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Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy In 4 Simple Steps

content-marketing-strategy
Unique, timely content that informs and entertains can turn potential buyers into loyal consumers. To create relevant content, you must understand the issues and desires of your audience. These insights can guide your content strategy, ensuring a better experience for your consumer.

Use the following strategies to understand your target market better and increase your bottom line through streamlined content creation.

Step 1: Create Buyer Personas

Creating buyer personas for your target audience helps you better understand their needs. A buyer persona is a detailed description of your ideal customer, crafted through market research and hard data gleaned from existing customers.

Buyer personas make it easier to tailor your content and can help you transform product development tactics, consumer services, and messaging in campaigns. The buyer persona is a crucial piece of the puzzle; it provides insight into the specific needs and interests of your consumers, indicates relevant background factors, and explains their motivations to buy your product or service.

As you form a buyer persona, include customer demographics, buying patterns, goals, and motivations. The more detail you can provide, the more valuable the persona. When surveying existing customers to collect important data, be sure to ask the following types of questions:

  • Describe your educational background.
  • What is your profession? Job title?
  • In which industry do you work?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • Describe your demographics (marriage status, children, age, etc.)
  • With accurate answers, you can begin to form content based on demographic interests and needs.

Let’s take a look at an example buyer persona from HubSpot. We can see below Betty’s likes and dislikes and the different needs that she has as a consumer. It’s important to remember, though, that you will probably need more than one buyer persona as your target market likely consists of multiple consumer types. Create as many buyer personas as you need to represent your target market thoroughly.

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Step 2: Identify Pain Points

Uncovering pain points that led previous customers to your door can help you pinpoint the motivation for potential customers. Take a close look at your most profitable customers: what was it that motivated them to buy your product or service? Recognizing buying patterns for these profitable customers can help you create content designed to draw in similar, lucrative prospects.

Surveys

Surveys are a simple, effective way to determine your target consumer’s main problems. Survey results can help you come up with potential solutions, and show you how to best present these solutions to your target audience.

Surveys are a quick way to gather information, but to ensure accurate results, you must ask the right questions in the correct way.

  1. Keep It Simple: Make it easy and convenient for people to access, understand, and answer your survey questions in a minimal amount of time. Be brief; lengthy questions may lead to survey abandonment. Write easy-to-understand questions, and keep it short.
  2. Avoid Yes/No Questions: If your question can be answered with a simple yes or no, change it up. With these types of polar questions, you won’t have the opportunity to analyze customer reasons and motivations. These close-ended questions won’t give you any important information, and will likely just reaffirm things you already knew.
  3. Ask One Question at a Time: Don’t inundate your customers with a bevy of questions at one time. Instead, ask question by question to get accurate, precise responses.
  4. Use Open-Ended Questions: Ask respondents to write a comment or paragraph in response to your question. This lets consumers write exactly what they’re thinking and provides more detailed insight. Provide a text box, and limit the number of characters that can be used to avoid essay-length responses.

Not only do survey results give you insight into how your customers are thinking and feeling, but they also serve as exclusive content that no one else has. SmartMove, a division of TransUnion, makes use of this strategy by surveying their customers and including the survey results in a blog post. By using their proprietary data, SmartMove can be confident that their content will resonate with their target market.

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Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is crucial. Use CRM software to handle your relationships with clients and track consumer activities, real-time data, and sales.

Want to please your customers? Solve their problems. A recent report from Harvard Business Review found that 81 percent of customers will say something negative about your product or company if they find you can’t solve an issue.

CRM software can help you circumvent this negative press. Because this software collects all data from a customer into a single system, you can access everything from email marketing results to purchase history to online chats. With this data in hand, you can analyze an individual customer’s pain point, leaving you better prepared to offer products or services that solve their issue.

One of the main ways CRM data is used to create content is in email marketing campaigns. Harry’s, a shaving brand, created an email to encourage users to share the product with their friends. By using data from their CRM software, they were able to determine which customers were satisfied with the product and therefore more likely to recommend it to others.

CRM-example

Social Media

Taking advantage of social media is integral to success. Customers use digital platforms to express their views and opinions, making social media channels a viable well of information for your business. Use social media to tap into a cache of detailed, current data on how customers interpret your company’s product or service. Understand how customers are talking about your offerings, and use this insight to tweak your content strategy.

Go beyond counting “likes” on posts. Look at conversations, comments, and shares to gain further understanding of customer needs and motivations. You must monitor your social media channels and listen to the opinions of your audience to better serve them.

By monitoring what their customers were sharing on social media, Oreo discovered a trend – customers were experimenting with new ways to eat an Oreo. Knowing this, they created a web series called Oreo Snack Hacks in which they feature well-known chefs creating recipes with an Oreo twist. Through social listening, Oreo was able to understand their customers better and create relevant and engaging content.

Step 3: Determine the Appropriate Channels

The quality of your content won’t matter if it’s not distributed to the appropriate channels. Choosing the correct channels to deploy your message is crucial. Where is your target demographic most likely to see your information? Blogs? Podcasts? Twitter? Facebook? Yelp?

Blasting your company content onto every available channel is a waste of time and resources. Reaching your customers means communicating with them through their preferred methods and channels. Not all channels will serve your aims; some will be well-suited to your business while others will prove fruitless. Evaluate consumer feedback, analyze the reach of your current channels, and pay attention to your industry’s social media trends.

How do you find which channels your customers are on? Sprout Social provides demographics for each of the leading social media platforms. Using your buyer personas, find where your target market fits in based on this data.

Bottom line? You don’t have to engage in every social media channel; focus your efforts on the ones that best suit your customers and those that can help you build relationships. Focus on quality communications, and don’t spread your social media efforts thin by trying to utilize all channels.

social-media-demographics

Step 4: Define Key Benefits

Don’t explain what your product or service does – explain what it does for your customer. Indicate the problem you’re helping them solve, and define the benefits that will directly resolve their issue. Speak with your target audience to determine the questions they’re asking – then pepper your content with the answers.

Benefits serve as your selling point, and will indicate the answers to consumer questions like “What will I get out of this?” or “How will this product make my life easier/better?” The most enticing benefits are those that provide financial or emotional gain. Emotional returns are linked to making the customer feel better, while financial gain sees customers making money or saving money.

For example, Colorescience, a beauty brand, uses language in their product description specifically to appeal to the consumer’s emotional side. By explaining how simple the product is to use, Colorescience is demonstrating a significant benefit that is important to many consumers in the beauty space – quick and easy application.

benefits-example

Key Takeaways

Informative, unique content is at the core of business success. Understanding your audience can help you better attract customers and serve their needs through strategic content creation. Utilize these strategies to understand your target market better and make valuable content that will serve your business aims well.



nicole-stelmarNicole Stelmar is a managing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new site geared towards helping small business owners grow their business. Nicole specializes in helping entrepreneurs master the art of content marketing and improve their digital presence.

The Importance of Building Quality Links in 2017

quality-links-2017
Most people wonder how exactly quality link building can help a business nowadays and why should someone put so much effort into creating a quality link. The simplicity of the answers usually eludes people, you invest in a good SEO campaign to rank high with Google, and they consider quality links to be one of the most important factors in website ranking. It is that simple. Today, marketers focus on quality because it produces better results than quantity and it is a mark of an organic link building.

Furthermore, the rule of “get as many links as possible out there” no longer applies, as Google punishes website that tries to spam the Internet with many broken links. The fact of the matter is, if you want to make the best out of link building and generate more traffic back to your website, as well as improve your reputation, you should focus on building quality links. Here are a few reasons why building quality links are important in 2017.

Drive More Traffic

It is a well know fact that link building drives traffic to a website, but it is not as simple as it sounds. A few years ago, you would only need to produce any number of low-quality links and get them posted wherever you could to drive traffic. Now, it is about what you post and where that is important. You will drive more traffic from a quality link that is posted on a popular website with a good reputation than you would from a low-quality link posted on some unknown blog with low rankings. That is why it is essential that your links are backed by quality content that is relevant and informative to your niche and that you focus your link building on websites and blogs with good domain authority.

Quality Content Marketing

Honestly, excellent content is the key to creating quality backlinks and the key for landing them as well. If you supply great content, your odds of pushing links on popular websites and blogs will significantly increase. However, you cannot create random content and hope for the best. In fact, the more relevant, informative, and entertaining your content is the more likelihood that it will be widely accepted.

What matters more is that backlinks and content marketing coincide together, as content helps land backlinks and backlinks help promote content. That is why it is very important for your content to be spot on. Content that works best for backlinks is the one that has visual assets, list posts, original research, and data, as well as in-depth guides. If you want to score a quality link on a quality website, you will have to design your content well.

Quality websites expect your content to have images, videos, charts, infographics, and other visual assets. Just make sure you avoid silly mistakes such as large images that will make a mess. A straightforward and free image resizer can sort that out adequately. After all, the quality of your backlinks is crucial if you want higher rankings.

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Improve Your Reputation

One of the most important factors in determining the quality of the link is the page authority of the domain that links back to you. To put it simply, the more authority or credibility a page has, there will be a bigger impact from a link back to you. That means that if you manage to create a quality link that is good enough for a website that has an active community to link on their page, you will get better results and your reputation will increase as well.

Favorite websites do not link back to just anyone and you being on their page means you are worth checking out. The more credibility you generate from your link building, the hirer your website rank will be, but to manage to get links on useful websites and blogs your links must have adequate quality and a low level of spam.

Quality over Quantity

If you want to increase visibility and improve the presence of your website, then you want your website to rank high. And to do so, you will have to put some effort into quality link building. Quality links are not just important for promoting your website, but for building a good reputation and a name for yourself as well.



oscarOscar Waterworth is content marketing and link building professional, a writer and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. I have been building links and writing content for the past 3 years.

 

 

 

Killer Content: How You Can Write Killer Content That Sells For Better Conversions

killer-content
Content marketing is no secret. In fact, you could call it one of the most traditional marketing philosophies out there. There’s the right reason for this, of course. Content marketing is good for a lot of things. The first being that it will catch the attention of your ideal audience. It also converts your ideal audience into leads, nurtures them through the sales funnel until the first sale, and then turns first-time buyers into lifetime customers or, better yet, brand advocates. Other channels undoubtedly play a role in the process, but compelling content is the underlying thread tying them all together.

When it comes to turning the skeptics on your marketing and leadership teams into believers, though, the above story of content as a significant driver of sales is likely to be met with eye rolls. Why? It sounds unrealistic, and, ultimately, lacks numbers. In the digital age of marketing–where everything that can be measured, will be measured–content needs to step up its game.

Luckily for you, there’s an easy way to do that: tracking and reporting on content assisted conversions. First, though, you have to write content that converts. This isn’t as scary as it sounds, but it certainly isn’t easy.

content

Keep reading for three fool-proof tips that will help you write killer content that will both convert your audience and make your marketing team look great.

1. Make sure your blog is as compelling and as consumable as possible

  • Compelling and consumable. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, and they speak more to blogging best practices than own marketing strategies. You want to pair these tactics together because if you write great, consumable content, but no one is compelled to read it, you’ve wasted your time. The opposite is true as well; if you’ve compelled your audience to click through to your content, but they don’t stick around and consume it, you’ve wasted your time again.
  • Writing compelling content–namely, content that drives clicks–is tricky. Content saturation is at an all-time high, and even click bait has begun to lose its effect. Your headline must have pull, and your first few sentences must immediately engage. The best headlines create a sense of urgency, invoke strong emotion (positive emotion performs better, but negatively is better than neutral), and keep the value up front. Scroll up, and you’ll find a headline that does just this.
  • Now that you’ve got readers engaged keep their eyes moving down your page. A little-known secret here is to treat your blog like a landing page. This means eliminating distractions, making strategic use of white space, and keeping all elements flowing towards the ultimate goal of the page.
  • Do you want readers to download a white paper? Follow you on social? Subscribe to your email newsletter? If you don’t show readers the goal of the page (or, even worse, you don’t know the goal of the page), they likely won’t accomplish it. Everything from bullet points to image usage to clear CTAs–more on this later–will help you accomplish this.

2. Use audience research and segmentation to ensure you’re speaking to needs

  • Marketers and writers alike often make the mistake of trying to speak to everyone. The logic goes, it seems, that if you try to appeal to 100 people, you might appeal to one. What research and experience have shown, though, is that if you aim to appeal to one person, there’s a high likelihood you’ll appeal to many. There is no substitute for polished content focused directly on one pain point when it comes to influencing conversions.
  • To do this well, you need to know two things. One, who your audience is. Two, what they want.
  • Hopefully, your audience consists of more than one person, though. If it does, there are still ways to write precisely to one person. Audience segmentation tools can break your audience down into smaller, more homogeneous groups. With these smaller groups, you can develop a stronger idea of simple wants, needs, and background information that you can translate into hyper-specific, realistic personas.
  • Ultimately, when you’re speaking to someone’s needs, getting them to convert isn’t a hard sell. It’s the natural next step.

3. Move your audience down the funnel with compelling and relevant CTAs

  • If the other steps were the cornerstones, this one is the steeple. You’ve captured your audience’s attention with a great headline and introductory paragraph. You’ve moved them down the page with easy-to-read content that solves their problems. Now, all you have to do is give your audience more of what they want.
  • Most of the time, what they want is more great content, so this is an appropriate time to offer that great whitepaper you just launched or your email newsletter tailored to this audience member’s pain point. Other times it may be a chat with a sales representative or a sample product. Luckily, you’ve done your audience research, and you know how to serve up a well-placed, genuinely valuable offering that will be a win-win for both your audience members and your marketing team.

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Closing The Deal With Content

Once you’ve got your audience clicking through to your content and keeping their eyes on the page, getting them to convert is easy–as long as you know their needs and speak to them openly. In fact, keeping content assisted conversions high is as simple as always keeping your audience front and center, following the basic tenets of quality copywriting, and ensuring that readers always have an important next step they can take to engage further with your brand. So are you ready to write killer content delivers better conversions?


aaron-content-conversionAaron Gray is a leading digital marketing expert in Australia, specializing in Blogger Outreach services through Nobullshit.com.au. Aaron’s goal is to deliver professional blogger outreach to clients across almost all industry niches. He is dedicated to hard work, his job, and loves to travel in his downtime.