At my email marketing software company VerticalResponse, we spend a lot of time on content. What I mean by content are things like “how-to” guides as it relates to marketing your business, or articles, blogs, videos and just anything in general that will help a small business succeed. And when we write or develop the content, we try not to be salesy. We include the problems our small business customers are trying to solve and how they might be able to do it. We’ve found that over the years we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people viewing and downloading our content, and it works for us to build a brand and ultimately be trusted and get customers.
We’ve tested this quite a bit and found the following to help us along the way in being that trusted voice to the customer:
- Articles – Like a “how-to” article I’m writing now, post articles to relevant sites.
- Blog posts – Post a “how-to” blog on something relevant to your customers. Avoid being too salesy. We have an email product blog specifically for that, but our general marketing blog is not trying to sell at all.
- Videos – Do a series of videos where folks from your company talk about one issue that might resonate with your customers. Post it to your YouTube account.
- Tutorials – Assemble small videos of your product, no longer than two minutes per area. We use ScreenFlow to do this; you can also do PowerPoint videos.
- Guides – Write two- to three-page guides or whitepapers on issues your customers might have and how to solve them. Lightly mention that your company does this; it should not be a sales piece.
Once you have this great content, you have to promote it or your hard work is going to fall on deaf ears!
- Make sure you put it prominently on your site. Include an area for “Resources” or “Articles.”
- Buy Google Adwords for it. You might find you’re getting traffic from customers who are searching on your content and converting at a higher rate.
- Make a webinar out of it and invite your prospects and customers. This is a great idea to get engaged with them.
- Put it in your monthly email marketing newsletter. This is a surefire way to get it read or watched.
- Make an event out of it or a user seminar.
- Post it to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at the very least. And anywhere you post it, make sure it’s shareable to the social sphere.
One last note: When you write your content, make sure you’ve included your keywords and make sure it’s posted on your site as well as available as a downloadable file. Search engines love great content and sites that update regularly, and you’ll see the benefit of this when your traffic increases by leaps and bounds.