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Successful Content Marketing
Your customers want to have a relationship; the hard sell, which is the historically valid style of marketing, is just not working as well any more in our new world. Everything is changing and at Successful we believe it is for the better. We want customers that are friends and are interested in supporting our fate just as we support and grows theirs. So we are 100% behind the philosophy yet we also mention the strategic content aspect and know that at some point you have to ask for the sale so there is a place for both. Keeping in mind valuing and providing value to your client is clearly a prime directive. Hire us and you will see in the way we treat you just how important your well being and our relationship can be. We naturally support this and in return, we support you.
We have studied under a number of the experts and understand the importance of quality and authority. The use of keywords is still vital. Google Adwords are run by keywords and searches are still made with keywords – the age of searching based on feelings is on the horizon, but not here as of yet. With that in mind, we embrace a well- rounded successful content marketing strategy utilizing both the old concepts of keyword marketing and the newest strategies coming out of the content marketing machines.
There are a number of ways this works. We can interview you and then write the optimized content on your behalf, or you can provide the content and then we research and optimize it for you, using keywords. Many agencies will tell you that they can do it for you, but not us. We want you to be involved. We want to translate your passion and interest in your product into a successful content and search campaign. Together, we provide important value to your customers. That’s what successful content marketing is all about.
We Believe That:
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.”
– Robert Rose, Content Marketing Institute
The mantra should change from “Always Be Closing” to “Always Be Helping.”
– David Hahn, LinkedIn
Aspects of Content Marketing
Tell a Story
This is one of the basic elements of writing and marketing in general. Telling a story engages the visitor and helps humanize you and your experience, which is important in online persona development. A story can guide the user emotionally to feel what it is that is the essence of the brand or the product. On top of that, a story can make the seller seem more credible. Anyone who has shopped on Craigslist will understand it and is more likely to contact the seller that tells a little story (it hasn’t been long and can be negative). “I love my TV, but am selling it because I inherited my dad’s and now know longer need it.”
The reader then thinks – Credible seller, not just some sketchy dealer, and takes the contact action. The story did this while sticking to our Content Marketing goal of providing value. Small example, quick textual line but a strategy that can work for you no matter how big your brand is. This makes you a friend that someone could care about, not just a faceless empire.
Testimonials | Reviews
Telling a story and testimonials can be related, in fact it all can. Again, this is an area where the humanizing quality is most felt. A further advantage is that the client is hearing from someone else without a vested interest in your company (of course you love your company and on top of that will make money if they buy) so they can trust testimonials more if it is well done.
The same goes with reviews that are really testimonials in disguise. You may want to take some of the reviews directly from your Yelp / Amazon account and then just quote them there or link to them at least first. Successful has found that businesses in their beginning stages, even if large, may have a tough time getting people to post meaningful reviews, so mining them off of other sites that already have a reviewing audience can be helpful. Another concept to keep in mind is the manufacturer’s reply.
If someone rates your product poorly, (and one bad review can have a huge impact since human nature is inclined to really pay attention to the negative) go to whatever website that hosts this review and if possible and in a timely manner reply to the negative comment and solve that user’s issue. This is beneficial in a couple key ways; you are there to give support, which makes the reviewer happy, and others who see that you are there and care are more likely to buy. Get yourself some testimonials and reviews- it is important to show the world what others are saying about you. world what others are saying about you.
This is traditionally not an “online marketing strategy”, but we want to mention the value of the guarantee as well. This is the handshake that tells the consumer that the deal is valid and you stand behind it. If they don’t like your product, you will give them their money back. A legally binding guarantee is always welcome and it always means support for a product, which means higher sales and conversions to you. You may lose a few here and there, but the overall growth in sales should cover that. Also, if you find you are getting too many returns, it may be time to re-evaluate your market or reinvent your product. Successful recommends you offer a guarantee on whatever products you can, just as we do.
Calls to Action (CTA)
You have to have a call to action if you are asking your user to take an action. It’s as simple as that. Of course, if you write an article and just want them to enjoy the article and then leave your site and never talk to you again or communicate, so be it, you can skip the call to action. For the rest of the time, make sure to have one. You would be amazed at how dramatically a CTA can increase your conversions. Pages without them suffer and one would innately think that it is not necessary, but it is. These range from buy now buttons, learn more, contact us, sign up, join, get our free newsletter, share, add and anything you can imagine. They almost always correlate to your conversion goal that the particular page is guiding the user to. Despite how obvious that page is to that goal, you still need to call it out and it is best when you make it pretty obvious that you are.
That doesn’t mean in the content marketing philosophy that you make it the loudest thing on the page, but make it noticeable. It is even better when you can make it the only real action on the page, though we ourselves fail this at times and may have a sidebar with an email sign up and then a purchase CTA further down. Bad Successful, but we knowingly make that sacrifice. Also, analytics have shown that making the command is better than wrapping the command in a question. Don’t hesitate to ask for it and don’t be shy. We can help you. Contact us now and get a quote to become Successful [CTA Inserted].
Clear & Simple
Closely tied to the call to action (CTA) concept is the idea of a simple page. This comes in a couple ways; remember how we talked about having more than one CTA on a page as a no-no? Keep that in mind when making your pages effective, just have them do one thing and do that one thing well. Focus on that goal, which is the message you are trying to get across. Keep away from going off on tangents both graphically, CTA-wise and the content itself. Think of a squeeze page – we sometimes build those so there is no navigation, just the logo, the content and the action. This is hugely successful to some markets.
Write clear to the point and just as much as you need to get your vision across, if people need more, they can use the comment area to direct you. A simple, efficient page is successful both for the user and the search engines. You can always modify it a bit for SEO, but maintain that simplicity and avoid clutter. Streamline, refine, and don’t detract from the user experience – just another piece of your online success.
eBooks / Whitepapers
An eBook or a whitepaper is an opportunity to provide a longer piece of content for the user to download and allows you to keep your pages clean. Most sites will give one of these for free as long as the user signs up for the email newsletter and becomes a business lead. So it is two-fold, a chance for you to really go into your subject in much more complex technical detail and then a chance to get them to become a lead and establish a relationship.Another method is to have different eBooks or Whitepapers targeted to different audiences – always keeping the audience in mind and the purpose of that page.
Here you again segment your leads and produce long-form content for them. Also, the search engines love these types of documents and, if you don’t mind getting them indexed as a one click, can get you strong results without the simplicity concern.Due to the amount of effort it takes to create a good eBook, this is often considered one of your top freebies. Make sure to emphasize that. Ebooks and Whitepapers when well done can establish you as an authority, give a deeper preview in what you and your brand are about, as well as make a convincing argument – a chance to shine in a deeper way. Not to be missed.
Webinars | Podcasting
Webinars and Podcasting are similar to the eBook and Whitepaper concept and they can even give a deeper feeling of connection to your fans as they get to see and hear your personality, not just read it. If you are charismatic or have someone in your company that is, this is recommended. A webinar is a live training event, whereas a webcast or podcast is a recorded event that is then streamed or downloaded for later viewing by the client. A webinar can become a podcast after it is recorded, so make sure to record everything that has marketable educational value.
Combine a live webinar with a live chat room and you may have a chance to address the actual questions that your users have.There is a lot of power in this method of communication. With both, you will want to speak about your product or offering and show the user how to use it, be authoritative on its use and need, as well as insert calls to action in your talk to make those sales. In these last few years they have been shown to be extremely lucrative when done by the right team.A word of warning here though: make sure to have a good technical team set it up and make sure to test everything, including your microphone, internet connection, all tools, and everything. There is nothing worse and less professional looking then going to a webcast that falls apart due to bad tech. That is bad PR and the opposite that you want. If you need help setting up and making a Webinar or Podcast work, let us know. Successful can make you a star there.
When you think of video marketing, you likely would think of YouTube and Vimeo as the two largest players, and you would be right. Video marketing is a world tied to content marketing on your site and its own entity. We have expertise in both but, for now, consider having videos that walk through your product technically, emotionally, and educationally on any page that it makes sense to do so. That means pretty much all pages, so keep in mind some users prefer and learn better through video.
To not have a video is to alienate part of your audience. You don’t want to do that, do you? Of course you don’t, so make videos. Try to make it as polished and professional as you can. You may need to hire a videographer or editor (we have some excellent ones on staff). However, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you create your video yourself at home and it gets the essence across, then use it. Work with us, or create your own account on YouTube to host the video as well as hopefully get some YouTube traffic. After you upload it, we can train you to link it onto your site.Stick with the rules of content marketing and marketing in general, specifically, we are talking about calls to action, stories etc. Give your users a chance to hear and see you. This humanizes and gives you an online face that is absolutely invaluable – a necessity. Script it out, have a plan for your video, and really leverage it as a chance to connect, establish, and convert your visitor. It is key and we strongly recommend video on your key pages. Again, we can help you succeed, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
Imagery | Infographics
Don’t forget to include strong imagery that is relevant to the page information. If you can, avoid cheesy overused stock images and go with something you yourself can produce. The more someone gets a feeling for you and how you are, the more likely trust will build as well as the relationship and the conversion. If you are able to hire or invite a friend that is into photography to get them on board and have them help. Most photographers love jobs like that.Imagery is important to content marketing and it would be a mistake not to put energy into your image selection and instead only focus on the words on the page. Infographics are huge right now and with good reason.
They are a visual map of a piece of content. However, they do require time, effort, and creativity from your design team so there is expense. It is a great way to present statistics, information, and complicated data in a visual way which can allow for a broader grasp or even a clearer means of telling your truth.The other benefit is that, when done well, historically have a strong tendency to get picked up on social networks and major media channels. This can lead to some large eyes on your site and some great links. Is some expense worth that? Successful knows it is, and our team of developers can help you if you don’t want to allocate your own resources.
The Customer Journey
Simply stated, you have a visitor. With the right marketing message this customer converts and becomes a lead which then grows into an opportunity and finally a sale. This visitor has become a full- blown customer now and goes into the care cycle. Customer service, satisfaction and retention or loyalty are key here and becomes the goal with courting this new customer.If done correctly that customer becomes one that you can upsell to and on their end they become passionate about your products and brand. Much of what we have talked about in the overall marketing strategy has a lot to do with how you court the customer, but we want to make sure that you nurture them as well. Treat them with respect and make sure to connect with them often. Answer their questions, give them targeted content and deals just for them, set up a loyalty program; all in all make them know how important they are. Nurture, support, and encourage – these brand evangelists can be one of your most powerful tools both based in sales and the social aspects. They are hugely important. A successful company knows this and we can help you achieve this goal.
Integrate and Optimize
To have a Successful web strategy solution today it is essential that you are integrated. Many of our services are part of the whole picture and combining these elements is crucial for your bottomline. Follow the links below to understand more fully what these are and how they / we can serve you.