When you take on the role of becoming a publisher for your business and a source of information in your industry, your options are wide open. You can create a series of videos. You can publish blog posts regularly. You can develop infographics. The list goes on and on.
The sheer number of choices can make content marketing intimidating. Some companies may just push it aside and think “well get to it someday” and then concentrate on other forms of marketing that are less effective and more costly.
I’ve got some bad news for you if you fall into that category. Someday has arrived. Your customers are looking for information. They want to work with a company that has expertise. They are reading more about the topic online before making a purchase. If you’re there at every stage of the sales cycle, you’re going to be the one they turn to when they are ready to purchase.
Rather than try to do everything at once with content marketing, focusing on just a few key content pieces will get you the best results. Here are three pieces to use now to start claiming your stake in content marketing and getting more prospects and sales for your business.
1. Blog Posts
Blog posts are the starting point for a solid content marketing plan. They feed the needs of both your audience and search engines. Blog posts give you the opportunity to give your audience actionable, helpful information that will assist them with their goals related to your product or service. For example, if you’re an email marketing company you’ll publish blog posts on getting the most out of email marketing, using web marketing techniques and connecting with your audience via email. If you’re a dog breeder, you’ll blog about selecting the right dog for your family, how to raise a puppy correctly and how to train your dog. Blog posts like these are helpful, interesting and show your audience that you’re an expert at what you do.
Furthermore, blog posts are very search friendly. They keep your website fresh and up to date – which search engines love. In addition, you can optimize blog posts for specific terms that will boost your rankings and give a bigger presence in search engine results. And the cherry on top? Blog posts are very shareable. Social media users and content curators are looking for fresh and interesting information to share. By publishing a blog, you’re increasing the chances of getting social media traffic as well.
2. White papers.
White papers give you a chance to explore a topic in depth in a way that is just not possible with blog posts. White papers are a content marketing goldmine. They provide you with the opportunity to display your expertise and be truly helpful to your target audience. It’s one thing to tweet about a topic and it’s another to create a 10 page guide to a specific aspect of that topic.
White papers give you the ability to take a stand, which is essential if you want to stand out in the marketplace. The helpful and detailed information that you offer in your white paper can make an impact with your readers. In addition, you’ll have the perfect tool to use email marketing and build an opt in list of prospects. Offer your white paper in exchange for the email address and name of website visitors. And don’t forget to promote your white paper on social media once it’s been released.
Once you’ve grown your list with a white paper, you need to keep your audience engaged. A regular newsletter is a perfect way to do that. Whether you publish weekly, biweekly or monthly, a consistent newsletter will build your relationship with your prospects and help you turn website visitors into loyal buyers. Email marketing can support your social media and blogging efforts as well.
A newsletter takes your relationship with your audience to the next step. It’s less transient than social media. With email marketing, you’re reaching your audience right where they’ll pay the most attention – their inboxes. Regular newsletters give you the opportunity to share your blog content, offer additional insight and let your prospects know that you are there to help.
Using blog posts, white papers and newsletters you can develop a consistent and effective content marketing plan that will build your brand, create more leads and help your business thrive.
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