Humor me. What would it be like if someone told you that everything you’re doing to make your business noticed organically is futile? What if someone told you that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices are medium-term and that they don’t yield real results? Or that referrals and outreach are the only ways to get new leads? Frustrating, right? But let me assure you that that is indeed untrue.
Sure, referrals and word of mouth are great ways to get new business but are those tactics really scalable? Not everyone wants to give you a referral and not everyone that does has a gigantic network that comprises of people that need your product or service. This is why the importance of content marketing is irreplaceable. It ensures scalability. I read a little write-up on LinkedIn the other day that almost negated the impact of quality, well-planned content. The piece also mentioned that if an SMB wanted to get new business, the fastest way to do it would be through outreach. That almost feels like a one-sided approach to marketing as a whole. Skin-deep, non-insightful content that doesn’t follow effective SEO guidelines will not help you achieve results.
It’s also not just about the quality of your content. There are other contributing factors. If you’re not strengthening your SEO, you’re not being found organically by Google. This means that you end up sharing your content within your existing network via email or social media. That does not give you fresh leads and you’re not appearing in any search queries. You’re basically still swimming in shallow waters right by the shore. The expanse that is the internet has barely been informed of your existence.
Referrals can possibly get you new leads quicker than content. However, conversion of that lead into a customer depends on how credible the lead finds you. Without good content to prove your worth, there is a chance the lead might not go ahead and give you business. I’m sure all of this sounds very ‘if and but’ and seems to depend on several variables. Why don’t we focus on why content marketing is actually very important and how you can do it right.
Who are your ideal customers?
Start by creating a buyer persona. This is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer and your target audience. It includes details like the buyer’s name, age, income, gender, location, behavior, traits, needs, etc. This helps you tune and modify your strategy in a way that best solves his problem and can aid your process of content creation. Once we go this settled, let’s look at what else we need to be cognizant of.
Make Your Content Discoverable (Hint: SEO)
When your company is at a growth stage or is simply scaling up operations, you need to make sure your content can be discovered organically. The only way that can be done is to have a solid SEO strategy (also be sure to check out this SEO case study). This means being thorough from everything right from your keywords to your link building plan. You must have a well thought out content calendar ready for an upcoming time period (i.e two weeks/ a month). New and fresh leads can be pushed into your pipeline as soon as relevant audiences can find you easily.
Make Your Content Meaningful
You may not find something new to say every day. But here's the thing. You can find new and relevant ways to "repeat content" to your audience in a way that offers them value. There are definitely several types of content. You just have to see what works for you and what is appropriate for your line of business. Any content that is in-depth and answers the key questions that your audience has will automatically make you seem reliable and trustworthy. Eventually, it all boils down to solving problems and you can do it through your content, too.
Build Plausibility With Your Content
When you use the outreach method or rely on simple word of mouth to achieve your business goals, you need to offer a little extra something. Just relying on the strength of your quote or revolving your conversation around it might not work. Having content that determines what you’re good at. Showing the extent of your knowledge that could in-turn help solve your prospect’s problem is a great way to convert. Being a thought leader in the industry builds a significant sense of dependability which then builds a stronger scope for word-of-mouth. Another great way to make sure people not only land on your pages but also stay is through the use of internal links. These links can be made irresistible if the right anchor text is used.
For example, let’s say you’ve written a blog post on the connection between SEO and social media. A prospect lands on it and finds it less helpful since the blog focuses more on SEO and his question isn’t answered. However, if you have other blogs on social media (what that prospect is looking for), link them on your current blog. Be sure to hyperlink the right words that force the prospect to click on it and stay within the pages on your site.
Use Social Media But Don’t Make It Your Only Channel
Social media is a great tool. It’s the need of the hour. Why? Because it renders you relevant. These are all absolute facts. However, there are a few drawbacks of sticking to social media with the aim of getting new leads. Google, first of all, does not consider social shares as an important ranking factor. The reason behind this is that the authenticity of the accounts and the extent to which they are organic cannot be determined. Social media definitely helps in spreading the word but in most cases, it has to be paid for. It will deliver on the promise of web page traffic and engagement - if done right - but it comes at a cost. If there is no paid promotion involved, your product/service or your message will not be conveyed to newer eyes. It will rotate between the people that are already connected to you. This significantly slows down your lead generation process. Besides that, every platform has a different algorithm. If fewer people are engaging with you and they’re not sharing your piece of content, you might not even be easily discoverable on social media within your existing network. That and a whole lot of aspects like time of posting, tone of content, etc vary on each platform. Hence, a combination of good, SEO-friendly content along with social media will work best.
Beat The Noise. Do More.
Cold calls, word-of-mouth, and other outreach methods including getting referrals are great ways to gather prospects. Or let’s say they were far more effective at a different time. Right now, with the number of companies online and the noise being generated, there’s no doubt that you need to do a lot more. How else will people know that you have something new and something great to say? The debate then isn’t between ‘Yes content’ or ‘No content’. It’s how you can do a lot of everything so people know you’re here to stay.
Nobody can take your audience away from you once you have their attention but the key is to do it right and to do it consistently. If you’re offering value through your content, your prospects will convert and they will say good things about you. The good thing is—great content can help you be found and if it’s about leaving no stones unturned, content can be your most trusted rock.
We can aid all your content needs. If this resonates with your chain of thought, get in touch with us.