We live in a highly digitized world. Whether it be conversing with friends or seeking services, the masses use online platforms for everything. In fact, the average American spends 24 hours a week in online activities. Providing the optimal mix of content needed to entice those users to your site is the key to achieving online success.
Let’s put things into perspective. According to Statista, there are nearly 4.5 billion internet users in the world. And, based on research from Pew Research, 28 percent of US adults are almost always online. So, one thing is for sure; whatever target audience you seek, you’ll find it online.
The next question you should ask is how your business can use online platforms to increase sales that translates to revenue and success? Simply put- the content you put online determines whether or not your business makes sales, whether online or offline based on online content. And, every day that gets harder as more than 380 new websites are uploaded each MINUTE. So, you have a LOT of company, er competition.
Creating the perfect mix of content needed to succeed?
There’s a lot riding on your content marketing strategy. You need to consider messaging, channels (ie. website, social media, etc), tone, and symbols for each message, as well as having a cogent strategy that ensures fresh content the provides value to your target audience on a consistent basis. This differs from business-to-business. After all, a company providing vision insurance is going to have a different audience when compared to a cake store, and this is why individual content strategies need to be carefully crafted.
To help you out, we created a mini-guide crafting the perfect mix of content needed.
Know your objectives
You’ll likely need different types of content to fulfill different objectives.
Also, consider the content requirements of different platforms, as well as preferences of different types of consumers. A final consideration is the type of product you’re promoting. A convenience good requires different content from a shopping or specialty good.
To devise a profitable content strategy, you must first begin by identifying the objective you wish to fulfill using the content you write.
Remember, every customer goes through a variety of stages before they click on “purchase.” They first begin by realizing the latent need for the given product in their lives. Then, they proceed to search for options within your category. Once swayed by a given offering, a given customer than might complete the purchase. For instance, you need different content of your objectives is creating awareness than if you’re trying to drive immediate action. For an example of this. consider the typical marketing funnel below.
Now, specific types of content are suitable at each of these stages. Let’s say you have a leather jacket online store. To create brand awareness that triggers the gap signifying a need among customers, you need promotional content introducing your business to your target audience. Not only is content more likely educational, but you’ll also use different channels. Google Ads are commonly employed at this stage of the process.
Once consumers are aware of your brand, you move on to creating content that helps differentiate your brand from others in the industry. Building a positive brand image and associations is the name of the content game at this stage.
Hence, your objective is key to deciding the mix of content you need. Even if your end goal is to increase sales, you need to break down your objective into smaller, achievable goals. This helps to provide clarity to your content marketer.
Have a website
You can’t increase sales of your business through your digital content unless there’s a home for your content and products. That means you need a website. A website provides a strong foundation for marketing.
If money is in short supply, and what small business has an endless supply of currency, creating your own website is easier than you might think. Gone are the days of hardcoding a website, which required experience and code knowledge. With content management software (like WordPress), a little time, and a flair for design you’ll have a website in an afternoon for virtually no money.
Need a little help? I’ve created a nice, little white paper that contains all the instructions you need with step-by-step instructions, screenshots, and videos (see how I drink my own Koolade in creating a mix of content). Some of the links even contain coupons for discounts on hard costs, like hosting and themes.
Here too, you need a particular type and tone of the content. Here are some elements every website needs.
- Mission, describing the purpose of your business and the method by which this purpose is realized.
- Vision, which describes your long-term goal
- Brand benefits, which outline your reasons to believe. This section should answer why potential customers should trust your brand.
- Privacy statement and a physical address
- HTTPS (secure site) if you collect personal information
- Killer images, video, logos, symbols, and lots of white space so the pages are visually appealing
Know your customers well
You can’t create content that sells unless you know how to address your customers best. In today’s world, the goal is to make brand communications consumer-centric. Merely listing down technical benefits is not enough. You need to weave a story through words and pictures that resonate best with your target audience.
For this purpose, you must know your customers well — research their habits, behavior, lifestyle, influences, needs, and motivations.
After you created a detailed customer profile and understand the multiple consumer journeys they employ on the way to making a purchase, deciding the best mix of content needed to motivate them at the various stages of the consumer buying cycle.
Decide which channels are best to reach your customers
A lot of marketers make the mistake of devising the same content strategy for all online channels. Rather than restricting their presence to relevant channels, many businesses tend to opt for a presence on all platforms.
While 360-degree marketing does call for an all-around presence, you must prioritize channels based on where your target audience lives online. For instance, older consumers tend to use Facebook, while younger ones like Pinterest (especially women) and WhatsApp. The youngest users tend to favor YouTube. Remember, there’s a cost attached to each channel you decide to employ in both time and money. Use your resources well.
Once you decide which platform or platforms are your focus, tailor content according to the given platform. For instance, on Instagram, the copy is generally considerably shorter and more image-centric than Facebook.
Steps to take
Once you have your brand’s online content strategy, the next step is actually creating content.
Define the basics
Before you write content for any digital platform, begin by defining the purpose of the message, the intended audience, and the tone you wish to use. Weave a story, but always include a Call-to-Action in your content.
Create a story
View each piece of content as a story in itself. It must have a definite start and end. It should address customer needs and illustrate your product as a solution to the conflict your customers face.
Categorize content appropriately
Don’t roll out random thoughts in the form of tweets, posts, or web content. Instead, every piece of content must serve the purpose of building the overall brand image.
Here are the different categories of content you can have:
- Hero content: The big idea you wish to communicate
- Hub content: Audience-specific messages which aim to strengthen customer relationship
- Hygiene content: Pithy details about your business which help attract new customers
Choose the right mix of content needed to achieve your goals
Whether your goals are enhancing a brand image or boosting sales, here is the combination of content your brand can benefit from:
- Owned: Any communication created solely by the brand, in various marketing collaterals and social media platforms
- Co-created: Content created with a partnered influencer (PR, Blogger, Vlogger, etc.)
- Curated: Communication that is created solely by users and later used by the brand.
Boosting sales has never been this easy!
With the advent of digitalization, it has become significantly easier to boost sales of a given business. All you need is a robust content strategy, and you are good to go.
Choose the right mix of content. Strategize well. Use the art of storytelling. Watch your business soar high.
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