Content can be a great way to lead customers to your business. There are some interesting ways in which potential customers interact with content. In this post we will cover:
- Content target and development
Its important to understand who you are targeting with your content. Who is your audience? What do they value? What problems are they trying to solve? An important yet overlooked question to ask is, at what phase of the buying cycle is my customer? This last question varies tremendously based on your product/service or industry.
It’s crucial for small business owners to understand the stages of the buying cycle:
- Vision: In this stage, the customer is trying to figure out what the best solution would be for their particular problem. As a business owner, you can reach people by helping them figure out what problem they are trying to solve.
- Planning: Here, consumers are starting to plan how to apply what they have learned during the vision phase. Blogs can help consumers understand how your product/service can help them meet their requirements.
- Evaluation: Next, customers are evaluating solutions in detail. The most relevant and influential content you can present is focused on function.
- Selection: In the final stage, customers are really in charge of the decision and have the negotiating power.
Customers expect to be educated by your content. This knowledge should have an enormous impact on the content you create. The quality of the writing and presentation are key in increasing effectiveness. A lot of small business owners make the mistake of providing low quality content without even realizing it. This defeats the purpose of your blog and can even have a negative impact on your brand image. Remember, thanks to social media—twitter, facebook, linkedin and others—content can very easily go viral. As a small business owner, its important you don’t miss that opportunity.
Google is affecting how content is found. Ever since the company released its powerful search engine, relevancy has become the most important factor in internet searches. Consumers use Google as a starting point for find everything—even your business. Unfortunately, Google is in control of how and who finds you. As a business owner you do not have that power. When you are developing content, for blogs, wikis, social media, etc., you must always make sure you are using relevant terms that will be indexed by the search giant. Headlines are very important for grabbing users attention—you must have a “hook” to engage the reader so they continue to read. However, they are also the first thing that is indexed by Google’s bots. Be sure it is optimized with key words that are relevant to your product/service/company. It is CRUCIAL, I repeat CRUCIAL to use tags, especially in blogs so others can more easily find you. Don’t let Google decide where to position your content, use as many tools as possible to influence your rank.
Bloggers are another source of distribution for your content. In fact, they are even more important than traditional media. In terms of bloggers, the most important thing for a business owner to do is to find the “experts” in your industry and start interacting with them. The key is to influence the “influencer”. Chances are your potential customers are also reading these bloggers content. Become part of the community and engage bloggers through comments and by offering to provide educational content they can use. Remember, bloggers are always looking for content—become that source. Its basically free PR for your business and much, much more influential. Even better, become the expert yourself!
Remember your goal with content marketing is to create awareness and generate leads.
Hope you found this helpful! Please comment!
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