Traditional marketing talks AT customers about you, your products and your services.
But content or in-bound marketing is different. It puts the audience at the heart of the content. It's about creating content that opens up a dialogue and talks with customers not at them.
Content marketing's main aim is to solve the customers' challenges and problems using content.
Why do we need to start talking with our customers?
It's really simple. Your customers will tell you what they want to know about.
Like you, they're very busy. And they want to get the answers to their problems and fast.
They're more likely to choose to work with your company over your competitors if you're demonstrating three things:–
1. You know what their problems are;
2. You know how to solve them; and
3. You've got a proven track record in helping others.
But why should you use content to do that?
Well, there’s four reasons why you should use content to attract your audience:
Firstly – To get attention;
Secondly - To be the trusted voice;
Thirdly - Google will love you; and
Finally - Importantly to generate leads.
So I’m just going to briefly unpack each of these reasons.
How do you get people's attention?
If you can package up your expertise and answer all your customer's problems on your website - you'll get their attention.
The content shouldn't be salesy, rather it should demonstrate your know-how and show how you can solve their problems.
How do you become a trusted voice?
If you have all the answers to your customers problems and can make your customer's lives easier, your prospects are likely to trust you.
If they've done their initial research and found that your website has the clearest and best information, that's useful, helpful and not salesy –they will see you as the trusted voice and will come back for more.
How do you get Google to love your site?
Google bots are constantly scanning websites and are looking for sites that have the most relevant and informative content on them.
Google and other search engines will rank useful sites higher than brochureware sites.
If you regularly publish relevant and informative content on your website you’ll appear in the top three pages of search and as a result WILL more likely be clicked on by your prospects.
How do you use content to generate leads?
There are a number of ways to use content to generate leads.
- You can host an event, such as a webinar, that people have to sign up for.
- You can write an ebook that people have to download to read.
- You can write a blog and/or a newsletter that people can subscribe to.
- Or you can host a podcast or create YouTube channel that people can follow.
But it's important to give your audience a Call To Action (CTA) to let them know what you'd like them to do next - book, sign up, subscribe or buy.
What should the content be about?
The content you create should focus on solving your customers challenges and problems. That's why it's really important to know who your customers are at the start.
- Who is buying your products and services?
- Who are the decision makers?
You can check your CRM data to find this information out. These are the people you need to target.
What does my audience want to know?
Once you know who your audiences are, then you've got find out what they want to know about and what their key challenges are.
There are three simple ways you can do this.
Find your best sales person and then ask them: What questions are you most frequently asked by our prospects? What are the commonalities between all our prospects? What topics keep coming up again and again?
Reach out to your existing customers. Find a friendly one and ask them - What did they want to know/what problems did they want you to solve at the beginning of your relationship?
Then do some desk-based research and find out: What questions are your customers typing into search engines? What search terms are they using?
Google Analytics is especially useful in finding out which search terms people are using to find your website and which pages people are looking at most when they get there.
This research will help you to find the most common themes and topics you should create content on.
Final takeaways to help get you started: Identify your customer needs. Reflect these needs in your content.
If all this sounds overwhelming, it needn't be. We create content strategies and content marketing programs for some of the fastest growing tech start ups around the globe.
Our team of experts are here to help you. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you reach your audiences online.