Content marketing is everywhere. From blog posts to ebooks to infographics, if your business generates content for the digital web, chances are you’re engaging in content marketing. In fact, a whopping 81 percent of B2C and 80 percent of B2B say they have some sort of content marketing strategy in place.
However, just because content marketing is happening doesn’t mean it’s happening effectively. It’s one thing to write an ebook; it’s another thing to position that ebook to bring in customers.
Here are 5 ways that you can use content to convert eyeballs to dollars, and get more customers:
1. Educate, then sell
“Hey! Want a new whatsahoosit? Of course you do! Act now and you’ll get 50% off!”
If you’re not chomping at the bit to get out there and buy a whatsahoosit, you’re not alone. An aggressive, cold sales pitch will fail, almost every time – no matter how much quality content surrounds it.
The best content marketing strategies look at the entire scope of a customer’s journey, and craft content for each stage. Near the beginning of the funnel, when customers are just figuring out that they have a need for your product, your content should be positioned to educate them. But not about your product – about their pain points.
Then, as customers move closer towards making a decision, you can show them content that sells your product specifically, in order to nudge them closer to making a purchase.
2. Give design room to shine
It’s tempting to focus all of your content marketing resources on writing great content, but don’t forget about how that content looks. Even if a consumer has taken the time to fill out their email in exchange for your whitepaper, if it is a jumbled mess, they won’t bother to read it.
3. Craft strong calls to action
Along with every piece of content you create, you should know what action you would like your audience to take. Do you want them to share your meme with their network, for brand exposure? Give you their email address? Schedule a demo?
On your website especially, you should ensure that all of your actionable content has its call-to-action clearly spelled out using compelling offers, language and visuals. Clickable buttons work well, but so does in-line text. The format of your CTA will vary based on the content, but it should be so crystal clear that even the fastest of skimmers won’t miss it.
4. Use (and stick to) a schedule
When publishing content, many businesses become overeager in the beginning and peter out as time goes by. That’s why a content editorial calendar is a good idea – it keeps your entire team on track to consistently create great content.
Your schedule can be anything from a section of your project management software to an Excel document, but it should, at minimum, outline what type of content is being produced, when it is due, when it will be published, who is responsible for its publication, and how it will be distributed or supported after it is published.
5. Spice things up with variety
If your content schedule has a lot of “blog post” and nothing else, you’re missing out on opportunities to attract and convert new and different audiences.
There are dozens of types of content you can create: infographics, memes, blog posts, podcasts, white papers, case studies, sell sheets, videos, press releases, splash pages… and each of these pieces of content is unique in what audience will engage with it, how it is distributed and more.