Category Archives: Content Marketing

Most common content marketing mistakes

Most common content marketing mistakes Content marketing, on the face of it, is easy to do. You produce great content demonstrating you are an expert, and people buy from you. Right? Well, it should be that easy, but it is more complicated than that. There are some critical steps you need to follow to ensure your strategy produces results and a return on investment.

However, a lot of people do it wrong because they execute poorly, or don’t take all the necessary actions. Here’s some of the top mistakes people make with content marketing

1. MY PRODUCT IS THE BEST! Writing articles that boast and brag promotes instead of educates. It also annoys. If you are creating that kind of content, you are missing the mark here. Teach “how to”. Demystify. Provide insight. Provide overviews. Don’t write about how your Widget ™ is better than all the other generic widgets. Instead write about why the market for widgets is hot and what people are using them for and what widgets do to improve a person’s life. After reading this people will understand the value of widgets and they know you make Widget(tm), because they are on your site or you tell them at the end of the piece (that’s ok) so they might buy yours. Or think of your Widget(tm) when they want to buy a widget. Produce great content that you would be proud to see reprinted in the New York Times.

2. DON’T BE A BRAND FIREHOSE Share your content on your Facebook page, on Twitter, on  Google+, on Pinterest, and on Instagram. Instagram? )Yes, it’s now the 2nd largest social media platform behind Facebook and ahead of Twitter.) Then engage people who consume it or share it on. Ask them questions. Remember it’s SOCIAL media. And share other people’s great content in your area of expertise. Don’t be a one way brand name firehose where your content is all about you. You are building a reputation for expertise about your business focus. Be a sprinkler. Share expertise from other places too. You will become a resource as opposed to a product shill.

Don't be a brand firehose with your content marketing
Don’t be a brand firehose with your content marketing

 

3. YOU WRITE IT, BUT THEY DON’T COME: Search engines are your most valuable source for free traffic from people that you can turn into customers. However, you have to format your content to ensure it is being found for the right keywords that people are searching for. This means you’ll need to gain a command of Search Engine Optimization (LINK: What is SEO?). That includes three things: 1) Research keywords that get searched. 2) Optimize your content for those keywords…and 3) Get people to link to your content.  #3 is your hardest task and will be your most successful  method to attract search engine traffic. Google and Bing reward content with lots of inbound links to it.

4. IGNORE THE POWER OF EMAIL This is a huge mistake in content marketing strategy. When people come to your web site, offer them something crazy-awesome in return for signing up to your email list. Then use the list toshare your most valuable content. Email is a great way to stay top of mind with a prospect. It’s a brand-building process. It’s also a way to validate your expertise. Create content exclusively your email list subscribers. Write it with them in mind. And give them extras, bonuses and exclusives. And I am not talking about selling here. Give away your best stuff. Make them feel like they have stumbled on a goldmine of information by being on your list.

5. WRITING OCCASIONAL POSTS Writing one article per month is not going to cut it. I don’t go live with a new web site without posting at least five articles and then I try to produce a piece of  content once a week at minimum and only because I run more than 10 sites. If you run just one site you should post once per business day and at a minimum twice a week. Write daily if you can squeeze the time.

6. MISUNDERTSTANDING BUY TRIGGERS – B2C content should have content that moves and inspires. Consumers are emotional buyers and connect and purchase from experts that make them feel safe and that embody trust. B2B content should be jam-packed with data and numbers that are evidence based. That inspires and validates business cases. Buyers buy from vendors that are trustworthy experts that back their business with data.

7. DON’T FORGET TO MEASURE – Be sure to track your content engagement. You want to write more copy that gets consumed and shared and less content that gets visited occasionally. Track your social media shares. Track you page reads with Google Analytics and   use a Smart CRM to track email marketing content engagement, including opens and actions. Tracking audience behavior response should guide content strategy.

Track your content usage and consumption with Google Analytics
Track your content usage and consumption with Google Analytics

 


8. DON’T BURY YOUR LEAD – This is a term in journalism that means the point of the story is buried down in paragraph 5 or 9. Don’t open with “There was a community meeting on April 14 at 6pm”…and then five paragraphs later talk about the water pipe that burst during the discussion about water quality. Start with “A ceiling pipe burst in the middle of community meeting last week, as a discussion began about water quality.”  Put the most important material at the top of the article – open with it.

9. DON’T BE TOO BRIEF – While writing short posts is occasionally ok, writing longer more comprehensive pieces is better, because longer pieces get indexed by search engines more often, and can demonstrate your expertise because they provide all the information someone is seeking. Make your content a one stop for all the info someone needs. They won’t move on to your competitor.

10. AVOID WALLS O’ TEXT – A wall of text is intimidating to read, so be sure to present your awesomely written and engaging post with images and diagrams. Use links where appropriate and break up the text with subheads and bullet pointed lists. All these tricks help with readability and improve search engine pickup.

10 reasons your business should be part media company, regardless of what it does

all companies must be part media company
All companies must be part media company to succeed

If you don’t have either a decent content creator on staff, or at least one (or more) on retainer, then you are going to have a problem in the next few years.

Successful companies invest in marketing, and marketing in today’s business means you need to create content that people love and find helpful. If you are driving sales messages down their throats, then your company is not going to around for long. The era of the hard sell is over. And the era of the relationship sell will only work these days if your company is seen as an expert. And what’s the fastest way to that? Publishing.

Great companies make great content today, that means text, photos and video. They have websites that look more like a media website than a sales brochure, so here are 10 reasons why your company should invest in content creators:

1) Customers appreciate being educated and hate being sold to.

2) When you publish helpful content you are seen as an expert and people trust and buy from experts.

3) Google and Bing do not index and rank sales brochures particularly well. It indexes great content and people don’t link to sales brochures, they link to great content.

4) Send someone a great email with helpful content and they will look at the next email from you. Send them a self serving sales message ad and they will more often than not unsubscribe or click their spam button.

5)  No one follows people for their ad messages on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, but they do follow them for great content.

6) Great content can contain sales copy. And great sales copy should contain great content.

7) 100 million Internet users watch video each day.

8) 90% of online shoppers at a major retailer’s website said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions

9) 50% of people at work watch business-related videos on YouTube and 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video.

10) B2C content should strike an emotional cord. B2B content should contain data and facts, because the two sectors buy differently.

Andy Walker is a senior digital strategist at Cyberwalker Digital LLC in Tampa, a marketing agency that helps you company market itself with great content and generate great leads. Read more about us at Cyberwalker.com. Reach Andy at andy@cyberwalker.com or 813-501-8043.

How to use content marketing to promote your local business

local content marketing and SEO works for eye doctorsThe fundamental idea behind content marketing is to demonstrate your expertise  on a topic in you specialty and draw attention to your web site so you can earn trust from potential customers and generate engagement.

In a local market this is especially achievable because  the pool of competition is smaller and you can easily rise to the top of the list for a local business using the tactic.

The catch is you have to be willing to put in the time, investment and effort to make it happen,

You can hire an agency to generate the content. Or generate it yourself and hire an agency to promote it. Or, you can do it all yourself if you are ambitious and willing.

Here are 10 content and promotional ideas that will help you get there.  I have used the example of a local eye doctor clinic that wants to draw more local business, but if you are a plumber or a florist or any local business you can substitute your operation using the same tactics:

1) Write 50 answers to the most common questions your customer ask and post them on your website as articles.

2) Use Google Adwords to find out what the most common keywords are around search related you your business and generate content that essentially answers the keyword query. There is a Keyword Explorer tool that is free to use.

3) Build a great guide to solve a problem your customer base has (ie an eye doctor could write a guide to solving failing eyesight aimed at 40+ customers) and offer it as an incentive to sign up for an email list where you share great tips (and occasionally offers).

4) Make sure your business locations are registered locally in Google Places, Bing Places and Yelp and Foursquare

5) Write a comprehensive glossary that consumers can use to understand the world of eye health and publish it on your web site.

6) Become the eye doctor on Twitter and Facebook using your content and expertise.

7) Engage an SEO agency (try us – we have an SEO pratice) or appointment someone on your staff to get your articles and content ranked on Google and Bing. (Learn how to on our SEO expert site)

8) Produce an Ask the Eye Doctor service on your web site so people can ask eye health questions and use the Q&A to enhance your blog.

9) Fund or back a vision charity and engage in online fundraising and campaigns to draw attention.

10) Use PRWeb or PRNewswire to promote newsy press releases and become the eye doctor who is called by the local (and eventually national) media.

 

10 simple ideas to generate blog content quickly without much effort

10 simple ideas to generate blog content quickly without much effortContent marketing requires that you publish a lot of great content. And specifically you’ll need to publish content that demonstrates your (or your company’s) expertise on a particular niche topic. The idea is that you draw people who find that content useful and interesting toward your company, teach them that your are an authority on the topic, and through the process develop trust and over time a relationship, which is the foundation for a sale.

But what if you are not much of a writer? Or you find generating content ideas tedious?  Or you have no time to pen the next great post? Or perhaps you don’t have a budget to hire a journalism grad or professional writer to produce content for your brand? No problem. Just use these 10 simple ideas to generate content quickly without much effort.

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1. Top 5 and Top 10 lists

Go find the best resources on a topic on the internet that can be pulled into a list. 10 things you need to know about X, or 5 must have tips on how to Y. Find web sites that  publish the material. Describe their tips in a few sentences. Put a link to each one and list them. Write a brief intro and BOOM!: You’ve got one awesome article ready to publish.

2. FAQs

That’s Frequently Asked Questions. List 10 questions that your customers ask your sales reps. Then answer them. Don’t be self promoting. ie Q: Who is your favorite plumbing company. A: Ours! More like: Q: What’s the best way to unclog a garbage disposal. A: We like this Youtube video for do it yourselfers (LINK) but give us a call and we can talk you through it or send one of our pros out to get it done for you.  

3. Retop a rewrite

This is an old journalism trick that editors teach young reporters at newspapers. Find a piece of news or an article (usually from a competitor in the media business) that is of interest to your customer base. Rewrite it into a summary using your own words. Do not use the quotes – paraphrase these. The finished product must be all new and it’s helpful if the top of the article includes a new development that is not covered in the original piece. BTW – No copying and pasting – that’s plagiarism. ie. Source: “Apple announces the ultra thin new iPhone 9” Rewrite:  “Thin is in – but some say breakable – for the latest smartphone from Apple” 

4. Write definitions

Pull together lingo or or complex terminology from your business or market and define them.  Over time build a glossary of terms that is specific to your industry and publish this on your site.

5. Transcribe an interview

Call a seasoned know-it-all n your shop and record an interview on a topic her or she is expert in.  Or call a industry colleague or supplier. Ask them 10 questions about an area of expertise. Transcribe the answers and clean up the Ummms and Errrs and turn it into an article with a brief introduction. ie.   “Have you ever wondered how to  organize a bedroom closet? We called Susan Littleton, a professional closet organizer, who provided the following tips on how to optimize space in a bedroom walk-in closest.”

6. Record an interview

Too busy to transcribe an interview? Record it on Skype and post the audio or video file on your blog and write a brief description to introduce it. Use Recorder, which is an add-on app from Skype.

7. Photo slideshow

Explain how to do something using a slide show. Grab your phone and take step by step pictures and describe each step as captions. Niche “how to” content is hugely in demand.

8. This week in history

Go back in time five years, 10 years or further and pull up an old article or post or newspaper clipping or even a photo that marks a historic day  that is of interest to your audience. Rehash the piece into a retrospective or post a series of old pictures.

9. Aggregate great tweets

Use Twitter’s search engine to find people who are experts on a topic and aggregate their tweets together. (Use a screen grab software like Snag-It) ie.  Top 5 hurricane preparedness tips from smart people on Twitter!

10. Social media interviews

Speaking of Twitter post a request on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus for help with a question that everyone wants answered – that your audience will love. Aggregate the best answers into a single post. Credit the contributors and link to their social media accounts.

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Most common content marketing mistakes

If you’re using a content marketing strategy to grow your business and you’re frustrated that you are not landing more sales, read this article.  You’ll discover the most common content marketing mistakes made by business owners. Find out what they are and learn how to avoid them below.

Frequent content marketing errors

Most popular content marketing mistakes

The entire content marketing process can be synthesized into three basic steps:

Step 1 – Create content that you believe your target market will find valuable enough to use and share.

Step 2 – Promote the content.  Post it on your website, on social media platforms, and use search engine optimization tactics to make sure your content gets picked up by search engines.

Step 3 – Out of the web traffic that experiences your content a percentage will sign up for your product or service (when called to action).

The focus is to share your expertise often. This will naturally attract your target demographic.

But, there’s a common misconception that many business owners have. They think that if they do Steps 1 and 2, then Step 3 will happen immediately. It’s not that simple.

Here’s what you need to do: Repeat Steps 1 and 2 many times for Step 3 to happen. Often you have to expose your brand many times in many different ways  (we call those “touch points” in marketing) before you actually land a customer.

That being said, it’s not unheard of to convert customers upon initial contact with your brand.  Customers will buy immediately when they encounter your brand at the same time they have a need for what you offer. You all need to make sure you’re not making any of these common errors:

  1. Not tracking your conversion rates and stats  If you don’t look at your site analytics you won’t know which articles are getting the most visitors.  When you have this information you can gain an understanding of what’s a popular topic. If you keep writing articles that fall under that category, it’s likely you’ll be speaking to what your target market needs more of.  If you do email marketing you’ll also want to track you conversion rates by reviewing number or emails opened and links clicked.
  2. Not growing your social media following If you aren’t actively following new contacts on Twitter, engaging with people on LinkedIn, and joining new groups, when you post your content you’ll be getting limited exposure.  The same people will see your stuff.  And those people may or may not be good candidates to buy from you.  Do your research and connect with people you want to do business with and also other vendors in your industry.
  3. Doing no search engine optimization (or doing it incorrectly, thinking you’re doing it right)  If you’re doing work to write one to five new posts a week for your site, you are wasting your time if you are not doing any SEO work. It is crucial for positioning your brand so the right people find you. Learn how to do it yourself. Or, hire a reputable company to do it for you.
  4. Selling too soon  If you are trying to sell a $99 program to people you’ve sent only two emails to, you’ll need to do more work to convert them.  Individuals need to see your brand many times before they purchase from you.  This requires time. You have to build a relationship of trust and affinity. So, you want to warm people up.  Give things away for free often. Sell them on smaller priced items first. And diversify your products and service packages so you can understand what price points sell best.  

Remember, building your list of contacts and then taking them from someone who knows about you to buyer is not a quick process. It’s like a romantic relationship. It takes time and effort to build trust and love.

But, if you consistently post great content and do it strategically, you’ll be able to double, triple or quadruple your business in less than one year.

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How to write content that converts

What if you could write content for your web site, web store, blog articles, ads, social media posts and emails that’s so engaging it sells your products and/or services automatically?

How to write content that convertsI am about to tell you how to do this. There’s a secret formula that many of the world’s greatest copywriters use to achieve this. And you can remember it easily by using this acronym: AIDA.

It stands for: ATTENTION – INTEREST – DESIRE – ACTION .

Below I reveal what each component means. The tactics will help you develop highly effective sales copy  for your business.

How to write content that converts:

ATTENTION: How to get your reader’s attention: If you want to get a reader’s attention (in your target demographic) you need to first gain an understanding of who you are speaking to. Before you start writing your sales copy, find out:

  • What they like,
  • what they don’t like,
  • who they spend their time with,
  • what they do on the weekends,
  • what their hobbies are,
  • what time of day they like to shop
  • when they like to read their emails…

…the list goes on. These are just some examples, but the better you understand your potential customer, the easier it will be to sell to them.  The more you know, the more you’ll be able to write to them knowing what they want. (As an aside, the mistake inexperienced copywriters make is writing from the perspective of what they want.)

The best way to  get to know your target market is to survey them or interview them or ask someone you know that is close to an individual in this target group. If you are selling to Moms of toddlers, go talk to a few and pick their brain. You can do this while in line at Starbucks or call a relative with small children or check with a neighbor.

Find out their “pain points”. What are their complaints and problems with every day life?  What do they need help with?  What do they want to avoid? Use this information in your copy.

Secondly, assume people, are too busy to read what you have to offer.  So, if you want them to stop and take a minute to read an email, blog, or an ad you’re company has produced, it has to be something that they either:

  1. Need right now
  2. Is too weird for them to bypass

These two tactics when executed effectively will take your reader from a passive state of attention to an active state of attention.

Active concentration happens when a reader is so immersed in  the material you’ve presented to them that they drop everything else to focus on the task at hand. When you engage in learning a new skill it requires this type of concentration.

How to get attention using the “need right now” tactic:

There are three ways to get a reader to come across something you’ve written, stop everything, and read it right away. If it:

  1. Solves a problem
  2. Saves them from a potential disaster
  3. Speaks to a deep desire or passion

Here are some examples of headlines:

Solve a problem: “What to do when your car won’t start”

Saves them from a potential disaster: “7 dangerous mistakes most parents with teenagers make”

Speaks to a deep desire or passion: “How to be the sexiest person  person in the room regardless of your looks”

How to get attention using the “be weird” tactic:

Another incredible attention grabbing tactic is: Be weird. It works because humans are curious by nature. But be careful. When you say something outside the norm you do have to follow it up with valuable information to maintain your credibility.

Here’s an example: Cincrease web traffic by 10 timesWD recently used this tactic for a forklift dealership in California and increased web traffic on day it was posted BY MORE THAN 10X.   How did we do that? On April Fools day CWD added this listing to the company web store for a hover lift truck: hovertruck

Remember: Learning how to grab attention is the most important step in writing in the AIDA format. If you don’t grab attention the rest of what you write is useless. It simply won’t get read.

INTEREST: How to spark interest: Once you get a reader’s attention it only takes one sentence to lose it. Especially if they feel they are being sold to. Here are some interest-building tactics you can use:

  1. Prompt them on a free giveaway
  2. Tell them they’re going to learn something they don’t know / or immediately show them they don’t know something they thought they knew or hadn’t considered
  3. Create a bond of relatedness (i.e. you write something that makes them feel like they know you)

How to use the “Prompt them for a free giveaway” tactic: Tell your reader you are about to give them something valuable, but don’t give it to them right away. Make them wait for it.

Humans are by nature self-serving. So, you can easily develop interest when you prompt them to receive something they would find valuable.  (Especially if it’s free!)

For example, a great email may have a line like: “Below, you’ll find a link to the article: Top secret expert tip for freeing up an hour per day”.

Then, you place the link at the bottom so they have to read the rest of your email. Or, you may write a sales letter with a line that says: “I’ve enclosed a promo code that you can use to redeem a $50 Amazon gift card if you take 2-minutes to read this letter”.

How to use the “teach the something invaluable they won’t learn anywhere else” tactic:

Information is as valuable (sometimes more valuable) than free tangible goods.  Learning an interesting fact that only experts know is interesting and often worth reading.

If you use words like “top secret”, “exclusive”, “only for you”,  it conveys to the reader that they are about to receive confidential information.  And most people won’t refuse learning something top secret.

Example: “Yesterday we interviewed the leader of the Transhumanism party who is running for President in 2016. Read this interview to find out why he says advances in stem cell research in the next five years will create a war between religious bodies and the government”.

How to use a “create a bond of relatedness” tactic:

Connect to your reader on a intimate level by sharing an interesting story about yourself that relates to them deeply. Or mention a phrase, or make a joke only they would understand.

Examples: “We haven’t met in person, but like you, I’ve lost a loved one to cancer too.”

“When I was pregnant I pee’d my pants on a New York city subway car, which is why I thought you might want to know about these new support underwear for pregnant women”.

DESIRE: What you need to know about developing desire in writing:

This is where someone who is interested becomes completely emotionally invested in what you’re saying so that they have no choice but to take action.

Carlton suggests that the best way to do this is to have your reader envision a future of favorable outcomes that result from them taking an action you are about to ask them to take.

With interest you are saying “how would you like this product” but with desire you are saying “here’s what you get when you purchase this product”. Here are to tactics that help to build desire:

  1. A bulleted list
  2. Testimonials

How to create use the “bulleted list” desire tactic:

When you create a bulleted list one of the most effective formats to use involves three points.

Bullet point 1: Presents you as credible by fully giving away what they are about to get as a result of taking the action you want them to take

Bullet point 2: Gives away a bit less information

Bullet point 3: Reveals a sneak peak of what they’ll get but keeps them guessing.

Here’s an example:

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to establish yourself as a leader in your industry by positioning yourself as an expert resource. You can do this by building a content-rich web site that naturally attracts individuals in your target market because it irrefutably demonstrates your expertise.
  • Search engine optimization, how it’s done and why it’s a necessary component of your overall marketing strategy.
  • The 5 free must-have tools available to you online that will make your life much easier.

How to use the “testimonials” tactic:

At CWD, we’ve tested the conversion rates or landing pages with and without testimonials. We found that pages with landing pages always have a higher conversion rate.

The best way to use testimonials is to present them with images. When people see faces it helps present the testimonials as credible sources.  As a business you should always collect testimonials that you can use online.

ACTIONWhat you need to know about asking a reader to take action:

Action is the easiest part of the process but it’s often overlooked. It’s the second most important aspect of AIDA, besides Attention.Once a reader has gone through the emotional states of desire it’s an opportune time to ask them to do something.

Many sales people lose the sale simply because they are too afraid to ask for fear of getting a “no”. It also helps you understand if a reader is engaged.

If they take an trackable action like clicking a link in an email or purchasing a product, you’ll be able to tell that the copy you’ve written is effective.

If you ask for action later, often the emotions are gone and the rational mind kicks in.  Instead of “I need that right now” they could be thinking “I still want that but I don’t really have the money to spend, so I can wait”. The sense of urgency is gone.

How to ask for action:

Be direct and concise.  Remove apologetic words like “please” or “feel free”.  Be straight.

And perhaps, the best way to show you is to make a request:

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How to write materials handling articles: 10 Tips

Learning how to write materials handling articles that are well-written to effectively attract warm leads in your target market is not easy.  The following 10 tiphow to write materials handling articless will help:

How to write materials handling articles: 10 Tips:

 

1. Word count: The number of words in one article/blog should fall in the range of 500-750 for short pieces and 1000 to 1500 words for longer pieces. These are general rules. Write longer if the topic merits it and the information flows naturally. Long posts do well if their content is segmented with subheads (titles that break up the text) or easy-to-follow bullet points. You can also use list formats to make them bite sized. The reality is, most online readers will not read more than 10 to 15 paragraphs in a session.

For SEO, longer posts do well if they cover a topic comprehensively.

2. Write compelling, yet descriptive headlines and subheads: Writers often get too creative with the headline of their piece. Good titles should: 1) Compell a reader to read the piece, 2) Briefly describe what the article is about, and 3) Support search engine optimization efforts.

Google looks for search keywords in headlines and gives them weight. If your article is about superior racking designs for warehouse optimization then the headline should read something like “How to optimize your warehouse using rack designs you haven’t considered”, and not “Rack-o-rama!”.

3. Be concise and descriptive: Be concise with your language. Explain everything, but the absolute basics. (No need to explain what a “lift truck” is, but you should explain what “cantilever rack” is.) Write for people who have just come to the business. Don’t assume your audience is full of experts. Even seasoned professionals will forgive you for over-simplification.

A clear concise article will reinforce what they already know, as well as introduce new information and ideas. And that gives value to all readers regardless of their level of expertise. A good rule of thumb is to write for a Grade 9 level of knowledge and understanding.

4. Avoid buzzwords: Marketers are notorious for inventing words or concepts that don’t serve the reader. A great example: “WarehousXPro9 is a forklift management solution” versus the more accurate “WarehousXPro9 is a forklift management web-based software package”.

What’s a solution? It’s the answer to a problem. That is a great message to convey in sales copy. However, it’s an over-used term and has become cliché. If you say something is a “solution” and don’t explain what it is, the reader can’t visualize it.

Better yet to say: “WarehousXPro9 is a sophisticated, yet easy to use software product.” You would go on to say: It is installed on a company’s server and can be accessed by any web-enabled device. Warehouse professionals can use a tablet or smartphone to access a series of visual dashboards that show data about a warehouse and allows them to manage the operation more efficiently.“

Bottom line here: If in doubt say more. Don’t be afraid to explain a concept so you leave the reader with a greater understanding of what’s being said.

5. Get to the point early: Don’t waste your time with long and winding introductions. If you are introducing a topic in a creative way connect it to the key point you are trying to make in the article quickly. If you go on too long you risk losing your reader.

A good introductory paragraph (in journalism it is a called a “lead”) can be an effective tool to engage the reader. It’s an on-ramp to the central point of the piece not a country road that gets you there eventually.

If you are not hitting the focus of your article by paragraph 3 or so, re-work the piece.

6. Don’t be“salesy”: It’s okay to plug your company but do it discreetly. If you write too much about why your company is great and why your products are awesome your reader will be put off. They may feel clubbed over the head. No one likes to be sold to.

Serve the reader first. The article should leave them feeling that they got value for taking the time to read what you had to say and they will come back for more the next time.

7. Demonstrate, don’t tell: Show the reader why something is true. Don’t tell them. Why would they believe the latest lift truck is “amazing”, just because you say so? Describe the new lift truck and its features and benefits, and let them draw their own conclusions.

8. Write with intention: Ask yourself the questions: Why would someone read this article/blog? Are you engaging with your intended audience? Is what you’re writing informative and helpful? Is your writing in line with the long-term strategy that expresses that you and your brand are topic experts?

People buy from experts, not sales people. Actually, they buy from experts that sell. Why? Because experts are trustworthy, helpful and useful.

9. Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t: Writing content for a brand is strategic. It is about gaining a following, earning trust and respect and driving sales for your company as a byproduct.

How do you know if you are doing that? Measure engagement and outcomes. How many people read your articles? Which ones did well? Which ones didn’t?

If an article gets good traction and is well read (we use web analytics tools to track and understand this) write similar pieces in future because clearly there is a demand for the content. Use the free tools at http://google.com/analytics.

10. Take yourself out of the equation: Don’t write what you want to write. Write for your audience first and then bring it back to what you want to write about, or have the expertise in. Provide value to the reader. Put yourself in their shoes and ask why would I read this article or blog post?

Get more valuable information about content and digital marketing. Order a free 60-page book called: Digital Marketing Secrets for companies in Materials Handling.  With your physical copy you’ll also get a PDF version you can use right away. For your free book, CLICK HERE:

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How to get more warm leads for your business

This article shares the No.1 secret that will turn your business into a lead generation machine. If you want to encourage more leads to seek your business — instead of you seeking their business — read this article. It reveals the newest trend in marketing towards developing and sharing great content to create yourself as an expert in your industry.

How to get more warm leads for your business:

 

how to get more warm leads for your business

The secret is… Content marketing

If you want to bring more business to you with minimal sales effort you’ll want to understand content marketing. It’s a marketing process that involves creating and sharing strategic content that does the following:

  1. Showcases your expertise in your industry
  2. Naturally attracts the business you want to attract because they come to you for help and guidance

The goal is to attract and engage the intended demographic with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

There is a long-standing sales approach that suggests customers only buy from companies they trust. That trust is quickly established when a company becomes an expert in their industry. If your aim is to solve the problems of your target audience, you are on the right track.

Thinking like a content marketer

Shift your focus. Stop asking: “How can I sell more?”. Start asking: “How can I be of assistance to people in my target market?”. When you think this way, selling becomes a natural process. It requires minimal sales effort.

Be an expert and potential business will come to you. And, it will be easier than you ever thought possible. The expertise that you demonstrate through content marketing removes or weakens the resistance toward a sales come-on.

A content marketing approach allows you to change your business’ overall brand conversation and establish that you are more than just another corporation.

How to think like a content marketer

Find out what the “pain points” or persistent complaints are for the people you want to sell to, and create content that solves these issues. The content could be in the form of:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Industry reports

Share your content on social media, on your web site, or over email.

Here’s the big secret to content marketing…

You have to think strategically and/or do thorough research to really understand the pain points of the people in your target market. If you don’t, your efforts won’t be effective in generating the leads you want to generate. Sometimes, the content you do generate may even need to be unrelated.

For example, if your business is a bridal boutique that sells bridal dresses you may want to write content that solves the pain points of brides. Don’t just write about wedding dresses. Write articles such as: “Wedding planner’s money-saving secrets”, “Brides guide: Where to splurge and where to save”, “How to make wedding planning easy”. Give away things like “Free wedding month-to-month wedding planning guide for brides”.  Yes, you may sell dresses, but this content will attract the attention of your target market.

To learn more about content marketing order a copy of our FREE ebook: Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed. We actually give away our complete proven-results digital marketing strategy in this book. To get yours now, CLICK HERE.