Content is King, according to current marketing wisdom. But what does that really mean? Is this limited to blogs? Or sales pages? Or does it encompass a whole lot more? The latter is the case. The best content marketing appeals to a broad range of personalities and offers each segment of the market a little something that appeals to that segment. With that in mind, read on to learn how you can use your content to create a solid marketing and sales message.
Important First Steps
Before you start any content marketing campaign, you want to think about how the information you’ve gathered for your content can be used in more than one way. How can you tailor this information for video, for infographics, for white papers, for social media, and for email? And don’t forget the traditional media as well. TV, radio, and newspapers can also be a part of your marketing plan, but you have to know how to use these resources properly or you may not meet with much success.
All these elements create your sales funnel. According to HubSpot, the typical response rate for website traffic is between 1% and 2%. Clearly, the more traffic you can send to your website via content, the higher the conversion rate of your sales funnel will be due to the sheer volume of visitors that you have.
- Conveying Information Quickly – The Benefits of Video
How would you like to increase your chances of selling to the people who visit your website by 64%? According to Shopify, add video to your site. That statistic alone should make you sit up and take notice, but that’s not even the half of it.
Video basically gets top billing on Google. An obvious way to improve your website’s ranking and therefore your profitability is by adding a product video to your website. And it’s all the better if the same video is a YouTube video. Google owns YouTube. As a results, those videos do better than others. Fortunately, the video site also allows for linkbacks to your site.
As far as content goes, the subject matter is pretty wide open. You can do something like a “Top 10 Benefits of our Product” if it’s a product and not a service that you sell. If it’s a service, give your would-be customers a face and a voice to go with the name.
Lists and how-tos are particularly attractive to people inclined to share video on social media sites, so if that’s your goal, demonstrate how to use the product or create a list of helpful services and talk about them on your video. Blue Coat System’s video on Malware offers a good example.
That said, you will want to find the right balance. Too much narration can turn people off. You can make an intro, but be sure to get to the point.
- Email Lists
It’s good to segue out of video and into email, because they are linked in an important way. One of the ways that brands build their mailing list is by adding a video to a landing page or at the top of a sales presentation. It gives customers a good introduction into the company’s products and services.
But it also captures the client’s email. This gives you the opportunity to send out welcome materials, newsletters, product updates, and other incentives. Additionally, having a well-maintained email list is the best way to ensure future sales. These people already bought from you once, even if buying in this case was to give you their email. According to LinkedIn, your chance of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%. That’s an excellent foundation for your bottom line to sit on.
- Getting Interactive
Sites like Facebook and Twitter like interactive content. GIFs are like videos. If they’re clever and useful, then people like to share them. You can use them to create interactive content that displays information in sequence, kind of like video, but on a loop. Use these simple animations to show product sequences, changes in sales and income from year to year, or to give site directions.
Widgets are extra pieces of code that links to a larger program or in some way provides access to something else, according to Android Central. These allow you to capitalize on the smaller formats of phones. The key to making these formats work is usually to limit the scope of the information. That is don’t try to tell the whole story in one animated GIF. Rather tell just one important part.
- But Is It News?
The old-fashioned press release isn’t dead. However, some businesses may find that they don’t get the response they want from press releases. The big secret to making a big splash with this type of marketing tool is to think like a journalist. Most business owners go heavy on the promotion and light on the news element when they send a press release to a news outlet. A news director probably won’t pick that up, because it looks like you’re asking for free advertising.
Here’s what to do instead. Send out a press release that could be a news story. We know. Duh, but many people miss the mark on this. Here’s how it works. Let’s say that you’re a Realtor, and you want to get some press coverage. Let’s also say that you keep very detailed monthly records of the market and have done so for several years. Let’s finally say that you pitch a story to local media outlets explaining how the market is at higher levels than they were before the crash of 2008. Make this the content of your press release.
And do make sure that you give hard numbers when you send the release. According to Shapiro Negotiations, numbers and percentages will help build your credibility. This is something that a reporter will also look for.
Each type of content can play a role in your sales funnel. And each piece can serve double-duty with some help. For example, a white paper can be turned into a video script for a video how-to. Or social media graphics can be used in slide shows or as part of a video training series as can animated GIFs.
Finally, when possible include your contact information on your content. That makes all the pages, videos, and social media posts landing pages that can direct people to your products or services.
Carol Evenson is an entrepreneur and professional business consultant specializing in C-level training and business growth. She currently works with organizations across the globe, assisting CEOs with their expansion strategies.