Top Tips to Create Content That Works For Your Business
Content marketing is a big business buzz word but it needn’t be complicated and is a great way to show off your expertise and share your skills with your potential customers, as well as to drive sales without paying out a fortune in advertising.
If you are just starting out and have never done any writing or marketing before, it came seem a bit daunting but it really doesn’t need to be – here is a quick guide to getting started with creating content and copy to support your business:
Step one – Don’t get straight into writing – understand your audience first
The key mistake many people make is to start writing immediately. They know what their business is about and so they write about it. This is not the right approach if you want to be successful – think about who you are writing for.
You need to know who your audience is, and you need to know what the problem is that they really want to solve in their lives. Your content needs to show them how your business can solve that problem for them and make their lives better.
For example, I work with a client who is a printer. He prints leaflets, posters, banners and all kinds of promotional materials for various companies. He had set up a blog to attract new customers, but no-one was reading it.
I had a look at his blog posts, which included topics like “we have moved to a new office” and “we have bought a new printing machine”. Now, while these were interesting to the staff, they weren’t really of any relevance to his audience.
I did some research about what people look for in printing nowadays, and why they’d even use a printer in such a digital age, and came up with a whole series of blogs on how his printing services could help clients with marketing issues and campaigns, so he now has blogs like this:
· Looking to refresh your brand? Find out how print can help
· Big event coming up – print can boost your promotional campaign
· Top ten ways print can enhance your brand
· Fed up with boring leaflets – innovative ways to use print for your business
Step Two – Create a content strategy
So, now you know who your audience is, what their problem is, and how your business can help them. How do you get them to read your content and ultimately buy from you?
The trick is to create a series of relevant content which will drive them through a marketing funnel to end up buying your product or services.
For those of you who have never done any marketing before, a funnel is just a pathway to get someone from being a complete stranger who has never heard of you, to becoming a regular customer.
There are three stages to a marketing funnel which are:
· Awareness – person becoming aware of your business as a possible solution to their problem
· Evaluation – person assesses your business to see if it might fit with their needs
· Conversion – person actually becomes a customer and purchases from you
The key to copywriting and creating relevant content is to make sure that you have content for each stage of the funnel. If you think about it logically, someone who has never heard of you, will want different information to someone who is thinking about buying your product.
Here is a quick summary of the type of content for each of the three stages:
Blogs, social media posts, infographics, podcasts and videos – the idea is to tell them about your product and how it meets their needs
Free worksheets, case studies, free ebooks, free downloads, coupons, webinars – the idea is to give them a way to try your product to see if they want to buy
Demo/free trial, customer stories, testimonials, competitor comparisons, spec sheets, webinars and events – the idea is to get them to buy
Your content strategy needs to include elements from all three stages. It doesn’t need to be complicated – for example a customer path would be: someone reads your blog and then clicks on a link at the end of the blog which allows them to download a free ebook.
When they download it, you get their email address. You would then email them the chance to buy a demo, which they take up and then purchase your product.
So your content strategy would be to create blogs, a free ebook, write a sales email and set up a demo of your product. This is a very simple version but hopefully it helps you to see how creating useful and valuable content, rather than just advertising, you can bring customers in to buy your product.
Step 3 – Creating the content
The most common way people are likely to find you in this day and age is through search engines and they won’t be typing in the name of your business. They need to find your content when they type in whatever their problem might be. This is what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is in a nutshell – making sure your content pops up when your customer types in a question.
So if you are selling yoga classes, rather than just writing an article about what a great yoga teacher you are and how much your classes are, you might want to write blogs like:
· What are the health benefits of yoga?
· Can I do yoga if I’m over 50?
· Is there yoga for pregnant women?
You need to create content that is of value to your potential customers. Once they have found you, then you can move further into sales mode, but they need to find you to start with. You need to create valuable content, which is useful to your customers, answers their questions and brings them to your business. That’s the very heart of content marketing. It sets you up as an expert in your field, rather than being too salesy.
So, in summary, know your audience, understand their needs and how you meet them, create a content strategy, and provide content that is of value to your customers.
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Written by Claudine Weeks, Owner - IGW Digital