The reason why most small and medium-sized businesses do not get great results from their advertising and marketing is that in their marketing efforts they copy large companies such as Apple, Google, Ford, General Motors, McDonald’s and others. Big corporations can afford to show their ads multiple times and build brand awareness because they have huge marketing budgets. They also may have a number of different agendas for running advertising campaigns. For example, a large company may be running ads or publishing content not to make sales but to please its stockholders or to win advertising awards and get free publicity.
If you create marketing and advertising for a business that doesn’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on ads, your goals are probably very simple: you want more leads, more sales, and more customers coming through the door of your brick-and-mortar location or visiting your website. Because of this, you need a different approach to your marketing and advertising. If you want results from your marketing, you need to be able to measure these results. The only way to measure results is to have offers in your marketing pieces. With offers, you will know for sure where the leads are coming from and which lead responded to which offer.
Two main types of offers are an offer to buy something and a free offer. Typically, in order to buy people need to have trust and believe that the product or service they are about to buy is right for them. Building trust takes time, which is why direct sale offers on the Internet typically have very low conversion rates. When a visitor comes to a website, sees an offer to buy, doesn’t buy and leave, the website is losing money because getting traffic is not free. Some ways of getting traffic, such as search engine optimization, may seem free, but in reality, they are not because optimizing websites for search engines and doing link-building is a lot of work.
This is why instead of sales offers it makes sense to have free offers. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads quickly because leaving an email in exchange for a book, a white paper or some other piece of content doesn’t carry any risks such as talking to a pushy salesperson or disclosing sensitive private information during a free consultation. This article will introduce you to five ways to generate leads from your content marketing.
1. Write a book/whitepaper/how-to guide
Writing is one of very powerful ways to have your prospects discover you and your business. It is also one of the best ways because it brings the best clients.
Typically, there are several types of customers in every business. There are those who do not want to learn more about their problem or learn more at all. They just want a solution. They want a magic pill that will solve their problems without them having to do much. The problem with this type of customer is that many of such customers live their lives in the mode of constantly searching for new magic pills, jumping from one shiny object to another.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is a customer who is determined to find more about his or her problem. Such a customer starts the buying process looking for information and doing research. This type of customer is usually worth more to a business in the long-term because he or she is not likely to be seduced by a new shiny object. Even if such a shiny object appears on the market, this customer will want to do some research.
The best way to attract these customers is to write books, articles and white papers. By providing valuable information, these written materials will turn you into an expert. People will be reading your books and then seeking you out. If you were to look for them and put the same information in front of them, this would not have the same impact that occurs when they discover you on their own.
2. Record videos
Different people prefer to consume content in different ways, which is why you can use the same information to write books or white papers and shoot videos. Videos can be very powerful because they allow you to communicate with your prospects not only verbally, but also non-verbally. Psychologists have established long ago that only a small part of human communication is verbal. Most of the communication happens on the non-verbal level and video allows you to communicate on this deeper level. With video, you can enhance your message by how you look, how confidently you talk, and by what is happening in the background. For example, if own a retail store, you can produce a video of you with a lot of customers shopping in your store in the background. This will have the same effect as does driving by a restaurant with a parking lot full of cars. You immediately start assuming that the restaurant is really good because it is popular because you are seeing all the cars on the lot. This is something that printed media can’t help you accomplish as effectively as video can.
3. Host webinars
The most effective way to deliver content is to communicate it in person. This is why to this day most of the children go to regular schools. Scientific research shows that online education simply can’t replace live interactions between teachers and students. When you interact with someone live, you can see their body language and face expression as you are delivering content. You can go slower or go faster depending on the audience. You can stop and answer questions if your audience gets confused. You can’t do all of these things with pre-recorded materials, yet you can accomplish them with live webinars, which is why webinars can be a very effective mechanism of content delivery. In addition to that, webinars can also be a very effective sales tool because you can link expiring offers to them. This is not something you can do with a book or a YouTube video.
4. Build follow-up funnels
No matter how good your content, people today are very busy. Also, it is very likely that when looking for content online, a person would have several tabs open in his or her browser. For these reasons, you want to capture the contact information of your content consumers as quickly as possible and then follow up with them via email, phone, ringless voicemail and other methods. In a follow-up funnel you can tell more about your company, you can introduce prospects to your products and services, share useful information and tips about what you offer. If you have a lot of experience in your industry, you most likely have no problems separating quality from the absence of such. This is not the case with most people. Most people do not know how to choose quality in an industry that they are not familiar with. This is especially true when it comes to services because the quality of service is always subjective and what is great service for one person can be terrible service for someone else. This includes everything from dentistry to choosing a new cellphone to going to a restaurant. You funnel is a place where you can not only talk about your products and services but also educate your prospects about choosing what’s right for them and being able to identify low quality.
5. Offer experiences and live events
When you are delivering any kind of information to a person via the Internet or printed media such as books, you are dealing with one person at a time. It may feel that you are sending one email and thousands of people read it simultaneously if you have a big list, yet in reality, it’s one subscriber reading one email at a time, even if this is happening at the very same time. No matter what you are selling, when a person is separated from you by a screen, the degree of trust is lower. Also, the person may be thinking that he or she is alone with the problems. When people come to an event and see a lot of people around them interested in the same subject, having the same needs, wants and desires, they have a very different experience. When they see someone speaking from the stage, the experience is very different from watching a video. These are the reasons why live events can be a very effective way to deliver content and create a bond with your prospects and customers.
Content Marketing Must Dos in 2019
In the connected world that we live in today, content is critical. Without it, you could find your business is the one behind instead of ahead of the curve.
There’s the chance that you aren’t up to date with how content marketing could change your entire strategy, and if that’s the case, this article is for you.
What & Why
Content marketing is one of the many areas of marketing out there. This one concentrates on creating, publishing and distributing targeted content for an online audience.
Businesses use this method of marketing to attract customers and generate further leads while expanding their customer base.
All of this leads to an increase in online sales and a massive upswing in brand awareness. Businesses that can engage with their online community are the most successful out there, and that’s because customers want that engagement.
Content is created in many different ways these days, and the right content marketing can allow companies to sustain brand loyalty and provide the right, most valuable information to their consumers.
Understanding Content Marketing Campaigns
Any focused content marketing campaign requires substantial knowledge and preparation to be successful.
Without this, mistakes are made, and you end up with a disinterested readership and a waste of time. If you haven’t yet developed your content marketing campaign, the process of building one from scratch can seem complicated.
Marketing through content like blog posts, videos, infographics and webinars to capture the attention of the audience and create a positive brand is exactly what you need to do to have a successful campaign.
Getting It ‘RIGHT’
It’s important to note that content marketing doesn’t work by itself; there’s more involved that you need to consider to support it. It has to be the RIGHT content to the RIGHT person at the RIGHT time.
This is something that’s done through lead management and nurturing, and it assists with the content marketing campaign you want to run. It feels like a lot of work, and you’re going to be left asking what all the fuss is about.
Content marketing – much like other branches of marketing – is all about sharing information to engage the current and prospective consumer base.
With content, you do this by providing in-depth and valuable information that’s relevant to your business, industry, service, and product. The boring stuff – the data sheets and white papers – are in the trash until later.
Remember To Use Visuals
People are online all the time, on all devices and they want to find things to engage them. The fuss comes because we humans respond very well to visuals. It’s one of the reasons that vlogging and infographics are so popular: we remember around 65% of the visual information we see.
Content: The Focal Point Of SEO
So, you know all about SEO we hope. Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility of your website and increasing how likely it is to be found in search engines. It’s the way your business can be found through
Google and other search engines, and it helps those search engines to identify what your website stands for so that your content can be shown to the right people.
Most SEO strategies out there involve helping Google and other big name search engines categorize your content to make it more relevant. It’s always been the focal point because people are interested in content and what you have to say. If you can then optimize it correctly, you will have a more significant reach.
Your content is the main text that you have on your page, and people hunt for useful content; unless you have great content, your page will never rank.
Measuring your content success is as important as creating fantastic content in the first place. Data is so necessary for the continual improvement of your content and without results, you can’t see where you need to make changes.
A measurement strategy should always be included in your content marketing strategy because you can then adjust your approach as you need.
Measure through discovery, engagement, conversion and social shares
There are many ways that you can measure your content success, including through discovery, engagement, conversion and social shares.
This is where SEO comes in! Without SEO, your content cannot be discovered on the right pages of a search engine. Then, you need to ensure that your discovered content is engaging enough to have someone read beyond the first thirty seconds of the page.
Use analytics to measure click-through rate, bounces, time on page
Using Analytics to measure the click-through rate can help you here, as well as the metrics like Time on Page and Bounce Rates. Time on Page tells you how long a user has stayed on your site while Bounce Rates show visitors have got to your page from other sites and remained with you.
If your content is engaging, people will continue to come back and interact further with you. Lastly, social media is crucial – if people are sharing your content on social media sites, you are going to get the right visibility and earn links for your website.
The Content Must-Dos in 2019
When it comes to who should create content for your business in 2019, you need to decide whether you have the gift of the gab yourself, or whether you should outsource it.
Outsourcing content to an outside agency can mean you get an individual tasked to work on your content in an efficient manner, which can be helpful if your business is small.
When it comes to producing compelling content, most companies have a content marketing team who is in charge of all their content, but this may not be the right strategy to go with.
Involve Your Team In the Content Creation Process
You may not have realized that getting EVERYONE involved in the content creation process is just as important: your content quality is going to skyrocket, as is your employee satisfaction.
Not only can you tap into the unknown potential of each member of your staff, but you’re also going to boost their confidence in their role and sends a message to your team to encourage everyone to work together.
Focusing Your Content
Finding the focus of your content is a critical thing for your business. We are in a world of storytelling, and even the best content can get lost if it’s generic.
The generic content doesn’t break through to the right people, where focused content speaks directly to the right. You begin with a target audience and aim your expertise in that direction.
Examining the content that you are producing and understanding the modifications that you have to make to start getting to the right target is vital.
Your content may fall short of where it should be, so adjustments need to be made. It should focus on your business, your industry and what you can do for the people reading it.
Putting yourself in the shoes of your readers is going to help, as you can then see what you are providing and whether you are gaining any value from it.
Keeping your brand at the focus of your content marketing is going to help your visitors learn about you; your content is your voice.
Content Marketing Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, and if you’re not strong on content and are overwhelmed by the crowded market that is content marketing, you’ll be making them, too. Let’s look at what you should be avoiding:
Lack of Research
It’s one of the biggest mistakes today. You can read a ton of blogs about your business, but none of these are going to get to your audience!
What does your audience want?
You can use any medium of content: blogs, videos, infographics – and yet miss the mark because you haven’t researched what your audience wants. Research what they want, and go from there.
Lack of Variety
Blogs may be your forte, but YouTube is teaching us that vlogs are becoming very popular. Adding videos to your websites, live streams to your social media for people to ask questions and tons of imagery is going to provide your site with a variety that will attract your customers.
Lack of Evergreen
Evergreen content is the content that is always relevant; it will never become old and dated! You need to create content that will still be relevant past today, tomorrow and even next week.
Viral topics and daily news pieces expire. There’s nothing wrong with these, but you need to add more content that is longer lasting to drive more traffic.
Lack of CTAs
How many calls to action do you have with your content? It’s all well and good to lead your traffic to your website, but then what?
They need to DO something, and you have to tell them! Tell them to sign up, ask them to click a button to subscribe – tell people what to do with calls to action directing them to more information, more you.
When you know about content marketing, you can do better with it. It’s 2019 and content marketing is still a hot topic; make yours compelling, and you will find your business is thriving.
5 Reasons Content Is Essential to Digital Marketing
Content is an umbrella term for all written and visual elements on websites. It gives value to your site and business, and developing the right content strategy is essential in digital marketing.
You need to have a solid plan based specifically around your niche. Too many companies produce generic content that just isn’t right for their customer. If you can provide value and connect with your audience content will become a key driving force in your business. Take these business marketing resources for example, which pull together relevant resources and allowing businesses to create content that resonates with their target audience.
In this post we will look at five reasons why you need to focus more on content when it comes to your online marketing strategy.
Five Reasons To Focus On Content
1. To inform your audience
Your content shows your audience that you know what you’re talking about. Blogs, for example, can position your business as an expert in the industry. The less confused an audience is, the more they stay engaged. People will see that you can provide value and help them make the right decisions, making them more likely to want to work with you.
2. To rank in Google
Creating great content is one of the best ways to reach your audience, but how does anyone find your content to begin with? Ranking in Google can help you achieve this. Utilize SEO best practices and keywords in your content to help Google find your pages faster. You can also submit URLs individually to Google to speed up the process.
3. To earn links from other sites
When you create excellent content, others will want to link back to you. The best case scenario is when sites of authority link to one of your blog posts or articles from their own website. This is one extra way that your potential audience can find you, and also helps a lot with SEO.
4. To share on social media
In a time where social media rules our daily lives, shareable content is key to getting noticed. This is a main reason why interesting content should be a part of your digital marketing strategy. There’s no excuse for businesses not to have social media accounts, but you don’t need to be using all of them at once.
Instagram and Pinterest are the best for visual marketing and particularly useful for retailers and creative businesses. Through the re-pin function on Pinterest, for example, your product images can really take off. On LinkedIn, you can post full blogs and grow your connections in your industry. On Twitter and Facebook, you can be found through hashtags and tags from others in your existing audience.
5. To gain conversions
Once you’ve created the best content you can, how can it lead to conversions and new customers? Always end your content with a relevant call to action. What is the next move you want people to make after reading or watching your content? This psychological nudge focuses on the individual and encourages them to act. Incorporate conversion rate optimization even further through in-depth analyses, which can be done by a digital marketing agency.
How Some Businesses Get Great Results From Content & Digital Marketing
Do you look at some business marketing with envy and wonder how they do it so well? What are they doing to impress their social media followers and is it available to all businesses? It would be easy to say the answer is content and yes we can all use it to grow our businesses. However there’s more to it – of course.
Not all content is created equal. There is an etiquette to adhere to and mechanisms in place if we steal or plagiarize an idea or copy that isn’t inherently our own. So hiring the experts in content and digital marketing is more relevant now than ever before.
Let’s first look at what content is in all it’s glory.
What is Online Content?
Content is all information and experiences shared in various formats and channels both offline and online. Online, content is the pages and blogs on your website.
This blog is an example of content. Creating unique blog posts with wordy articles, images, and videos.
It’s also the tweets, and shares in social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter. Plus the instant messages on mobile apps and of course it’s the emails too.
For email marketing, it’s the EDMs (email direct messages) sent to email list subscribers. Then there’s the advertising, it too is content and it’s visible in online banners, and also contextual marketing.
Content, is essentially everything we find online and that’s why it is really easy to fail in content marketing. We’ve been given so much to work with, it seems impossible to hone in on what information and in what format will give us what we need ultimately need, i.e. engagement and sales.
Content Marketing Strategy
The hit and miss of your own content marketing strategy, with fewer website visitors, and less customer engagement and sales suggests you need the midas touch to make it work as well as your competitors.
However, like with most things, we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s why it frustrates us more when we see businesses doing what we believe we’re doing only they’re getting the results. More followers, comments, shares and likes and no doubt that translates into conversions too with more sales!
So what are these businesses doing differently? They’ve hired in the experts i.e they use Digital Agencies.
Focus on Engagement
Campaigns driven by agencies are no longer shouting out – agency involvement like the older style of transactional advertising, and that’s why it’s hard to know if an agency is part of it.
Businesses still doing it for themselves focus on their marketing and advertising outcomes on sales, whereas agencies will focus on audience engagement which is the point of content and digital marketing.
Therefore direction and advice from marketing experts is sure to shorten the lead time to success with your advertising and marketing campaigns. They just know a lot more about content and how it can inspire consumers to take action. For example, here’s a great article, from Multiply Digital: 6 pieces of content you’re already making but not as well as you could, hence the luke-warm response for your intended audience.
Taking photos is one example mentioned in that article. Nowadays we all can and do take lots of photos, think selfies, but are they worthy of fronting a marketing campaign for your brand?
Engaging a professional photographer to take a few select images for your brand campaigns is the way to go. Of course you need the creative genius in your campaigns before hiring the photographer as they will need direction and will only be as good as the information they have at their disposal.
The genius of course comes from the creative types and before you can get started on some exciting campaigns the overall marketing strategy for the business is documented in a plan.
Do you have a marketing plan and a budget to deliver campaigns during the next twelve months? This is where using digital agencies are useful too. Start out as you plan to continue. What we do know is, if we continue to do the same thing over and over we will get the same result. Therefore, it’s less of a leap of faith, hiring the experts to plan and drive it and our role is to measure its success!
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