Marketing content – what and why?
Marketing content is increasingly working its way to the top of the list when it comes to digital marketing strategies. Why? For the simple reason that it reaps big rewards. I should qualify that – reaps big rewards when done well! Most of us will have heard that content marketing is a great way to improve SEO and increase revenue for our business. It’s not always easy to understand exactly how though, is it?
The problem is, as you may have discovered, not all the marketing content you write actually does anything to bring in sales! Sometimes you write a piece of content – perhaps a blog or a whitepaper, or even just a well crafted tweet – and see a huge influx of leads and sales. Oh – sorry. That was a dream I had last week ;). To be serious, though, content can and should drive prospects further along a path to purchase, on some level.
Your content marketing only works when your audience responds to it. So, how can you ensure you get the most out of your content marketing efforts? Here’s our take on five rules to help you create marketing content that sells.
Don’t blow your own trumpet!
Rule 1 – Check it is not promotional.
Promotional content will neither excite nor inspire – take our word for it. We work with many clients on content marketing strategies that deliver a ROI. None of them are based solely on blowing their respective trumpets. That’s not to say we don’t use earned media to allow prospects to understand what’s in it for them. It should be part of a focused content marketing mix though.
- Your marketing content must be useful, interesting and relevant. Your content should educate your reader on some level. It should teach them at least one FAQ, or reference at least one pain point they have.
- Information alone won’t do the trick. While information is a key factor in great content, you have to keep in mind that real people are reading this content. It has to be interesting; the content needs to catch and keep your audience’s attention from the start to finish. How will you do that? Things like facts, statistics, metaphors, analogies and funny anecdotes are all great ways to keep people interested in what they’re reading.
- It must be relevant. Relevance means whatever it means to your reader. Is the content you’re creating relevant to the reader, in a sphere that means you can introduce how you and your business can add value at some point?
Is your content relevant?
Content is king, we often hear, but relevance is the king maker! To get your content marketing strategy working for you, we recommend you start with a customer persona. There’s no such thing as marketing content that will be relevant to everyone because relevance is completely audience-dependent. You need to understand your target audience before you can ever hope to be relevant to them. A customer persona should capture the basic essence of who is buying your product, and why they’re buying it. Only by understanding who your customer is can you address their problems, their questions, their concerns and their interests. Relevance begins with knowing who you’re talking to.
It is relevant to your company – you need to ensure it is relevant to your own messaging. Relevant content adds value to the conversation and positions yourself as an expert in your field – which is why you should keep your business goals in mind. Good content marketing requires you to align your plan with your overall business objectives, surprise, surprise!
It closes a gap – people read articles to fill knowledge gaps. Your job as a content marketer then should fill those gaps by answering a question or problem your reader may have.
Do you have any proof?
It gives proof.I’ve said you should support a business goal so it’s easy for your content to seem biased. To avoid this, make sure that content you create gives proof – either through quotes, testimonials, metrics or statistics. Consumers make purchase decisions based on testimonials because reviews are candid. They’re not published by the company promoting their product, they’re not fluffed up with marketing lingo and meaningless buzzwords – they’re the words of people just like you. In other words, stay transparent and make your content worth reading by delivering credible evidence to back up whatever you are saying.
It is written well – your website may be the first impression prospective customers have of your business, and if your site’s copy isn’t up to scratch, it might be their last impression. Having your content written by a professional copywriter is a smart long term investment for your website, both in terms of SEO and visitor retention.
We’ve worked on a range of content marketing campaigns for an eclectic group of clients. Would we would make good partners with your company and your business? The first step is to pick up the phone and talk to us on 0333 011 3389. If you prefer, contact us via the website.