There’s no denying that old-fashioned approaches to advertising and marketing are effective. But, they also cost a fortune. If you’re not trying to break the bank, content marketing is an absolute necessity for generating sustainable, long-term traffic.
After all, creating content that’s valuable and relatable to your target audience — and then providing it to them, for free — is an incredibly effective and powerful marketing tool for both finding leads, and building a trusting relationship between them and your brand.
But, like most things in life, there are no guarantees.
Sometimes, you can crank out high-quality content and publish it regularly … but then…nothing. No results, nada. You’re putting in the time, effort, and energy, so where are the fruits of your labor? What’s going wrong?
It’s a fairly common problem for a lot of businesses, especially if they don’t have a clearly-defined content marketing strategy. Generating new, high-quality content is a great first step; it’s where every content marketing strategy starts. But if you’re not seeing an increase in sales, something may be missing.
Businesses primarily rely on content marketing to acquire new customers and generate leads, increase brand awareness across social media, establish brand credibility, and ultimately engage with an audience in the hopes of converting them to paying customers. But if your content isn’t directly contributing to sales, it’s not effective. Read on to learn more.
Understand Conversion and Educate Your Customer
Converting engagement to sales begins the moment when a prospective customer becomes aware of your brand. They’ve got a problem they need solved, and you have the tools to help them. Next, you must convince your prospective customer that your product or service will meet their specific needs. That’s the point of conversion — when a customer becomes convinced to buy what you’re selling.
Convincing them that you have a solution to their problem means that you must give them an incentive to buy through demonstrations, free consultations, trials, coupons, or anything that will persuade them to make the investment in what you’re selling.
Determine Where Your Leads and Conversions are Originating
Knowing where your leads and conversions are coming from — how your customers discovered you — can give you valuable insight into why they made the decision to purchase your product. Based on this information, you can create new content that’s better suited to your customers’ specific needs.
If your leads and especially your converting customers are all coming from a specific social media platform, examine the known demographics around that platform, and you’ll get a better picture of your customer. Then, you can tailor your content to them specifically.
For example, if your business sells a photo filter app and you discover that most of your conversions are coming from 14-25 year olds on Instagram, you could create content based around how to take great Instagram photos on a low budget.
Diversify Your Advertisements on Social Media
You can use paid promotions to target specific audiences — especially on Facebook — which provides a variety of tools and metrics to help you drill down into a specific market demographic. Think of your ideal customer and try to determine what will reach him or her. What kind of content will result in the highest conversion?
It will likely vary based on your industry, target market, business model, and other factors, and you can use that information to try different campaigns. While you don’t want to waste money on ads that may not be effective, you don’t want to rule out content without testing it first. Keeping track of your ads’ performance allows you to fine-tune your content strategy over time, to determine which ads drove the highest number of sales.
Use Different Content Formats
Have you ever been asked if you’re a visual, auditory or tactile learner? Regardless of your answer, the point is the same: people like to consume content in different ways depending on how they learn best.
Meaning, you don’t want to stick with just one platform or one kind of format. Try blogging, producing video content, using case studies or infographics — in short, anything that might reach a larger share of the market you’re trying to tap. The best — and most effective — kind of content is personalized content that speaks to your prospective customer directly and in a manner they can engage with.
By using different formats and mixing up your content strategy, you’ll appeal to a wider audience, and perhaps even discover a customer base you didn’t know you could convert, simply by appealing to them with a format that’s more in touch with how they like to learn. Oftentimes, the medium is the message, and if you’re speaking to them in their language, your content will automatically be seen as more relevant to the problems they’re trying to solve.
Get Influencers to Review Your Product
The cold hard truth is, sometimes your content simply won’t be compelling or relevant enough to the product(s) you’re trying to sell (especially if it’s a high-ticket item). If you publish how-to content or case studies, you might interest prospective customers, but that may not be enough to tip them over the edge into buying territory.
The key to doing that is to provide another point of view from a voice they’re likely to trust.
Today, influencers are more important to brands than ever before. 49% of customers rely on influencer recommendations — making an outside voice a critical part of your strategy. And let’s be real, no matter how likeable you are, you can’t review your own product because hello bias. Instead, look for well-know bloggers, freelance writers, journalists, social media influencers, or other well-known experts on a subject related to your product.
Bill Gates penned the phrase “content is king” in 1996, and those words have only gotten more accurate as time has passed. Content marketing is the key to growing your site traffic, your list of leads, and your sales.
Except, a whopping 70% of marketers lack a good content strategy.
However, if you apply the tips in this article — understand who your customer is, create content that speaks to them, test your ads, mix up your content formats, and get influencers to rep your brand — you’ll be ahead of the game, and raking in results in no time.