One of the challenges of running a business online is that when people connect with you online, they are strangers.
Before they can even think about doing business with us, they need to know that we understand their problem, they can trust us, and if the solutions we offer will solve their problem.
That’s why content marketing is such a valuable technique for growing your business. It helps you boost website traffic, grow your mailing list, and increase sales.
But what exactly is it and how do you do it? Here are some simple steps to get started:
1. What is Your Intention?
Before you design any marketing campaign, the first step is to figure out what you want the prospect to do as a result of reading the content marketing piece.
Are you trying to get people to sign up for your event? Wanting them to schedule a free consult? Trying to get people to enroll in your coaching program?
Once you have your intention, you can design your content marketing piece to attract and deliver extreme value to your ideal client.
2. Find Out Your Customers’ Biggest Problems.
Sometimes we are too close to our business to accurately understand what it’s like to be in our customer’s shoes. That’s when you should directly ask prospects and customers what they need most.
Ask them to complete a survey about what worries them the most about their business. Call 3 of your best customers and ask them what issues are keeping them from having the success they’d like.
Read the posts of people in social media groups sharing their problems.
3. Choose a Format.
There are so many formats to choose from – you can write an eBook, shoot a video, do a free webinar, design a free online assessment, or host a Google hangout.
Choose a format that you are comfortable with – that way it’s easy to jump in and regularly offer new content marketing pieces.
4. Write an Action Plan.
Make a list of everything you need to do to complete the project. This includes creating a title, writing the piece, editing it, and creating a landing page with an opt-in form.
Hint: if you want to do it stress-free, hire some help to tackle the tech, make it pretty, and get it done fast!
Put your content marketing piece on your website. Write a post on your blog. Create a social media graphic and share it on social media. Place a Facebook ad to drive traffic to your freebie. Share it in social media groups online. Do guest blog articles and mention your freebie in your byline.
Sign up for podcast interviews and mention your freebie as a free gift to listeners. Offer your freebie as part of a free gift bundle and share with your list and others. Print a copy of your freebie and show it at your networking group, telling people how to sign up and get a copy.
There are so many ways to share your content with others. Just remember, you have to market the free stuff as much as the paid stuff.
6. Lather, rinse, repeat.
People love new things – always be offering something new to your followers. Make an editorial calendar of blueprints, checklists, white papers, special reports, and videos you would like to offer them. Coordinate your freebies with your sales promotional calendar. Always share value, and you’ll have a tribe of happy campers always waiting to see what incredible resources and offers you have to share.
Content marketing is a highly effective way to grow your business.
You just sit back and watch your sales grow.
Here’s to big success in your content marketing efforts!
Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.