Content marketing is an essential part of the online marketing strategy for businesses of all industries and sizes. Regardless of what type of business you have, prospects expect you to provide interesting and informative content, and to provide it on a regular basis. If you don’t, they’ll quickly click away from your website or blog to search for someone else who does.
Business content includes everything from blog posts to whitepapers to emails to social media posts. For the broadest appeal, it has to touch on all phases of the buying cycle. Content marketing involves much more than haphazardly stringing words together so that you have something to post each day. Building a strong business around content requires certain key elements to be effective.
Helpful Solutions to Problems
If your approach to online content is constantly about trying to make sales, your prospects will quickly begin back-pedaling. A large portion of the content you provide should consist of genuinely helpful information. Consistent, quality content can help you to establish a voice of authority and expertise and it can help you begin to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with your prospects.
When you plan your business content, it’s important to know your target audience, their challenges and what problems they’re trying to solve. Knowing what keeps your prospects up at night is the first step to planning content that is helpful and useful. Effective content marketing requires staying focused on being helpful rather than on making sales.
One of the most important elements of business content is strategic planning. You can’t just throw some content together when you’re in the mood. You have to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with each piece of content and plan ahead to deliver clear information about the benefits of doing business with you.
When you know your target audience and what information they’re trying to find, you can put together a plan that includes features, benefits, your unique selling proposition, and social proof. Use a variety of content strategies such as infographics, videos, Q&As, and webinars. Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t, and tweak as needed.
With each piece of new content, consider how you can leverage it across multiple channels. Internal links can direct your prospects from one piece of content to another so that you keep them engaged and interested. As long as the information they’re looking for can be found somewhere on your site or in your social media marketing, you encourage them to remain loyal to your company and reduce the likelihood that they’ll look elsewhere instead.
Consistent Brand Voice
Providing content using a consistent brand voice can be an effective way to stand out among competitors. Depending on the nature of your business, your content should have a consistent tone, which could be friendly, humorous, educated, serious or inspirational.
The important thing to remember is that your business shouldn’t sound exactly like every other business. How do you want your company to be perceived? Your content tells the story of your brand and what you stand for. Be consistent in your pattern of expression. Think about how you can consistently communicate your brand in different aspects of your content, such as design, perspective or word choice.
Brilliant content won’t do your business any good if it’s lost in cyberspace and never found by prospects. SEO best practices are a way to help prospects find your business based on the strategic placement of keywords and keyword phrases that best describe your business. These are the terms prospects will use to find your company.
While your primary goal is to write for customers, not search engines, you still have to consider the best way for your company to stand out online among your competitors. SEO optimization is one of the key elements needed to make this happen.
Engaging and Entertaining Writing
While the ins and outs of your business may be extremely fascinating to you, if you don’t write in an engaging style, few people are going to stick around to read it. Dry facts aren’t interesting. You have to find a way to make your writing sparkling and engaging, and clearly communicate how you can benefit the reader. One approach that can help your business content be more interesting is to use the human connection through storytelling.
Prospects who don’t find your writing interesting won’t keep reading. Attention is something that has to be earned, not something that is going to happen automatically. Provide good information in a form that’s easy to read, which means using tactics such as short paragraphs and bullet points. Communicate with your clients what’s in it for them.
Clear Call to Action
Every piece of content should be prepared with a goal in mind. What is it that you’re trying to get the prospect to do? You may want them to sign up for your newsletter or download a whitepaper. You may want them to fill out a contact form to request more information or respond to a survey to help you have a clearer picture of the needs of your target audience.
The action you want your prospect to take should be crystal clear on every piece of content. That doesn’t mean you need to use a hard-sell approach all the time. It just means you need to consider what your goal is with each piece of content and make sure your prospect knows exactly what you want him to do next.
Planning Business Content That Works
In today’s market, people face a deluge of new information at a constantly increasing pace. Attention spans are getting shorter, making it imperative for businesses to plan business content that includes eye-catching images, videos, and headlines.
If you need expert guidance in planning and implementing your content strategy, get in touch with Softline Solutions today. We have the expertise to help you use these key elements of business content so that you can realize your online potential.