Businesses are always on the lookout for new customers, using a combination of traditional and digital marketing methods.
While some marketing methods are considered unsuitable for small businesses, content marketing isn’t one of them. Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, content marketing can help you drive traffic to your website, and therefore your products or services.
The first part of the equation, (the content creation) doesn’t come easy to many businesses. Many of them see their business as being boring. Some blame the size of their business for their lack of marketing success. All this is untrue, as any business, even with a small budget, can still have success with content marketing.
These days, the content you put out there is how many customers find you, even with minimal marketing.
Blog posts, press releases,posts, even videos can all provide a funnel leading back to your site. Up to 70% of customers say they’d rather learn about a company through articles rather than ads.
Regardless of the market, people want to learn:
- actionable tips.
- easy to digest info.
- convincing facts.
Trying to hit all three targets may seem daunting, but it can be done in 3 steps: Research, Writing, and Formatting.
Even with no previous content strategy in place, your business can benefit form content creation and marketing.
Start at the beginning. What do the first-time buyers in your market want to know? How can you help simplify the decision-making and buying process? How can regular users get discounts?
To find questions like these:
- visit forums; both niche and general. Listen to users problems.
- visit user generated sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Topsy, and to collate questions.
- use surveys to feel out the market, talk to your prospects, and find how you can solve their problems.
If you still don’t know where to turn, do some competitive ‘research’. Use Alltop to sort the top blogs in your industry; visit them and see what they re talking about. Verify that this content causes a buzz in the industry by seeing the amount of shares it gets on Buzzsumo.
Now that you have content topics, what next?
To create hook worthy content, you’ll need to assess what’s out there and whether it’s helping readers or not. By reading the comments on popular blogs, you will let the public tell you what they want to know.
If a topic has already been covered, see if you can make your resource better. You can:
- Create the most up-to-date resource on that topic.
- Use diagrams, charts or videos to illustrate hard-to-explain concepts.
- Run a case study and share the process and results with your readers.
- Curate a list of top articles on the subject.
The goal is to make your site a one-stop shop for answering that problem. When writing, let your brand’s personality shine through. Just because it is a 12,000 word white paper doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Even if you have the most up-to-date information, with poor presentation you can’t expect much interaction from readers. They’ll be too busy looking for a way off the page. The right presentation is the key to driving engagement.
Hook them from the beginning of the post. A strong opening statement can be a quote that they can relate to, a shocking statistic, or anything else that makes them pause.
Your content should should appeal to readers, whether they are skimmers or thorough readers. Do this by creating info-packed, yet skimmable content.
If readers can’t quickly connect with your content, they’ll immediately click away. Write your content then edit it into skimmable sections. Some will take the time to read every word, others will skip from around to get the gist.
One benefit of this type of content is that you create rich informative content which will allow your site to rank for more keywords in the SERPs.
Other ways to use formatting for your content include:
- Keep paragraphs short and tight by writing concise sentences.
- Use bullet points and sub heads to break up the text and lead the skimmers through it.
- Use images that the reader can relate to.
- In all this, don’t neglect building a visitor persona, but don’t waste too much time on it either. Having a persona in mind helps you tailor the language you use in your copy.
Writing interesting content doesn’t have to be such a pain. Knowing your customer, finding popular topics, their pain points, and finding topical industry news can help create content that helps your readers.
Simply don’t have the time to do all that? Contact Search & More today where our team of content creators can help you educate and engage prospects, whilst turning them into customers.