Tag Archives: content

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 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 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.

How to turn leads into buyers using digital marketing

If you’re confused about which digital marketing platforms your business should be using to attract potential customers to your site, or you want to know how to turn leads into buyers, this Digital Marketing Lead Conversion infographic could help you:SEE BELOW FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE ENTIRE LEAD CONVERSION PROCESS PRESENTED IN THIS INFOGRAPHIC:

how to turn leads into buyers using digital marketing strategies

Explaining the digital marketing lead conversion process:

There are 4 Phases that a potential buyer goes through from the moment they find you on the web to the moment they make contact with your business. This is mostly true of

all

buyers . However, buyers who NEED your services/products NOW can go from Phase 1 to Phase 4, so they are an exception.But – if you want to find your leads in your target market and turn those leads into buyers here are the digital tools to establish and how to use them:

Phase 1: Discovery

There are four digital marketing tactics you should use to have potential customers find you on the web:

  1. Social Media: Post content on social media that grabs the attention of the people in your target market and directs them to your web site, blog or web store.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Learn or hire a team to do SEO for you. SEO involves identifying specific keywords and placing them in specific areas on each page of your site. It will help your web site, blog, or web store get picked up by search engines Google and Bing.
  3.  Email Marketing: You can generate leads using email by engaging with customers who recommend you to their friends. Think of this as a word of mouth referral, but on the web.  Tip: Many email software programs have share buttons you can add to the bottom of your email so you can make it easy for people to pass along great content.
  4. SEM: It stands for search engine marketing. It’s using web advertisements that are strategically placed to drive traffic to your site.

Phase 2:  Engagement

Once a potential lead finds you, connect with them regularly using various engagement platforms. Generate useful content and share it with your target audience. Build a content library or blog on your web site. Then, write great content regularly and push it through to your audience on email, youtube, or social media.Social media platforms you should have for your business to be competitive in today’s online marketplace:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Google +
  • Pinterest

Phase 3: Trust

If you engage with your potential leads regularly you’ll build a reputation in your target market. It’s important that you find out what they want. If you know what they want you can create content that speaks to their needs. The goal here is to build interest, brand awareness and affinity.

Phase 4: Registration

When a potential lead trusts your brand and the time is right for them to buy it’s likely they will go to you. A potential lead becomes a lead when they take action by doing things like contacting you, sign up for your mailing list, or making a purchase.This is the registration phase. And it’s the whole reason why you would want to use digital marketing tactics. Don’t use digital tactics just to use them. Use them with a strategy.If you want to know more kick-ass digital marketing strategy secrets for FREE,

click here

.

10 tips for creating content that makes money

creating content that makes moneyMost people can write. Those that do often blog on the web. But how many make money from content they produce? Not many.
Why not? Because they produce content that is plain or ordinary and can be found in a thousand other places on the web.

So how do you create a content strategy that is profitable? Drive thousands of people to it and wrap ads around it – either your own or someone else’s.

First though you’ll need to produce the content. Follow these 10 rules and you’ll be well in your way.

1) Find your expertise. Everyone is an expert in something. Whether it is raising kids, growing a vegetable garden, fixing things or running a small business. Or maybe you love dogs and are great at raising them. The first secret of good content is identifying your niche and defining it.

2) Find a Profitable Content Niche. Once you know your niche do some research and find out two things a) Is anyone else writing about it b) Are those that read that content buying things. AKA is there a market to sell to for an audience that consumes the content niche. How do you do that? Find three to five web sites that cover what your niche is and look them up on Alexa.com to see how their traffic ranks. A little competition will validate the opportunity. A lot of competition means there’s money to be made but it will be harder to get on top. So now what? Look at #3.

3) Choose a content sub-specialty. If you niche is saturated with content on the web, choose a sub-specialty. There are thousands of travel web sites on the web. But how many deal with luxury resorts for couples in the Caribbean? Or bed and breakfasts in Arizona? Become a specialist. People are look for specific content not general content. Give it to them and it will pay off.

4) Your opinion is not worth much. You will never make (much) money with your opinion. Opinions are a dime a dozen and unless you are a nationally recognized editorial writer or columnist, peddling your opinions will not make you much money. Opinions content is great as a value add in a post, but chose to educate and invite th ereader to make up their own mind and then offer your opinion as a primer.

5) Be fresh and original. Write great content that maybe deals with a topic others do but do it in a way no one else has. Writing a blog on accounting may be a hit if you help solve peoples accounting problems with your articles. But being a funny accountant and teaching what might otherwise be dry in an entertaining way will have you stand out. If you are not funny, then write from personal experience. Bear your soul. Few people are vulnerable when they write. if you can’t make them laugh given them an emotional experience that can take away and use for themselves. Don’t like any of that? Write great step by step how to content. How to content does EXTREMELY well on the web. If you teach with your content you’ll always make money.

6) Your headlines stink. It’s probably true. Learn to write great headlines to draw people in. Check out Huffington Post to see how headlines can pull a reader into an an otherwise workaday post. If you wrote a post on how to train your dog. The headline should not be: “How to train your dog” instead write “How to keep your dog out of the garbage” Or “How to train your dog to protect your kids (and scare their bullies)”. Help the reader visualize what they are about to learn by creating a vivid image or result with your headline. A headline is a promise of what’s to come in the article. Would you rather read an article that has the headline that says “How I taught my child to be polite” or “How I taught my son to stop picking his nose in public”?

7) Educate with your content. It takes the average person 2-4 minutes to read a blog post. Ask yourself what they are going to take away from the post that we will find valuable and that is worth their time. If you can’t answer that easily, rethink your topic, angle or approach.

8) Be a resource. If your content don’t produce a definitive answer to what the reader is seeking then provide an overview of the topic and then link to specific resources that you can send them to via links. If they always find what they are looking for in your content then they will come back.

9) Explore and innovate. Write content that takes chances. Write out of the box. Write against popular opinion. Be controversial. Do things no one else is doing. If you are going to stand out with your content you’ll have to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. Commit and produce lots of content then see #10.

10) Measure and amplify. Once you have engaged an audience with something you have written look for opportunities  to write spin offs. In 2001 I wrote a column called “How to reformat your hard drive and reinstall Windows”. It did 10 times the traffic that my other work produced. So I wrote a series of content on how to wipe  your hard drive clean and reinstall Windows XP, Windows Me Windows Vista and so on.  Eventually the collection of articles number in the dozens.  The content earned me $7,000 in its first year. And eventually the site did $70,000 per year. How did I know that the first post did well? I was watching the stats on my website – every day! Today I do this using Google Analytics. be sure to install it on your web site or blog.