The Content Marketing Institute notes that some of the most well-known companies in the world — Microsoft, P&G and John Deere, to name a few — are using content marketing to build closer relationships with customers. They believe relevant and valuable content gives them an edge on their competition by improving customer loyalty.
More content also boosts your search engine ranking on Google. Audits of websites by SEMrush.com show that too little content can now count against a website, even if it’s well designed and easy to navigate.
Here are 10 tips to help you use content like an extra salesperson to attract more customers.
1. Narrow your focus.
Content performs best when created for niche followers. Small business owners are too vague. Think hedge fund managers or pharmacists or RV dealers. Be specific.
2. Use committed experts and a ghostwriter.
You need to publish fresh content at least once every couple weeks for a blog, once a month for a video or quarterly for a long article or newsletter. Schedule different authors within a niche and support them with a ghostwriter to save time.
3. Use a calendar.
A calendar gives your authors enough time to prepare for writing or interviews, edits and approvals.
4. Invite exploration of products and services.
Your website is an obvious publishing tool. Post content on web pages related to your products, service area or industry. You may also post the content on author bio pages. If you have a blog, make it part of your website, not a standalone.
5. Promote through SEO, social media and client lists.
Add key phrases to content that show up well in Google search results. Create short promo blurbs to post on social media about your content. Send eblasts to alert customers to new or popular content.
6. Make sharing easy.
Provide a sharing tool on your website to all relevant social media sites. When it’s just one click, visitors are more likely to share your content with a prospective audience you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
7. Explain why they should care.
Don’t write about your products or services. Write about problems and solutions. Good content demonstrates why you’re the best one to call for answers. Once people read one article, make it easy for them to read and view more.
8. Track results.
Develop a strategy for tracking views and impressions, as well as click-throughs and downloads of content.
9. Repurpose popular topics for other marketing.
Valuable, thoughtful content is time consuming to create. Repurpose the good stuff by giving it new life in other marketing endeavors. Several related blog posts can become an ebook. An article topic can become a speech or webinar. If you have written content for a niche industry, submit it to a trade journal or association website.
10. Use content in recruiting and/or training.
New staff can learn a lot about your business from the content created by other, more experienced staff. Use it on your careers pages and for staff onboarding.
Christine Nelson is an award-winning journalist and senior media consultant with Ingenuity Marketing Group LLC, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and works with professionals across the country on media strategy and reputation management. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 690-3358, or visit www.ingenuitymarketing.com.