content marketing is to educate your customers on how to make the best purchase decision. Content is the best vehicle to identify what it is about your store that makes people want to buy from you. No one knows your story better than you and communicating it well gives you a competitive edge. Consider these 7 tips as part of your overall content strategy:
1. Great content does not come easily. It must be thought through thoroughly and strategically, produced efficiently and marketed properly. We live in a world of content overload. Everyone’s on the web attempting content marketing and Social Media. Differentiate yourself and your business by being the signal, not the noise.
2. There’s no short cut to quality content. Your customers know the difference between words fabricated for SEO and quality information that’s trustworthy. Invest time and budget to hire the right person, either in-house or outsourced, who knows how content marketing works and has a talent for executing a solid content strategy.
3. Build trust by sharing more than “just enough” information. Even the most tiny detail can be a sticking point for conversion. Talk to your customers. Leave nothing for them to wonder about. Involve them in your process of producing content. Heck, ask them to participate!
4. Be transparent with what’s happening NOW. Freely share the experiences of others who’ve found you trustworthy and portray similar buyer personas to your customer. Transparency fosters trust.
5. Identify each step of the sales process and produce content that addresses each of those steps. Content can move leads further down the sales funnel when you define your strategy around your customers’ thoughts and desires. Everyone is apprehensive of the car buying process. Offer your audience a white paper (or two) addressing every aspect of the process and what to expect each step of the way.
6. Your customer doesn’t know what they don’t know. Teach, don’t sell. Lead nurturing is your technique for moving the prospect from problem recognition to embracing your solution. Use blog posts and Social Media to educate your customers.
7. Practice makes you a professional. When I started my blog, I had no idea how much it would teach me. Content marketing allows you to get to know your business better. You continually re-define your customer and what compels them to act, thereby giving you a better idea of what to share.
Everybody talks about Social Media ROI. Invest in content marketing and realize the tangible results. Grow your business by distinguishing the true signal of your business from the universe of noisy data.