The two biggest questions in business are the two biggest questions in website marketing:

  • How can I get more prospects (coming to my website)?
  • How can I get those (who come to my website) to buy, buy more and buy more often?

The answers to these questions are simple, but the possibilities to make these thing happen can seem daunting. Most people know that Search Engine Optimization can make huge strides in improving your:

  • Search Engine Ranking
  • Turning visitors into buyers (conversions)
  • Website Structure (reducing friction, attrition and annoyance)
  • Links and Link Building (credibility, authority)

These areas are well covered in any SEO plan. But there are things that you can do that can have an impact on many of the areas above. Content Marketing: What it really is. Content Marketing is the process of creating really useful material that caters to your buyers so they can

  • Make educated decisions about what you offer
  • Make the decision to buy your stuff more quickly
  • Buy more often and share your wares to those who may want to buy

This isn’t always easy for people, since it requires a complete rethinking of marketing. No longer can you simply blast and broadcast the merits of your product or service. You have to focus specifically on your prospects and give them exactly what they need to understand how theycan solve their problems. Sometimes that involves talking about your work, but more often, it doesn’t. This can be hard for sales-oriented minds to wrap their heads around. But it makes a huge difference in how you are viewed by your prospects and how much your name gets around. To get it right, content marketers look at sales, but they also look at

  • How to know what people want to read and how to adjust content so it caters to those desires
  • How to engage visitors to browse and share content
  • How to build a community of readers, followers, and social media ”friends”
  • How to build the brand outward, while staying true to brand values
  • How to educate their buyers
  • How to know who is going where by tracking their movements (or implementing a tracking mechanism first)

It seems like a very tall order, and at first glance it is! But like all things, it can start small and grow over time. Content Marketing Methods There are scores of platforms for generating and communicating content for prospects, and some of these methods are better than others for igniting relationships or deepening.

  • Email Newsletters
  • Landing Page Content
  • Business Blogs
  • Trade Publications
  • Video/Video blogging
  • Social Media
  • Tradeshow Datasheets

So how can content marketers expect to get it right?

Use Web Content to Tease and Convert Prospects

The Outpost/Home Base Model One of the easiest ways to simplify your content marketing is to consider your website as the central point of engagement and conversion. Testimonials, client success stories and your company’s brand value all can be baked into your blog. Datasheets and specific documents can have their own resource pages for easy downloads and printing, and ongoing updates can be teasers in social media with articles on the blog. Updating your site with relevant, fresh content will keep people coming regularly, people who are ready to learn more or make a decision on what to buy. (It also pleases search engines hungry for authoritative sites and content to rank in your prospects’ searches.) Imagine that all of your really short content is being used to “tease” people somewhere. Social media, video blogs and even email newsletters bring prospects to your site to determine your offering. These platforms are like outposts — they are places for people out in the wilderness to gather and share it among their business friends, associates and social connections.

Bring It On Home Your website is your home base. it’s the central operation. Everyone should be able to get everything they expect to move forward with you, and all information they require to do so is there — easy to find and easy to share with their decision maker. Have your outposts lead to your home base. Bring people inward and provide them with what they need when they get there. Ask them what they want using short surveys, polls or general posts (on blogs and social media) with open-ended questions. People will “organically” read your “outpost content” and wander to your website. It’s a natural process, and all of us out there have gotten used to clicking links that take us to websites in that way. When the time is right, we buy. All of us. Using SEO methods is key to improving many aspects of your sales and marketing strategy. But don’t neglect the power of content marketing and giving your prospects the tools to make decisions based in the information you give them. You’ll be popular among your buyers, but more importantly, you’ll be relevant to future prospects. Good luck!