Image via Flickr by Roland Tanglao
You've got a business website up and running. Your inventory is stocked and you're advertising like crazy on social media. When you came up with the grand idea to start an online business, you just knew it was going to be a success.
In your mind you had every detail planned out. From utilizing free social media marketing to buying your products cheap and selling them for a 300% profit, there was no way your online company was going to fail.
30 days later.
You've been advertising the heck out of your store on social media and you've attracted... NADA! Not. one. single. lead!
How could this be? Your product rocks and you've established a very reasonable pricing point. You know people like your product because their liking the hell out of your postings on Facebook.
But no one's buying. Not even your closest friends and family who you thought would be your biggest fans.
What are you doing wrong?
It's simple. A great product at a great price means nothing if you're targeting the wrong audience.
Using social media marketing as your only advertising platform is going to limit the audience you reach. This is why regardless of the size of your business or the how long you've been up and running, content marketing, in all of its forms, should be a top priority.
You've heard time and time again that content marketing boosts brand awareness.
You can have all the brand awareness in the world, but if the right audience isn't aware of your brand, it isn't going to matter. This is why content marketing makes a difference.
When implemented correctly, content marketing lands your content in front an audience that is in need of your product.
How does content marketing put content in front of the right audience?
Putting Coffee Mugs in Front of Coffee Drinkers
Let's say your online company is in the business of selling coffee mugs. Three days a week you publish a blog posting that relates to coffee in some form or fashion.
Whether it be talking about sipping on a cup of coffee before you rush the kids to school or the best cleaning wipes to get a coffee stain out of your new shirt you bought to wear to the office, the content is directed toward people who drink coffee.
When search engines use their magic and crawl your blog postings, they will identify naturally-incorporated long-tail keywords, like 'sipping on a cup of coffee before you rush the kids to school', or 'wipes to get a coffee stain out of your new shirt'.
By identifying these long-tail keywords, the search engines will have a better idea of who the content should be shown to on search engines results pages (SERPs).
How Many Blog Postings Are Enough to Reach a Targeted Audience?
Publishing one blog posting a month isn't going to do much for making sure your content lands in front of the right audience.
But did you know publishing at least 16 postings a month can get you 350% more traffic each month compared to publishing one to four postings?
Even as a solo entrepreneur, you can rest assured frequent and consistent blog postings are going to increase traffic to your site.
Studies show companies with one to 10 employees that publish at least 11 postings a month can boost traffic by as much 300%.
Don't have time to create and publish 11 postings? It's okay. These same studies reveal if you will publish at least five postings a month, you can still enhance site traffic by 200% when compared to posting only one time each month.
Content Marketing Involves Creating Buyer Personas
Buyer Personas Generate Leads
Creating buyer personas for your brand means you're going to pinpoint who the people are who are most likely to purchase your product.
How old are they? Where do they live? What lifestyle habits do they have? Do they have children? What level of income do they have?
Knowing this information enables you to sprinkle relevant content throughout your marketing content to appeal to these people.
Let's go back to the coffee mug example. If you're selling coffee mugs, then your targeted audience is quite broad, but only if you want to appeal to such a large audience.
This is why it is good to pick a specific niche and focus your brand and marketing efforts on it.
The Big Dream Moms site, for example, targets moms who love to drink coffee. This niche, however, is still broad enough to appeal to a large audience because it can target working moms and stay-at-home moms. It can even target children who want to buy their moms coffee mugs for Mother's Day, birthdays, and holidays.
Statistics show developing buyer personas for your brand will boost lead generation and audience engagement as well as sales revenue.
Using Content Marketing to Reach Your Targeted Audience
Advertising on social media is an effective marketing tool to employ, but it isn't going to reach your targeted audience unless you're advertising to people who fall into your buyer persona categories.
As you use your buyer personas to create blog postings and other forms of content, like videos, infographics, and whitepapers, you're going to find much more success in your content marketing strategy.
Mainly, you're going to improve lead generation and consumer engagement by landing your content in front of people who actually have an interest in your product.
Your online business isn't going to take off overnight. It's going to take time. Lots of time. In fact, you may not start seeing results within your content marketing agenda for three to six months.
Sticking with producing frequent, quality content is key to making sure your efforts pay off.
You already know it's important to generate leads. Let's explore three content marketing tactics that not only generate leads but appeal to all generations.
Be as Visual as Possible
We live in a society that prefers images and videos over text-only content. One reason that consumers prefer visual content is because the brain can process it 60,000 times faster than text.
From a lead generation standpoint, visual content should be a top priority. Did you know consumers only remember 10 percent of what they read when it comes in a text-only format? They can recall a mind-boggling 65 percent of what they view in a visual format, though, such as a picture with a caption statement.
Fortunately, visual content comes in a wide variety of formats. For example, adding social proof to your site in the form of logos is a great way to visually connect with site visitors.
How can you do this? You will start by writing down all the social media sites that you have profiles on. Next, you will write down the various sites your products/services have been featured on, such as CNN, Discovery Channel, Better Homes and Garden Magazine, etc.
At the bottom of every page on your site, logos for these platforms and companies should be displayed. Linked to each logo should be a URL that takes visitors to your social media profiles or the company website page you are featured on. Adding social proof to your site can increase lead generation and conversions by 400%.
Fueling a Lead Generation Campaign With Infographics
Consumers love learning interesting facts and infographics provide an effective way to engage with them. More so, infographics can fuel a lead generation campaign. You'll want to share these infographics across all of your social media profiles. By clicking on the infographic, your social media followers will be directed to your site.
If your website doesn't have a subscription feature, you need to create one. The goal is to get as many site visitors as possible to give you their email address. Once they submit their email address, you can automatically add them to your lead generation funnel.
Getting site visitors to engage with your subscription feature can sometimes be a bit tricky. Infographics can serve as a viable solution to this problem.
One method for using infographics to increase lead generation is by enticing site visitors to give you their email address in exchange for another free infographic; a free infographic serves as a very effective lead magnet. You'll be surprised at how many people are willing to delve out their email addresses for something free.
Once you have your leads' email addresses, you can continue to use infographics to push them through the lead generation funnel. For example, the emails that you send to your leads can contain more infographic material.
Embedded in the infographics should be a link to your landing page; this increases click-through rates and directs your leads back to your site and possibly ready to make a purchase. Once you get them to your site, you'll want to continue engaging them with more visual content.
Knowing How to Generate Leads With Various Forms of Visual Content
Your blog is an excellent platform to generate leads. Studies have shown that websites with blogs attract 67% more leads than sites without a blog. The key here is to blog on a regular and frequent basis and to use visual content in your postings.
The best types of visual content to include in blog postings vary from one business to another. Generally, though, effective forms of visual content that you should experiment with to determine what works best for generating leads include:
With a deep passion for writing, Whitney has met the needs of more than 12,000 clients.