Do you need a quick marketing fix for your small business or non-profit? Then this article isn’t going to help you.
Sometimes you do need to get new business in a hurry. That’s when you turn to your trusted network.
Now think about how long it took you to build that network. It didn’t happen overnight, did it?
Now think about what it cost you to build all those relationships. You spent some money commuting to work and attending professional meetings.
But you mostly spent time building those relationships and staying connected.
Content marketing also takes time. But instead of one-to-one relationship building, you’re doing one-to-many.
Your content can start working right away. But, just like with your network, the real payoff shows up later. That’s why marketers call content marketing a long game.
Here are five tips on how to build relationships with content so you can win that game:
- Create content that’s relevant
- Mix up your content
- Create evergreen content
- Stay in touch with email
- Measure progress
Create content that’s relevant
Relevant content helps your target audience navigate the stages of their journey with your company.
Here are the stages of the marketing funnel:
- Discovery. A website visitor starts to learn about you and your brand
- Consideration. A potential customer is thinking about what you have to offer and if it’s a good fit for what they need
- Conversion: A potential customer becomes a lead: subscribe, download a how-to or white paper, get in touch, or buy
- Retention. It’s easier to keep a customer once she has had at least one transaction with you. So, create content to keep her coming back
Mix up your content
There are different ways to mix up your content. One has to do with the media you use. Another has to do with content focus.
Your target audience may not want to read. (Yes, it hurts to say this.) So, offer video, audio, and other media.
But be thorough in your media offerings by including a written transcript.
And by offering more choices, you have more ways to optimize your content for SEO.
Up close and personal
Your content solves problems.
But building relationships with content needs stories. Stories tap into customer and potential customer emotions.
Testimonials and case studies are obvious forms of storytelling.
You can also tell stories by posting articles about company culture and outside interests. For instance, write about causes you’re interested or a typical workday.
Create evergreen content
Some content has short-term value. News, product announcements, and seasonal promotions fit this category.
Evergreen content has long-term value. It may need some tweaking from time to time. But, on the whole, it’s timeless content.
A side benefit is you can repurpose it into other formats. For instance, you can turn a free report or white paper into many blog articles. And you can turn pillar content into lengthy how-to guides that work as lead magnets.
Here are some content types that are evergreen:
- Testimonials and case studies
- Tips, how-tos, listicles, and checklists
- Long-form blog articles, how-to guides, free reports, and white papers
Stay in touch with email
Email has a big reach with both new audience members and existing customers. Email tactics to consider as you build email marketing campaigns include:
- Nurturing or onboarding campaigns. This is where you use email automation to welcome new subscribers or customers. A nurturing sequence helps you educate them about your brand offerings
- Email newsletters. An email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your audience without selling. So, make it a habit to send regular updates about your business, products, and services
- Eblasts. I think of eblasts as short announcements not tied to your newsletter. An eblast usually goes to a targeted segment within your subscriber list. You create the segment based on your subscribers’ history with past emails and transactions.
Google Analytics (and other platforms) can collect more data than most people can use.
(Note: This video shows how to set up Google Analytics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfxVum03fU. But you don’t need a web developer to insert the global site tag. Instead, use your theme settings or a header/footer script plugin.)
Once you have an analytics platform set up, decide what you want to track based on what your goals are.
Content marketing requires goals. That way you’re clear about what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, and how you’re going to do it.
Content marketing goals also include metrics so you know if you’re meeting your objectives.
You can track session duration or pageviews if you want to focus on website traffic (top of funnel). Or, you can focus on bottom of funnel activities such as lead generation.
Of course, analytics helps you see if you’re content is working for you. You can’t build relationships with content if it isn’t.
Use your insights to make changes. Rewrite and repurpose existing content to make minor adjustments. Develop new content that better supports your website visitors and customers.
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