“Good content isn’t about good storytelling. It’s about telling a true story well.” – Ann Handley
We hear it all the time: “Content is king.” But what exactly is content? This term can intimidate even the most seasoned marketers because it seems to mean just about everything. Content truly is anything that adds value for your customers. And that could be anything from blogs to how-to video tutorials to infographics. The point isn’t “what is content” but rather, what content does your customer need? A great way to boost engagement with your customers and get some free analytics is a survey or a poll. Add a contest to encourage your customers to share the survey with their friends, or enter them into a draw when they answer the poll question. You have to know what your customers value before you can give it to them – don’t just play guessing games, you might be surprised be the results.
The biggest thing to remember with content – whatever you produce – is that it has to be dynamic. If you produce valuable content only once a month, you are missing out on the major benefits of content marketing. Regularly posted content will boost your SEO ranking, develop a relationship with your customers, and keep your feet to the flame to be innovative.
“Content is King but engagement is Queen, and the lady rules the house!” – Mari Smith
As we said above, content needs to be valuable and dynamic. The best way to test your content’s value is by asking your customers to engage with it. At this point, Facebook “likes” are now the industry-standard for measuring success right? Not quite. The ubiquity of “likes” has made them less valuable – and they don’t make people feel like they have a voice. Enter the comment section. If you want your customers to engage with your content, you have to engage with them. This is an easy way to add value and build trust. Personally respond to as many comments as you can. Follow both your customers and your influencers on Instagram and tag them in posts where you can. This can be overwhelming at first, but fear not. Choose a few social networks to really hone in on – it’s impossible to be engaged everywhere, and you really shouldn’t be. Find out where your customers are doing most of their networking and start there.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis
The key to a strong relationship is letting your customers know who you are. Your marketing needs to sell your identity just as much as it needs to sell products. Whatever marketing strategy you adopt (SEO, social media, content, email – hopefully a combination of all of these), you need to present a clear message. Make sure your brand is consistent across all your marketing platforms so people can recognize a post as yours. Choose the same fonts, color-schemes, and design. Write in a way that is unique – stand out from the frankenspeak articles that are all over the internet. Most importantly: write like a human. Stand out from the crowd by sending a clear, consistent message.
“The importance of gratitude is never forgotten.” – Deborah Lee
Show your followers the love. Whether through a contest or giveaway, invite your customers to feel a part of your community. Yes this is a great way to boost engagement and drive sales, but it also shows your customers that you truly care. If YouTube is a part of your marketing strategy, consider closing the video with a “fan of the week” who you mention by name. If someone checks in at your store via Facebook, thank them for coming and ask them about their experience. This is especially important when customers leave reviews – respond to each one with gratitude (even the negative ones) and it will go a long way.
“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” – Pam Moore
Local marketing is a grass roots approach that you shouldn’t overlook. In your local community there are tons of opportunities to build relationships. Local marketing can look like offering a free class or consultation to people is the neighbourhood, or handing out business cards at a local event. Create a strong brand image, and then let people see the face behind it. At the end of the day – people want to buy from people.
5. Just do it
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” – Seth Godin
Any marketing strategy is better than no marketing strategy. Choose one place to start and build from there. A great first step is identifying target keywords – from there you can focus on SEO, content or social media. Customers just want to know who you are, there are some easy ways to show them (without breaking the bank.)