In a previous blog article we talked about the 100+ year history of content marketing and how printing companies were involved from the very start. While the outward trappings of content marketing may come and go, its underlying value as a powerful marketing strategy will never go away.
According to a recent article on emarketer.com the “number of US companies with formal content marketing strategies in place jumped from 28% in 2012 to 49% in 2013.” The article also mentions that the number one goal of content marketers is to increase leads for new customer acquisition. Other reasons are given, such as: customer or prospect engagement, awareness, customer loyalty and increasing sales.
The recent surge in popularity indicates two things:
- That small business owners are discovering the effectiveness of content marketing, whatever their primary goal.
- That it’s relatively inexpensive to implement in our digital age.
If you've decided to take your business to the next level, here are some tips on creating content that will attract more of the right leads to your business.
1) Get in the habit of reaching out on a regular basis. It helps to think of content marketing as publishing. Readers expect their favorite publications on a regular basis. Your readers will come to expect and anticipate your valuable content, but only if you do it regularly. Print newsletters, email newsletters and blogs are perfect vehicles for content of all kinds.
2) Remember who you're talking to. It should be your ideal client. Think about their needs, not yours. What are their challenges? Problems? Desires? What brought them to you in the first place? Write about these things.
3) Re-purpose material you already have. If you've been in business awhile, it's likely you have a good amount of content ready to be used and re-purposed. Look at your website and at all marketing and sales materials. I suspect you can easily come up with:
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Blog Posts
- How To or Instruction Guides
Take a list of FAQ’s and make a short ebook. Do the same with anything else on the list. Take a video and turn it into an article. Take an article and turn it into a video. Compile a list of your top ten blog posts each year and make an ebook. You get the idea. Most importantly, you don’t have to start from scratch when creating content.
4) Share tips on how to be successful. If your ideal customer is a print buyer, teach them how to be a better print buyer. If they are retail small business owners, share tips on retail sales or retail store management. If they are contractors, share tips or resources on running a better contracting business.
5) Follow news stories, blogs and newsletters for your ideal customer’s industry, not just the printing industry or whatever industry you happen to be in. Use Google alerts to advise you of items of interest and points of pain for your customers and potential customers. Then talk about it.
6) Interview a client with a success story. Or interview someone important to your clients.
7) Talk about general interest topics. After all, no one likes to think about work all the time. If your content is loaded with nothing but industry-related items, as helpful as they might be, it can be a turn-off. If your content is interesting, fun and enjoyable, it will get opened and read, even if they read the serious stuff later.
General interest items that are always popular with our readership include personal development topics, short inspirational stories, relevant health and fitness advice, jokes and cartoons. People love to laugh. Plus it makes them feel good about getting your content.It's easy to come up with content that your clients will value. As you can see, there is plenty of raw material right at your fingertips. All you have to do is get busy! Create one piece of content a week and you're well on your way to building a valuable library that will attract the clients you want.