Did you read the infographic above?
As a micro business owner, you face a daily battle to win customers. So you advertise.
But no doubt you’ve discovered persuading is no easy feat, especially when potential customers either don’t know you exist or are initially dis-interested.
The infographic hints at a solution…
Instead of pushing a “buy now” message, smart biz owners are persuading through content marketing and winning business with the help of useful, relevant information that genuinely benefits their niche…
So if you run a micro biz you need to be doing the same.
And here’s why…
Check out this marketing funnel.
Interest / familiarity / trust
You can see a customer moves through a number stages before being ready to buy and refer.
Your advertising has to drive customers through these various stages – and content marketing is the key to doing this.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves creating valuable (often free) content that is genuinely useful to the people in your niche.
The benefits are that content marketing builds awareness and lets customers get to know you in a “safe way” because you’re not asking for their cash!
Instead, by publishing content to genuinely help, you let your business weave into your customers’ subconscious. In turn you gently nudge them into the funnel so when they are ready to buy, you’re at least on their radar.
So although it may seem strange to make the sales message secondary, in the longer-run, great content will lead to great sales.
Here are five ideas to make content marketing work for you…
1. Have a strategy
Don’t just dabble. You’ve got to invest time to create a strategy and give your content focus and direction. Put simply know what you’re creating and why.
2. Stamp your authority:
Use content marketing to grow your expertise and become “the one to go to”.
To become this you’ve got to listen and find out what your customers want – then deliver this in a way that’s better than your competition.
- If your customers are information seekers provide them with insights, tips and ideas they can apply and use.
- If they want entertainment respond with jokes, anecdotes, stories and other visual content that satisfies their craving.
- If they want to be part of a community, create thought provoking content that inspires comments and interaction.
3. Give away content to build your list:
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again.
“The money’s in your list!”
So spend the time needed to actively build it.
Try creating a freebie like an eBook, special report or white paper and give it away in exchange for an email address. My eBook is arriving next month!
Then communicate with your list. BUT don’t make the mistake of throwing together a newsletter that’s all about you. Instead, create useful mail outs that your customers look forward to receiving.
4. Write content that solves your customers’ problems:
If you can prove you offer a robust, valuable solution to your customers’ concerns, you will naturally attract business.
So visit the A-List blogs and read the comments; tune into forums; check out the #askPD hashtag; network both on and offline and find out what keeps your customers awake at night…
Then use these insights to create content your audience actually wants to read.
5. Communicate with frequency and variety:
The secret sauce for a successful content marketing strategy is to plan for the slow burn.
You’ve got to stoke your fire and keep breathing life into it. You won’t get big results off the back of one blog. Instead be patient and allow time to spread your message.
Try blogging, newsletters and guest posts; maximise your appearance on social media; create an eBook; write a tutorial…
In short, develop content that’s creative and responsive to your market needs.
And if you want 25 more ideas to keep your business on the radar, click here.
It’s about quality, not quantity
Before you dash off and start writing, take heed.
Your content has to be good.
OK, rubbish keyword stuffed content may give your SEO a temporary boost, but in the long term you’ll turn customers off and leave them questioning your expertise.
So if you don’t have the time or the skills to get it right, consider hiring a pro – and if you’ve got any questions about that, give me a shout.
Over to you. How will you use content to persuade? Commit now and tell me in the comments below.
P.S: Finally, thanks to Copyblogger for creating the infographic that inspired this week’s post.