Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
Content marketing is powerful as long as you start with 'why'
Why does your business have content? When asked, most businesses say they use content to drive people to their website because it’s simply the best way to do that.
Fair enough. Solid content will help get your website noticed. Yet, driving eyeballs to your website is just one piece of an effective marketing program.
So, the real question is, what’s your strategy and game plan? Content marketing is powerful, as long as you start with a “why.” The purpose will determine the type of content and what it achieves.
The reason you do it is extremely important. Content can educate, persuade, entertain, inspire, motivate, and convert. Content might have everything to do with your online marketing -- or perhaps it’s just a part of the story.
There is more content today than ever before sitting on websites around the world. Please don’t think I’m saying that it’s useless to optimize around your web content using tactics such as articles and blogging. It’s just that you and your competitors are elbowing each other for attention, using content to be found.
And, it hurts!
It hurts because if that’s the only focus of your marketing strategy then the target audience that needs what you offer may never land at your doorstep. Even a company that professes to be only a pure online play needs to look beyond the Internet to get their potential buyers to find and interact with them.
Marketing success requires a mix of content types. Yes, there is life beyond blogs, tweeting, and ebooks. Customer engagement is a journey and different types of content are needed for each stage of the relationship building process. That helps you to meet your audience in their preferred place and in the different ways they like to engage.
About now is when you’re thinking, that makes sense except there aren’t that many types of content. Really? Geez, I count easily over one hundred types of content -- online and offline – without breaking a bead of sweat. Don’t believe me?
Content builds awareness and generates leads. Help educate your target audience on their need and create qualified sales prospects with news releases, white papers, infographics, tip sheets, media interviews, explainer videos, how-to guides, ebooks, podcasts, tradeshow displays, user-generated content, guest posts on other sites, and checklists.
Content nurtures relationships and encourages evaluation. Engage your buyers to build trust with email newsletters, case studies, video demonstrations, FAQs, webinars, information sheets, social media, surveys, comparison charts, contests and giveaways, worksheets, and bios.
Content moves prospects to purchase and stick around. Convert buyers and keep them happy long-term customers with return on investment calculators, sales kits, training courses, mobile apps, how-to video galleries, resource pages, polls, customer testimonials, special offers and coupons, free assessments, and third-party product reviews. Of course, for many industries and types of product or services this stage will involve other non-content sales approaches too, such as phone calls, thirty-day trials, and handwritten thank-you notes.
These thirty-six content tactics will get you started. There are lots more to consider and many can be used in any content marketing category.
Think of this as a content marketing funnel that works in parallel with your traditional sales funnel. Knowing how your buyers like to consume information, where they “hang out”, and the process they go through to purchase allows you to match the content marketing funnel to the sales funnel stage.
Content marketing is not simply about how much content you can produce and distribute. Building trust and credibility is the cornerstone of content. Remember, you are not in the publishing business. Your end goal is action, yet it starts with eyeballs.
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.