Are you one of the 90% plus businesses that creates blog posts and articles but never sees a measurable increase in leads or sales?
Content Marketing provides a lot of benefits that will continue to provide value long after it has been created. Every time you create a relevant article you are adding value to your readers. Create enough of these articles and you will create topical authority, and become the thought leader in the field.
When you become the go-to website in your field for quality, relevant information, you will see the quality of leads improve, and your sales team will have a much easier time closing sales. This will lead to what I like to call the snowball effect. Once you have started that snowball rolling down the hill. It takes very little effort for it to continue to grow and get bigger and bigger.
Your goal should be to create that snowball effect as soon as possible. The quicker you can get to that critical mass, the quicker you will start seeing results, and the quicker you will see your business grow.
To create that critical mass you need at least 5 – 10 articles per a subject. This sounds like a lot, but out of those 10 articles, on average only 2 are going to rank towards the top of the SERP page and produce most of your traffic and leads. The other articles are created to show “authority” on the subject matter. All the other supporting articles helps make sure the visitor can get all the information they need without having to leave your site.
Google now prefers to rank domains that have multiple pages on a given topic. Google expects to see other pages or articles all linking together to the topic that you are trying to rank.
The problem is that most blog posts or articles are too generic and do not provide any real value to the reader. It is the same topics and wording that can be found on the majority of your competitors’ websites. As the internet grows and content marketing becomes more popular, it can be hard to find original content. If you do a little research you will find that a lot of content is being produced by AI machine learning. How this type of AI works is that it mines the internet and then tries to put its spin on what has already been written about. Now all you have is more content that sounds just like all the rest of the content out there and doesn’t provide any real value to the reader.
The solution is to create content that is relevant only to the audience that is most likely to become your customer in the future. This content can be very technical, and it may only make sense to someone in the industry. By creating this type of content you will demonstrate your expertise in the subject matter and be perceived as an expert in the industry. This can take more research but your top sales and marketing staff are already using this type of content. It just needs to be cleaned up and put into a content type of format that you can start publishing. An easy way to come up with some very relevant articles is to ask your team, what are the most frequently asked questions they get. Answer these questions with content and you will be providing massive value very quickly.
Content Marketing trends for 2022 show that content is continuing to be a smart investment for your marketing budget.
A recent study by Demand Gen showed that 62% of B2B buyers rely heavily on content for their buying decisions. Instead of working with sales teams first, most end-users prefer to do their own research by reading blogs and other types of content before they reach out to the sales department for more information.
The same study found that consumers on average consume three to five pieces of information before engaging with a vendor.
Why content marketing is critical in the SAAS field:
The SaaS field is unique due to the complex nature of the product that it provides. These types of products tend to have a long sales cycle. Most of the sales cycle is focused on showing the potential client how to use the product and what the benefits are to their organization. This is where quality content can make a big impact.
Your customers are looking to educate themselves before making a buying decision. They are after more information that helps put them at ease that your product is the best solution for them. They want to know how it works, can I make it work for me, and what is the process for implementing it. Content marketing is all about addressing these specific topics and making them easy to understand.
Complex content that is broken up into separate articles is the best way to go. This will give you enough room to break down a very complex product into easily digestible pieces.
Step 1: List the core benefits of using your product or USP.
This seems easy, but a lot of businesses get this wrong. It’s easy to list what your product does but what are the results that users receive from using your products.
For example; In my business, I provide SEO services and content marketing. But this is not what I sell. I am selling an increase in revenue. If your SEO is better than your competition’s you will move up in the SERP rankings and ultimately sell more of your product. If you use content marketing you will create topical authority and as a result, will increase your revenue.
Effective content marketing is all about helping the customer see what the results of using your product will be and positioning it in such a way that they cannot see how they could live without it.
Step 2: Identify the Customers that will benefit the most from your product benefits.
Who will receive the biggest benefit of working with you? If you are not sure and your department hasn’t already created your ideal customer avatar. Talk to your sales staff and find out in general who is buying your products and when they seem to be a good fit. Ask your account reps what is the most typical customer they work with and why does your product seem to be a good fit for them.
Step 4: Identify the individual or department within the organization you are targeting or who will be influencing the buying decisions.
Who specifically will be making the buying decision for your products? Who does your product benefit the most? Who can be your biggest ambassador for your product?
These questions need to be answered to determine how you will format your content. If your target is an engineer the tone and technical data provided will be different than if you are targeting sales staff.
“For example; in my business, we are targeting the marketing department. They may not be making the final decision but they will certainly influence it. Our goal is to make the marketing department look good by increasing SERP rankings and driving quality leads. This way they can show their department leader a direct return on investment.
Step 5: Identify the keywords you will be targeting.
Keywords are critical for ranking with content marketing. You are going to need a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.
To find keywords:
- Start by determining what you will be promoting. Is it going to be a specific product or some information about your company?
- List out all your keywords.
- Either google those keywords or put them into your keyword research tool.
- Find out who is currently ranking the highest for those keywords.
- Put the top 3 results into your keyword planner and see all the keywords they are ranking for. Web Pages rank for multiple keywords and it’s important to see all the keywords you need to incorporate into your content.
- Pro TIP: Focus on long tail keywords that show buying intent.
This can be the hardest part of any content management campaign. Here are some shortcuts I have used.
- Interviews – “my personal favorite” Interview different departments within your organization. Someone is already saying what should be written in your articles. For example; I like to talk to top sales staff, they are already creating presentations that your customers want to hear and are responding to.
- Competition – What articles and blog posts are working for your competitions. Don’t recreate exactly what they have written but take their article ideas and make them better while putting the focus on your product.
- Industry news. What is happening within your industry that your customers would benefit from knowing?
- Case studies. Put together some compelling case studies showing the benefits of using your product.
- Testimonials. I like to focus on one customer who received massive benefits from using the product and create content around this. I cover – what was the problem they were struggling with. What were they using before and why wasn’t it working. How did your product solve the problem they were struggling with? Written right, this can be one of the most powerful articles you can create.
Your content should always be focused on driving qualified leads and sales. What I mean is to make sure you are selling your product or services throughout the article. Articles should be written to position your company as the best one to provide the product you are selling.
Create calls to action throughout your articles. Always give your customers a way to take the next step if they are interested in doing business with you. They shouldn’t have to go hunting around for a contact page to contact you. It should be very easy to just click one button and get the information needed.
Step 7: Make your content SEO friendly
There are a couple of easy steps you can take to make sure your content is SEO optimized.
- Your title and H1 Header should be identical.
- The keywords need to be in your title, H1 header, title tag, and meta description. They should also be used throughout your article where they make sense. Don’t stuff the keywords, Google is starting to recognize this tactic and penalize the articles that use this tactic.
- Article length – You should see what is already ranking but there is no exact word count that Google is looking for. Articles that are longer seem to rank better. But creating fluff content just to create words will end up hurting the customer experience and google will ultimately end up lowering your rankings.
Step 8: Promote your content
After you have written the best piece of content you can, it’s time to promote it. This is a tactic I have found that works very well to start getting your article to rank. If you create links within your page to your main pages you will drive more traffic overall to your website. Everyone feels to be educated before they make a decision. By writing articles that will educate them and then sending them to a sales landing page you will shorten the sales cycle.
Start by sharing your articles with your email list. This will always give you the highest return on your investment.
Next, share on your social media accounts. Like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Finally, promote through paid advertising. I always like to generate some traffic this way because it gives me a good idea of how the article is going to perform. I don’t start with a big ad spend just enough to get around a 1000 page visits and then I go from there. I am looking for how long do visitors stay on the page, do they visit other pages, are they clicking on my call to action links, and what comments are they leaving.
If you follow these steps consistently I know you will get better results. This is the same process that we use to rank articles and drive quality leads for all our customers. Many companies are using this process. Creating content that educates the buyer before asking for a purchasing decision is the best sales strategy I have seen consistently work. Everyone is afraid of making a mistake and if you can minimize that with quality content, you will be well on your way to increasing leads and sales with your articles.
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