Successful content marketing compels the viewer to take action — to make the call, send the email, buy the product or service.
If your content is more sell than tell, it’s a pitch, and it’s probably not working. In fact, it might be more repelling content than compelling content.
Compelling Content Tips:
1. Know your audience.
Before you create content, you’ll want to know who will be viewing the content and where. Create a client profile that describes the industry they are in, what product or service they provide, how they get their content, what wants and needs they have, what questions they ask, how your offer would benefit them and most importantly, are they potential buyers of your product or service?
2. Don’t sell.
If readers smell a pitch, they’ll flee. Remember that “it’s not about you, it’s about them.” Customers don’t really care what you do or how you do it, only what you can do for them. If you’re writing blog posts, sending an email newsletter or posting on social media, the reason is obvious, you’re hoping for business. No need to be more obvious than that. Remember to include testimonials in your content…let others sing your praises.
3. Don’t be boring.
You may think that others might find your industry uninteresting and that no one wants to hear about it. If you’re in business, there are people who buy from you and need what you have to provide. How you write about what you do, construct your story, describe the problems you’ve solved or list helpful hints for potential customers can make you seem like Superman…in the eyes of your clients.
4. Provide helpful, relevant content that is of interest to your audience.
Think about the articles you read; the blogs you follow or the videos you watch. Besides being entertaining, they address issues you find important; they teach you things about your business or about life that you need to know. Take that approach with your own content. Answer the questions you’re most often asked, talk about the problems you most often solve; when you help your audience, they’ll appreciate it and they’ll respond by sharing your content and giving you business.
5. Write an attention-getting headline.
If the headline doesn’t grab them, you’re done. We all get too many pieces of information every day to bother wading through content that doesn’t engage us right off the bat. Same goes for email subject lines, web pages, a PowerPoint presentation, an article, press release or brochure. Get creative here or you’ve wasted your time.
6. Grab them with visuals.
There’s a big reason that platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and even LinkedIn are so popular…people like to look at images. A great photo, conceptual illustration or video conveys a message far more rapidly and effectively than words.
7. Make sure your content is well-written.
Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence composition can’t be stressed enough. One typo may be enough to send your reader hitting delete.
8. Structure your content to make it easy-to-read and skimmable.
Every piece of content should have a beginning, middle and end. At the beginning, make a promise to your reader; tell them what you’ll deliver. Support your promise — or premise– with copy that explains, substantiates or supports your main point. Then conclude by restating, in a different way, the point you set out to make at the beginning.
To make the content easy-to-read and skimmable, break up copy with subheads, use short sentences and paragraphs; bold words, bullet points, numbered lists and italicized phrases help move the viewer through your piece.
9. Keep it simple — address one issue.
Many people embark on creating content as if it were their masterpiece. This presents two problems: 1) you’ll never be happy with the outcome and 2) it will take so long, you may never finish. Pick one point you’d like to make, one story you’d like to tell, one topic on which to focus. Your reader will thank you.
10. Evoke a response.
You actually want to solicit two responses from your content: the first is that your reader finds the content engaging; it’s educational, entertaining, inspirational, surprising or provoking…some emotion that keeps them captivated. Secondly, you want them to take action…with a call, an email, a meeting…that results in business.
11. Be find-able.
Attract new viewers who find you on the internet through search engine optimization (SEO). Use your businesses’ defined keywords and keyword phrases in your headline and several times throughout your content. Include links back to other content on your website and to other articles and posts you’ve created as well as to other sources you’ve referenced.
12. Include a call to action.
Tell your viewer what you want them to do once they’ve experienced your content…call or email you, post a comment or share on another social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+. Incentivizing viewers — with a downloadable article, contest entry or free offer is a good way to add names to your mailing list.
Compelling content engages viewers and spurs them to react and respond. Incorporating these 12 tips will give your viewers a dozen reasons to give you the business.
Today it’s all about your web presence not just your “Website”. The days of SEO schemes, Black Hat or even Gray Hat tricks designed to exploit a “Loop Hole” in a search engine’s algorithm by force feeding it links and or by stuffing keywords down its throat are gone. People that have gained traction and a high-rank for web pages by using these methods have found themselves reeling, scratching their heads wondering why their clients websites have suddenly become temporarily worthless and no longer productive.
I’ve previous spoke about the Penguin algorithm update that caused many a Webmaster to lose their contacts.
Personally I like what’s happening because it makes the Internet a more credible place.
Search engines are getting much smarter. They’re a more reliable source to precisely find just about anything you need and want to know. In order to achieve a reliable search result, the search program, which is an algorithm designed to weed out poorly developed websites, must continue to learn and adapt with regular updates.
The most recent Google update code named Hummingbird, will reward your hard work even more than Panda did. Websites will prosper if they are informative, authoritative, always up to date and have a good following of website backlinks..
When I’m finished writing this article, much more will happen than just pressing the Publish button. I will be uploaded to Feeds for syndicated, spun then added to many article directories and bookmarked to social media Websites such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and Google Plus. Thousands more people will have access t0 this article and it will have contextual links pointing to specific pages on this website increasing the number of quality backlinks.
Less than a year ago and before Panda, getting your clients on page 1 mostly required lots and lots of Backlinks . It didn’t matter what type of website the links were coming from or how quickly you got them and Getting them was even easier via link farms by purchasing hundreds at a time. Quality and relevancy was not a factor.
With this recent Humming update, Backlinks are useless if they’re not from a high-quality, relevant website and its backlink quality has an impact on your site’s rank as well.
Let’s sum up what a search engine’s Spider is looking for when it visits your website. It reads the URL (www.site.com), the Title Tag, the other Meta Tags, the Content and the Headings, Keywords, Visitor Trends, Internal link structure and so on, this is called the On-Page-SEO component. This information is sent to another program called the Index. The Index contains the search algorithm we just spoke about. It will makes the decision for where a web page will rank based on a keyword search. The Index also considers the results of another algorithm called PageRank, it was designed by Larry Page one of Google’s founders and is a complex calculation of a web page’s Backlinks.
Many factors are considered for a search result. You can have a high PageRank and still have a poorly performing website.
Like anything else you get back what you put into it.
Common growth strategies employed by today’s small-businesses include:
But what about the other strategy: customer reactivation?
Remind, Renew, Restart
The goal of reactivation is simple–to remind dormant or inactive customers of why they once preferred you (value, price, service, selection); then persuade them, through targeted messaging and offers to rejoin the fold and buy from you again.
A proven way to restart the dialogue is through integrated marketing–reaching out through online and offline channels like these with a clear, consistent and unified appeal.
Customers come and go, no matter what business you’re in. But if your timing is right and your message rings true, many will welcome you back, with open arms and open wallets.
The secret is making sure you ask.
In business, good branding creates trust and can make it easier to sell a product to customers. While the brands we choose as customers can be reflections of our beliefs and values, the right kind of branding can steer us toward products or services that we may otherwise not have been looking for.
So, it makes sense that companies that have great branding can generate more sales. You can improve your own startup’s branding by following these five tips:
1. Be consistent.
Regardless of what your startup is about, it needs to be consistent for people to recognize it as a brand rather than a product. Especially in the earlier stages of a brand, people’s trust is only established once they are confident that they understand what your brand does well and what it stands for.
Not sure what I mean about consistency? Think about Starbucks. When we go there, we’ve come to expect great service and personalization. When you think of film director Michael Bay, you’d probably think of big-budget movies with lots of explosions and special effects.
This is consistency. This is about branding.
We have these expectations of brands or people who are brands because they have delivered consistently in the past and indirectly promise to continue doing so.
2. Be authentic.
No one likes to be misled. Remember that products become brands when people start to trust what will occur when they interact with your brand. While a small lie may seem necessary, it can have major consequences for a brand if ever exposed.
Being yourself should help your message resonate with people. Radio host Howard Stern is an example of authenticity. Lots of people don’t agree with what he says or his sense of humor, but he sticks to his guns and produces his show the way he wants to. Because of that, he has droves of loyal listeners.
3. Focus on a niche.
It can be smarter to focus on winning over smaller demographics one at a time rather than trying to appeal to everyone all the time. Focus on building products for different niche groups in order to unite all those groups into one single brand.
Car manufacturers do this by designing cars that appeal to different segments of their clients. While certain elements like reliability, performance or design features remain brand-centric; their approach is niche in exposing new clients to their brands.
4. Be relatable.
People often connect with brands and other people who evoke an emotional response from them. Controversial movies are talked about a lot because they evoke our emotions. Brands are no different. Make sure you are relating to people’s emotional values such as sharing in their problems or showing empathy.
Think of brands like Nike, which relates to its customers’ understanding that winning is difficult through its slogan “Just Do It.”
5. Be extraordinary.
Products don’t become brands for nothing, just like people don’t become known for being simply ordinary.
While ordinary is safe, recognition and high praise are given to those who step out of the traditional in favor of the unconventional. While trying to be extraordinary, make sure you don’t stray too far to the left and lose sight of being authentic.
An example of this is Apple, which entered the computer space with a product that was designed with the user experience in mind and, at least initially, was less susceptible to viruses than the PC. By doing something extraordinary, rather than doing something slightly better, you attracts the attention of many. But you will have to keep it up or people will catch on fast and move on just as quickly.