You're reading this because you've been paying attention. You know that content marketing and inbound marketing are not just the future of marketing, but the now. Because it works. Why else would global brands invest so much into their content?
If you are thinking about getting into content marketing, these five tips are a great place to start. If you want the quick and basics, read on. If you want to learn more, download our Inbound Marketing Checklist. You can also click on the links in each section to explore each tip deeper.
1- Write blog posts
Original content is the basis of an effective content marketing program. Content that is truly valuable to your audience, however, is how you drive sales. Write content that answers your customers' burning questions or fuels their curiosity. Look at competitors or similar brands for ideas. Also, consider writing around the questions you get over and over -- take your FAQs and turn them into blog posts.
2- Think visually
With the changes in social media, visuals have been emphasized. Content can't just be straight words -- you need to think about the visuals that enhance your articles and keep customers reading. Show charts and graphs that support claims (if you're B2B) or take interesting photos of your products that relate to the content of your article. You're competing to get people to read your content, so make it easy to scan, too. Use subheadings and bullet points for easy consumption.
3- Promote it
Writing content is great, but you need traffic to fuel your sales funnel. Find ways to drive your leads to your site using your content. Some common methods include utilizing social media platforms and paid advertising, such as Facebook ads, google ads, display ads and syndication platforms like Outbrain or Taboola.
Don't discount your current customers, too. Create an email marketing program with your blog content to drive people familiar with your brand back to your site. This is great for upselling current customers, but also encouraging social sharing so you can reach more people in your customers' circle.
Read more: Guide to Social Media Promotion
4- Be clear about what you want someone to do
Once someone is on your content, you need to hint at what you'd like them to do. Rule of thumb is choosing one call to action only. That can be several things based on your goals. If it's product sales, you can provide a "shop now" button to your online store. If you're in B2B, give them a related resource or offer, like an ebook or white paper to download. Without telling your visitors what you want them to do, they won't actually turn into a lead or sales.
Whatever it is you offer for download, be sure that you're asking for equal value in return. For example, don't offer a one-page worksheet and expect someone to give you their email, phone number, birth date, address, etc. Maybe just ask for an email address or phone number.
5- Follow up with leads
The number one rule in generating business from content marketing is simple: Follow up! When you get a lead in, reach out to them. Find out how you can help them and tell them a little more about what you provide. Don't stop at just email -- Call the lead first, then email. You can even test out texting your leads to get a response. Rule of thumb is call and email at least 4 times (some people say even more) to get a response. The quality of your leads will help inform your content strategy in the future.
Interested in learning more about these options and how to sell it to your boss or CEO? Download our guide to the ROI of Online Marketing so you can tell them what kind of results you can expect.