WHAT IS WEB CONTENT?
As you’ve probably heard in recent years, “Content is king.”
“Content” has become a buzzword in the marketing industry in recent years, but it’s been around a long as marketing has. Content is simply the information you want to communicate to your audience to advance your target market through some part of the sales funnel.
It can take on various forms – text, video, images, or audio – but the goal of each form is the same: driving profitable customer action.
Newspaper ads use content. Billboards use content. TV commercials use content. Your website, blog, email, and social media platforms are no different. Content is the cargo, and the web is the vehicle that gets your message to your market.
WHY DO I NEED CONTENT?
You obviously understand the value of getting your marketing message to your target market, but maybe you haven’t connected the dots between the web platforms and each particular segment of your audience.
So here’s how online content can be used to drive profitable action among current clients, referrals, social media connections, and searchers.
CURRENT CLIENTS & CUSTOMERS
In today’s marketplace you’ve likely established a digital point of contact with many of your current customers and clients. Maybe you’ve got their email address, maybe you’re connected on LinkedIn, or maybe they follow your business on twitter, at the very least they know your web address.
You’ve got more than one golden opportunity with these people:
1. Repeat sales on previous purchases
2. Up-sell and cross-sell products and services current clients may not even be familiar with.
3. Bring awareness to seasonal or special product offerings
4. Acquire new customer referrals by
5. Asking for them
6. Communicating a message worth sharing with others
Email your current customers and clients on a regular basis highlighting special sales, seasonal items, lesser known items, and higher profit products. Use links in the email to drive them to your website where they can find additional information on your blog.
Communicate with them regularly in the social networks by sharing relevant and valuable information they might likely engage with or share with friends.
So you’ve managed to acquire the email addresses of prospects who’ve never done business with you, and you’ve got 500+ LinkedIn connections. Now what? Just because someone is familiar with your business doesn’t mean you’re at the top of his or her list of options, or even at the top of his or her memory.
You’ve got to do the hard work of getting these people to know you, like you, and trust you before they do business with you. This is where content is king.
A quality article with a compelling headline can bring a referral from an email to your website where they will find your phone number and email address – a giant step closer to doing business with you.
An informative, engaging video series can pull a prospect from LinkedIn or Twitter into you’re world where they’ll learn about you, and begin to like you and trust you.
If you can create and share quality content consistently, you can not only stay top of mind, but top of the heap.
SOCIAL NETWORK CONNECTIONS
Each social network platform is different, and should be treated as such. However, there are some commonalities when it comes to content marketing.
Very rarely are you able to actually complete a profitable transaction on a social network, so the goal of using content is to take users from the place where they’re hanging out to a place where you can do business – your website or online shop. The good news for you is that your business environment isn’t a 15 minute drive away, it’s a click away.
Since pushy sales content is likely to turn away your social network connections, you must use content that informs, inspires, or entertains to get the engagement of your audience.
If you can create this kind of content in the social networks, you won’t just get the attention of your friends, but your friends’ friends’ friends.
Why create content for your social media connections?
1. Unlimited reach – Your marketing message can reach the various expanses of the globe with just a few of the right clicks and shares.
2. Low barriers of entry – Anyone can create an account on most platforms, and often the most important platforms are free to join.
3. Access – Most of your audience members are already a part of at least one social network.
4. Speed – Update your audience instantly.
No matter your industry, there is probably someone in the world who used Google or Bing to search for a product or service your business offers. A large percentage of these “searchers” are already somewhere in the buying process, and they’re looking for a business just like yours to meet their need.
The question is not, “why should I create content for these people?” but “why wouldn’t you want to create content for these people?”
Optimizing your web site to get found by search engines and ranked highly in the results pages may seems daunting. You’ll be glad to know, though, that if you’re already delivering quality, targeted content through your website, you’re already well on your way toward the path of search engine success.
Search engines are trying to deliver the most useful web pages to searchers, and if your site has useful, valuable content, Google, Bing, and Yahoo will want to put you near the top.