Can content marketing help boost sales?

Content marketingIn this first part of our 10-part blog series on supporting online businesses, we will be focusing on content marketing strategies to help boost sales.

Content marketing is a great way to build sales – when it’s done strategically. It’s important to understand which type of content marketing is effective so you can better understand how to use it successfully in your business.

Successful Content Marketing and Email Marketing Strategies

Content marketing can be looked at as successful advertising, and as Adage writer Jack Neff points out, $26.5 billion is spent on content marketing, so in essence, it is just that. You’re making blogs and emails draw out leads that will turn into customers.

When you consider content marketing that will be effective, any money you spend must contribute to a better return on investment (ROI). This is the goal and it can be achieved when you incorporate campaign-based marketing. This is where Google Analytics and Google Search Console can come into play – but be careful. One mistake business and site owners sometimes make is they don’t focus on effective leads. Marketing dollars need to be tied to your brand audience and you need to know how to set up your content , newsletters and emails to strategically keep people on your pages and opening gyour emails. How do you do this?

“I know half my advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wannamaker

Specific content marketing strategies for your target audience

With almost one hundred percent of ad dollars going to email and content marketing, your content and email strategies must be specific. Keep in mind it starts with obtaining emails. This can be through sites like Yotpo, MailChimp, or Pardot.

Use sign-ups to get emails

Every time a potential customer enters your site, they should see a newsletter sign-up or a free trial sign up. If you have a service based industry, consider a sign-up for a free webinar or a free sample of your new book or guide. If you don’t have one, hire a writer to draft a short 3,000 word ebook that you can post through Kindle.

Track your customers through emails

As you obtain more emails, these potential customers can then be broken down into the demographics gathered in Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Information you are gathering is letting you know which pages your potential customers are visiting and you can even track how long they stay on particular pages or items they are viewing. As customers may flock to one area or another, focus on increasing emphasis in these areas.

The best content to use

Keep in mind that with your content, you want a combination of blog pages with WordPress, and you also want to tie in strong product descriptions and content on your general pages should be equally engaging. Depending on how much time you have for content, you may want to post a new blog every week. If you’re a solo business or website owner, a weekly blog is fine when you’re first starting out and also send out a monthly newsletter that’s informative. Alex Cross a digital marketing pro says if you’re sending out more information like tips, pointers and news, you can update it 2-3 times a week. If you don’t have time to write, you can find writers through sites like Upwork or Freelancer. If the content on your pages hasn’t been updated in some time, you may want to update that, as well.

Why update my content and add a blog?

For starters, content needs to be fresh and relevant. People like stories they can connect to and if your brand has a story behind it, that’s a big selling point. Consider two t-shirt stories. One has images of the owner his spouse and their new baby at the beach. It shows a personalized blog intro that talks about their new products and then goes into the charitable work they did last month, thanking everyone for their online support. The other site has t-shirts and no personalized ‘About Us’ page. Because people who are stuck at work all day want distractions, give them something to identify with so they can get to know you when they navigate through your pages.

How to start your blog

One of the easiest ways to lose customers is to have an evergreen blog and site that’s never updated. One of the easiest ways to engage your audience is use topics and seasonally related items. For October, you can talk about Fall Festive, November is Thanksgiving. The point is in using content people can relate to this will keep them coming back.

As people navigate your pages and your blog, or email newsletter, they are going to click on links that will take them to your pages for new products. Neil Patel says that a person who reads 3 of your posts becomes a lead. That means they are interested. Your emails that you send are drawing them back to your site and every time they click on your email for the blog message or the newsletter, they want to know more.

Think outside the box, but know what’s in the box and the packaging

Robert Wise, with Chief Content Officer Magazine, says to think like a product, not a campaign. When you consider what your audience needs, then you go after it. If your business is selling electric bikes, when is the best season for electric bikes? You can’t have a broad range and say the summertime because you’re limiting your market potential. Your blogs and newsletters should be about travelers using their ebikes to reach hidden paths, going on excursions with friends, navigating high hills so they don’t spill the wine or drop the cake on their way to the dinner party. Expand and expound.

How blogging converts to sales

Most site owners don’t make sales right away from blogging, but don’t stop blogging as it will eventually send sales and leads your way. That’s because it’s an algorithm that slowly builds over time. Right now you may not have enough traffic to see the conversion rate. That’s why you want great content and you want to tie in Google Analytics and Google Search Console (GSC). GSC is free and it can help tell you what your site needs, links that are broken, key words that don’t work, etc., and did we mention, it’s free?

The point is, when you have more than 10,000 hits a month from your emails, newsletters and pages, then you can start working on converting those page visits and potentials into customers.

Next week we’ll get more in depth in the second part of our blog as we cover: Knowing Your Customers.