The sixth in a series.
Producing and publishing content relevant to your business is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate inbound leads, and those new leads in turn provide you with an opportunity to drive more sales. In addition, you’ll create positive brand impressions and build the trust and confidence that come from establishing expertise.
Let’s get to work!
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: A free resource for learning basic business skills, the latest digital technology and more.
Here’s how to put the power of content marketing to work for you now.
- First, publish a blog and post regularly for search engine optimization support. Publishing high-quality content in the form of an onsite blog will build your authority online and establish your business as a trustworthy and credible one — and that leads to both new as well as repeat sales. Make sure to follow basic best practices relating to how best to achieve SEO results. Another aspect of blogging is choosing what to write about. Pay attention to your competition, to top search trends, to social media. What is your target audience searching for? How can YOU provide them with what they want?
- Second, publish on social media. For best results, you should create original content – short form or long form – to post on social media. You can promote content you’ve created onsite, such as your blog or podcast content, on social media with a link back to the full content on your site. Social commerce is growing significantly with more than 90% of Americans expected to make at least one purchase this year originating from a product or service offering on social media and publishing content beyond simply posting a sales offering or promotion is a powerful one-two punch to attract new and existing customers. However, it’s key to evaluate which social media channels are right for your business. Social media helps merge your brand efforts and content into a cohesive message.
- Third, focus on conversions. You can artfully weave in calls to action (CTAs) that achieve the objective of driving traffic to your site – whether to a special landing page tied to a promotion or to a specific product sales page on your site. Blog posts help you craft your message and your sales pitch. CTAs cannot be haphazardly thrown into your content. Put some thought into who your audience is, what they want, and how you can meet that want. Whether you just want an email address for further contact, a sale of a product or a referral, your request must be a good fit with the content you’re providing.
- Hone your writing skills. If you want to appear credible, you must take the time to ensure proper grammar, sentence structure and spelling along with mapping out your message in a cohesive way. No one wants to read something from a sloppy writer. Growing as a writer not only establishes you as a thought leader (thus, making your blog content more valuable), it makes you more authoritative and trustworthy in your audience’s eyes. If your target audience views you as credible and knowledgeable, they will seek out more of the information you’re providing because they trust you. Thus, keep your brand top of mind in your efforts.
- Lastly, evaluate how your content marketing is performing. This will not only provide insight into the direction you’re taking your business, but it will show you what your readers want. Know your audience. Attach goals to your campaigns. Pay attention to analytics.
- Use original artwork and graphics whenever possible versus stock photos and graphics. Consumers today are seeking to do business with those who are authentic and genuine, and in today’s era of user-generated content, they gravitate to original content even if it is not as polished and perfect as stock alternatives.
- When publishing content, always include share buttons so your content can be shared by others to social media. It’s also nice to include a printer-friendly version.
- Dip your toe into the metaverse with virtual reality (VR), automation and more. Your content doesn’t have to simply be the written word. Try live streaming or immersive VR experiences. There are plenty of tools to help you navigate this new world.