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Content That Caters To Your Target Market Reaps Big Rewards

 


Remember direct mail?  A direct mail campaign was once considered a pretty effective marketing technique.  Why?  Direct mail operated on the premise that it's better to angle for your target market than cast your net widely and hope a fish happens to swim in. 

Direct mail involved first determining how many advertising pieces you wanted to mail. There was the expense of creating this piece, including determining strategy, hiring an outside creative service to design the piece, the printing, the cost of a mailing list and labels, the hiring of a service to sort and mail the item, the postage and the follow up.

After all of this time and expense, companies using direct mail campaigns could typically expect a response rate of 1%—and 2% was considered a crowning achievement.

Not terribly impressive, but before the Internet and social media marketing, direct mail was one of the most common, and most effective, methods for target marketing.

The entire concept of “advertising” to your target market has changed dramatically.

DEVELOPING YOUR CONTENT:

With direct mail, your advertising piece would loudly declare, “I’m the best! Buy from me!” Today’s strategy has switched to content marketing that provides information your potential customer needs in order to make the best decision in finding a solution to a problem. Of course, you want to be the company to provide that solution!

By frequently and consistently updating your website content you will become a trusted source of information, and will attract followers whorepeatedly visit your website. With each return visit, you have an additional opportunity to engage these visitors and the more likely they will be to become customers.

By publishing content that highlights and showcases your company’s strengths in your industry, and freely shares relevant and useful information, you will become the familiar “friend” to seek out for answers. People are always more likely to do business with a friend.

Content must be timely, relevant, fresh and original. Each time someone looks to you for information, they must find something different. Repetitive content often is listed as a top reason people cease making return visits to a specific website. Custom content in your news, articles, emails and blogs will help build your company’s reputation as your target market’s source for relevant information. High-quality content will also improve your search engine ranking and will drive more traffic—and business—to your website.

IDENTIFYING YOUR TARGET MARKET:

A very large percentage (as many as 95%) of marketing executives admit the ability to precisely pinpoint their target market is their most daunting challenge.

Many research studies, data, reports and statistics are available to assist with pinpointing target markets; however one of the most effective involves engaging your current and prospective clients. Solicit feedback from your current customers regarding where they look for information. Ask for details concerning the problems they face in their own businesses and where they go to find solutions. Consider asking current customers to complete a questionnaire with questions designed to help define your target market.

Request, and encourage, feedback from all levels of contact. Add the opportunity to comment to all your blogs, emails, articles and websites—and always reply to any comments or questions.

Track the origins of all contacts whenever possible. Utilize information about what links lead visitors to your website or blogs to further pinpoint your target market.

TURN WEBSITE VISITORS INTO CUSTOMERS:

Once you have pinpointed your target market, it is essential to closely focus on the specific needs of that market. More than 60% of “decision makers” in today’s businesses point to the providing of valuable content as a primary factor in deciding to do business with one company over another. Additionally, 61% of individual consumers report they are more likely to buy from a company that provides custom content that answers their questions or provides a solution to their problem.

It is very important that your content not only caters to your target market, but that it presents your company in the best possible light. The figures listed above prove that the information offered online will influence purchasing decisions.

Content marketing can be a very effective marketing technique if you properly target your audience and provide useful and valuable information. You can vastly surpass the one percent return of direct mail campaigns and vastly increase your reach with customers.






































Making The Case For Content Marketing: How To Get Your Company On Board

 

So, how do you convince your company leaders and employees that content is the way to go? This requires a strategy, not unlike the actual content marketing strategy itself. Your on-boarding process needs to include:

5 Compelling Reasons To Curate And Repurpose Your Content

 

You’ve been told that content marketing is the way to go and that a website sporting fresh content will be found more easily because the search engines love to see new stuff. But it seems an insurmountable task to create fresh, new content each and every day. Did you realize that you may be sitting on an entire mountain of content already? Or at least a small hill?

5 Tips For A Killer Content Marketing Strategy

 
In today's highly mobile and information-loaded environment, content marketing works. People don't have time to sift through mailbox ads or speak with telemarketers on the phone. When they're curious or interested in something, they go to Google. So if you want to get their attention, you've got to show up in the Google search results, and content marketing is the way to do just that.

To be successful with your content marketing, though, you've got to have a plan. The content you produce must be fresh, smart, and readable--always readable. But how do you start and maintain a killer content marketing strategy? Follow these five tips.

1. Know what your readers want. When you send your content out to the universe, you may not even know who your audience is. At the beginning of your content marketing campaign, you just have to define your ideal audience and hope for the best. After a few months, however, you should take stock of which posts have been successful and re-focus your content marketing around those topics. You can determine which posts are the most successful by how many comments they received, how many times they were posted to social media, and how many Facebook "likes" they earned. Pay close attention to these attention-pulling posts. Analyze readers' comments to find out what they liked best about these posts, and model future posts after them.

2. Make your content marketing strategy a priority. If your content marketing strategy only gets the leftovers of your time and money, it won't be successful and your business won't thrive. To make it a priority, get the very best writers, video producers, and graphics creators working together to produce exceptional content. If you're a gifted writer yourself, block out prime time during your workdays for your content writing instead of leaving it at the bottom of your to-do list. You won't produce your best work when you're tired and burned out. Remember that your content creates your image, so don't skimp on content creation resources.

3. Build your social media presence. Word-of-mouth used to involve one person recommending a company or service to another person. Today, one person can recommend you to hundreds of friends at the same time through social media. You can't afford to ignore the power of social media. It can boost your content marketing exponentially. To build your social media presence, spend some time every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other networks. Find out which networks cater most to your targeted demographic. For instance, Pinterest works well for promoting products geared toward women. In addition to posting your own content on social media networks, engage with others in your industry and community to build relationships and reach people outside your own network.

4. Design and maintain high standards for your content. At the very beginning of your content marketing campaign, you're full of good ideas and enthusiasm, but it doesn't take long, especially if you're busy with other tasks, for that enthusiasm to wane and for your standards to slip. Do everything you can to keep your content standards high so you don't lose followers. One thing you can do to maintain high standards is to create a style guide. A style guide defines the writing and design of documents produced by your company, and it's especially helpful for keeping your standards uniform when you hire freelancers to help you produce content. Whether or not you use a style guide, put systems in place that ensure good grammar, spelling, and semantics as well as fresh, innovative ideas.

5. Stay consistent. In addition to maintaining high standards for your content, you also need to maintain a consistent schedule for content production and publication. When people see that you consistently post quality content to your blog, they perceive you as reliable and trustworthy. The best way to produce consistent content is to create an editorial schedule and stick with it. Decide how many blog posts you want to publish per month, put them on the editorial schedule, and follow the schedule religiously. Add social media posting to your editorial schedule to keep you consistent, even when you're busy. You can also expand your editorial schedule to include how-to articles, landing pages, and other essential content.

If you follow these tips, you'll have a killer content marketing strategy. It will be low-cost, effective, and successful in driving new and repeat customers to your business.

















Are You Missing Out On Content Opportunities?

 

Content is the meat and potatoes of any blog or social media campaign. Content can include a simple idea written on a white board that triggers a thread of blogs or it can be the culmination of hours of research on a specific topic. You need to have these meat and potatoes to keep your networking campaign active, growing, and beneficial to your business.  

Content is all around you. Open your eyes, open your ears and allow the ideas to flow. If you are not sure where to look or who to listen to, you can use the following ideas to get you started.

Demographics

Study your audience. Who is your client base? Most businesses target a niche. They focus on a specific age group, gender, hobby areas, etc. Who your audience is, will help you determine the things that may be of interest to them. A 90 year old is most likely not going to be interested in rock climbing supplies. A 20 year old is more likely to have an increased knowledge of personal technology products. Use the knowledge you have about your client base to decide what knowledge needs to be built on and what information is unnecessary to share.

Ask your clients for ideas on what is important to them.  Use contests which reward clients for suggesting blog topics or providing links to interesting news articles. Review your social media feedback and see if there are unsolicited resources in the comments section.

Keyword Searches

If you have a blog or social media campaign you know what keywords are. Make a list of the keywords that you focus on in your networking efforts. If you sell kitchen appliances you probably use terms like blender, appliance, kitchen appliance, dish washer, bread maker, etc.  Think about derivatives of these keywords. If you are searching for bread maker topics, you can use terms like bread maker review or bread maker recipes. Enter your main keywords into the search query field and execute the query. The bottom or side of the page will provide alternative search options. These alternatives can lead you in a whole new direction. When you execute each of the queries review the results, you may find a news article, a review, or a photo that strikes a chord.

Use the News

We have newspapers, magazines, internet, press releases, and radio shows for good reasons. People want to know what is going on in the world. They want to keep up to date on current events, new music, products and everything else under the sun. Don't let these sources of content opportunities pass you by. Subscribe to publications that focus on your product or service. Review news frequently and note anything that is of use to you. Visit leading news outlets and search for articles specific to your keywords, products, or services. Use these articles to spur ideas or for facts and figures to beef up your post.

Fix the Problem

One of the best ways to retain clients and get new ones is to prove that your company cares about your customers. If a client reports a problem with a product, share the problem with your audience and see if others have had the same issue. Fix the problem and share the solution with your clients. If a client has a problem that can't be fixed with one of your products, help them find a product that will. What a great way to earn more income, satisfy clients, and build your business.

The Go To List

Once you have reviewed your social media feedback, pumped your clients for ideas and information, perused the news, and executed multiple search queries you may still be stumped as to the content of your next blog.  Don't worry; visit your go to list. Your go to list is simply when you write what you know. Share your knowledge, skills, and experience. Share a review of your product, write a review on a product, or give your customer a sneak peak at an upcoming project. Share a unique way that your product was used or a great customer service story.

If you are still stumped, take inspiration from the late night talk shows. Create a top 10 list. List the top 10 products in your business, talk about the worst products that you have ever sold and how you fixed it. If you can't think of 10 things, focus on five and expand each one with a great short story or explanation.



































Pulizzi Says: Set Audacious Content Goals

 

Now there’s a word you don’t hear much anymore.  Audacious.  Who uses that word?

Top 5 Most Shareable Content Types

 

In today's digital world, shareable content is the power behind every purposeful marketing effort. In a matter of seconds, hundreds of millions of pieces of content are shared via social media forums, YouTube posts and all forms of searches in the World Wide Web.

CMI Survey Offers Insight Into The State Of Content Marketing

 

The 2012 Digital Content Marketing Survey, conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and BrandPoint, aims to get a handle on how businesses are using content marketing, what’s working for them, what’s not, and how these companies plan to use content going forward.

5 Content Marketing Techniques That Lure Subscribers To Your Brand

 
You've probably outlined a number of goals for your content marketing strategy that include increasing your website traffic and leads. Woven into your effort to generate good quality leads is the need to not only extend your brand's reach but to also win over more subscribers to your brand.

Here are five approaches to assist you in tuning your content to lure the most subscribers:
  • Remember Karma  - what goes around comes around, if you put positivity out into the Blogosphere, you are more likely to get it back - especially as it relates to your brand. At a tactical level, this means that there's no need to speak negatively or derisively about your competitors in your online content. It's certainly OK to highlight how the features and functionality of your product compare to those of your competitor, but it should be done in a thoughtful, data-driven manner. 
  • Be Topical - don't create brand focused content in a vacuum, pay attention to current events and how they tie to your offering. Recent storm in your tree trimming company's service area? Offer useful content on how your potential customers should report downed power lines and tree limbs or even create a storm center content area on your website.
  • Share From Within - LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are useful tools to get your word out. Branded accounts are a must for each of these networks. You should also move beyond branded accounts by encouraging sharing from within your company. Say you have 20 people in your start-up. All of them are probably active on at least one social network. Think of the power of sharing branded content through each of your employees' individual networks. Instead of 2 tweets for each new blog post, you could potentially have 10 tweets. The ripple effect of sharing from within is significant.
  • Be Downloadable and Printable - website visitors and leads should be able to take your corporate content with them. Your content should be easily downloadable and non-modifiable (e.g. in .pdf format). Don't forget that your downloaded content might be printed. Be sensitive to colors. Your whitepaper with the dark green background may look great on a computer screen, but it will probably be hard to read when printed (and use up a ton of green toner ink).
  • Be Graphical - if a picture paints a thousand words, how many words does an infographic paint? Data shared within your branded infographic is an effective and visual method of building your brand's value proposition.
As you build your subscriber base with the above techniques, your subscribers will in turn become advocates of your brand and organically extend your content marketing efforts to help you reach your revenue goals.








Website Content Writers Save The Day!

 

And they may even save your business, too.  Call me partial, but I’ve seen it too many times to deny.

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