We are all pretty much aware of the fact that businesses today can’t soar high without the use of appropriate marketing tactics. However, in a rapidly saturating digital environment, it is not at all easy to come up with a killer content marketing strategy.
You might be thinking that the marketing methods go way beyond content marketing, so why do you need to focus on it separately? It’s because out of the many methods, content marketing is the one that continues to pay back year after year.
This term has been increasingly used in the past few years, but still many people don’t fully understand its potential. No, content marketing isn’t just finding blog topics and writing about them.
So, what’s more to it?
Let’s have a look at what content marketing is and how you can prepare your own strategy to sky-rocket your sales.
What is content marketing?
“Content marketing is an emulous marketing strategy that concentrates on curating and delivering valuable, appropriate, and reliable content in order to entice and uphold a clearly targeted audience — and, eventually, to generate profitable consumer actions.”
In place of pitching your goods or services, you provide clients and consumers with genuinely meaningful and valuable content to support them in overcoming their problems. It is quite clear that content is the present – and the future of marketing. Quality content is not just limited to blogs, but is a part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: The posts that you create to publish on your social accounts say a lot about your brand, help in creating brand awareness, and builds an engaged community.
- SEO: Brands that publish consistent quality content are loved by search engines and ranked higher in SERPs.
- Press releases: Publish PRs addressing issues that readers care about, not just your business.
- PPC: If you want your PPC campaigns to perform up to the mark, you need great and click-worthy content for it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic to your website and get genuine leads.
The purpose of content marketing is to draw and transform your target audience into valued and long-term consumers. To boost sales, you can use a variety of content marketing techniques, such as videos and infographics, as well as podcasts and e-books.
Effective content marketing helps in driving sales because you are not directly trying to convince people to buy something from you – but you are establishing yourself as an expert in the field by providing relevant, quality information.
Why does your business need a content marketing strategy?
The development and distribution of content is now an indispensable part of many brands’ digital marketing strategy. Still, a lot of businesses are not sure how to incorporate it into their plan of action, because they are not aware of how it will improve their sales.
That’s a completely fair concern. After all, who would invest their time and energy on something that doesn’t pay back? But, in this case, the truth is inbound marketing produces 54% more conversions as compared to conventional outbound techniques.
Here’s why your business needs a content marketing strategy:
It increases website traffic
The first and the foremost step required to increase your sales is obviously to make potential customers aware that your business exists and offers certain products or services. Unlike the past days, people don’t wait for companies to reach out to them through flyers or brochures; they simply search for businesses online when the need arises.
Thus, your website needs to be search optimized in order for people to find you. When you create content that is relevant to your target audience and optimize it for keywords, you will see a large number of people flocking to your website.
Answers questions of potential customers
Your content was able to drive visitors to your website? That’s great! Now, it should answer the questions that they would possibly have in their minds. Position your business as a helpful resource by giving them the information that they want. This builds trust and even if they are not ready to buy from you straight away, they’ll remember your brand name when they want to make a purchase in the future.
Helps convert traffic to customers
80% of customers say that they prefer to get information about a company through their articles and not through advertisements, and 60% say that this information helps them in making buying decisions. Thus, it is very safe to say that your audience is looking for answers! So, fill your site with informative pages, along with appropriate call to actions, which will help convert your site visitors into paying customers.
Content marketing strategies to drive sales
1. Understand the sales funnel
Before you start building a content marketing strategy to drive sales, you need to understand the sales funnel. A sales or conversion funnel consists of the steps that a consumer goes through while making a purchase. This generally consists of awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase. You need to understand this process and create content that caters to all the stages of the sales funnel.
2. Targeted landing pages
Optimizing your landing pages with the right keywords will help customers learn about your business in detail. Make sure your website visitors get the same information that they came looking for.
You can refer to the website of Copyblogger for some inspiration. It has dozens of landing pages, all optimized for relevant keywords. The inspiration that you need to take from this site is “While creating landing pages, think very strategically about the targeted keywords and create content around them accordingly.”
3. Understand your audience and segment them
In order to create engaging and exceptional content that converts, you need to understand your audience. Keyword analysis is one method to use in this respect, since it helps to uncover what the ideal consumers are searching for. Begin by using Google Trends to get a deeper understanding of the current demand for your subject/topic.
Simply type your target keyword in the search box to find out the number of searchers it received in a particular period of time. Since every person is at a different stage of buying cycle, you’d also want to segment the audience according to their buyer persona. This will help you develop content that speaks to every segment personally.
4. Create SEO optimized content
If you want to spread your content across all search engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key. When you create content and make it SEO optimized, your chances of coming up in the search results automatically increase.
To begin with this process, look for keywords that are trending in your industry and use those keywords throughout your content naturally. Include your target keywords in the title and meta description too. It’s very important not to stuff keywords just for the sake of adding them, as Google penalizes such websites and throws them in the end pages of search results.
5. Follow the hedgehog content module
Hedgehogs are small mammals with rounded bodies, rigid spines, and a small, pointed snout. Now you might be wondering what these mammals have to do with your content marketing strategy.
This simply implies that you need to start from wherever you are, and scale from there. Create a content marketing strategy and stay consistent to it. Instead of worrying about getting 1000 visitors in a blog, think of how you can get the first 100. Set realistic goals, and take small and steady steps to achieve them.
6. Create more evergreen content
Evergreen content is the kind of content that never loses its value and never goes out of date. It is based on a subject that is always of relevance to readers, regardless of the latest news cycle or season. For example, ‘10 ways to lose weight without dieting’ is a topic that will never go out of date and is searched for 24*7.
On the other hand, topics like ‘Trending festive wear for 2021’ is a topic that will immediately go outdated as the year ends. Thus, evergreen content will help you gain consistent traffic without the need of producing truckloads of new content.
7. Promote User-generated content
User-generated content is any form of publicly available content produced by consumers. You can collect UGC by asking shoppers to leave reviews or through online surveys. Forums and group discussions are also a great place to find user-generated content. Furthermore, social media live sessions will offer a wealth of content from the target audience. Other strategies for collecting user-generated content include using sponsored hashtags and enabling users to post their experiences.
8. Use appropriate call to actions
When you are looking for increasing sales through content marketing, call to actions are a vital element to take care of. If you are creating any form of content that applies to your products or services, adding a CTA at the end is a must thing to do.
For example, say that you are running a makeup brand and have prepared a recent blog post about ‘5 must-have makeup products for summer’. At the end of the blog, you can ideally put a CTA saying ‘To buy these products, visit our website’, or ‘Get 10% discount on all above-listed products only on our website’.
9. Keep an eye on trending topics
It is not just enough to keep creating content. You also need to dig up what content is in trend and what are the topics that your target audience wants to read about. You need to focus on the needs and interests of the consumers to get onto the road to success. Thus, it is wise to always keep looking for trending topics, the content posted by your competitors, the content mediums used by your fellow brands, etc.
10. Create product tutorials
When you provide useful information to your customers, they appreciate it and value your brand more, which ultimately makes them purchase from you time and again. Informational content can be provided in the form of product tutorials, which can be both written or visual content. However, video tutorials attract a lot of attention and bring more traffic to your website. So try to make more video tutorials that are engaging, informative, and entertaining.
11. Share some behind-the-scenes
Sharing behind-the-scenes is one of the best ways to build a personal connection with your audience. Show them what goes on behind the curtains – they’ll love it. Try to show how your product is made, record a normal day in your office, or share bloopers while shooting. All these will make people feel like a part of your organization and will make your brand look more human.
The bottom line
Your content marketing strategy is a calculated effort that is created by blending a perfect mixture of knowledge, experience, and creativity. It is well worth your time and funding to drive traffic to your website, engage customers, generate leads, and increase sales. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating some great content!