December 13, 2018

Content MarketingContent Marketing

The Four Essentials to Beat the Competition

You can use your content marketing plan to grow your business. People are always searching for solutions. They need help. They search online for solutions. If you help them with their problems by informing them of your solutions they will be more likely to seek out your business, products and services.

You will be a problem solver to them. This is an enviable position to be in.

To share your solutions online you need to attract traffic. do this you need to have traffic. You then need to

Content marketing allows you to step back and take a look at the big picture. Your content marketing plan determines where you place your ads and how your content is constructed. However, be clear that ads in and of themselves, are not the answer. Content marketing enables you to define:

  • The individual content pieces and how they create a cohesive whole.
  • Which website pages to create.
  • Your blog topics.
  • Your e-mail marketing campaigns.
  • Whether you have a newsletter and what the content should be.
  • Whether you should develop a video or videos.
  • When to publish certain content pieces.

Content marketing will help you to define and find loyal customers. It will help you capture their attention. It will help you close sales.

Content Marketing Helps to Close Sales!

You need to know what works in today’s marketplace in order to find customers and persuade them to buy. And the answer to that question is Content Marketing.

But it takes more than knowing that “content is king” to work in an online marketplace environment. You need to focus your attention on these four key elements to make content marketing work for you.

1. Give Rewards and Share Your Content

I recently bought a new puppy. I quickly discovered that the best way to train him to sit on command was to give him a treat. Each time I gave him a treat when he properly responded to my request to sit – and never before.

After a while, he would sit with only a nice friendly command. With enough rewards and pats on the head, he may have thought that sitting on command was his idea. He knew what I wanted. He likes me and he trusts me. He also knows that he will get some kind of reward which might consist of only just a complement. He now sits when I say sit because it is in his best interest to do that.

Your content needs to work the same way. High-quality content ‘trains’ your readers and listeners to keep reading your content. The best content is eagerly awaited by your readers. I enjoy reading Wired Magazine because it is filled with great content. I anticipate each issue, and very soon after receiving it I have open it with excitement to see what’s inside.

Your Content Needs to

Delight and Reward Your Readers.

Make your content irresistible. Make it valuable to your audience. This means that every piece of content you write has to be interesting and either solve a problem your audience suffers from or entertains them. It is best when you can do both.

Everything your readers receive from you should make them feel good. You must intend that each piece of content you create and deliver is a reward that benefits your audience. I have a colleague who teaches courses with me. To every class he brings a box of chocolates. He rewards good participation and correct answers with a chocolate. The class always responds well to this. He is training the class to participate and the class is better off for this. In addition to receiving a reward they learn more. The reward helps them to benefit.

When you reward your audience consistently, your content will become a ‘habit’ for your readers. When they see your name in their email box, they will know there is something they like on the other side. And they’ll click through. They will visit your site or blog to see what’s new, valuable, and interesting.

Fortunately for you, most people who try content marketing get this wrong. This includes most of your competitors. They train their readers to look away, by producing content that is not of high quality, doesn’t benefit readers, is not relevant, or that is too pushy at selling something. These competitors market low-quality content. Don’t be like them.

2. Position Yourself for Success

I am a member of a Business Networking International (BNI) Chapter. The business networking organization has trained me how to get referrals by giving referrals. This is also like the old wise saying that you have to be a good friend to get lots of friends. This is also true for online content marketing and is a surefire way to position yourself for success.

If you want to find more customers online, then you need to prove that you are worth doing business with.

This may mean proving your authority and credibility. However, to be a pontificating guru, who can never admit any weakness, is not an effective way to gain new clients. Be authoritative and engaging. And be cool.

You can use your content to address common objections that might keep someone from buying. Use copy to tell interesting stories to illustrate about how your products or services have benefit your clients.

Some personas work much better than others for content marketing. Your audience wants a smart, cool, friendly person who understands how stuff works. They want someone who will share experiences and who can teach them something new. They want a trustworthy person whose word means something.

When in doubt, remember Paul Newman’s axiom.

Always take your work seriously; never take yourself seriously.

You definitely want to show that you know your stuff, but keep in mind that your readers may not want a college-level lecture every time they get something from you.

3. Be Cool When You Sell

Remember, you’re not trying to land a sale every time you engage someone. The single-shot sale happens very infrequently. The chance of turning someone off with your single-shot sales approach is much more likely. We have all had the experience with a sales person who wants to know “What will it take to put you in this car TODAY?”. My goodness! Don’t be like this – be cool!

Think about how you build relationships over time through content marketing. Be more like a farmer than a hunter. Build relationships with multiple high-quality content encounters. Build relationships that support a sale and many additional sales. Build relationships that create referrals after a sale. A repeat customer that also provides referrals is a very valuable customer. Second and third repeat sale are typically easier than a first sale and repeat sales can often lead to multiple referrals. Content marketing helps your business to become more efficient as a sales machine. Efficiency always is a business advantage. Develop great content and build your relationships wisely over time.

Even though I have emphasized the need to be cool and to not oversell, it is still important to make an offer and ask for the order with a strong call-to-action. Keep things in balance and use your delightful content to build desire for your product or service. Demonstrate your authority and expertise, build strong relationships with your audience and finally ask for the sale.

4. Follow Up

The last essential of great content marketing is to provide a follow up piece or pieces. You may need to try more than once in order to convince someone that your company is the one to do business with. A great follow-up is an essential part of content marketing.

This is all part of a content creation plan. Think about how to attract and please your audience and how to build relationships. You will also need to follow up with an offer and a call to action when the time is right. Content is King and Content Marketing brings content into play in a powerful and efficient manner.

I also invite you to keep reading items from the SEO Notebook on this website. This blog is filled with practical advice on how to improve your content and attract readers. Attracting readers is an important part of growing your business.

Content Marketing – Four Essentials Summary

You need to share and the sharing should feel like a reward for your readers. A rewards is a benefit that helps your audience. Position your business for success by building strong relationships over time. Don’t be too pushy and try to close a sale every time you contact a reader. The relationship, if properly nurtured can produce repeat sales and referrals. Build lifetime value into your relationships. Finally have some follow-up pieces as to follow up is essential for your success.

Are you creating content that positions your business for success? Do you push too hard for a sale and turn people away? Do you follow up effectively? Develop a content marketing plan that helps you in each of these areas.

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