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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
- White Papers
How do you know what they want and how they want it?
- 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.
- Case studies
- Online portfolio
- 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.
Are you providing enough content to turn readers into prospects?
The ultimate goal for most business bloggers is to use their blog to generate more leads to their business.
I know this is my goal. Guessing it is yours also.
We talked about creating a simple monthly editorial calendar.
Now let’s talk about what to do with those blog posts at the end of the month and how to turn get them to a lead generating machine for your business.
Before I begin, let me say that I am talking about generating leads, people who are interested in your business and what you have to say. They may not be ready to purchase, you will have to nurture them to become buyers after they become leads.
First, they have to become leads.
Now let’s begin.
You have created your editorial calendar for the year and each month has a theme.
Let’s say that you post an original blog (you know, stuff you write yourself and not curate from other blogs) posts three times a week. At the end of the month, you have roughly 12 blogs posts on one central theme.
Your theme for January is balance. You have 12 posts centered on creating balance in your life.
You take those 12 posts and group them together for an eBook, create an introduction and conclusion, maybe add a goal or task at the end of each article to help the reader create balance in their life.
- Create a landing page and email subscriber form for your readers to download the eBook.
- Add a picture and link it to the landing page on your future blog posts.
- Promote the EBook on your blog, social networks, send out a press release, then send a copy to reporters that cover your subject, and offer it free to organizations that cater to your readers.
This creates your lead generation machine. You know that the people who signed up for this workbook are concerned about creating balance in their lives.
This allows you to communicate in the future with them about balance in their life. You can begin to nurture these leads by sending only this list future article on life balance. Maybe create a webinar or podcasts on life balance and then down the line make an offer to work with you to help them on creating balance in their life.
You continue nurturing the lead until you have turned the lead into a client.
Then you repeat the process each month with the previous month’s blog posts.
Simple and doable right?
Have Your Say:
Are you getting additional mileage out of your blog posts? If so, how?
Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service Firms
Content marketing is about creating content that covers all levels of your marketing funnel from prospect to customer evangelist. Content is created to educate, inform, entertain and engage your prospects and turn them into future clients.
Six steps to begin creating a content marketing strategy:
What niche will you be covering?
- Financial Planning
- Business Coaching
2. What challenges to your prospects face?
- Lowering taxes
- Planning for retirement
- Advancing their career
3. What type of content do they like to consume?
- Articles/Blog posts
4. How will you create interesting content to attract prospects?
5. What do you want to achieve with my content marketing?
- Increase traffic
- Increase leads
- Increase sales
6. How will I know if my content marketing strategy is working?
- Monitoring your website/blog traffic weekly/monthly
- Monitoring new leads to your business from online sources
- Monitoring increase of sales from online sources
Communicating directly with your prospects
Businesses now have the luxury of communication directly with the prospects that they are trying to reach. The hard part is knowing where and how to reach them.
Five Steps to communicating with your prospects online:
1. Search out where your prospects are located online, what communities they join and join those communities.
2. Set up listening systems to understand what your prospects are talking about and who is doing the talking. You can set up Google alerts, twitter searches, check Q&A sites, Etc.
3. Create places to engage with prospects with Facebook Pages, Pages, LinkedIn Profiles, Twitter, Etc. and ask questions about their challenges
4. Comment on blogs that are relevant to your audience
5. Answer questions in Q & A forums
The combination of content marketing and social media marketing allows you the opportunity to highlight your expertise, create brand awareness, build an audience, engage prospects, and retain the attention of your audience.
Are you using content marketing as part of your marketing strategy?
Have you created a content marketing plan?
Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service Firms
Image Credit: Mark Smiciklas