A word processor can work miracles for businesses. If you’re struggling to win new clients, do yourself a favour and start studying the big boys and their toys.
I’d wager that in every sector, there’s one big player using content marketing in a major way.
Your starting post to get content marketing to work for you is to study the bigger companies in your vertical, copy what they’re doing and do it better – bit by bit.
You might find that they’re generating leads using a service called Lead Pages, which is effective because it’s a tightly focused landing page with only one option. For readers to give you their email address.
You might also uncover the fact that they have white papers; even a selection of them available.
There’s also case studies being used instead of customer testimonials. There are podcasts available on iTunes. Infographics, tweetables, images with share buttons as you hover them and a whole lot of headline tweaking going on to capture the attention of anyone they can.
You can’t start content marketing without a solid plan.
Start with lead generation because that’s the simplest.
You publish a blog post, and with it you can create a PDF, or even a checklist to accompany it as a content upgrade, which your readers get when they sign up to your email list.
With enough blog posts, you can batch them together to create a PDF. It’ll take a little tweaking to make the content flow, or you can just send it out as is, just as Greg Walters did in the managed print service space with his book “death of the copier” which is exactly the title of his blog. Talk about branding with content marketing.
Images are the simplest, although you are best to stick to the colours your graphic designer used when they helped you put your brand colours together. Or if you did it yourself, stick to the same theme.
Pat Flynn did a great job with his in his early days of SmartPassiveIncome.com and continues to revive it every once in a while.
Don’t believe the hype that a brand is for life.
It’s not. In fact, post-recession, many businesses have had to completely rebrand their business to survive in tough economic times.
Your brand is only a tool to attract the right customers to you. You know… like an audience who has the money to spend on your product or services.
What might be the private sector this year, could drop next year and you find yourself competing for public sector contracts and not the right brand position to strengthen your bids.
Brands change with the times. The slogan might have to change too.
Especially if you’ve started yourself, without an advisor or a competent copywriter to get you rolling.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing. If not in your direct vertical, look to closely related sectors.
For print, it could be MPS, for dog walkers it could be grooming services, for artists, it might be partnerships with local cafes.
Find what’s working for others getting their content out, leading to products being shipped. Get on other email lists and see what’s going on behind the scenes. Immerse yourself into studying every step of your competitors’ content marketing program, break it down into single tasks, and then do each one better.
- Better blog posts
- Better case studies
- Better white papers
- Better email marketing messages
- Better engagement metrics
It all comes together to boost your conversion rates because you’ll eventually have a solid content marketing program operating to win your business more customers, with which you can then work on conversion boosting tactics rather than audience attraction.
Marketing with content isn’t new. It’s had its time to be tested with solid strategies now in place generating results. Find out what’s happening in your vertical, reverse engineer the process, and then do each step better.
Image courtesy of leadgenerationsystems.com.au