Content Marketing

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How Inbound Marketing and Content can Draw Prospects to Your Business

How Inbound Marketing and Content can Draw Prospects to Your Business

Hubspot surveyed 3339 marketing professionals in 128 countries about the current state of inbound marketing.

Why is this Important to You?

It is important to you as a small business owner because it gives you insight into what is working and where marketing trends are heading.

With the increasing use of the internet and businesses competing in the global marketplace, many businesses are replacing traditional marketing with inbound marketing. The common consensus is that to reach the global marketplace focus on using inbound marketing tactics and to pull prospects with content that is relevant to them.

The benefits of Inbound Marketing are:

  • Inbound marketing costs are 61% lower per lead
  • 41% of marketers say inbound marketing produced measurable ROI in 2013
  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog
  • 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result
  • 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year
  • Just 20% of companies without a blog reported ROI from inbound marketing in 2013

How can Inbound and Content Marketing Help your Business?

  • Reach a targeted audience receptive to your message
  • Improve the ranking if your website or blog
  • Improve conversion rates of online sales
  • Establish you and your company as experts in your industry
  • Attract better qualified prospects to your website or blog
  • Repeat visitation to your website or blog from prospects and clients
  • Keep in touch with current clients and promoting referrals
  • Help to establish likeability, trust and credibility

What are the Different Types of Content Available for use by Your Business?

Blogs – Educate, entertain and inform readers about your topics, encourage return visits to your blogs with frequent updating, engages readers to share comments and share the information with others.

Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, , LinkedIn and other social media sites help promote your business, showcase talents, engage prospects and help spread the word about your business.

Presentations - Presentations provides readers with information that is appealing, informative, short and straight to the point.

ENewsletters – Inform, educate and entertain readers on a consistent and timely basis, helps promote your business, are shared with others, increases reputation, recognition, trust and loyalty among readers, and increases sales.

White Papers – Showcases your industry knowledge, provides the opportunity to be a thought leader, informs and educates the readers and can be shared with others.

Articles – Educate, entertain and inform readers about your topics, showcase your knowledge and lead readers to action.

Case Studies – Educates readers on your businesses pass success and tell how your business will help them achieve the same success.

Video – Educate, entertain, informs watchers, helps increase your likeability, trust, recognition and reputation among watchers.

eBooks – Establishes you and your business as experts in your industry, increases reputation, recognition and draws traffic to your website or blog.

Podcasts – Educates listeners, helps increase your likeability, trust and reputation.

Online Courses – Educate participants, showcases your knowledge, increases reputation and sales.

Workbooks – Educates readers, helps readers solve problems, increases reputation, trust and loyalty from readers.

Seminars – Webinars and teleseminars help educate participants, showcase your knowledge, increase reputation and recognition.

Businesses use a combination of the above inbound and content marketing tactics to create a online marketing strategy. While this is list is not comprehensive it is a good starting point to begin thinking about using content marketing in your business and what tactics are available. Inbound and content marketing allows small businesses and solopreneurs to level the playing field when competing against larger businesses.

Your Turn

How are you currently using inbound marketing and content to draw prospects to your business?

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

 

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

The Secret to Turning out Massive Amounts of Content

Have you ever wondered how one blogger is able to turn out massive amount of content without hiring others to write for them or accepting guest posts?

I did.

Wondering how they did it, lead me to this secret…

Repurposed Content

What Is Repurposed Content?

Repurposing content eliminates creating content from scratch  Repurposed content is taking existing content or research, creating new content and extending the life of your existing content.

What do I mean by extending the life of your content?

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are a Insurance Agent that insures small businesses and have just given a presentation on “How to Sure You are Adequately Covered for any Business Disaster” to your local chamber of commerce.  

Here are 21 Ways to repurpose your presentation:

  1. Article: Rewrite the presentation by adding expert interviews and comments and submitting the article for publication into trade magazines and blogs.
  2. Podcast: Record the presentation as an podcast and add to podcast directories and upload to your site.
  3. Presentation: Turn your presentation into a Slideshare presentation and add to your site, Linkedin account, Facebook page and Slideshare.
  4. On-Demand Webinar: Record your presentation and turn it into an on-demand presentation for people to watch at their convenience. Turn the article into a webinar that your readers can view or a live webinar where members and participate and ask questions.
  5. Live Webinar: Turn the presentation into a live webinar, invite attendees and hold a Q&A afterwards.
  6. Transcripts: Have your podcasts and webinars transcribed and offer the transcriptions to your readers, attendees and newsletter subscribers.
  7. Buzz Piece: You can rewrite some of the content and turn the piece into a freebie for people who sign up for your newsletter.
  8. Series: Create a series of posts expanding on the ideas covered in your presentation.
  9. eBook: Group related blog posts and turn the posts into a free or paid eBook. If you choose a paid eBook, add some articles that you are new to the eBook.
  10. Kit: Combine eBook, podcasts, presentation, transcription, workbook, video and create a downloadable kit
  11. Workbook: Turn the information of the presentation into a workbook with actions tasks for your readers to complete.
  12. Press Release: create a press release letting the media know about your available presentation whether on demand or live, submit it to press release distribution sites, targeted media sites and add the press release to your blog/website media page.
  13. Infographic: Infographics are very popular right now. Create a great looking informative infographic with key information from your presentation and add it to your blog.
  14. PDF: Turn your presentation slides into a PDF for readers to download.
  15. Video: Turn your presentation into short video tutorials with screencast where viewers can watch and listen to you present the information.
  16. FAQ: Create a frequently asked question list and link to your presentation for the answers or created short videos answering questions obtained during your presentation.
  17. Contest: Run a contest offering a reward for the commenter who provides the best comment on the presentation.
  18. Case Studies: Turn examples from your presentation into case studies
  19. White Papers: Turn the presentation into a thought leadership white paper
  20. Comic Books: Create a comic book using the information in the presentation to create a hero villain and damsel in distress. Create a character for your business and make your business the hero of the comic book.
  21. Teach: Offer to teach a short course to non-profit groups, community colleges associations, trade groups and businesses

When working in a defined niche it can become difficult coming up with new information to provide to readers. When creating material try thinking of three ways that you can repurpose the material from the very beginning. This way you are always thinking about and planning for extending the life of your content. 

Your Turn:

What do you think of these ideas? Have you tried any of these ideas? Do you know of any other ways to repurpose content?

I would love to hear from you.

 

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Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth 

 

How to Use Content to Turn Readers into Prospects

How to Use Content to Turn Readers into Prospects

The name of the game these days is information and it is everywhere.

Are you creating enough informative, educational content on your site to attract readers and turn them into prospects?

What do I mean by this?

The internet has changed the way that people search for information when trying to solve a problem. Now we turn to our favorite search engine, type in a few works and wait a minute for the results. We scroll the listing, click on the links and check out the websites listed. In a few minutes, we can evaluate a company, anytime of the day, at our own leisure without ever having to actually contact the company and talk to anyone.

Now the key to search engine marketing is being listing within the top three pages, because research has shown that most people do not look beyond the first three pages.

They are looking for information and looking for the site that provides the information they need. They will look at a number of sites and if the site has lots of content, they will stay around and read what is available.

However, you want to turn readers into prospects, right?

So how do you turn readers into prospects? Well you want readers to do one or more of several things that shows a true interest in what you have to say and offer.

  • Sign up for your rss feed
  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Become a fan of your Facebook page
  • Follow you on Twitter
  • Post comments on your blog
  • Invite you into their network on LinkedIn

However, even at this stage they are still readers, but on their way to becoming prospects and hopefully clients.

Now you want to get them fully engaged.

How do you do this?

By providing readers useful information in a variety of formats, such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • Videos
  • EBooks
  • White Papers

How do you know what they want and how they want it?

Ask them.

  • Try running polls on your blog, website, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.
  • Send out a survey to your newsletter subscribers
  • Ask them on your blog, Facebook page or LinkedIn groups

Ask them what they want to know and how they want to receive their information. Although videos and audio is popular, the written word remains the most popular form of information gathering.

Do they want blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, videos, webinars or presentations? Find out and see how many of ways you can present your information.

What other ways can help you turn readers into prospects?

Show readers that you can help them solve their problem. Remember it is all about them, not you.

Offer:

 

  • Case studies

 

  • Online portfolio
  • Testimonials
  • Free consultations
  • Trial offers

Use Google analytics to see how people are accessing your information. Track what they read, download, pages they enter on and exit pages. Analyze what pages they spend the most time reading, where they go once they read that page.

Don’t forget to put a contact form on your website so that readers can contact you. Make it easy for them to contact you. Respond quickly.

No matter what business you are in. Potential customers want to know that you have the answers that they need, content shows that you do.

Your Turn:

Are you providing enough content to turn readers into prospects?

 

 

Stop Writing Blog Content and Start Promoting Your Blog

Stop Writing Blog Content and Start Promoting Your Blog

In the past the belief was that you write lots of content to help your blog rank well in search engines. This is becoming harder and harder, especially with the constant changes with Google, the top search engine.

I am going to present a different approach. Instead of spending your time trying to put out content every day or several times a week, scale back your output.

If you are a new blogger, I am suggesting that you only write one good blog post a week. Assuming that you have already taken the steps to determine your topic, niche and audience, now you can concentrate on writing. If you are not a new blogger and currently post more than two blog posts a week, scale back to two posts per week.

Concentrate on writing a blog post that resonates with the audience that you are trying to reach. Information what they will find important and useful, and then write a good in-depth post. I am not talking a short book, but a few thousand words are good.

This is simple, if you are an estate planner targeting the LGBT community, you can write a guide to estate planning for LGBT individuals and couples. You write a beginners guide to estate planning and it covers about 2300 words.

Summarize the guide down to about 500 words of quick tips and advice for your blog post. Turn the full guide into an EBook or PDF Download and include an offer for the guide in your blog post.

After you have written your blog post, spend the next week promoting that blog post and guide. Get your post in front of as many people in your target audience as possible.

Promoting your blog post:

  • Get involved in groups and forums, promote your blog article and guide. Attach a link to all outgoing comments
  • Send a quick tips release to online publications promoting your guide that reaches your target market with a link back to your blog, preferably a landing page if you are going to build an email list.
  • Send a similar tip release to associations and organizations targeting your audience with a link to your post included
  • Write out 20 tips and tweet them out to your network with a link back to your blog post
  • Share your blog post on Facebook, Google, Stumbleupon, Digg, LinkedIn and any other social networking that you are involved
  • Turn your guide into a slideshare presentation
  • Any other way that you can think of to get your post read and guide downloaded

Recap:

Step 1: Write one in-depth article per week of at least 2000 words.

Step 2: Turn your in-depth article into an EBook or PDF for download

Step 3: Write a summary of your in-depth post of approximately 500 words.

Step 4: Promote the hell out of your blog post and in-depth article.

Why am I suggesting that you cut back your writing opposite of what all the blogging gurus and I have told you in the past? It is too damn hard to keep up with the changes that Google constantly makes and hard as hell to rank on the first page of Google these days.

So Stop It. 

SEO is not what is used to be, things have changed.

Social networking and sharing allows you to stop concentrating all your time writing thousands of posts to rank well on Google. It is all about getting what you have written in front of readers, where they hang out most often. It is about becoming involved in their groups and presenting them with information that they need.

Competition is fierce and it comes from all over the globe. Now is the time to focus on the audience you are trying to reach, penetrate and dominate before you expand to additional audiences.

It doesn’t matter how many blog posts your write, how great they are if nobody ever reads them. You can’t afford for Google to find, rank your blog hoping your readers find you. You have to get out there and promote the hell out of your blog posts.

Have Your Say:

What do you think about writing less often? Are you scared it will hurt your traffic? Do you see the benefit of spending more time promoting write and less time writing?

 

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms

 

The Four Steps to Using your Blog for Online Lead Generation

The Four Steps to Using your Blog for Online Lead Generation

You did like the gurus told you and you step up a blog for your business.

You publish to your blog faithfully three times a week.

You share and promote your blog on all your social networks, friends, wherever you can think of.

You added a contact form for future clients to contact you.

Nothing.

No one is contacting you and you don’t understand why.

The Four Elements of a Inbound Lead Generation Program:

The Offer: Content that you offer to your target audience that will be of value to them.

  • EBook
  • White Paper
  • Free Consultation
  • Webinar
  • Coupon

The Call-to-Action: An image or button that stands out and links directly to your landing page.

The Landing Page: A special page that contains information about your special offer.

The Form: A form that will collect contact information in exchange for what you are offering.

That’s the basics of your inbound lead generating program. Now let’s take a look at this in action.

Hubspot does a great job of this so I am going to use them as an example.

The offer:

Hubspot if offering its readers a free guide to Pinterest Business Accounts.

The Call-to-Action

The Call-to-Action is straight forward and to the point, Download Ebook Now, not later, Now.

The Landing Page

Hubspot Pinterest

The landing pages tell you what you get learn when you download and read the free Ebook. A quick step-by-stepy guide to Pinterest business accounts.

The Form

Hubspot Form

The form turns your request into a lead for their business. They now know that you are interested in Pinterest for your business and what your marketing problems. They also offer you the chance to keep receiving information from them knowing that most people will choose yes.

If you are using monthly themes for your blogging, you can follow this four-step process at the end of every month to generate leads for your business. The beauty is that you will know what the reader’s interests are by the offers they accept.

Once they become a lead, you will know how to nurture the lead into a client from knowing offers appealed to them.

Have Your Say:

Are you using any of these steps to generate leads for your business?

 

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms