“Content Marketing” has become one of the biggest buzzwords in the online advertising industry today, but what does it actually mean? To be honest, when I first got into this business, I had no clue. I kept hearing this phrase thrown around in so many different contexts that I could not make sense of it. I thought it might be nice to share what I have learned since that time.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as “any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, eBooks, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”
Content Marketing is providing helpful information to your potential customers, in hopes that they will view you as an expert source in your field and eventually become paying customers. Clearly, content marketing goes far beyond just sharing helpful information, but I think that is the best place to start in explaining this topic.
Building yourself up as an expert on any topic is no simple task. You may have all the knowledge in the world on a particular subject, but how you convey that to your potential buyers is what is key. The first lesson in content marketing is don’t be salesy. Blatantly promotional content is not what readers are looking for. With that said, linking the content back to a relevant page on your site would probably be a good idea. This way, if people want to know more about the source of the information, it is easily accessible.
You’ll then want to determine what voice you will want to speak to your audience with. Is it sarcastic, serious, insightful, and optimistic? Every audience is different, but I urge you to stay consistent in whatever you choose.
As mentioned in Wikipedia’s definition, there are many channels in which a business utilizes content marketing. What you must consider in deciding upon your preferred channel is what kind of content your customers want and where they want to see it. Some other questions you might ask are: Are your customer’s social media users? Are they numbers people? What do they want to know that you know?
A good place to start with content marketing is a blog. Write about interesting and relevant happenings in your industry. Create as many DIY guides as you possibly can. Telling people how to do it themselves will, more than likely, results in them realizing that they need to hire an expert. Be certain to always keep your blogs and their titles compelling. Adding other types of media like photos or videos is also highly encouraged. Finally, make sure your blog had social sharing icons readily available. A Facebook share of your blog is just as good as a word-of-mouth referral. Another very simple but effective way to reach your audience with content marketing is by using video. Full scale production is not necessary for your videos. Just use your smartphone to record yourself or an employee of your business explaining processes or giving a behind the scenes look at the business and the people that work there. Another successful way I have seen video used is in customer testimonials. If you have an extremely happy customer, client, patient, etc., ask them if they would not mind you recording a one minute testimonial about the products or services you provided them. From an SEO perspective, videos rank very well in searches, and quite frankly, people are lazy. Thus, they prefer video to text.
Here’s an example of video content:
Besides building up your clout as an knowledgeable industry source, content marketing has many other benefits. Quality content will likely drive more users to your site, and any site with decent conversion optimization will turn a portion of those visitors into leads/customers. Also, compelling content you have created may get shared by others, generating a higher authority for your site in search engines. At the very least, linking your content back to your site will give search engines a chance to see what your business is all about.
Content Marketing is the future of marketing. So now that you have a sense of what all of the fuss is about, you can hopefully start implementing your own content strategy. If this seems like one of those things you may not have time for, call us to set up an appointment we can help you set up content marketing for your business. http://www.printingct.com
We love when they first come through the door, curious and eager. We love it even more when they engage us, ask questions and show genuine interest in what we have to offer. And sure, it’s nice when they decide to buy; however, it’s even nicer when they decide to come back for more.
Effectively establishing a base of passionate, returning customers is one of the most difficult yet rewarding (in more ways than one) goals for a small business to achieve. In the face of big box stores with lower prices and seemingly unlimited marketing budgets, attracting a dedicated customer base in today’s economy is no easy task. Having a rabid base of customers and fans is one of the strongest weapons in an SMB’s arsenal and can ensure their long-term survival in a cutthroat economy.
While it’s not easy, it can be done. Sometimes creating that passion requires businesses to give something back to the customers that give so much to them.
There are steps just about any business can take to ramp up customer loyalty. Do you have a strategy in place?
You’re probably familiar with the concept of a customer reward or loyalty program; chances are you’re already part of one as a customer. Whether you’ve seen them in action or partake yourself, consider such a program for your own business. While establishing such a program may seem like more trouble than its worth, such programs are proven to have legs once they hit the ground running. Furthermore, many loyalty programs require minimal effort on the part of the business, granted they carry out a proper strategy.
The SBA suggests a number of strategies for establishing a customer loyalty program. Some of the most effective and easiest programs to manage are those in which customers opt-in. Whether you reward your customers with something like a punch-card or email deals, you need to make the specifics of your program clear and ensure that it requires as little as possible on the part of the customer. In the midst of so much spam, it’s easy for users to be extremely hesitant to opt-in to just about anything. Reward programs are meant to build trust, not take it away.
Many businesses pat themselves on the back for offering rewards and deals to their customers. Take into consideration, however, whether or not your deal really turns heads. Is 10% off a product that isn’t selling so well going to catch anyone’s eye? Consider the importance of word of mouth and determine a deal that will get people talking. Whether that includes a buy-one-get-one deal or half-off for members or followers, you should consider deals that are good enough to draw new users into your funnel. In addition to members-only discounts or deals, consider free trials or sample products as well. As always, be genuine with your approach, prices and deals; nobody likes to be tricked.
Regardless of how you decide to reward your customers, be sure to personalize your program. Let your users know that you and your company are trying to help. Put a personal touch on your deals and target them accordingly; prove that you’re more than spam. Targeted deals can be a powerful tool for repeat customers. For example, it would make sense for a pet store to give continuous discounts or rewards towards buying multiple bags of a specialty-brand of dog food. If a user is going to be relying on a product on a long-term basis, sweeten the deal for them. This will make them want to stick with you rather than stray to another store. Remember that personality goes a long way; keep this in mind when drawing out your deals.
Both creativity and personality set businesses apart from their competition. For this reason, your business needs to offer a reason for customers to come through your doors and show them that you want them to come back. Rewards can help build that loyalty, which will in turn create repeat business.
To get the most out of your customers, you have to show them that you really care. Build loyalty by giving back to the customers that give so much to you and your small business. What are you doing to reward your customers?
250 West Main St, Branford, CT • 203-483-4598
SEO is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of structuring a web page so that it is found, read, and indexed by search engines in the most effective manner possible.
This makes your web site and its content attractive, relevant and visible to search engines and web searchers.
Why is this important? Consider what it would be like if no one could easily find your place of business, or even your telephone number. Most businesses could not continue for long in such a situation.
The same thing can happen with your web site if people cannot easily locate it. Traffic volume, if it existed at all, slows to a crawl. Potentially valuable customers never even know you are there.
“Wait!” you say. “I had a web site created, and the address is included in all of our advertising. Why wouldn’t people be able to find it?”
Certainly, existing customers or those who are already familiar with your company should be able to find your site without any great difficulty, but this may not be the case.
Can you be sure that every potential customer has been reached by your advertising? What about the people who don’t read the magazines or newspapers where you chose to place advertisements?
Did they hear the right radio station? Did they watch the right television show? Did they get one of the thousands of brochures you mailed?
So, what about the search engines? Those people could just enter a few words into a text box, click a button, and voila! There is a link to your web site. Aren’t search engines wonderful?
Yes, search engines can be wonderful, and the scenario above can happen, but not without some work. This is where SEO comes in.
A case in point
Let us consider first a web site that I know of which is extremely difficult to find. This particular site is for a fine restaurant in the community where I live.
I didn’t know the address of their site, so I went to Google.com, entered the name of the restaurant into the text box, and clicked the search button.
Many links were listed, but none seemed to have anything to do with the restaurant. To the search terms I added the name of the city where the restaurant is located.
Here were links that did pertain to the restaurant, but they all seemed to be links to news articles and reviews, not to the site of the restaurant itself. What was wrong? Did they actually not have a site?
Luckily, one of the news articles did mention the web site address. It is a very beautiful site, pleasing to the eye and ear. It was created as a Macromedia Flash presentation which is embedded into a single web page.
Why did I have so much trouble finding it? I think it might have something to do with the fact that the creators of the site don’t seem to understand SEO.
How does a web site get into search engines’ listings? The major search engines use computer programs (commonly called robots or crawlers) to follow links from one page to another and retrieve the contents of each page.
The contents of each page are indexed and added to the search engines’ databases.
As a full-service digital marketing agency, we believe in the benefits of a holistic approach, incorporating a variety of strategies from organic website optimization and strategic link earning to paid search, social media, Web development, and more. Beyond website marketing, we also provide rankings and traffic reporting, as well as conversion tracking, ensuring that all results are measurable and verifiable.
Give us a call for a free web site ranking report; you will be glad you did.
Mosaic Printing, Signage and Marketing Services,
250 West Main St, Branford, CT
So, what is SEO anyway?
Simply put, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of making a website more helpful, relevant, and trustworthy in the eyes of the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, ASK, Blekko are a few leading search engines) in order to achieve maximum visibility in search. The purpose, of course, is getting more people to your website and in front of your message.
So how’s Search Engine Optimization done?
At the end of the day, the main job of a search engine is to provide users with the web pages considered most relevant to their search. That’s why regardless of your vertical or the immensity of your target audience, the main principle of search engine optimization will always stay the same: make your website relevant. SEO is imperative to ensure each page of your website is super-focused and topically relevant to the information you’re offering. A bonus here is that properly optimizing your website means that users as well as search engines will be more likely to regard it as valuable, increasing your visibility in search as well as your customer base! After all, if your clients can’t find you online, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a significant chunk of business.
We’re not just another SEO Company
As a full-service digital marketing agency, we believe in the benefits of a holistic approach, incorporating a variety of strategies from organic website optimization and strategic link earning to paid search, social media, Web development, and more. Beyond website marketing, we also provide rankings and traffic reporting, as well as conversion tracking, ensuring that all results are measurable and verifiable. Customer Magnetism doesn’t believe in the elusive “silver bullet” when it comes to Internet marketing because we know there’s so much more to a truly well-rounded search engine positioning strategy. We approach each campaign as completely unique, customizing our strategy to match the goals of each individual client. Simply put, we treat your business as if it’s our own.
Before you begin your new website or make modification to your current website give us a call you will be glad you did.
Mosaic Printing, Signage and Marketing Services,
250 West Main St, Branford, CT