7.12.18

How to Create a High-Converting Content Marketing Program to Sell Your Products (Without Annoying People)

BY MARIE ROTTER

It seems nearly everyone is talking about the importance of content marketing these days. We talk to marketing leaders every day that are looking to create a unified brand strategy, along with a robust content marketing program, and the scale.

It’s the “scale” part that trips them up.

Most of our clients are running a marketing department and they’re looking for a “do-it-all” content strategy that can help them:

  • Create a holistic brand and messaging strategy
  • Grow their social following
  • Drive referrals
  • Build out an influencer program
  • Post regularly on social media like their blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Sound familiar?

I get it. You want to tap as many marketing and advertising platforms as possible, but your strategy likely lacks cohesion and effectiveness, which is precisely how you scale.

You start out with good intentions, but quickly run out of ideas of what to create, which means you’re randomly throwing up links to press releases or job openings. Occasionally, you’ll take a picture of a team meeting at the office and post it to Facebook and LinkedIn.

There never seems to be enough time to focus on content, and when pushed between creating a better content strategy, or focusing on actual branding or lead generation initiatives, you’ll always take the latter.

There’s a reason why people keep talking about content marketing, and it’s not because we love to talk about new things. When done effectively, it can be a powerful tool to improve your search rankings, increase referrals, and position your management team as thought leaders in your industry.

Content can be a powerful differentiator for your business, but it can also be overwhelming to determine how to execute it. There are only so many hours in a day, after all. That’s why we’ve created this list of secrets to creating differentiated content that can be executed no matter what the resource constraints are. It can also help you scale your business. Here’s how:

Secret #1: Understand What Your Core Content Needs to Be

Your core content is any “evergreen” content that lives on your website. For example, let’s say your company creates sales analytics software. You would have a products overview page, an about page, and a contact page. Your website, at its most basic level, is a brochure for your business and helps people understand how they can do business with you. The goals for your website are to attract new sales executives to buy your products and services and convince current customers to buy additional services.

Secret #2: Understand Who Your Influencers Are

Next, we have a blog called “Dan’s Sales Tip of the Day.” It’s a blog about everything from how to effectively cold-call prospects to measuring ROI of sales programs.

Dan offers tips for sales managers, as well as rookie sales reps. There’s also a bunch of information on his site about technology tools you can use to make yourself more efficient at selling.

Dan’s content is really designed to help anyone working on a sales team. He’s got a ton of great information. People that work in sales say to each other, “Hey, you should check out ‘Dan’s Sales Tip of the Day.’ It’s got quick tips to be a better salesperson and close faster.”

Putting informational content on Dan’s site helps you get your message in front of more potential customers and directs them back to your website, where they can get all the information they need about doing business with you.

That is the goal of all content marketing programs. Your website should be a hub for prospects, with the information you’re providing to influencers spreading beyond just the direct value of your business.

This valuable information earns you referrals, word of mouth mentions, traffic from search engines, social media sites, and from all the ways links can be shared online to drive inbound traffic to your site.

Secret #3: Focus on a Real Problem and Go Deep

You will never annoy potential prospects by talking about real issues that they struggle with every day. Start your content – whether it’s a video, blog post, infographic or contributed article for a trade magazine – by describing a common problem in detail. It’s human nature to want to feel like someone is listening to you and understands you. They will be dying to sign up for your offer if they know you can solve their problem.

The key to maintaining their attention is to provide valuable insights by going deep into what exactly their problem is, and also how to solve it. Keep in mind, your product or service may not be the only solution to their problem, but it can be part of the solution. It’s important to clarify the difference and help them understand how your recommended approach helps them solve the problem faster, cheaper, or better.

Secret #4: Be Super Organized And Consistent.

The only way to make sure your content marketing works well is to plan it. You don’t have to send an email to all of your prospects every week, but if you start to, and then disappear, you’re going to be inconsistent and no one likes a flake.

Only by mapping out a content delivery strategy by channel (email, facebook, etc.) can you remain consistent and stay on task. This also prevents you from overcommitting resources and realizing too late that you can’t keep up with the content plan you idealized.

Each content piece created can be retooled into another piece of content with the same message. Remember that not everyone likes to read blog posts. Some people love podcasts, while others prefer videos. What that means for you is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every piece of content you create. You need to make sure that your single problem-focused message is being duplicated across a variety of content pieces, including “epic” content, like eBooks or webinars.

When someone comes to your website, they get a real sense of who you are and what you do. When they come across content on the internet, they should also get a great feel for how you can help them.

The smart way to build content marketing that drives business and can scale, is to focus your content in a place that you’ve uniquely qualified to create or where you believe you can build outstanding value.

Marie Rotter
written by MARIE ROTTER
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