How to Amplify Your Content Marketing and Get Better Results
Capturing attention so you can drive conversions
Why spend time (and money) creating articles, videos, and podcast episodes for your business? Great content marketing is the foundation of any effective online lead generation strategy – and that’s what we want, right? More qualified leads… people who need our products and services.
Great content is a foundation of effective marketing – especially online. Search engines use content to answer queries from their users. Create great content (stuff people love and share) and your authority increases… meaning you rank higher on results pages. More visibility equals more leads.
Seems pretty straightforward. So what’s the problem?
Consistent content creation (regular writing, recording, and sharing) is tough. Many of my clients struggle to publish content regularly. This seems like the biggest issue, but it’s not. Publishing frequency is important. Consistency is vital. But quality is key.
You can publish frequently and consistently, but if the content you create isn’t compelling for your audience, you won’t see the results you want. Unless your stuff resonates with them, it won’t attract them to your business.
The key to better results is content strategy… and creating a simple strategy for your business is easier than you think.
What is content marketing?
Here’s an official definition – -> Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand, but is intended to stimulate interest in the brand’s products and services.
I live in Michigan, where we love our outdoor activities. To make content marketing understandable, let’s talk about it this way…
Content marketing is like fishing. The videos, blog articles, and social posts you create are the lures you use to land a new lead. When you publish something new, you’re casting into the lake and hoping to capture the attention of your “fish” – the prospective new client you hope will eventually buy from you.
So, here’s where it gets tricky. If you enjoy fishing like my husband, you understand the importance of selecting the right lure. You see, not all fish are attracted to the same lure. You can’t just tie on any old lure when you’re fishing for smallmouth bass… at least not if you want to be successful. That’s why my husband studied the behavior of the fish he likes to catch. He needed to understand what it takes to get them to bite.
Content marketing – in very simple terms – is a combination of knowing who you want to attract and understanding what they want in order to attract them… and then creating and publishing the right content to bring people to your business.
Effective content marketing doesn’t just happen. You have to plan for it. You have to study your ideal clients (the fish) and figure out what content will appeal to them (the lures). Then you have to create and publish the content (get it in the water) so your target market takes action (bites) on it.
Your plan for doing this ^^^ is a content strategy, my friends. Creating one (and executing on it) will transform your content marketing into a lead generation machine.
What do your people need and want?
Study your desired leads (your fish) to find out what they need and want. An easy place to start is by talking to your best customers and clients. These are people who enjoy using your products and services. People who would happily buy from you again. You want more of them in your business… so you need to attract them.
Ask questions like these:
- What problems did you have before you bought our products or services?
- What questions did you have early in the process (and before we started)?
- How did you try to solve these problems before you worked with us?
You are looking for questions people ask before they work with a company like yours. You’re also looking for the information they want when they struggle with a problem your business solves. Why? Because these are the topics they search for online.
These topics – and others like them – are your lures.
How do your people find answers?
How many times per day do you type a query into a search engine like Google? Seems like I’m constantly grabbing my phone to get a question answered or using a browser window to search for a bit of information I need to make a decision or take some kind of action. It’s pretty safe to say that your ideal clients use search engines… making SEO an important part of your content marketing strategy.
There’s more to this than creating content for search engines like Google. You’ll need to think about your ideal clients and observe their behavior.
- Do your people get answers using video content on platforms like YouTube?
- Do they ask questions on social platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn?
- What about informational podcasts? Do they listen while commuting or working out?
Your audience might read articles in trade journals or online publications. They might look for inspiration on visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. In some industries, a downloadable white paper or special report has the biggest impact on a buyer. These are factors you need to consider as you think about your content strategy.
The places you publish your content (the lakes you fish in) need to align with your ideal clients behavior. You want to put your content where it will be seen by your people.
Provide real value -> inspire, inform, intrigue
Okay – we’ve talked about how to find content ideas (types of lures) and how to select a marketing channel for sharing your content (lakes). Now we need to talk about how to get your content to generate leads.
Content converts (generates leads) when it provides real value to your audience. As a general rule, if the content you create doesn’t generate leads then it’s not providing real value. Here’s a hint – -> The value of the lure is determined by the fish, not the one doing the fishing. Just because YOU think it’s valuable, doesn’t mean your audience agrees.
Real value comes from providing inspiration and information, or from creating curiosity (intrigue) for your audience. When you give your people what they want, they naturally come to you for more.
How do you do this?
- Inspire your audience to solve real problems or reach for goals.
- Inform them so they can take action or improve their situation.
- Intrigue them by sharing ideas they want to learn more about.
This is the way to create great content and drive conversions. Focus on real value… because that’s what makes the difference. You’ll be surprised how well a quick video made with a phone can convert when you provide value while a professional video that’s full of fluff falls flat.
Content marketing moves people a bit closer to your business.
Your goal (when creating content) should be action. You want every video, article, or social post to move people one step closer to working with you. What does that step look like? It depends on the context. But when your content creates movement for your audience, it eventually generates consistent leads for your business.
Overwhelmed by content marketing? Keep reading. We regularly publish articles with clear, simple advice you can use to market your business effectively. Like this article? We invite you to share it!