Everyone is talking about content, but few are actually doing something about it. That’s unfortunate since content marketing is one of the most (if not the most) effective ways for businesses to get double duty from their marketing dollars. How is that achieved, you might ask? Here’s the answer: content marketing improves both your online presence as well as increasing customer engagement. So, if you are looking to drive prospects to your website, then it’s essential that you create good content for them to see once they get there. And, remember the content has to be interesting, relevant, and easily obtained.
Content marketing is the perfect companion to social media because both work so nicely to keep your message and your brand in top of mind. This enables businesses to make more meaningful (and lucrative) connections with their customers. Through the use of white papers, special reports, blogs, newsletters, videos, etc., your content is telling an important story and directing your prospects through the sales pipeline. Here are some tips to help you do that well:
- Apply a layered approach that communicates a central theme, using content on your website as well as social media.
- Think about the timing and the vehicle of your delivery so you’re communicating the right message to the right audience and in the right way.
- Shake it up! Don’t be afraid to try something different. Look at your business the way your customers do, then approach your content marketing to address your customers’ needs.
Content marketing is a powerful tool to help sell. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to reach out to your prospects and develop a meaningful “dialogue” with them to enhance their relationship with your business as well as their loyalty. Follow these guidelines and create a content marketing strategy that will help drive more prospects to your website and convert them to qualified leads.
Share some of your content ideas with us. Let us know what’s working for you.
If you’ve been reading my blogs over the past 24 months (a big thanks to the 5,000+ of you who do!), you’ve been learning about my experiences using digital marketing strategies to help get my clients better, more qualified sales prospects. Although we continue to test and then test again to improve results, I’ve summarized three marketing programs that will get your marketing initiatives headed in the right direction:
- Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing strategies such as SEO and our own advertising network (which we launched earlier this year) have boosted web traffic and lead generation as much as 50%! Keyword targeting is a very powerful direct marketing tool, and we have moved quickly to recommend to all of our clients that they use this approach.
- Website Content Conversion Program: Powerful offers regularly convert your website traffic to prospects. E-books, special reports, white papers, and “kits” work! It’s very important to offer something of value in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.
- E-Mail Nurturing & Lead Scoring: Regular e-mail to your prospect list combined with marketing automation lead scoring will help accelerate and prioritize your prospects through the sales pipeline.
If you’d like to learn more, let’s set aside some time to talk.
If you’re sending e-mail campaigns, then you really must make sure you are testing their effectiveness regularly and making tweaks accordingly. Doing so will lead to more clicks, opens, and sales. Here’s how I recommend you approach testing your campaigns for better results.
- Develop a control e-mail and test it. Create an initial e-mail and note the results it gets. Then, decide the one thing you want to test. It could be the offer or the subject line. Choose just one. Send the e-mail again and see what results you get. When you have an e-mail that gets better results than your control one, it becomes the new control e-mail that you’ll do further tweaks to. I do this process for my clients like TCBY, Pie Five Pizza, and Hurricane Grill and Wings to name just a few. This is a really powerful tool that enables you to get great results.
- Test your mailing list. For lists over 1,000 I like to split it into two groups. Each group gets a different e-mail message. For much bigger lists (10,000 and up), I like to send a test message to a small portion of the list, say 20 percent. If the message pulls well, then I roll it out to the remaining 80 percent.
- Test different variables. Here’s where you can get really creative. Test different offers, different design styles, shorter or longer message, personalization, subject lines, etc.
- Test your mailing days. The time and day your e-mail is sent can effect your response rate. Consider your target market and what day and time makes the most sense, then test it.
- Test your frequency. This refers to how often you are e-mailing. Keep track of when you are sending your e-mails as well as the responses, bounces, and unsubscribes. Look for trends that will help you figure out the right amount of e-mails to send to your list. If you e-mail too infrequently, you’ll likely loose your recipients’ interest. If you e-mail too frequently, chances are they’ll opt out. Find a happy medium.
- Keep testing. This is an ongoing endeavor. To keep a campaign successfully, you have to keep testing. Remember though to only change (or test) one thing at a time, that way you know for certain the results your change produced.