If you run an internet business, you have probably heard how valuable content marketing could potentially be. However, most businesses that invest their time or money into blogging, social media, or email marketing fail to see the returns that they were expecting. Why? Because most companies are not able to tie the channels together into a consistent marketing machine. Content marketing works best when supported through multiple publishing channels. Keep these tips in mind as you plan out your well-oiled sales generating content marketing machine.
Understanding the Purpose of Content Marketing
It is important to remember that the purpose of content marketing is not simply to generate sales. Yes, that is the end goal. But, the actual content that you create shouldn’t be sales-focused 100% of the time. The ultimate goal of each piece of content should be to deliver value and continue to improve your reputation with prospects and customers. Content marketing isn’t something that will begin generating a return overnight, but with careful planning and persistence, you can be sure that it will pay off in the long-term.
Creating a Valuable Blog
The most basic step (and still perhaps the most important) in developing a content marketing plan is creating a valuable blog. In many content marketing plans, the blog serves as the home-base for most content. Sure, you deliver newsletters and social media posts, but the real bread-and-butter value that you provide will come from your blog in most cases. Creating a valuable blog is all about determining what your audience wants to know about your product, industry, or company and delivering that information in an entertaining and easily-digestible way.
Growing an Email List
Think of your blog posts as your bait. Yes, they deliver real value, but the ultimate goal of each blog post is to convince those readers to sign up for your email list. To do so, you likely will have to offer them something in return. This is what is known as a “lead magnet.” A led magnet is usually a resource like a checklist, e-book, or other valuable piece of content that your subscribers receive in exchange for joining your email list. The best practice is to ensure that your lead magnet is directly related to the content of that particular blog post.
Social Media Presence
Your social media presence should work in conjunction with these channels to funnel readers to your blog and grow your brand awareness online. When planning posts for your social media profiles, make sure to only post promotional or sales-related content about 10%-20% of the time. No one wants to be peddled to endlessly. Instead, focus on sharing valuable information – even if it comes from competitors!
Nurturing and Email Marketing
Once a prospect has subscribed to your email list, they enter what is known as the “nurturing stage.” The nurturing stage is where you continue to build trust with these prospects by delivering valuable information via email, and occasionally sprinkling in some sales material. As they become more familiar with your company, they develop trust and become more likely to buy your products.
Content marketing is the premier way to grow your presence online over a period of time. Not only does it allow you to reach customers that otherwise would never have heard of your product through social media, but it also contributes to a positive presence in search engines as well. Creating a profitable content marketing plan is difficult and requires persistence. But, after a few months the results should be apparent. By connecting your blog, email marketing, and social media together, you can create a well-oiled sales machine that generates hot leads and interested prospects.