Do you need to drive more traffic to your site, or are you more focused on creating engaging content? Whether you’re trying to generate leads, strengthen your brand, or convert consumers into customers, there are different types of content that work within each realm. From a consumer’s first encounter to their (hopefully) inevitable conversion, here are the types of content that ferry them along.
Whether you’re just starting your business or are trying to see what this whole “content marketing” thing is about, you’ll want to concentrate on bringing in traffic first. Actually, driving more traffic to your site is never a bad thing, so these tricks are helpful even if you’re already established. Search engine optimization is the primary way to bring traffic to your site.
When consumers search for specific terms, it’s the search engine’s job to return the most relevant and reliable results. It’s the marketer’s job to make sure your website is included in those results. One of the best ways to make search engines and consumers aware of your brand is to publish engaging content sprinkled with specific keywords. SEO has changed over the years, so stuffing a blog post full of keywords won’t work anymore.
Use keywords in a way that makes sense contextually, and use them strategically. These types of content offer great opportunities to use keywords and grab attention:
- Blog posts, specifically how-to’s and lists, are highly sharable and entertaining. They also allow enough space to use a few long-chain keywords in the body and/or headings.
- Landing pages are perfect for geo-specific keywords, which go after a targeted audience.
- Images and infographics are loved by consumers everywhere. They’re quick, sharable, and appeal to the eye. You can incorporate keywords into image tags and descriptions so the search bots will find you.
- Opinion pieces within your industry demonstrate expertise and deliver information in a narrative style. If you post opinion pieces on sites like LinkedIn or Qoura, don’t forget to link to your website.
The trick in this early stage of your relationship with consumers is to attract and engage. Content should be optimized for search engines, but should also be entertaining to explore.
Turning on the Charm
Now that you have traffic coming in, the next step is showing your visitors how wonderful you are. This is accomplished with content that educates and persuades. The content you used previously served as a handshake for your brand; it made consumers aware of your presence. It entertained them and kept you in their thoughts.
Now it’s time to woo them with your personality and expertise. During this stage, consumers are researching your products or services and comparing you with other brands. The content you publish for these consumers should deliver important data and facts. Additionally, it should deliver it with a hint of emotion. Speaking to reader’s rational and emotional sides of the brain is how you persuade them.
Content that works well for this purpose includes:
- Product demos and descriptions, which deliver hard facts about your products and services. Pair product descriptions with pricing guides for a one-two punch. Consumers can learn about your products and quickly compare them against other brands.
- Case studies tell consumers specifically how your product solves a problem. Back it up with data points and facts. This harmonizes factual information with an emotional point of view.
- Whitepapers and e-Books are similar in nature but different in length. While e-Books are in-depth, whitepapers are a bit more succinct. Either way, they both offer factual information about your company and your products or services. They also show off your vast knowledge of the industry.
- In-depth Blog posts expand your brand voice and inform your readers. The focus here is more on information and less on entertainment.
Winning Over Your Audience
The final and most important goal of content marketing is conversion. This is essentially getting consumers to do what you ask of them: buy something, subscribe, swear off all other brands for the rest of their lives… you get the picture. Strangely, many marketing campaigns don’t put enough emphasis on this stage of the funnel. If you’re seeing a lot of traffic and low conversion rates, it’s because you need to add or fix content that’s meant to convert.
Keep in mind that conversion isn’t a one-time thing. You need to repeatedly land the sale if you want to turn ordinary customers into loyal customers. To do this, you need to offer something of value in return for their ongoing patronage in addition to securing their trust. These types of content are sure to seal the deal:
- A compelling call to action. Your CTA is the most important piece of content on your website. It’s the doorway to a prosperous relationship with your customers. Make sure it clearly says what you want from your customers and what they’ll get in return. For example, offer a coupon or a discount on a product in exchange for contact information.
- Customer testimonials that brag about your products or services. Customers are more likely to be convinced of your greatness if a third party is telling them about it. Work testimonials into a narrative so they’re interesting to read.
- E-mail newsletters, hand-tailored to your audience. Newsletters build a relationship with first-time customers, encouraging them to purchase again. Newsletters showcase new products and services your audience needs. Targeting customers based on their audience profile shows them you truly understand their needs and care about their business.
Content marketing should work as a cycle. Just because a consumer has traveled through the sales funnel to become a customer doesn’t mean it stops there. Content should always be bringing in consumers, charming them, and finally winning them over.
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