Among small business owners, you can find a spectrum of opinions regarding the practice of content marketing.
Some entrepreneurs balk at the idea, seeing it as little more than a waste of time to produce regular blog posts and social media updates.
Others, meanwhile, invest in it and see real results. We have one enCOMPASS client who blogs religiously and gets about five to 10 percent of her leads from this disciplined approach. She’s living proof that, with consistency and with the right blend of topics, content marketing can make a real, bottom-line difference.
And that’s the important distinction that has to be made: Content marketing can be meaningful, so long as you approach it strategically and committedly.
Start with Email
If you’re looking to connect with clients and customers through content marketing, we’d actually recommend starting with something even more basic than a blog. Instead, start with a regular email marketing effort.
As we’ve noted in the past, email is still the best way to directly reach out to your audience—to submit content directly into their inboxes. We won’t rehearse an entire email marketing strategy, but there are a few important principles to keep in mind:
- Make sure you’re writing compelling headlines that entice your customers to click through and read what you have to say.
- Remember that people don’t read emails like they’d read a novel; keep things brief and structured in a way that’s easy to skim and absorb.
- Always offer something of value in your emails, whether it’s a discount code, important news about new products or promotions, or brief “tips-and-tricks”-styled content that will enrich the reader’s life and make them want to learn more.
- Timing is everything; make sure you’re sending emails at a time that’s optimized for open rates. (The enCOMPASS team has software that can help you get the timing right.)
Turn to Your Website
Email is a good starting point, but there are also some content marketing principles you can use to make your website more of a lead generator.
If you’re running an ecommerce store, or if you have individual pages for unique products and services, then make sure you put some thought into that sales copy. It’s not enough to just offer a brief, bulleted list of technical specs. Also make sure you go into the details about benefits: How will the buyer’s life be improved by the product? What pain points does it address? What are the distinguishing factors that make your product or service better than the competition’s?
A few brief tips:
- This is where having some detailed buyer personas can be invaluable, helping you craft product or service descriptions that are written in a language your buyers will understand.
- Avoid fluffy superlatives (“amazing,” “the best,” etc.) for more precise claims: For example, saying your product works “fast” is fine,” but saying it works in less than an hour or that it works twice as fast as your top competitor’s product is even better.
- Use social proof whenever possible, including customer reviews and testimonials that establish confidence in your product or service.
In addition to descriptive product and service pages, it’s important to create some dedicated landing pages. The reason for this is simple: Not everyone is going to find your website through the home page. For example, say you run a PPC campaign advertising a particular product. It makes sense for you to direct interested buyers straight to a page where they can buy that product, as opposed to diverting them to your homepage where they have to search for the specific information they seek.
Create landing pages to go along with ad campaigns and email marketing campaigns. Ensure that each one is tightly focused on a single topic (product, service, etc.) with a clear call to action at the end.
What About Blogging?
Finally, as you can tell from the very existence of this post, blogging is something we believe in! When done right, a blog can demonstrate thought leadership and subject matter expertise, helping your clients get a better sense of how you can help them.
When establishing a business blog, the important things to remember are:
- Post consistently! Again, the enCOMPASS clients who get the best results out of blogging are the ones who have a really disciplined approach.
- Choose subjects that your readers will genuinely be interested in; think about topics that address common questions your sales reps receive, or that speak to pain points in your buyers’ experience.
- Always focus first and foremost on informing, as opposed to making a hard sell.
There are a number of ways in which content marketing can help your business grow, and we’ve just touched on a few of them here. Ready to chat with us about your own content marketing ideas? Reach out today.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE: