Tag 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.

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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Your opinion posts are mostly useless in content marketing

Your opinion posts are mostly useless in content marketingBe sparing about opinion-based content. Typically nobody cares about your published opinion unless it’s about major issues impacting your customers and industry…and it offers a solution that is verifiable.

Most of the time your opinion laid out like a blog post will either infuriate a potential customer – or more likely bore them. Everyone has an opinion. Why is yours more important than others? A consumer that reads your opinion will not likely drive a sale. Except…

The Two Exceptions to the Rule

Of course there are exceptions to this rule.

Exception 1) If you are a somebody then your opinion may count. When Barack Obama has an opinion people listen. When Warren Buffet has an opinion people listen. If you are the president of an association or a leader among a large group of people or a newspaper editor, your opinion may matter. And it might drive popular opinion. Hollywood stars have this kind of clout.

Exception 2) If you produce comparative content, like a review that compares three products or summarizes a product category then your opinion has value. But only as a service to provide contrasting information that helps a person make a buying choice.

Otherwise, keep your opinion to yourself in content marketing. Nobody cares what you think. The irony is the people that ignore this tip will write their opinion anyway. And their mom, their spouse and a guy that clicks on it by accident will see it.  And it will be lost in the depths of the Internet.

 More Digital Marketing Tips >>

Free Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed eBook

Materials handling and content marketing

 

Materials handling and content marketing

Content marketing is a marketing process that involves generating and distributing valuable content to a specific audience. The goal is to attract and engage the intended demographic with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

This form of marketing takes into account the long-standing sales approach that customers only buy from companies they trust. That trust is quickly established when a company becomes an expert — a resource for its market — and is able to solve the problems of people seeking solutions.

Thinking like a content marketer

If you shift the focus from: “how can I sell more?” to “how can I be of assistance to people in my target market?” selling products and services becomes a natural, seamless process that involves minimal sales effort.

When your company is an expert in your industry, potential business will naturally come to you. The expertise you demonstrate through content marketing removes or weakens the resistance toward a sales come-on.

It’s important to show them your expertise every time they look for a solution to a problem. That will have them come to you for many things, not just when they need to buy something you provide. A content marketing approach allows you to change your business’ overall brand conversation and establish that you are more than just another corporation selling widgets or services.

You step away from solely being the provider of a product. You become the ultimate resource.

Materials handling and content marketing

A brief explanation of a content marketing approach

Think of it this way, a warehouse manager needs to buy more rack for his warehouse. You could be one of two things for that potential customer:

Option 1: You’re the company he chooses to buy from among a selection of similar racking companies. He comes to you when he needs rack. And only when he needs rack. He chooses to buy rack from your company because his company has purchased from you before.

Option 2: You’re the company he chooses because your brand is cooler than everyone else’s. He visits your web site often because it’s a refreshing experience. When he comes to your site it’s not just all pictures of rack and prices. He sees the faces of sales and service people he actually knows and innately he feels a connection.

He found your site from a Google search when he was looking for racking design support. And he has returned to your site many times because you helped him solve his problems – even if he has never purchased from you before.

When it comes to buying rack, he doesn’t even consider any other providers. Even though your rack is a bit more expensive, he’ll get so much more from you than he will from the competition.

Good news is, you get to choose which kind of company you want to be. And If that’s Option 2 you’ll need to learn how to create your company as an industry expert.

Read more on digital marketing for the Materials Handling industry. Order a free 60-page book. You’ll also receive a PDF version of the book that you can have right away. CLICK this button to order your free book now:

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How to market yourself strategically on the web

It’s important to learn how to market yourself strategically on the web. Learning the correct techniques will allow you to easily grow your business with limited effort.

The foundation of the approach we teach our clients is content marketing.  The following article shares what content marketing is and how incorporating it into your strategy will dramatically increase your ability to sell.

How to marketing yourself strategically on the web:

how to market yourself strategically on the web

What is content marketing and why do I need it?

Content marketing is a marketing process that involves generating and distributing valuable content to a specific audience. The goal is to attract and engage the intended demographic with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

This form of marketing takes into account the long-standing sales approach that customers only buy from companies they trust. That trust, is quickly established when a company becomes an expert — a resource for their people — and is able to solve the problems of their target market.

Thinking like a content marketer

If you shift the focus from: “how can I sell more?” to “how can I be of assistance to people in my target market?” selling products and services becomes a natural, seamless process that involves minimal sales effort.

When your company is an expert in your industry, potential business will naturally come to you. That expertise that you demonstrate through content marketing removes or weakens the resistance toward a sales come-on.

The important part is to show them your expertise every time they look for a solution to a problem. That will have them come to you for many things, not just when they need to buy something you provide. A content marketing approach allows you to change your business’ overall brand conversation and establish that you are more than just another corporation selling widgets or services.

You step away from solely being the provider of a product. You become the ultimate resource.

A brief explanation of a content marketing approach

The following example was written for the Material Handling industry. We do a lot of work in this arena. However, the words “warehouse manager” and “rack” in the example below can easily be swapped out for any other product and service.

Example: Think of it this way, a warehouse manager needs to buy more rack for his warehouse. You could be one of two things for that potential customer:

Option 1: You’re the company he chooses to buy from among a selection of similar racking companies. He comes to you when he needs rack. And only when he needs rack. He chooses to buy rack from your company because his company has purchased from you before.

Option 2: You’re the company he chooses because your brand is cooler than everyone else’s. He visits your web site often because it’s a refreshing experience. When he comes to your site it’s not just all pictures of rack and prices. He sees the faces of sales and service people he actually knows and innately he feels a connection.

He found your site from a Google search when he was looking for racking design support. And he has returned to your site many times because you helped him solve his problems – even if he has never purchased from you before.

When it comes to buying rack, he doesn’t even consider any other providers. Even though your rack is a bit more expensive, he’ll get so much more from you than he will from the competition.

Option 2 is much more effective. The company in this example is taking a content marketing approach. They are putting effort into sharing themselves and building their brand as an expert resource. This way, they have become a go-to resource for people in their target market. 

This approach works for almost every industry.  If you are a plastic surgeon, share your knowledge about patient procedures to build credibility. If you operate a residential cleaning business, put your effort into writing and posting article about cleaning, like: “Microwave a lemon in water for 5 minutes to steam clean your microwave with minimal effort”.

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.