In 1996 Bill Gates said, “Content is king.” Of course, it’s as accurate now as it was then. But thanks to the tools available today, content marketing drives sales more effortlessly than ever before.
For most businesses, content marketing is the primary way to generate leads, nurture those leads until they become clients, and drive sales. It sounds simple, but many business owners struggle because they don’t know how to create valuable content or effectively promote that content.
Content Marketing Vs. Advertising
Every new business owner’s problem is that they don’t know how to get people to buy from them. The most common way businesses try, and influence buying decisions is by advertising.
Advertising can be good, but it’s not a killer strategy; you’ll need more than just ads to promote your business or products.
The problem with advertising is, once you stop paying for ads, traffic stops. Then lead generation stops. And then sales stop.
That’s not a good place to be.
A good content marketing strategy solves this problem, but not overnight. It takes time.
How content compounds over time
Content marketing doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a slow-burn approach. But it’s an approach that works.
Content compounds over time.
The more content you publish consistently, the greater your results – eventually.
This is because it takes time for some of the best content marketing channels, like Google and other search engines, to index and ranks your content.
And over time, Google will send a lot of traffic your way.
The more targeted and better optimized your content is, the higher it will rank in search engine results.
Why Content Marketing Is So Powerful
When we develop content marketing strategies with our clients, there’s one thing we always have to keep in mind: content isn’t about you; it’s about your customers.
You can write the most incredible sales page on earth, but if it doesn’t solve your customer’s problems or answer their questions, they’ll never buy from you. They will download your freebie, but if that information doesn’t help them, they’ll be less likely to buy from you in the future.
Content marketing drives sales by helping prospects get answers to questions and solving their problems.
When done right, this builds trust between them and your business. This is what separates average content from influential content. It’s like a relationship; the more time you spend with someone, the closer you become to them.
A good content marketing strategy uses content to build relationships with your prospects until they are ready to buy.
It’s a long-term strategy that requires constant attention and dedication.
How do you create valuable content?
Writing valuable, helpful articles for your target audience is the foundation of a successful content marketing campaign.
To stay on track and produce valuable content, the organization is critical. Here’s what I recommend:
Create an editorial calendar; it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just jot down topics or themes you want to write about
Create a list of questions your audience might ask; include these in your articles if possible Include citations when referencing data or information; this adds credibility.
Use infographics and videos where possible
There are three main things every article must have:
Addressing your customer’s problems or pain points, providing them with a solution, and establishing your credibility as an expert on the topic will help you build trust.
There are many strategies for doing this through content marketing, including:
Creating helpful content, preferably how-to or step-by-step guides.
The problem must be explained in detail, showing that you understand the pain point, and then the solution must be defined.
This is a good approach for helping prospects visualize themselves using your product or service.
Step-by-step guides are helpful because they literally walk someone through a process, making it easier to understand and to act on.
The whole point of content marketing is to drive short-term sales and long-term profits by creating relationships with your customers.
Use the AIDA Model
ADIA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
These elements are necessary to successfully drive your prospects through the sales funnel and eventually to a sale.
Attention is the first step in selling to anyone.
You must grab the attention of your prospects.
This is where a lot of sales copy fails. Instead, you must create headlines that stand out and motivate them to read more.
Your audience is only interested in themselves and their problem.
So, you must clearly define the problem before you offer a solution. The more detailed your step-by-step guide is, the better.
This is where you help them visualize how their lives or businesses will become easier once they’ve used your product or service to solve their problem.
Yes, they want what’s best for themselves, but this part of the process leads to higher conversions because it makes using your product seem desirable when they see how good life will be after doing so.
You don’t want to leave anything up to chance here. Once you have them interested and wanting what you’re offering, it’s time to ask for the sale! No one likes a hard sell so let them know precisely what they’re getting and why you’re better than your competitors.
AIDA can be applied to any type of content.
This model helps you think about the problem, solution, personalization, and sale in a logical order to create more targeted content.
I mentioned earlier that a good sales funnel isn’t focused on short-term wins and long-term profits by creating relationships with your customers through constant engagement.
Content marketing channels
Deciding on the proper content marketing channels to use largely depends on where your audience is.
Pick the channels your audience is most likely to be found on and use those channels; don’t try to be everywhere at once.
The most apparent marketing channel is Google.
Google’s search algorithm is very complex, and it changes often, but you can put yourself in the best position to rank for your target keywords by:
Creating original, high-quality content that is relevant to a target keyword or topic. This means writing naturally and avoiding keyword stuffing.
Writing for your audience, who you know will be searching with specific keywords related to your business.
And backlinks are one of the most essential factors in determining where on Google’s page 1 a result will rank – so build quality backlinks to increase domain authority.
Other channels you can use include:
Social media: share your content, respond to comments and questions on social platforms, build engagement.
Email marketing: there is no better way to stay in touch with your prospects.
Paid advertising on social media, display ads or sponsored content, and PPC ads.
Tracking your results
Always track the metrics that matter most to measure the success of your goals; inbound links, leads, phone calls, sales conversions – whatever it may be, tie these back to specific pieces of content.
Remember, one sale has a higher lifetime value than hundreds of subscribers, so always prioritize how you spend your time.
Get creative: use tools like Google Analytics to identify where your traffic is coming from to spend more of your time producing content for those channels.
Content marketing is more than just blogging; it’s producing valuable content that solves problems for your customers.
This type of strategy brings potential leads and customers to you rather than seeking them out yourself.
Creating quality content requires planning, research, and time but the reward is a constant influx of leads interested in what you have to offer.