How to Consistently Convert with Content Marketing
It’s no surprise to us that businesses struggle to make an impact in the digital space and are hard at work figuring out how to market themselves on the Internet. While it may feel like it’s impossible to you and you may be asking: “How do you consistently convert with content marketing!?” after reading this blog post title, it just takes some dedication!
In these 21st century times, you NEED a digital marketing strategy to carry you through. And not just digital marketing, but: content marketing. Content marketing is defined as the distribution of resources (printables, photos, blog posts such as this one) that are offered up with no strings attached and no price tag, that helps stimulate interest in your product or service, generating that know-like-trust factor with your desired audience.
If you still feel like you need a bit more of an explanation as to the core foundations of content marketing specifically, you can check out my guide to content marketing here.
But really, why do you need content marketing above all else? To avoid coming off like your competition does, full of car salesmen slimy vibes and annoying promotional pitches that don’t connect emotionally. Your purpose and mission is to offer a valuable product or service that your audience NEEDS, that resolves a pain point of theirs, and to provide knowledge that they do not have about your niche as a layperson.
You can consistently convert with content marketing by showing authority in your area of specialty and enforce your brand awareness when people see you providing meaningful content day in and day out. This is a less salesy way of showcasing your skills before the client/customer hires or buys from you, proving your worth without the uncomfortable pitch. You can get started today with your fresh content marketing strategy in several steps:
Provide your audience with content of value, free of charge.
Do the research. Collect the stats. Find the trends. And share them without holding back. When you show up to help your audience, you’re already above the competition. This method creates longevity for your business and is what I like to call the “slow and steady wins the race” method.
First impressions are everything, and when your content strategy is solid, you will find your people who will continually return. Your audience will notice that you care about them and their struggles, have passion about what you do and are here to serve them first and foremost. Make some magic and don’t be afraid to be yourself - you will stand head and shoulders above the rest when you rid yourself of the trendy slang and just focus on spreading your brand message.
There’s a few ways you can provide great content to your audience:
1. continually update your email subscribers (+ build a list - see #5!)
First and foremost, utilize an active email list that continually engages your audience. If you can, shoot for twice a month, but once a month may be just perfect for businesses without many promotional changes every month (or, you may need one per week depending on your biz pace!). Many email marketers have found great success by making these somewhat of a “love letter” to the audience, 6-8 short paragraphs or more, and some marketers prefer to stick to a newsletter format with bite-sized info. Test out a few methods and see to which one your audience responds best. Most importantly: Be sure you space out your text so the paragraphs aren’t chunky (aim for 2-3 sentences), and always include great visuals.
2. post regular blog posts to add to the conversation
A true gold mine, your business blog is designed to showcase your authority in your field and inform your audience of exciting developments in your business. Aim to post 1-4 times per month, whatever is most realistic for you to achieve. You can alternate between longer posts (like this one, for example), shooting for 800-1500 words, and shorter posts about 300-600 words in length.
The goal is to share your talents and knowledge, inspiring and educating the audience. Don’t just blog about what you ate for lunch! Well, unless you’re a health coach or fitness guru. :) Feel encouraged to illustrate a story or share a deeper musing so long as it relates back to your bigger mission and point - any relatable visualization you can offer the reader is perfect.
3. curate stellar social media and feed organization
After you’ve created a solid email list and blogging strategy, it’s time to hone in on your social media presence! Whether your brand should be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn, there’s a different strategy for each that is important to take note of. Don’t just crosspost from one profile to the other, make sure you intentionally optimize each post for the different platforms, including hashtags and links where necessary.
On Instagram and Pinterest, visual content is huge, so making sure that you tailor the organization of your feeds and content is key. It’s the first impression you have on your audience, so make it a great one that entices them to click around some more and see what you’re all about!
4. make sure your visuals are engaging and elevated
As I mentioned, beautiful visuals mean SO much, especially with the imagery standards of this day and age. In addition to your micro-blog social media captions or meaty blog posts, it’s important to add a fun video, infographic or large, beautiful stand-alone image depending on the setting. Hiring a professional photographer is something to intently consider - their gorgeous visuals will truly elevate your text and pull your messaging together.
5. generate an opt-in freebie or quiz
Whether you build it through a landing page or simply include an enticing CTA (Call-to-Action) with your email list subscription prompt on your homepage or within a blog post, an opt-in “freebie” is necessary when trying to grow your email list and provide a value add. You can offer a free checklist, tutorial/how-to guide or even something tangible - for example, we offer free styled stock photo packs on my lifestyle blog! By doing this, you can create somewhat of a community, and also grow the email list that you own (God forbid social media shut down tomorrow!).
In addition to (or instead of) an opt-in freebie, you can create a quiz that engages your audience by leading with a question and promising to provide content of value when they enter their email address after finishing the quiz prompts. For example, here at FFM, we have a quiz all about what’s missing from your digital marketing strategy and after each participant submits their email, they receive the corresponding result, jam-packed with actionable ideas they can implement same-day to up-level their marketing.
Invite opinions and welcome discussion.
Open up the discussion to invite your audience’s opinions and questions. You can do this by creating a branded hashtag that encourages participation on social media, always remember to pose a question at the end of your blog posts and the occasional question on social media, too, requesting “comments down below”.
Simply the ASK of engagement can move people to respond and is a surefire method of attracting consistent clients or customers, making it clear that you care about them and value their thoughts. After all, you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your followers and loyal supporters!
Curate something beautiful.
The worst is unpleasant, outdated marketing collateral. Make sure you are intentional when designing your brand and make sure to create something that encourages instant brand recognition - whether this is a memorable font (typeface), icon/mark or accent. Similar to the quality of content you share, make sure that your social media profiles look top of the line.
Use negative or white space whenever you can, to help break up the heftier pieces of content, and choose fonts and colors that look like they were meant to be paired. Make sure that your mission, vision and values are prominent in every piece of marketing you produce. Then, hire a branding photographer who has the professional experience in conveying the traits of your brand visually.
I always love it when I hear from fellow business owners: “You’re Fashionably Frank on Instagram, right? I follow so many things but whenever I see your posts, I know it’s you! Your imagery is just so good.” This is the type of first impression you should aim to make among your followers. They will remember you for what you share, so be sure to always tell a story in your visuals and your words. You’ve got this!
Don't promote excessively.
I personally endorse the 80/20 rule - for every 80% of inspirational, educational content, promo your product or service 20%. The philosophy is different for every marketer, but this is the general rule of thumb for content marketing. Think of it like this: You use the fun and educational posts to connect your audience and in turn promote yourself and your work, you can promote without being SALESY, but when you need to make the upfront salesy ask every once in a while, you’ll be better equipped and more trusted by your audience.
Keep in mind: When you do go to make that salesy ask, always relate it back to their pain point (see below) and make it about what they are seeking. You are the guide, but they are the hero of their own story.
Engage, engage, engage!
Be sure that you are engaging and reaching out, not only posting into a void of nothingness. Share comments on other people’s blog posts, respond to email list blasts that you receive, comment and like other social media posts (social was meant to be social!). Most importantly: stay active and target your ideal audience. Research where they spend their time - look at geotags, hashtags, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups! Attend meetings and conferences where they may spend time. You’re bound to make natural connections in no time.
Avoid trying to prove worth.
There might be nothing more irritating than a brand begging people to pay attention! You do what you do and have paying clients and customers because you know your stuff. You don’t need to force people to look at your content because you make quality content that will naturally pique their curiosity.
Even more importantly than this, keep a clear persona outline of your dream client or customer(s) and make all content with this in mind. Don’t attempt to be everything to everyone, or you’ll end up being nothing to no one. Most importantly: have a clear picture in mind of your dream client/customer and talk with that person in mind, knowing they will appreciate you for you. Don't try to be everything to everyone or you'll end up being nothing to no one. Your niche exists for a purpose!
Optimize your website.
Make sure that your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all set on your website. If you offer a specific service or product in a certain location, make sure you rank high (ideally on the first page if possible) in search engines for your associated niche phrases and keywords. If you aren’t a localized brand, it will be more difficult to rank on the first page (virtually impossible), but you can still attempt to rank for niche questions and phrases.
SEO isn't everything, though, and the definition of it has changed throughout the years as social media becomes a more developed method of marketing. Optimizing your website also means having great user experience (UX) design, high quality imagery, copy (text) that converts (you may consider hiring a professional copywriter for this piece), and a visible, colorful Call to Action button on each page.
Make sure you have a clear display of your testimonials/reviews, an About page that emotionally connects, and a very descriptive page detailing your services and/or products (or shop page).
Speak to your audience’s pain point.
Everyone’s got a pain point - a struggle, a problem they need to solve. But: we can't solve our problems alone. We need a guide, whether this is a person or a product. As a digital marketing agency, we see three major personas pop up in our work, most commonly suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), partnered with a lack of knowledge, a lack of time, or a lack of interest in learning to manage it themselves.
Our goal (and ultimate promise) is made clear in our business tagline:
Transcend overwhelm. Discover balance. Leave impact.
Our clients need to focus on the core aspects of keeping their biz running and forget about the time-suck of social media and greater content marketing elements. They are craving more work/life balance. All while leaving impact in the digital space and staying front and center in their client / customers minds. Enter FFM!
We resolve their pain point(s) by giving them more time with their families, time to focus on the important things and a pride in their online presence and branding. While of course increased profit is ultimately a goal of every marketer, there is a plethora of reasons why you would hire one. Making the pain points that you are reaching explicitly clear is so important! Whether you’re giving a boost to their self-confidence, offering healthier alternatives to their lifestyle habits, or making their home more joyful with your art, you are so, so needed.
Which of these methods came in the most handy during your content marketing journey? Have any follow-up questions? Pop them in the comments below - I’d love to be of assistance!
If you’re looking to outsource the digital marketing to an agency that can take the stress off your plate, we’d love to chat.