70% of B2B marketers planned to create more content in 2017 than in 2016, recent research by Content Marketing Institute shows that Meanwhile, 45% of marketers state that blogging is their #1 most important content strategy (Social Media Examiner). This can only mean that correctly planned and executed content strategy will significantly increase your sales.
This means that today most people are online and active on social media. When the information they search for is not readily available, they will ask for and get it from others, most likely from your competition. This only proves how important it is to pay attention to how you present yourself as a company on your website, in the description of your services, in your blog or your responsive social media pages. If you’re not active, not engaging, not shaping your company’s image, you’re allowing it to be shaped by others and you have no say in it. That’s not what you want, right?
Making the right content available for your potential customers is the only way to go beyond the idealistic approach of creating a great product and sitting on it waiting for the word of mouth to bring in new customers.
Here are a few major milestones you need to set for yourself for better results:
1. Knowing what you’re selling to whom and how
When you came up with the idea of creating your valuable product or service, hopefully you had based your decision on the existing market demand. You’re filling in a gap for content, offering fresh seafood in town, or the most advanced daycare service in the city… you know your niche. Before you go and demand that your Marketing or PR Team generate sales, you need to define the specific target group you are planning to cater to.
For instance, your amazing non-stick sauté pan will most probably be targeted to: women over 30, housewives, living within X miles of a location, with annual income of XXX. You can get as detailed and specific as possible. All this information is extremely important for you to know who you are talking to, what channels and what words you need to use (keyword research) for best efficiency.
If you don’t have all this information, taking steps to define it will actually lead to improving your product and making it more marketable.
2. Coming up with a unified image and content strategy
Once you have accomplished the step above, everything will go much smoother. Company logo should reflect your vision and mission, connect to your target customer. The website should be easy to find by searching the right keywords in search. It should also be easy to navigate. Your blog should give valuable information to keep attracting your customers. Tap into the power of social media to reflect your values and be another channel to spread content and get feedback.
If you are a yoga instructor, having a website with classes and prices is not going to do it for you. It should show your authority in the field. Sharing knowledge does not make it less worthwhile for customers to sign up for your service, but makes them do that to get a personal experience with you BECAUSE of your knowledge.
3. Make it personal: engaging is key
Social media platforms allow making that very important personal connection with your customers. Be responsive, be engaging, go that extra mile to show you care about your customers’ worries, possible issues with your service or product. Presenting how great your product is and not responding to reviews will simply show that all your efforts are there ONLY to guarantee sales and you do not really care about the quality of your product or the well-being of the people that invest in your company.
4. Make it easy for your customers to share their experience with your product or service
In reality, they are going to do it anyway. It is just that if you don’t respond to messages, don’t comment on reviews, don’t seek feedback, you’ll be left out of the conversation. Having a blog on your website allows customers to give you that valuable information. This turns potential customers into active ones and active customers into your brand’s evangelists.
5. And finally – the technical part of it
- Make diverse content: some people like to read, others watch a video on YouTube, some will check out your website, social media pages, and others yet might do a thorough Google search in business directories and review sites before their first purchase. Based on your research, you should cater to different tastes and styles of receiving and processing information.
- Make it regular: Don’t make a big deal of launching your website and follow it up with 30 days of inactivity, when your potential customers will forget about you. Be consistent in reminding them of your active work on a regular basis.
- Be patient: Once you’ve used all the right keywords, posted a couple of great articles on your blog and launched your website, you’re not going to appear on top of the Google search page. Be patient, be passionate and continue SERVING your customers. Trust is built gradually, but once you have it, you’re set for a long-term friendship.