Content makes the marketing world go around and if you think about it, the written word has always been most influential tool available to mankind since it was invented. Consider the Bible, Torah or Koran as classic examples.
These days, you can use content to attract a wider audience to your products, goods or services and catalyse growth which will ultimately improve your profit margins significantly.
However, there’s good content and bad content and there are also different kinds of content serving specific purposes, depending on the platform you’re publishing them on. Here, we will take a look at how you can maximise your marketing return on investment (ROI) through smart use of high-quality content to achieve measurable results.
Know your Target Audience
This is the most important step before implementing any kind of content marketing strategy. It’s worth taking the time to compile a profile of your client demographic with as much detail as possible, including lifestyle choices, hobbies and any other random fact you may have noted about the individuals or companies you do business with.
This allows you to generate content that will appeal directly to the demographic most likely to buy into your product or service. The objective here is to create a community among your existing and prospective clients or customers, where you become the go-to source for whatever you have on offer.
Use ‘Gated’ Content to Grow your Prospect Database
Once you’ve established what kind of content is going to be of genuine interest to your clients and prospects, be it a special promotion or an offer or a new development in your sector, you can start to ‘gate’ certain pieces so that you can collect data.
Most people who have worked in sales and marketing know that the secretary of a prospect is referred to as the ‘gatekeeper’. They are the ones who determine who will or will not be passed through to speak directly to the person the caller is trying to reach. In other words, they ‘qualify’ every caller by taking contact details and finding out the reason for the call.
With content you can do something very similar, particularly if you have written a juicy white paper or industry report. You have to ensure your content serves a purpose to your prospects. Make it interesting, engaging and compelling enough for them to want to read what you’re producing.
Then you can host your document on your website or landing page and let everyone know it’s there by emailing the download link to your database, tweeting or posting links on your social channels or running a small AdWords campaign.
Before a download is permitted, the visitor is encouraged to complete a form with whatever information you want to record, like email address and phone number. Try not to ask too many questions and most importantly, make the document something that’s really worth your prospects’ effort.
Using Links in your Blog Articles is Essential for Good SEO
Creating good backlinks to your website is good SEO practice and it encourages more traction among your visitors who will stay longer to find out more, thereby increasing the possibility of turning a prospect into a sale.
You can also link to other non-competing businesses in your sector to increase your profile in the search engine results, particularly if it’s an organisation or company you refer to in your blog pieces or news articles.
It’s important to make all your links relevant so that Google doesn’t flag your pieces for bad SEO. If you’ve written a blog about a certain aspect of your business, that’s a great opportunity to link to another piece on your website along similar lines.
It’s always a good thing to quote and link to industry or government sources in your pieces and write about any current and relevant consumer or manufacturer surveys for your field, as Google looks favourably upon those types of links, boosting your position in its rankings.
Create a Regular Newsletter for your Existing and Prospective Clients
The best way to grow a community among your client database is with regular communication with a newsletter. It’s also the perfect opportunity to summarise and link to any articles you’ve written that month to generate more traffic.
This way you can reach out to those prospects that have shown an interest in your content and encourage them to read more. Whilst engaging your prospect’ interests directly with your blogs, articles and white papers, you will also be establishing yourself as an authority in your field and they’re going to be even more likely to do business with you.
You can publicise your newsletter through your social channels too, as with all your other content, by posting an enticing sentence that fits the character limit, together with a download link. You can choose to gate your newsletter and encourage subscribers and followers too.
Make sure you are consistent if you decide to produce a regular newsletter. Repetition is key when it comes to delivering your marketing message.
Always have a Call to Action (CTA)
Whatever you write and publish for your clients and prospects, make sure you end with a specific call to action. If you want to promote a special offer for example, include information on how readers can take up your offer in the conclusion, and also encourage them to act immediately.
Don’t go overboard and have several CTAs littered through everything you write and publish – just have one and make it simple, direct and compelling enough to encourage a click-through.
If you aren’t the Best Writer, find someone who is!
Google is continually updating its algorithm to favour well-written, informative and current information over keyword-stuffed, meaningless text walls. If you want to get to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), you have to keep your content fresh, engaging and relevant.
A good writer is a specialist in the content marketing arena and knows how to navigate algorithm updates and approved SEO practices to ensure you get the highest rankings. If you don’t feel up to the challenge, hiring someone with the knowledge makes enormous business sense.
The content your business produces represents you and indicates your level of professionalism (and success) in your chosen field. Whereas in the past, it was the tech-heads that commanded the highest salaries, these days you’ll find out that it’s in fact the writers that are at the top of the food chain – and with very good reason too.