Content Marketing Wows

The beauty of Content Marketing is that it can be used to achieve so many goals at the same time, without depreciating any particular objective. You can use it to get your products and services out there, while also using it to build genuine trust and loyalty among customers.

The process of creating and marketing relevant, valuable content consistently is in itself a great way to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Before we talk about how you can improve your capacity to build brand loyalty, it is important to understand why Content Marketing is so great for building customer loyalty.

Good Content Marketing Creates Value for Customers

People tend to go anywhere they feel they would gain excellent value and when Content Marketing provides that, it’s no surprise that audiences will be drawn to it. Any business that is serious with their Content Marketing efforts will be careful to create content that educates, inspires and provides excellent resources and ideas for their customers.

While it is true that brands should do their best to make Content Marketing profitable for them, it is crucial that they focus on providing the best possible value for their customers. The audience is smart and can sniff out a weak attempt to mask an ad under Content Marketing efforts.

It is genius when a brand is able to seamlessly combine excellent products/services with providing genuinely helpful resources. Excellent Content Marketing works because it is about solving the customers’ true needs.

Content Marketing lets Customers Talk

People naturally want to communicate with the brands that they use or love. This is why brand engagement is very important and works so well. With blogging, customers have the opportunity to engage in conversations via the comments section. This is not something they are able to do with traditional advertisements.

With an effective Content Marketing strategy that pays enough attention to making customer engagement easier, brands can go a long way to create customer loyalty. It is also very important that customers are made to feel that they can say anything they need to about your brand, to help it improve.

Content Marketing Helps Humanise Brands

humanise brandsSometimes, it is easy to forget that brands are run by real people. Customers are more likely to trust a brand that sounds like a real person and actually has personality, more than they would trust one that doesn’t.

Brands can use Content Marketing to develop a consistent voice that will be easily recognisable anywhere. Companies should not hesitate to share the truth about themselves because customers appreciate transparency. Trust is a very crucial step towards building loyalty, so it is important that brands are able to make their customers trust them.

What you can do Build Trust?

  • Establish Authority

If you have ever wondered why Influencer Marketing works so well, the simple reason is that influencers are perceived as authorities. That is exactly how you need to position yourself in the minds of your customers. You want to be the first person they will think of when they have certain problems and you want them to take your advice seriously.

Using the right strategy, you can create content that helps position you as an authority. One of the ways to do that is by getting an actual authority to share your content on social media. The message that conveys is that authorities consider your content good enough for them to not only read but also share for others to read. It is almost like getting your customers’ trust on a platter of gold.

Getting ‘Shares’ from the right people is not the easiest of tasks, as it requires a bit of investment in terms of time and resources. You need to build relationships with influencers who are socially active on different platforms.

You can start by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts, reaching out to them via email or asking for their help or opinions on any issue. For example, when you are in the process of writing an article, be sure to let them know that you will be happy to quote them in your article if you will be reaching out to an influencer in that regard. Chances are you will get a low response rate at first, but the effort is absolutely worth it for every response that you do get.

You will also want to set up a face-to-face meeting or a phone call as a follow-up after a few exchanges. There is also the possibility of bumping into them at an event, deliberately of course.  Clearly, this is a long-term strategy, but it works. If you want a faster way to get ‘Shares’, put together a quality post, quoting your target authority, before contacting them to confirm you have quoted them.

  • Maintain Honesty all the way

Maintain honesty all the waySome brands have adopted the practice of click-baiting to get customers to open their content, but this ultimately backfires. Your audience will definitely be disappointed you tricked them into opening a piece of content that is either unrelated to what you implied in the title, or is not as interesting as you made it seem.

Make a habit of it and you will end up destroying your credibility. Most people lie, but nobody likes being lied to. As much as you want to create exciting and interesting titles, you must never go down the route of lying or exaggerating anything if you want your customers to trust you. It is also very important that you make sure all the information and data you share is correct and up to date.

Be Open

Being open is different from being honest, in the sense that openness implies that you share more.  For example, readers are more likely to connect better to a blog post that is peppered with anecdotes from the experience and life of the writer.

No-one says that you should tell the world everything that goes on in your life, but it is important to be as personal as you can be. Statements backed up with personal experience are more believable and credible. This may be easier for certain kinds of businesses to achieve, but the general principle remains the same for everyone.

Genuinely Care About Your Audience

It is important to show your audience that you are loyal to them, as much as you want them to be loyal to you. What that means is that you show genuine interest in the comments, ideas and thoughts that are shared. You need to invest a bit of your time to respond to them appropriately and make it clear that you care about what they have to say. Customers will be encouraged to share even more if they feel that you appreciate their contributions.  When they share ideas, show that you are receptive of them. When they share their problems, let them see that you are genuinely empathetic to them.

Always remember to talk to your customers as if they are your friends, rather than leads, though you also want to keep things professional of course. Even after responding to comments on your blog posts, take every step necessary to engage even more with your audience. You can do that via social media and every other channel you have at your disposal.

Maintain Consistency

It is important to keep your brand story consistent across all your communication channels. If your company claims to be committed to customer service, then you must ensure that you don’t leave any messages unanswered on any platform. It is better if you don’t leave some communication channels open at all, than for you to open them up and leave them unattended.

The same applies when you claim that your prices are competitive, when in fact they are exorbitant compared to your competitors. From your blog and your website to your email messaging and social media channels, it is important that there are no inconsistencies, because little things like that can seriously dent your image. On the other hand, consistency is a great way to build trust.

Personalise all the way                                                                                   

Personalized-contentA personalised customer experience has always worked and will continue to work. To personalise your Content Marketing efforts, you’ll need reliable customer data and detailed feedback. But to take it further and develop customer trust and loyalty, you will have to be personable too.

You can achieve that by simply signing off emails with your name, pictures – and if appropriate – a tiny bio of some of the people who run your brand. Create and maintain a consistent process for any of your staff who must communicate with customers via any channel. Sometimes, it is the simplest steps that make all the difference.

On a final note

Every business will do something unique that works for them, so don’t hesitate to experiment and do what’s right for your brand.

There are a number of benefits involved when creating written content aimed at generating leads. You’ll increase traffic, significantly influence your bottom-line and generally be better poised to harness the power of your blog or website. Generating leads is similar to fishing alongside thousands of other people, hoping to reel in a profitable catch. You need the best bait and a unique style to ensure you find just what you are looking for.

Generating new leads is crucial to achieving success in business. A ‘lead’ refers to someone (from your target audience) who has shown an interest in the products or services provided by a company, while ‘lead generation’ is the process of finding the right target groups to sell to. Lead generation is a lot easier now, as a result of advancements in communication and technology. Putting out the right communication in the form of written content is one of the ways to generate leads. If you are wondering how to effectively channel this method, here’s how…

Focus On More than Just the Sale

It is understandable if you think, ‘This is weird, why shouldn’t I be totally consumed with getting my target audience to buy?’ especially because you are trying to generate leads, right? However, content that seems too ‘salesy’ can achieve the exact opposite of what you want and actually drive people away.

In order to effectively grow leads, your content (or at least a reasonable chunk of it) should be focused on providing information, being educational, solving problems for your readers and being generally helpful. It’s risky business to try and cram your content with sales pitches for products and services. Naturally, people detest the feeling that they are being forced or manipulated into making a purchase. Therefore, content that tries to ‘encourage’ people to buy, or seems to shove products or services down their throat with every paragraph, is going to turn them off.

Therefore, instead of putting all your focus on making sales, consider offering value to your reader. If you will teach your customer base something useful, you will become an authority in their eyes and the sales will subsequently follow.

Look Beyond Blogs

Blogs are one of the most effective ways to provide new content. Many businesses choose them to publish new content online, but there are some other effective methods that can help you engage with potential customers and generate leads. Consider white papers, eBooks and other forms of quality content, when trying to reach a wider audience. Visual content is more attractive to most people and has a higher possibility of gauging interest when you need it most. Whatever form of content you choose, they should be provided after your target has been presented with a form to help you collect useful information you can use later.

Call to Action (CTA)

A ‘Call to Action’ (known in the content writing community as a CTA) is probably one of the most important, yet commonly forgotten aspects of written content. Your content is not only aimed at providing useful information for your readers, but also at educating them about your company, service or product. It is important to always remember that many people who visited your site could benefit from your services or products.

call-to-action

You started your company because you believe in the power of what you offer as a means to change lives. Therefore, make sure that within each blog post and on each webpage, there is a button, link or direction for the customer to click or follow (that is easy to find) in order to learn more about what you have to offer. If your content is a blog post, then the CTA should be at the very end. Ensure that the call to action is relevant to the page where it is placed.

Provide Premium Content

Your written content is the main determinant of the success of your post, while everything else from frequency to length or graphics comes later. Premium content means more than scoring 100% in the spell-checks department or being grammatically on-point, even though those are also essential.

Therefore, a good post with those qualities will only count if it is first and foremost useful to your audience. Listen to your audience and learn what they want to read about, so that you are not just adding to the noise on the internet by uploading empty posts. Also, learn about the characteristics of quality content and ensure your posts are not lacking where it counts. In addition to ticking the right boxes that qualify great writing, remember to include high quality complementing graphics to support the main points of your post. This is important in order to lead viewers to click on your post via social media or on your landing page.

PREMIUM CONTENT ICON CONCEPT ON SCREENProvide Premium Content in Large Quantity

If you are looking to generate leads with written content, then you must write LOTS of useful content. One blog post a week or two in a month doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you need in order to break through the fog of information available online and stand out. If you want to get people to your website or to your blog organically, and pile up leads from your content, you have to write as much as possible. Don’t be like many mistaken marketers, suffering under the assumption that one well-written blog post will start a forest fire of traffic leading to your site. It won’t. You’ll need to be writing regularly and consistently for an extended period of time. If you are personally unable to write every day, then find someone that can help. Creating content quickly is important, so find someone who can do the job quickly and efficiently. By the time you increase the quantity of high quality content on your site, you’ll start to enjoy the related benefits, including more quality leads.

Control Post Length

Many content marketers and SEO experts have long debated the ideal length of a blog post. When it comes to how long content should be, a good rule of thumb is to focus on the amount that your readers would find useful. Naturally, longer posts will have more detailed information, but sometimes the length doesn’t really matter. Content can be as short as 300 words or as long as 3000 words, and still be considered useful. Another important factor is length of titles and meta-descriptions. These can be any length, but search engines will usually cut them down when they surpass 160 characters, so this is important when crafting titles and so on.

Use Easy Language

Except when you are writing for professors and the like, business speak can easily kill the effect you are trying to create with content writing. You might impress some people, but you won’t successfully generate leads online. The internet isn’t a formal space, so formal writing will scarcely work online. Your readers will prefer content that is to the point, relatable and easy to comprehend. Confuse them and you might lose them. Therefore, when writing for an online audience, keep your tone carefully conversational. Try to break down your language and topics to a level that is easily digestible and relatable while maintaining relevance to your message.

Make It Interactive

Make It InteractiveThere is a high demand for interactive content nowadays. Every day, both businesses and consumers come face to face with online content at a rate that is causing an eventual reduction in readers’ attention span. Fewer people have the time to read through a blog post or a white-paper the length of 2000 words. The time allocated to specific content is getting shorter and shorter, and it is necessary to grab and hold on to attention in a few short seconds. Today’s consumers therefore need interactive content that adds value and keeps them engaged. Interactive content such as quizzes or calculators can be used to maintain interest. For example, instead of a 1500-word post about how to pan a video campaign, an interactive calculator that offers an insight into the costs of video campaigns will be more effective. You can even use both. Interactive content has high share rates, and higher chances of going viral, which makes it ideal content material to use as a lead generation tool.

Make Use of Infographics

Infographics are part of interactive content, but are important and must therefore be emphasised. Marketers use infographic now 800% more often than in the past. Interactive infographics (which are a step up from the basic infographics of the past) are more effective as content tools to generate leads. Insert prominent CTA throughout, offering readers related content that can be sent via email. The email then becomes a lead capture opportunity. Also, remember to include a form at the header or footer of the infographic for visitors interested in engaging with you.

Content writing in order to generate leads is a marathon, not a sprint. It is difficult and takes time, requiring creativity, patience and the ability to write well. If you follow these nine ways, add in a tenth – consistency – and you’ll eventually be able to track quality leads from your content.

When preparing a Content Marketing strategy, it is important to know who you are writing for. A plan without a distinctive target group could lead to the failure of your online marketing objectives.

Target audience analysis is therefore a core part of any marketing strategy. If you don’t know your audience, how will you know their content preferences, typical online behaviour or preferred communication channel? Even knowing their language style amounts to critical content success.

In this piece, we shall be discussing in detail, the guide to analysing the right audience for your Content Marketing activities. It is only when your message hits its mark that your returns will begin to grow.

  1. What is Target Audience Analysis and why is it Important?

Your target audience is simply everybody who may be interested in your product or service. However, due to limited marketing budgets, you don’t have the luxury of serving every single potential customer.

What’s more, your target audience will often consist of a wide variety of groups who visit different websites. They may not even share the same pain-points or use the same social network platforms.

A good example of this is one of our clients, whose target audience analysis revealed four target groups or ‘personas’; DIY users, professional users, students and domestic users. Because of this variation, you cannot use a one-size-fits-all type of content with which to communicate.

Therefore, a target audience analysis helps you:

  • Seek and target only the audiences that will be drawn to your product/service.
  • Write personalised content aimed at certain target audiences
  • Develop longstanding relationships with your customers by finding solutions to their real problems, through meaningful content
  • Have a Content Marketing strategy that is more cost-effective
  • Target a specific market niche to be more competitive
  • Increase your customer-base through improved conversion-rates
  1. Analytical Planning

As a content writer, you may have been involved in producing campaigns that required two or more different niches. The scope of your research will depend on the size of the project and your familiarity with the niche.

Naturally, you wouldn’t need to conduct the same kind of research for the target audience of a client that requires only a few editorials. However, we are not suggesting you neglect certain important procedures for content writing services. We are merely saying that it is ideal to adjust your step-by-step procedures, according to the scope of the project.

First, discuss the details fully with your client. Find out their main objective, then note the biggest customers within this group and develop a strategy that suits them.

  1. Getting Familiar with the Product/Service

For Content Marketers who work in-house and already know their business’s products/services, this is easier.

If you work at an agency, you will need to do some research. It is dangerous to create and publish content about something you only know rudimentarily. It is even worse when you do not know the benefits your client’s products can offer their customers.

Not knowing your client’s products can cost you the following:

  • A potentially lucrative target market
  • The quality of your content
  • A significant area of the relevant markets
  • Incoming traffic and conversion rates

Here are some tips to get you acquainted with the product itself:

  • If possible, try out the product for yourself. Get a feel for it. Otherwise, let the client describe it to you in their own way.
  • Study the client’s website to get an overview of what it entails. What kind of customers comment under the blogs? What are their complaints/suggestions?
  • You can make this easier by preparing a simple questionnaire for your client to complete. Beware of making it too long or complicated, or they will lose interest.
  1. Specifying the Target Audience

There are various steps to take before going deep into the target audience research. Define certain characteristics common to the average customer. Knowing their demography is important and probably the most common attribute to begin with, but you should also consider other important factors.

What kind of people are you communicating with? What do they like or dislike and what are their pain-points? Asking these questions will give you are good idea of what to cover.

Demographics

Target-AudienceIt is important that you have accurate demographics data to boost organic promotion. However, it is particularly important if you intend to share and distribute your content through paid channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google AdWords and other major social networks.

The following customer demographics are essential; age, sex, income, location, occupation, education level, marital status, religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Some of these characteristics could have a significant impact (or not) on your content, depending on the project you are working on. It is also possible that certain factors not mentioned above may also be responsible, so keep your options open.

Psychographics

Psychographic data is used for classifying audiences by studying their aspirations, attitudes and other psychological standards.  It is the non-technical data that allows you to understand the motives behind the purchases people make.

It can be quite challenging to define psychographic data, because it focuses on subjective information rather than statistical data, which is the underlying factor for demographics.

You can define psychographics data in the following ways:

  • What are your target audiences’ interests?
  • What type of activities (hobbies) do they engage in?
  • What are their opinions/attitudes towards certain projects?

You can gather psychographic data in different ways;

  • Through surveys
  • Direct interviews with clients
  • Study the websites and forums they visit
  • Analyse the analytics of your website
  • Work with great tools (Heatmaps, website survey software)
  1. Classify your Target Audience

The Decision-Making Unit (DMU) is a term used to describe a group of people that are often involved in the purchase process of a product or service, especially in the B2B world. The DMU has six important roles you need to know (it is worth noting that some people can occupy more than one role).

  • Users
  • Initiators
  • Influencers
  • Buyers
  • Gatekeepers
  • Decision Makers

Since we are covering it from a Content Marketing point of view, there are three roles we must concentrate on; the users, influencers and the decision makers.

Content Marketing does not avail the resources to attend to everybody. Therefore, you will have most impact on these three roles through Content Marketing.

Users

The users are those who use your products or service. They are important, because they are the ones who experience the problems (pain-points your content seeks to overcome).

Sometimes, users can assume the role of initiators. This is because people who use the product or service are in the best position to know if it is helping and whether they need a new one.

Influencers

An Influencer is someone in a position of authority, who is able to influence the purchase of a specific product/service. Influencers can drive business your way or not. If you deliver Web Design services, imagine getting a recommendation from a digital evangelist like Vala Afshar. There would be huge scope for traffic and conversion rates to your website to skyrocket above its current rate.

Decision Makers

Decision Makers usually have the last say in the purchase of any product. In a family unit, either parent could be a Decision Maker, while the Office Managers are Decision Makers in their units. Developing content that convinces Decision Makers can fast-track the purchase of your product/service.

The Roles of Decision Makers in the Content Marketing Funnel

The main reason for differentiating each role in the DMU is that you need to target each group with a specific type of content. You want to target them with appropriate content for the particular phase of the marketing funnel which they occupy.

This may not be so easy, as some of these roles and phases overlap each other.
Here is a guide:

  1. Users – knowledge, interest
  2. Influencers – interest, contemplation, intent
  3. Decision Makers – Intent, assessment, purchase
  1. Creating Personas

Customer PersonasThis is an interesting and creative part of the target audience analysis; creating the personas of your target audiences.

Your objective is to create a fictitious person that has all the characteristics of your target audience – just like a character in a novel, with a back story and relatable challenges. Start with basic things like name, gender, age and then progress to more in-depth elements, such as personality, job roles and societal contributions.

In creating a persona, you are trying to define a person’s purchasing process; their difficulties, preferences and information sources.

A successfully created persona can inform the type of content you produce for them. By using this one persona, you can help to overcome the problems a real-life customer encounters.

Of course, the ‘persona’ created will be formed from deep research and client input, otherwise you will merely be creating a story with no solutions.

When identifying your persona’s pain-points, use clear, convincing language to engage and help them overcome their doubts. By understanding your target persona deeply, you are half-way to resolving their problems.

However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to write content based only on your audience’s pain-points. Think about them as real people and add other areas they might find relevant. Remember to always focus on the benefits of your product.

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Put yourself in the shoes of your target consumer. It could be a ‘stay at home mother’ that barely has five minutes to search online for a specific product, before she has to hurry back to take care of her family. It might even be a busy career person, inundated with work calls, who barely has time to come up for air before they are back at their duty post.

What content is guaranteed to grab their attention and keep them focused on your business long enough for them to bookmark your site and remember to revisit it as soon as they have a few minutes of free time? What content do you think will make them feel confident enough to freely provide their contact and credit card information?

Obviously, generic, repetitive content (that the web seems to be filled with these days) is not guaranteed to grab their attention -much less have them return for a second or third visit, even if you are the best source to provide them with what they need.

Whatever it is that you aim to provide to your target audience, if your content does not instantly give them a sense of connection, and provide them with the information they need at first glance, then you are likely to lose potential customers. People are often too busy to carry out the research they need to get access to their niche products. As a result, the bulk of the efforts lie with you and your business to bring the research to them, in an easily digestible and instantly gratifying format.

You probably want to know exactly what niche marketing is and how it can help place your product ahead of its competitors. When created and executed properly, a niche marketing campaign uses niche marketing products to do the following for your brand.

Niche Content Marketing Makes your Brand Exclusive

The appeal of Content Marketing is obvious to people in the Content Marketing sector; it is less expensive than the majority of other marketing choices and has been found to be very effective. In its latest research, the Content Marketing Institute reported that as many as 55% of B2B marketers are still uncertain about what effective or successful Content Marketing is about. However, 93% still maintain that online Content Marketing has the ability to engage clients, leading to their education and conversion eventually. The fact that the internet is filled with various brands offering the same or similar goods and services – even in specific niches – means that the strategy of disseminating a lot of content in the hope that some of it strikes the right note with someone, is definitely a very inefficient strategy.

Niche Marketing Content, when used appropriately, provides you with something that is practically irreplaceable – a differentiator. It gives your brand the ability to seem exceptional and stand out from the rest of the brands. This ability will often translate into better SEO ranking. Niche Content Marketing can be used as a tool to take ownership of a unique sector for your brand on the internet. With the right type of niche content, you will remain in the minds of your target audience long after their contact with you. If you integrate niche content into your lead generation process, you provide a specific value for your target audience.

It is important to understand that if your content creates value to both your target audience and a wide range of other audiences, then it probably isn’t ‘niche’ enough. General content like that might generate leads, but those leads will not be strong enough. General content is valuable, but niche content is more valuable in the sense that it defines your brand correctly and generates stronger leads, based on its ability to make your brand unique. Niche Marketing Content creates something that is really special, only for your target audience, who are your desired potential clients.

Niche Content Marketing Makes use of Customer Trust

You see it everywhere on the internet – a website that provides value, over and over again, soon becomes a reference point for people because they can trust their content. Soon, they are referred to as ‘authority websites’. When you provide quality niche content to your target audience, they will return to your website time and time again for information and resources. This will keep your product or services at the forefront of their mind. They will come to trust your website and before long, your products and services as well.

Niche Content makes use of trust as a tool to keep business prospects close to you and generate strong leads that see your brand as an ‘authority’. The thing about niche sectors is that your audience is very aware of the subject. Mostly, you will find that your target audience and potential clients are experts. Content that is generic or superficial will not be enough to impress them. You need to get their attention using the right type of Niche Marketing Content. The following general approach can make a difference in keeping prospective clients with you:

  • Start with the challenges. Every niche has a very specific challenge that provides a solution for. You need to be highly specific when you state what your solutions are for. Carry out ample research, based on your target audience, with surveys, interviews, feedback, focus groups and emails. While you might be right about the challenges, don’t rely on your knowledge alone.
  • Create solution specific content. Create content where you are able to provide a step-by-step feature or information that directly leads to you and your products, as the best solution. Showing that you understand the problem intimately builds confidence in the concept that your solution will solve it.
  • Your content should try as much as possible to be ‘non-advertorial’. Simply provide quality content that makes the customer trust your knowledge in the niche area, which will in turn naturally lead them to your product or service as a solution.
  • Remember that your target is also an expert, so use the appropriate language. The more technical you are, the more they are likely to appreciate your content. However, if you suspect that your audience might not be particularly technical, it’s okay to adjust your content to suit them as well.

Thought leadership and Niche Content Marketing are fully Compatible

Thought leadership has already been identified as a skilful method to stand out from the crowd. It can be used to make your brand ‘the brand’ and is even more effective when used in a niche area. With thought leadership, you can make your brand advance beyond an expert to being a leader that will garner followers. This will generate leads and create a following that is willing to buy into your product and services. A highly specialised niche provides you with the opportunity to become a recognised leader. The narrower your niche is, the better. This is not about volume, but quality.
An extensive and deep knowledge of your niche will place you in a good position to ask the right questions and provide the best answers simultaneously.  An effective Niche Content Marketing strategy is one that asks these questions:

  • What are the competitors doing and what needs to be said?
  • What approach can I take to make me stand out?

Extensive research based on these two questions – with a lot of feedback from potential clients – will guide you to write articles that instantly demonstrate your expertise and reach out to your target audience. If you have the confidence and skill that many writers have, you can develop a specific style for your brand that increases your visibility and makes your content unique in your niche. Content Marketing can be slow to show results – and even more so in niche areas – so you will need to be patient.

Niche Content Marketing can help you Succeed even in a Crowded Niche

A crowded niche is that much harder to penetrate, but making use of a Niche Content Marketing approach is often just what you need to make a difference. If you are able to create solid content and use innovative marketing techniques, then you have the recipe for success in the palm of your hand. If you are in a niche market, particularly one that is crowded, your expertise has a role to play.

You can leverage your expertise in your niche to create a content promotion framework. Think ‘How-to’ articles, current trends that relate to your niche, and even simple connections between your niche and celebrities – things that will appeal to your target audience. A solid story angle also appeals to consumers, or a connection between your product and the future. These are simple content strategies that can help you stand out from the others.

In all, whatever your niche, whatever its population, creating solid leads that lead to conversion, depends on the specificity, uniqueness and quality of the content used in your Content Marketing strategies. Niche Content Marketing strategies will definitely generate a better quality of leads than general Content Marketing.

In general, writing is a time consuming and hard work, but writing content for the web is even more so. Studies show that at least 55% of site visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage. To beat these statistics, content writing for the web has to be better than good, it must be interesting, engaging, and relevant, in addition to the other characteristics of good web content.

The best content writers out there make equal use of research, creativity and science when crafting their content. You too can write like them and hold the attention of internet readers when you follow tips from this complete beginners’ guide to content writing for the web.

Put Your Key Information First

There’s a world of difference between writing an essay or a paper and writing for the web. With an essay for instance, you might begin with an explanation of what you are writing about. Then, offer an overview of the literature surrounding the topic, followed by the main body of the work and end with the most important point coming in at the conclusion. With web pages on the other hand, the most essential points always come first. For example, users looking for a local furniture cleaning service online, will need to see a furniture cleaning service that is based in their location or close by. If they want a furniture cleaning service specialised in fabric furniture cleaning, then a content headline such as fabric furniture cleaning service in Oxford would be more interesting to click on.

Generally, the most important information for web visitors starts with a simple statement of what you do. The knowledge of this might create interest in related details, then some background information. This kind of writing is what journalists call the inverted pyramid. This means the main purpose of your writing is captured in the first paragraph of your content. Therefore, give your readers the big picture first.

Think like A Search Engine

There are a lot of ways for readers to find web content, from social media sharing to email sharing, links from other websites and search engine results. Content writers need to pay special attention to traffic coming in through the search engine results. No matter how well written and relevant web content is, if it is not optimised for search engines, not a lot of people are going to find it. While researching for content therefore, think about your audience, their perspectives and the sort of search terms they would type into Google. Then be sure to include those terms in content headlines and sub headers to get the most engagement.

Conduct Research

Before you begin to write, some background research is important. Research for content writing is two-fold – keyword research and topic research. You can dramatically increase the number of people who actually view your piece of content by using relevant, well researched keywords throughout. The chances of web browsers finding your content when searching for a topic online is significantly increased when you add the right keywords to your content as organically as possible. Performing keyword research to discover the most popular search terms and keywords for your brand and topic is therefore a good idea, because you can put them in seamlessly as you write.

With good topic research, you won’t be going into your writing blind. Even if you are not writing content for your own business or brand, you need to have a real understanding of the topic you are writing about, and the audience you are writing for. While researching, take into consideration:

  • The purpose of the content (to drive sales, encourage email signups or boost web traffic)
  • The tone required
  • Intended audience
  • Content structure

Remember To Hyperlink to Sources

It is good internet protocol to hyperlink back to a site when you make reference to their content, besides, you’d expect the same consideration. Always cite your sources in your content, and if you’re worried about sending your web traffic to another site, there’s the option to ‘open link in another window’, so that you can keep your traffic. In addition to being the right thing to do, you will earn backlinks as a result. Sometimes, the sites you link to will notice and appreciate your effort with a reciprocal link or a quote.

Plan for Visitors to Land Anywhere On Your Website

Not all your website visitors will start from your homepage. Unlike when reading a book, where people generally start from the beginning to the end, site visits can begin from any of your web pages. In preparing each page to be the first thing a user sees, you’ll need to ensure that the content for each page is easy to scan, and people should be clear about where they are and what your site is about. In addition, there should be a call to action telling people the next action to take, whether to sign up for your weekly email newsletters, read another blog post, request a quote, add a product to a shopping cart or to check out a testimonial or product description.

Your navigation bar cannot do all the work for you. On each page, guide people to the next step by including a button or link with clear action calls. Need to see exactly how many web visitors arrived on your web page? Google landing pages can help you discover where people arrive on your website.

Write Easy-to-Scan Content

Scannable content makes it easy for readers to quickly find what they are looking for. Therefore, instead of paragraphs upon paragraphs of text, use bullet points or numbered lists. Organise your content into labelled tabs instead of a long page of text.

White space, which is the empty space surrounding paragraphs, images and other elements on a page, also makes content easy to skim, the text seems more readable, and engaging.

Dividing content into smaller chunks with descriptive sub headers is also important. Make use of the heading function to achieve the same results in your content. A large heading or H1 can be used at the top of each page, medium headings or H2 for the main content and smaller headings or H3, if you have to break down your H2 further.

Write To Be Heard

Content filled with complex sentences and unnecessarily big words, by web standards is poor content. Unless you are writing a highly niche and technical topic, visitors of varying education levels should be able to read and understand your content. Try to convey your message in a clear and relatable tone, so that even people who speak English as a second language, can understand you too. There are some free tools that can be used to analyse your content vocabulary level and rate how readable it is.

Know Your Audience

It’s simple – before you begin to type, think about who you are trying to reach. Ask yourself, who is my main target audience? Is there a secondary target audience who can both influence and inform my main audience? If for instance, you are writing content for a legal website, your main audience might be existing and potential clients of the firm. However, your secondary audience spans a broader range and includes other attorneys from different firms, legal reporters and anyone who might need your web content writing services in the future. Therefore, your content needs to be interesting and accessible by both categories of audiences. Decide on the kind of information they need and the kinds of questions they might ask on a certain topic, and provide it in a great content.

Make Use of Multimedia

When it comes to content writing for the web, a picture, video or infographic is worth a thousand words. According to research, the human brain receives 90% visual information, and people can process information presented in visual form 60,000 times faster than text. Canva and Piktochart are only two of a large number of services available online to help you make appropriate graphics for your content. With multimedia content, you can break up text into small, easily digestible chunks that your readers will appreciate.

Leave Them Wanting More

Good webpage content ends with a call to action. Let your reader know if there is a person they can contact for more information, an interesting and related video they should watch or a relevant blog post they can read. Using this strategy will direct your readers to other areas of your website, make them engage more with your content. Guide them to a report or infographic they can download, and encourage them to share your content with their friends and family. However, the calls-to-action should be as concise as possible. Hyperlink clear action verbs such as ‘share’, ‘watch’, ‘subscribe’, or ‘download’ will really draw your readers’ attention to what you want you want to achieve.

For beginners, this guide to content writing for the web may seem like too much to pack into a single piece of content. With practice however, it’ll become like second nature and you’ll find yourself creating top notch content that your readers and search engines will love.

A fantastic idea is at the heart of any content campaign or project. The buzz around an article sustains you through the long hike of creation and gets your target audience to keep sharing your content. Putting effort into a bad idea is a waste of resources and can lead to high bounce rate, loss of credibility and in a worst-case scenario, your job. Hence, it is quintessential for you to come up with the right idea that leads to higher traffic and conversion rate.

How do I find inspiration for content marketing articles?

  1. The swipe file

Ideas exist around us; a good place to start is in the old-fashioned swipe files. If you don’t have one, you should start collecting a file of images, technologies, ideas and approaches that inspire you. When you need motivation, you can always refer to it for great ideas that have performed well in your niche throughout time.

  1. Brainstorm with a group

Everyone brainstorms ideas but few people are adept at it. Successful brands use a professional copywriting to create content ideas. These firm gather two or more brains around shared goals either online or offline. The team includes people who have some experience in the niche along with those who have no familiarity because they bring a fresh perspective that first-time visitors will relate. If you’re creating your own brainstorming team, ensure you include members from different niches to get a holistic view, sometimes you need a designer to offer the latest innovation in visual technique.

  1. Competitive research

Follow the competition and see what’s working for them; there is no shame in deriving inspiration for your own content using what’s working for others. You have two types of competition; those who are vying with you for a share of the business within your physical location. For example, if you run a bar in Brighton, the competition is the other one down the street selling the same product. The other type of competition is in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) trying to rank for “Best Bar in Brighton”. Do your research to cover the following questions: What type of content is working for the top brands, what’s trending in your niche? what keywords are top traffic earners using? What is getting people to share? Who follows whom and why?

  1. Google Trends

The best place to see what’s trending is at Google Trends. Google has a massive wealth of information in their database and to capitalize on trends you need a fast content creation process. Choose your niche’s category>subcategory>explore that category. Use rising keywords to search for trending topics to cover your blog posts or articles

  1. Moz research tools

Moz is a great resource to see the best performing content in a niche. Simply use the Open Site Explorer to view pages getting the most links with your competitors and see who those links are coming from. This offers details to what types of content and topics resonate with your audience.

  1. Who follows whom? What are they sharing?

There are some helpful tools online like Followerwonk to evaluate who your competitor follows, their tweets and their audience favourites and retweets. BuzzSumo is a popular search tool to view trending content on social media.

  1. What kind of content are top brands sharing?

On Google Alerts there is a tool called Fresh Web Explorer ideal to locate brand mentions online and see what type of content they’re sharing to gain attention.it is also a good way to find link opportunities and intel on people’s perspective of your brand.

  1. Lateral thinking

A good way to get a fresh take on an idea is to look at it sideways from a new angle no one has thought of. The success of lateral thinking lies in provocation, which jars us out of the traditional thinking patterns. Asking the opposite question instead of the expected question is a fantastic way to jumpstart lateral thinking mode. Excellent content marketers ask “What if” or contemplate the map upside down to create mental instability that pushes the writer to develop new ideas.

  1. Content freshness

Some companies base their content marketing on newsjacking but new webmasters will look to find the balance between iconic posts that stay with the readers for a long time and timely ideas to deliver perspective on fresh, trendy topics. What will be going live in your niche when you release your content? Movie award shows, new computer game releases or seasonal changes. Use an editorial calendar to keep track of important events and create content geared towards those events. The ideal strategy must contain a mix of evergreen pieces and viral content with an emphasis on evergreen content that offers more to your brand in the long run.

  1. Provide value for your target audience based on the personas

Its’ a good idea to conduct an audience research for your content strategy and use this information to create personas to shape your ideas. To get started, use the same process of gathering intel on your competitors and get specific with your own company and the type of customers you’re trying to attract.

  1. Build personas

Create a set of model people to mirror your target audience using a basic demographic information with few assumptions on goals and pain points. Two options include a basic persona sketch or detailed personas. A visual image of your target audience reminds you who the content is for.

  1. Understand your audience

As you’re pulling information together, consider your audience as part of the process. It’s not enough to know that they like a topic, find out what information they’re after and create content that lead to conversion. What is the average age? What type of TV programs do they like watching? Are they college graduates?

  1. Ideas from difficult or boring topics no one wants to touch

This is a goldmine if you handle it well considering you would be giving a fresh take on a topic that’s not been covered before so others who do their own take will most likely have to quote you as an authority. Creating content for topics without having sufficient resources is easy when you use the lateral thinking habit to get the best angle for the story. It might be a good idea to look into a reputable copywriting agency with a proven record of accomplishment for writing timeless, captivating pieces out of boring headlines to maximize your content marketing goals.

  1. Use Answer The Public

This is the best replacement for Ubersuggest and satisfies the need for long tail keywords and content ideas. You can start with a simple search phrase like “get questions”. The tool provides answers categorized in questions, prepositions, comparisons and alphabeticals. The “Questions” section is the best place to get content idea but don’t ignore the other areas. You can view the data as a visualization, text or export the data to CSV.

  1. Quora

Quora is a question and answer forum where any topic goes and users think outside the box in terms of both the questions they ask and the feedback from other users. Search a question and Quora reveals related answers from its’ database.

  1. Revisit failed content

There are various reasons why failed content perform badly, not necessarily because the research lacked credibility or the content was poor, sometimes the problem is with the execution. Try presenting the idea from a different format using a fresh perspective or use a new set of eyes to offer unbiased view to see what could work better.

  1. Recycle successful content

Evergreen articles are useful because when you run out of ideas, you can pick it up and do a fresh take, knowing it’s’ going to be a winner with your target audience. However, be careful so it doesn’t sound like you’re repeating yourself, the last thing you want to do is bore visitors with stuff they already know.

  1. Use stories and testimonies

Storytelling has been all the rage for content marketing and higher conversion in recent years. Mesmerizing characters that grab the viewer’s attention and pulls him in from the first sentence with compelling narrative to keep them spellbound is always a winner with the audience, especially when it has a happy ending. Studies demonstrated that using stories as a tool to evoke affirmative emotions in your target audience leads to trust and customer loyalty. If your product is top quality, it shouldn’t be hard to get testimonials from your readers and aggregate them into a blog post but be careful not to sound self-promotional; let the satisfied customers do the talking.

  1. Create a detailed brief

The best content starts with a detailed brief explaining how you’ll organize your content article, what each section contains and specific information points that will be included. If you’re outsourcing to a writing agency specializing in content marketing, don’t assume a writer knows what you want, they can’t read minds so include all the necessary details such as what you want in the content, the target market and purpose of the article. Samples of similar work will help the freelancers know what kind of style you like and it will be easy to create a bespoke piece befitting your website.

  1. Tips and Tricks

People are always looking for knowledge bases, so it’s a good idea to provide content with helpful information and tips about subjects in your niche. The concept, when applied to daily life, has evolved into the popular “life hacks”, you could add that to your title for more attention.

  1. What not to do and mistake analysis

They serve as the opposite for best practice posts describing the worst strategies to follow on a given subject. It could take the form of a cautionary tale or humorous tone to make it more interesting and light-hearted for the readers. With mistake analysis, you delve deeper into an error and figure what went wrong alongside steps to correct it.

  1. Create winning ideas

Once you have an idea of the persona you’re targeting, it’s time to narrow it down to the top contenders by:

  • Cross off boring topics
  • Remove anything outside your parameters that will take too much time or money to complete
  • Highlight compelling ideas
  • Can you turn it into a series or is it a one piece content?
  • Look for ideas that are informative and relevant
  1. Myth dispelling

There are false assumptions, misconceptions and myths surrounding practices in every industry. Talk to customers, see what your competitors are posting and examine your own experience with such misconceptions to create a compelling article based on thorough fact gathering and hard evidence.

  1. Use Questions for your topics

The primary idea behind every content marketing article is to solve problem for the audience, so you need to identify problems your audience has and create content centred around the solutions. Great sources to find questions include blog comments from top performing articles and question & answer forum sites.

  1. What makes a great content?

Research by Dejan Marketing revealed that only one in five people read web content word for word and a large population only scan and read key areas of interest. According to Matthew Brown, great content that readers will read word for word must have the following attributes

  • Relevant and recent – don’t write about how users can start their own YouTube video blog, instead write about how an Influential person used a YouTube video blog to change lives.
  • Long-Form – Dig deep into the information instead of writing the same summary like everyone else.
  • Target a specific persona – your content is not for everyone, to optimize conversion rate, make your content vital to a small group who will be loyal followers of your work.
  • Evergreen content- When you invest money in a content, you want it to remain fresh with readers for a long time by updating the content regularly so it retains relevance.
  • People relate better when you use content they are familiar with; its’ a good idea to use location addresses to target content in areas your readers reside.
  • Customize your own template and plugins instead of using the generic article template

If you’re looking for professional copywriters to complete a project for you then get in touch with us or sign up for an account today.

 

With more than a billion active users, Facebook provides a rare opportunity for small businesses with limited ad budgets and even big businesses to reach a large number of people. The wealth of data available on Facebook makes it hard to ignore for any business wanting to grow. The effective use of the platform can do a lot for your business.

A lot of people understand that posting on Facebook can grow their businesses but what they do not know is that the period between posts and how you post can further influence your reach and provide better results.

To understand what time to post, how to post or when to post, you can use analytic tools such as Facebook Insights.

To start with, you need to understand what your target audience wants to see and how to reach them.

What should you post?

Let your updates be attention grabbing:

As humans, we have a very limited attention span shorter than a goldfish’s. You want to create a good impression from first glance.Make sure your updates are compelling enough to hold the attention of whoever it is directed.

There are tools like Serpstat that can help you understand the kind of search carried out by your target audience. You can also use the Hubspot Blog Topic Generator for ideas.

You also need to find the right format through which to effectively pass your message.

Video content creates more engagement. Facebook takes video content seriously with the introduction of Facebook Live streaming and other promotions of video content. However, the format you use is dependent on your understanding of your business and target audience.

There are other types of update formats such as links, images or texts.

If all you want to do is to create more awareness for your brand, then pictures and videos work just fine, but if you want to drive traffic to your website, you should focus more on texts and links. You should also ensure that when users click on the link that takes them back to your site, they are not disappointed by site metrics like speed, design and user friendliness, by using good web design and hosting platforms such as NZ Domain Name Registration & Cheap Domain Names | Domains4Less.

To check how your posts do, you can use an analytics tool to know how each piece of content is received.Facebook Insight makes this easy with the provision of different types of analytics.

You may take note of the view reach and engagement of your posts by checking through the ‘Posts tab’ that is found by navigating through the drop-down menu at the top right corner of your Facebook Page. The ‘All Posts Published’ analytics in the Posts tab helps you to get a handle on how individual posts did with the audience. You get to see the kind of reaction your posts generated. Regularly using this will help you to determine the type of content to post as you will be able to see how many times people interacted with each of your posts.

The People’s tabs also allow you to understand the demographics of those engaging with your content. You will be able to know if they are your target audience and this will help you improve or change your strategy as the case may be.

How should you post?

Plan your posts:

Yes, you heard right. You need to have a plan. You cannot randomly post content without any flow. Choose the topics you want to cover and create a content calendar for them. If you are posting every day, twice a day or every two days, be consistent. Scheduling gives you time to create the content you want to share.

However, you should leave room for flexibility to keep up with timely topics. This flexibility gives you the ability to quickly react to news of accessories worn on a red carpet supposing you sell female accessories.

When should you post?

Facebook Insights also comes in handy here. It provides you with the principal metrics that help you determine exactly when to share your content.

The Posts tab allows you to know how many fans saw your posts any day of the week and how many fans see your posts in an hour. This helps you understand when is the right time to put up your posts. Be advised however that the time when your fans are online doesn’t necessarily translate to a good time to post. You should target a time between when people are posting and when the least overall posting is being done, thus increasing your visibility.

A HubSpot article suggested you may want to target Thursdays and Fridays, but a sound understanding of the Posts analytics should help you come to the right decision on what works best for you.

 

 

Coca Cola Content Marketing

Content marketing genius

The Coca-Cola Happiness Machine video is classic viral video craft at its finest. Just six seconds into the video, viewers are already being lured in by the promise of something surprising in the near future with, “We put a special coke machine in the middle of a college campus…” And the promise is delivered on at the 25 second mark as the first student begins mysteriously receiving more and more.

This also satisfies the surprise element of any viral video in a pleasant and friendly manner. Gifts to the unsuspecting are always a safe device for a viral video as it assures a positive outcome for the “victims” of the trick. Moreover, it builds a positive connection between the product and a jubilant atmosphere – a core campaign concept for Coca-Cola.

The video also keeps viewers on a gradually escalating level of excitement and surprise, as the gifts grow in both complexity and become less likely until the machine is offering pizzas and sandwiches.

This continuous escalation of the story is a central concept in viral video crafting. True, the viewer must be hooked within the first 10 seconds, but the story must unrelentingly escalate as well throughout the narrative to maintain viewer attention.

Overall, the video tell a great story – fun, engaging and light-hearted – with enough surprises to keep the viewer interested. Beyond that though, it manages to stay focused to keep the larger picture in mind. The shocking parts are not too shocking, instead having the overarching theme of goodwill and fun. It may get fewer views immediately for its lack of more severe shock value, but the advertiser is correct in playing the long game. Ultimately, a viral video’s success relies on being shared, rather than immediate views.

By creating a rich, friendly narrative – they have crafted something light and heart-warming which consumers will be eager to share with no risk of offending friends or work colleagues. Very often video producers will go too far in trying to shock people to elicit an immediate reaction. Coca-Cola’s more nuanced approach, by comparison, allows for more long-term viewing. Additionally, the ad lets the company stay true to its larger, traditional campaign messages like classic slogans “Enjoy” and “Life Tastes Good”. At over 6 million views, Coca-Cola has managed to craft a highly shareable video which dovetails with their traditional core marketing campaigns.

Click to watch a video and find out a bit more about the campaign.

 


Burger King Marketing Case Study

Burger King Marketing

In 2004, Miami advertising firm CP+B launched a viral marketing campaign for Burger King in support of its TenderCrisp sandwich. The campaign captured audiences’ attention by using a level of interactivity only possible on the internet. This viral approach was actually quite novel, not following the usual script for creating viral content.

Eschewing a storytelling narrative, the viral campaign instead drew in viewers by interacting directly with them. What makes this particular campaign so interesting is that it does not have many of the classic elements usually involved in viral content. There is very little actual story involved. Yet, it does keep in stride with some thematic elements: A quick kick-off, shock value, a strong front-end campaign to market itself and, most importantly, a direct engagement to trend-setters.

The kick-off itself was a combination of traditional television advertising to start interest in the interactive content. While perhaps a more expensive route to take, the television ads guaranteed the initial push for visibility so vital in a viral campaign. As to shock value, the interactive elements were shocking to the point of pushing the boundary of good taste. Having a grown man in a chicken suite willing to do most anything for a largely unfiltered internet population is always a risk. But the very edginess of the campaign did allow for it to get more, free media attention.

What was most novel about this campaign was its appeal to the trend-setters of the internet. By offering something only feasible on the internet, CP+B built in an automatic lure for those wishing to be on the tech-savvy edge of culture. Like other fads on the internet, its time of popularity was perhaps limited. But for a marketing campaign, this was of little concern. The point of the advertisement was to generate marketing exposure for a new product. So long-term, sustained interest in the campaign was never truly necessary for the campaign to be considered effective.

CP+B effectively pushed the boundaries of how marketing could be done. In an internet culture where short-lived memes, games and distractions can reach millions of viewers, they capitalized on this with a tongue-in-cheek style marketing technique which would help shift the traditional understanding that marketing was necessarily to a passive audience. Nearly ten years later, it is easy to overlook how important this campaign was, but it was a forerunner of the interactive user experience.

Click to watch a video and find out a bit more about the campaign.

Could this be a Christmas number one for years to come?

Christmas marketing

WestJet Canadian Airline

WestJet’s Christmas Miracle video is a fusion of some of the most important aspects of viral video production. First and foremost, it is storytelling. And one of the greatest traditions in the Western world is Christmas stories and the Christmas miracle. WestJet went into this video understanding the power of that narrative. While their airline is cleverly branded throughout the video, actual mention of the airline verbally is kept to a minimum, instead focusing on the story itself. Viewers are drawn in to watch the compelling story unfold – a story they will want to share with friends and loved ones over the holidays.

In addition, the story starts off quickly. Viewers begin by wondering what is being set up. This is seamlessly followed by the video screen of the interactive Santa. Viewers are “in on the trick” and can enjoy people being surprised when they’re spoken to by name. This behind the scenes approach is significant because it allows viewers to feel like they are part of this delightful trick being played on the unsuspecting travellers. It is also a pervasive theme throughout the story as viewers can be a part of the hectic surprise being planned at the end of the trip, all the way to the point where the travellers receive their presents. This rapid start and continual escalation are keys to drawing the audience into the story; at no point is there a place to rest or does the tension diminish.

Finally, this video incorporates a double dose of an important element in viral videos: surprise. Not only does the video surprise viewers when they realize what WestJet is doing, but it also allows viewers to be “in on the fun” after the reveal – letting them experience the surprise of the WestJet customers as well, and, in keeping with the holiday season, the company manages the surprises in a way that is caring, friendly and appropriate for the holidays.

Overall, the video captures four vital elements of a good viral video:

• It tells a compelling story
• It starts off quickly
• It pleasantly surprises
• It keeps the pace quick and dramatic

WestJet well understood the elements needed to create viral content and, because of that, created an advertisement that would be spread through minimal effort on their part. Compared with the price of traditional advertising, for a few hundred presents the airline has already garnered over 36 million views on YouTube.

Click to watch the brilliant video and find out a bit more about the campaign.