By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
If your website was a vehicle, then content would be the engine that makes every activity possible.
Without great web content, your blog will struggle to generate quality visitors. Compelling and highly targeted content enables your blog to attract quality traffic, generate leads and make sales. This is why you need to pay particular attention to your content strategy, from targeting and creation to distribution and conversion.
As marketers, we are not just interested in having a website for our business. More than that, we want a website that will generate sales. We want content that will make our target customers trust and buy from us. We want results.
Here are four elements of great content that help to build trust and turn leads into buyers.
1. Content that is Educational
In 2013, 48% of marketers plan to increase their inbound marketing spend (Hubspot). Why is there more focus on inbound marketing? Because today’s consumers have greater control of the marketing messages that they receive. Marketers need to define and understand their audiences, and focus on adding value to their lives.
“Today’s buyer wants to be educated before buying, not pitched to”
People don’t want to be interrupted with marketing messages when making purchasing decisions. Instead, they want valuable educational information. In online business, it’s not just what you sell, but how you sell.
Your content should offer value that your competition is most likely ignoring. If visitors land on your website and after reading your article or eBook become more knowledgeable or find a solution to their problems, then you have offered value.
2. Content that is Findable
Your web content is great if it provides value. However, you also need the content to be found. What’s the use of having a great book in the library that you cannot find? This is exactly where linear-focused marketers get it wrong.
As you create your content, you have to make it findable. How? Through search and social media. Using target keywords in your content will make search engines rank it higher and send over targeted visitors. At the same time, share your valuable content across the social networks where your audience hangs out.
According to a report by Montate, leads coming from search in Q2 2012 spent an average of $90.40 while those from social networks spent an average of $64.19. With this data, it will detrimental to ignore optimizing your content for SEO and distributing it through social media.
Savvy marketers use the power of social media to spread their messages to their target audience, which in turn generates positive word-of-mouth exposure. This is the kind of win you’re looking for: having your target market talking positively about your brand both online and offline.
3. Content that Converts
The ultimate goal of producing high quality web content is to generate conversions. When it comes to conversions, all content is not the same. According to a study by EyeViewDigital, using video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%. The needs of your target customers and where they are on the sales funnel should help you determine which type of content to produce.
Great conversions occur after segmenting leads, understanding what they want and educating them on how you can help them. You can target your buyer personas with different content and use analytics tools to gauge the effectiveness of the content. Examples of content that you can use for conversion include white papers, videos, case studies, data sheets, product reviews, and webinars.
4. Content that is Timely
Providing value at the right time is crucial to achieving your sales objectives. Ultimately, buying is an emotional decision. Consumers will buy when they determine that you have what they need at that time they need it.
In her book “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale”, Ardath Albee indicates that you can use the information you already have about your prospect to provide relevant content at each point in the sales cycle, thus igniting a systematic process to conversion.
Delivering web content that resonates well with your prospects at a particular time provides the slight push needed to make them convert. Timing is everything not only when you are shipping products, but also when delivering content.
Compelling content that provides value is the backbone of any successful website. Marketers need to develop content marketing strategies to ensure they are communicating the right message to the right audience, and building the kind of trust it takes to make the sale.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka.
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
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