Monday, January 19th, 2015
They want to buy. They want to sign up!
They are dying for what you’re selling.
They just don’t know it yet.
Customers are always looking to buy.
This is a consumer-driven society after all.
So why not give them what they want?
Of course making your customers feel a burning desire for what you’re selling is the crux of the deal.Click to Tweet Please!
It’s an art.
It’s a skill
It can be learned.
Content marketing is more than just writing words. It’s giving words power through information and persuasion. And when you use content marketing wisely, you can easily reach your market and command them to buy.
The trick is simply learning all of the ways you can make your words work for you.
Sometimes the only thing people will “read” is the pictures. The captions on pictures can do a lot to persuade and attract new audiences and potentially new customers. Funny picture. Clever caption. Nice link for more. Sold!
Who doesn’t love a good story? Only the person who sees 150 of them per day on Facebook. But that’s 150 people around you who love stories. Why not work up some stories of your own to pull on the heart strings, motivate champions or make us squirt coffee out of our nose? Post them and go viral!
Pinterest can be tricky busy for content marketing, but it can be a gold mine if used correctly. All of the clever tricks you’ve used before – stories, captions and now images collide in a clever assortment of potentially “pinnable” viral content.
4) Blog Series
Blog posts are nothing new, but here’s the secret of the successful blog: It brings people back. You can’t start a blog and then ignore it for months at a time and expect people to come back and see what you have to say. Write your blog as a series of posts – always something new and fresh for people to read about.
5) Guest Blog Posts
If you want to gain more exposure using your words, use the connections you have in your industry to find locations where you can create your own guest posts.
Write posts for others, but be wary. Guest posting has exploded over the last few years and the value of your post can be lost in the madness of sloppy posts. Work with those you know and are connected to in the industry – be selective here!
6) Authority Posts
Once you have a steady following on your own blog, why not introduce a new authority? This shows that you have solid connections in your field and that you respect your readers by offering them new material with a fresh voice. Just be sure to offer material that others would be interested in – authority material, if you will.
Comments are an often neglected area of expert content marketing. Engage others in discussion through comments on their own posts and articles.
Your thoughtful responses will interest others and bring in readers to your own blogs and websites – but be careful to inform and entice, not offend or drive possible business away by posting on controversial topics.
8) Forum Contributions
Forums are another excellent area to become well-known for your meaningful posts and responses. If you just post random sentences or questions, you’re not going to benefit from forum marketing.
But become an active member of the forum where others are looking for information and answers and you’ll create a tremendous amount of trust would would-be customers.
As much as 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. That means a picture is worth quite a bit more than a page full of words, but a picture alone can get lost in the babble of the internet.
While captions can do a lot, a full-fledged infographic can do much more. Infographics are the perfect blend of color and images with facts and crucial bits of information you need your readers to see and appreciate.
There is absolutely no rule about content marketing being serious. Funny memes, or the internet pictures with clever captions, are perfect ways to practice your pithy way with words.
Start a new favorite meme and your catch-phrase will be on everyone’s lips and your website on everyone’s browser. Hump day, anyone?
There’s always a bit of something to be said for controversy. Find those stories on websites or in the news that shock us and bring the issues to light. Take a stand if it suits your audience or just share the material and count on your readers to get fired up on your behalf. Either way you’re drawing traffic using your content.
12) How-To Guides
While there are many individuals who use the internet as their daily reading, there are many more who count on the internet to solve their problems.
Why not use your way with words to become a champion problem-solver? Create how-to guides that suit your market and products. If your guides are well-done, those who find them will be grateful and just might show their appreciation with a purchase.
Don’t forget that your clever words don’t have to be written – they can be produced into a video as well. Music, colorful screens and clever phrasing is all that’s necessary to get extra attention through a video.
Of course it goes without saying that videos should be well-produced and enhance your image. But a video tutorial or product review can be a solid addition to a website or blog.
Testimonials can be very powerful, but they can be dangerous as well. When using testimonials, you must present the information in a way that lends credibility to your claim.
Random names and messages aren’t as confidence-boosting as a longer review from a well-known individual or even a snipped review from a solid website like LinkedIn.
15) Product Trials
If you sell a variety of products, do what your customers would like to do – try it out. Make a video, or better, a series of videos, of you opening and using new products for the first time.
Watching your honest reaction and chatter as you try and figure out how the knife sharpener works will not only brand your product trial as authentic, but it adds a visual image to your longer, well-written review as well.
Honest reviews read better over the long term than false-sounding favorable ones. If you love everything equally, you sound like a slippery salesman.
16) Case Studies
Use your ability to research and dig for information to create a full-blown case study of a product. Share the good, the bad and the ugly on your selected topic and present the information for your readers. If you were curious about something it’s very likely someone else is, too. Create the case study authentically and you can build serious credibility in your selected market.
Not all of your content must be long and fact-ridden. Some of the best content marketing is done in 160 characters or less.
Twitter is a great way to interact with followers and would-be customers. Take notes from Twitter masters like Forever21 and start clever, interactive campaigns or just use Twitter to let others know interesting tidbits and tales.
18) Tumblr Images
The power of pictures is very much in vogue on Tumblr, a collection of content including pictures, animated gifs and videos.
The same can be said of Vine. Create your own unique images, recycle old images in new ways and even repost the related images of your followers to build a brand through Tumblr.
Sometimes a little bit of information isn’t enough. If you find you have something to say every week or every month, put that information together into an interesting newsletter and distribute it to your followers.
You can spice up your newsletter with images and even discounts, special offers or coupons for your customers and followers to use.
Ebooks can be powerful things. You can write an ebook and offer it as a free item with a purchase, or you can sell your ebook itself. Your ebook can be informational, a series of guides or perhaps even a work of fiction. The trick is matching your ebook with your market, your knowledge and your goals for distribution.
If you’d rather not create a full-blown ebook, you can still give customers information about a product or service through a shorter guide.
Your guide can be a step-by-step manual or it can be more generalized and fact-based, such a guide to using Twitter in your internet marketing. To be effective, however, you guide should be written with a voice of authority in the subject matter.
22) White Papers
If you work in a technical field and deal heavily with facts and information, white papers may be exactly what you need to create a credible presence in your industry.
White papers are much like industry research papers that often include infographics and break-downs of relevant information. They are distributed as marketing materials, and must be authentic and heavily researched.
Again, words don’t need to be read to be effective. Write scripts instead of posts and then record them as podcasts. The audio series can be promoted through blogs or compiled into a series. There are endless options for what you can discuss through a podcast, but this is an option available primarily to those who have a clear speaking voice and who excel at long, engaging presentations.
24) Press Releases
An old friend of the marketing filed, the press release still has a terrific amount of presence online. Create a true press release with a timely, newsworthy item.
Submit your release online and also consider sending a copy to local news sources and direct websites and bloggers who might be able to use your information on their own sites – gaining you exposure and others news.
25) News Jacking
Speaking of news, you can use the news of others to generate engaging content as well. Stay abreast of current events and immediately jump on trending topics, but twist those topics to suit your own brand or twist your branding to fit the news. Either way you gain inspiration and interest from readers.
26) Twitter Campaigns
While you can add plenty of information to Twitter for your followers to use and retweet, you can also create viral marketing campaigns of a different flavor by using hashtags.
Create a special campaign and encourage participation from the Twittersphere. When hash tags catch on, they can go viral very quickly, boosting your brand in the process.
27) Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are an excellent way to practice your copywriting and content skills. The ads only allow a small amount of text, and often you can link to a longer post.
You not only need to create interesting content, but also fascinating headlines that “speak” to readers and drawn them in to encourage clicking and additional reading.
28) Facebook Follows
Not everyone pays for Facebook ads, however, to make the big social media platform work well. A classic example is a popular food truck in the big city.
Every morning the food truck posts a map to its location on the truck’s Facebook page. The thousands of followers would then know where to head in order to grab some tacos for lunch. Since the location changed daily, the Facebook followers were always anxious for a new post.
29) Expert Answers
While your posts may be full of information, it may be worthwhile to go and share your wisdom in other places. Look for opportunities to answer questions with in-depth answers. You can answer questions on websites like Yahoo, on forums, on local search engines and on the blogs of others.
By giving a thorough answer, you can draw new visitors to your website very easily indeed as you’ve already established trust with readers.
30) Website Copy
There is something of a debate about website copy and whether it is classified as copy or content. But while some of the words on your website may be hard-selling copy, many other parts may be more informational or entertaining and therefore more in line with content marketing.
This is, perhaps, the most important piece of content marketing. After all, who cares about your other clever campaigns if they lead back to a website that is incomplete, missing material or poorly written?
31) Soft Sales
There is definitely a fuzzy line between content and copywriting at times. While copywriting is generally thought to be sales letters and landing pages, you can create excellent pages full of content for a softer approach to sales.
Content and copy are interchangeable in this sense, and being able to write compelling content may be just what you need in place of aggressive copy.
32) Printed Content
Finally, it’s important to note that not all content marketing needs to happen online. There is still a place for print content. Articles in trade magazines, local newspapers and print advertisements or guides are all excellent ways to catch the attention of would-be customers who are not especially tech-savvy.
We often think of content as written words. But that’s not the case.
Real content marketing is the use of materials that showcase language – written, spoken, implied and abbreviated.Click to Tweet Please!
Words have power, and whey properly used they can offer you a tremendous reach in your marketing efforts.
While traditional ads have a place in your marketing campaigns, they may ultimately take a back seat.
Today’s consumer is looking for more than a flyer or banner.
They want entertainment.
They want compelling stories.
They want viral images and captions.
They want content.
It’s your job to give it to them.