Unique content creation is crucial for your entrepreneurial credibility.
Sponsored content that doesn’t look like advertising is called CONTENT MARKETING, and it is the best way for your brand to gain visibility and credibility online.
The idea is to stimulate interest in your brand’s products or services through online articles with the end goal of earning trust, brand awareness, and sales.
Do you have a content marketing strategy in place?
1. Follow The 5 Touch Rule
Before people decide to book your services or buy your products, they’re going to do some online research. The more articles they find about you and your business, the more credible you are, especially if they derive value from your posts.
Studies have shown that most prospective customers need to be “touched” at least 3 times before they respond to a sales request. Meaning three points of contact from your brand.
For example, they might:
- See a post from your company on Facebook and check it out
- Research how to solve a problem they have and find your blog
- Subscribe to your list and start receiving your emails
Now, if they don’t respond by the fifth touch, the likelihood of them responding is very low (but not impossible)!
Having someone else talk about you as a reference makes you look better!
Visibility creates opportunities.
2. Know The Buying Cycle
The purpose of having your blog or guest posting on someone else’s website should be to generate leads to get new people into your funnel. You’re tapping into their audience, so be sure to make the most of it!
Then your job is to convert the ones that check out your platform into customers or loyal followers. Create a bit.ly for each link you place on guest posts to help you track how many clicks you’re getting from that particular website.
Once you get the visitors, you need to compel them to take further action like buying your product.
It’s important to know that before anyone decides to buy from you, they go through a series of steps:
- Information search
- Vendor search
- Purchase decision
When you’re creating content, make sure to address all 4 stages of the buyer’s cycle when you’re thinking about what you want to write about.
Here’s a little more insight into what each of these steps might look like.
- Awareness – A person may identify they have a problem they need to solve or seek advice.
- Information search – To solve that problem or find advice, they will begin to search for any answers they can find.
- Vendor search – They notice your blog or business but look at other similar sites to explore their options.
- Purchase decision – In the end, they decide to purchase the product or take the advice you have to offer.
You might want to produce a certain type of post with one stage in mind, but still, make sure to think about the big picture.
3. Create Quality Content
There’s no question that people search online to find information.
If they find you, they can reach out, but they have to be able to find you first!
Producing strong content can lead to more connections with viewers. Here are some ways that content and customer attention go hand-in-hand:
- Social Media Marketing – Your content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy. Social media is key to building a larger audience.
- SEO – Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content. Higher rankings get you seen more.
- Public Relations – Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about.
- Pay Per Click – For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
4. Ask Yourself Important Questions To Come Up With The Best Strategy
What do you hope to accomplish for your brand with your content marketing?
- Your goals should include things such as brand awareness, lead conversion, and customer conversion.
Do you have a big enough audience to justify a plan?
- Can you use content marketing to ease an existing pain point or enhance your existing marketing successfully?
- Is this opportunity big enough to warrant spending your time and/or your money on? If so, by how much?
What is your business model? How does it work?
- What is the scope of your initial content marketing plan?
- How will this affect the existing content marketing efforts of your brand?
What is your differentiating value? Why is this more important than other things you are spending time on?
- Can you expect a lift in an existing program?
- Is there something that you are no longer doing (or that you should no longer be doing) that you can shift people/budget from?
- Are there programs that content marketing can help feed (ex: your SEO-optimized site)?
- What is your budget for failure?
5. If Content Is King, Distribution Is Queen
You can have amazing content, but if it isn’t seen, it’s almost a waste.
It’s just like how you can have a wonderful idea, but if you don’t act on it and only you know about it… well, NO ONE KNOWS!
Make sure you’re promoting your content so that it’s seen!
The best part of content marketing is that what you share solves people’s problems, which in turn helps your brand because you satisfy the customer!
Additional articles you might be interested in:
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- How To Create A Killer Content Marketing Strategy
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- 5 Recurring Business Expenses You Need To Budget For
- 7 Ways To Promote Your Blog Without Money