With more than 4 billion social media users across the globe, there's a tremendous opportunity for your business to reach massive growth and reach new audiences. So how do you build your brand awareness and put your name in front of potential new customers?
Two words: Content Marketing.
Marketers know the importance of content marketing by heart. It is through curating valuable online content to reach a specific audience and encourage positive customer action through enticing call-to-action buttons (CTA).
And if you're aiming for long-term, sustainable brand growth, content marketing is NOT something you should sleep on!
Now, who better to help you than the best content marketing experts? I’ve compiled this round-up of best content marketing practices to help you capture inbound attention effectively.
Let's get started.
Post Valuable Content. More on Video, if possible. (Gary Vee)
I'm sure you know by now how Gary Vee presents a rather radical approach to social media content marketing. According to him, small businesses must focus on value creation rather than product peddling to achieve success.
The key here is to ensure that your content is high-quality enough for your intended audience to want to read it. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms provide an excellent platform for creating engaging content. Gary advises sharing anything and anything on social media sites, even if it has nothing to do with your specific area of interest.
Gary Vee said it best:
"If you don't have a video marketing strategy for the top video platforms, you will lose." Regardless of the product or service you offer or the nature of your firm, video content is something you should prioritize today.
Be Authentic and Passionate. (Gary Vee)
Ensuring the highest picture quality and seamless edits are great, but at the end of the day– it all boils down to the authenticity of the content. A nice edit doesn't come close to the impact of genuine content featuring a content creator who is enthusiastic about what they're doing.
If you want to maintain credibility in front of your online audience, here are some tips from Gary Vee to keep in mind:
And if you want more loyal customers, you need to be yourself around them at all times and on all platforms.
Use Tripwire Products to Find your Best Leads. (Ryan Deiss)
In marketing, the likelihood of a new customer purchasing from you is far lower than an existing, old one. So if you have many leads and potential customers for your main product, you can narrow down the list to the most promising leads and customers by using a tripwire product to qualify them.
According to Ryan Deiss:
Tripwires are "irresistible, super-low-ticket offers" (often costing between $1 and $20) that aim to convert your leads into paying customers.
Even if it costs only one dollar, transforming a lead into a buyer is miraculous. Therefore, developing an irresistible tripwire offer that your leads can't pass up is vital. Any clients who have purchased your tripwire product are the most promising leads for repeat business.
Why? They have made it quite evident that they want what you're selling by taking decisive steps to purchase it. With that in mind, you should capitalize on their newfound curiosity to win them over as loyal customers.
Sell the Outcome. (Ryan Deiss)
Always remember that people are looking to purchase outcomes rather than mere products. As per Ryan Deiss's golden nuggets on marketing, it all boils down to two reasons people aren't buying your products.
One, the deal could be more outstanding, so people won't be interested even if you describe the features and benefits. Second, you need to convey the advantages to your audience in a way that resonates with them.
A better approach would be to focus on the "before" and "after" results. This should be the ultimate goal of your marketing efforts. Your customers are less interested in purchasing goods and services than investing in the desired result.
Selling the ideal state where life is better in some way after purchasing your product (or service) is central to any effective marketing copywriting and sales strategy, too. The next time you write an email, landing page, or commercial, keep this simple principle in mind.
Survey your Current Customers and Leads. (Neil Patel)
A common question I get from fellow marketers is: how do you narrow down your target market? Well, Neil Patel has one thing to say: surveys.
Conducting a survey is the quickest and most accurate way to learn about your target demographic. For instance, a single inquiry, "What is your toughest struggle?" is all needed to make this work. A firm grasp of their challenges will allow you to write and produce engaging content that speaks directly to their wants and needs.
Conduct In-Depth Interviews to Inform your Inbound Marketing Efforts. (Neil Patel)
Another content marketing golden nugget I learned from Neil Patel is to get to know your target audience thoroughly. Once you sense how your target audience generally feels (through surveys), it's time to start looking for specific people to interview. So, track down a couple of your current clients or customers.
Inquire if a 10-minute phone conversation or video conference to discuss their difficulties would be acceptable. Make it known that you are willing to help in any way you can by providing suggestions.
Typically, this is met with enthusiasm from customers. Most of them think of it as a free consultation– so you might want to keep your approach that way.
During the call, probe for information about the client's most pressing problems. Allow them to convey their difficulties as precisely as possible. Find out what bothers them the most and what they've already attempted to fix the problem. Then, you can leverage this information in your marketing materials.
Use Enticing Headlines. (Neil Patel)
Providing unique content requires an in-depth familiarity with the customer's journey and needs. But there are other tactics you'll need to attract new consumers and leads. You will need to go outside the box. Start with coming up with enticing headlines. Don't sleep on your headlines – as most clicks and visitors will be attracted to this.
According to WordStream research, negative language can help achieve this goal. Also, stray away from using negative headlines as much as possible.
Make your Content more Visual. (Neil Patel)
It's no secret how most people are likely to be more engaged when your content is presented visually. Instead of just featuring long passages, insert pictures, charts, and graphs in your text. This will encourage your target audience to find your content more engaging.
Statistics will say: Yes, use more infographics in your content! Those who use more than one image see even more engagement and traffic. The more you focus on visually appealing content, the more you're likely to improve your inbound marketing efforts.
Create Useful Content, Not Sales Brochures. (Ann Handley)
When Ann Handley spilled her secret to effective inbound marketing, she said: "Create content that speaks to [your customers] about their problem, and position yourself as somebody who does have a solution to it, but is not coming right out and saying it."
Therefore, refrain from interrupting your clients with nonsense content. Placing an ad doesn't mean your target audience will suddenly start paying attention to your products and services. Start by giving your audience valuable content that will make them realize how you can help solve their difficulties.
Trust me, that's one foolproof way to get going!
Build some Brand Equity and Affinity first. (Rand Fishkin)
In one Everyone Hates Marketers podcast, Rand Fishkin encouraged marketers to work on their brand equity and affinity first. When people create a product, they mistakenly believe they need to turn to paid marketing channels to attract an audience and gain their customers' trust.
But as data suggests, the likelihood of a positive return on investment (ROI) for paid advertisements increases when the target audience already has a favorable impression of your brand. More so if they have already made multiple visits to your website. It is less likely for you to have a successful advertisement if your target audience is unfamiliar with your company or has never visited your website.
That said, he believes that the best strategy should be to hold off on investing in paid ads until you have established brand equity and affinity. This also includes having a steady stream of organic traffic from the audience you're hoping to reach.
So before you consider how to go out and spend money to acquire new customers, ask yourself the following:
How will I get in front of this audience?
Why will they amplify me?
Who are the people doing that?
Be Patient. (Joe Pulizzi)
If you're aiming to achieve inbound attention success, you must learn to be patient. Achieving long-term success with content marketing takes time and effort. If you want to know why two-thirds of firms fail within the first two years and why only half make it to year five, the answer is simple: because of competition.
To have successful content marketing efforts, patience must be embedded into your strategy from the start. It takes years, on average, to see concrete results.
Consider Joe Pulizzi, author of Content Inc., who launched the Content Marketing website Copyblogger.com in 2006.
He didn't hit his stride, define his vision, and feel like he was "onto something" until 2010. Joe is now the CEO of a $10 million company, one of the fastest-growing private firms in the United States.
Embrace Inbound Marketing. (Tim Ferriss)
There's no better way to be on the right track toward effective inbound marketing than to embrace it.
As per Tim Ferriss:
Start by leveraging Customer Personas. Ideally, tailor your content according to your target market.
This will help you harness their attention and keep them engaged. The next step is to convert with CTA's. If you visit his website, you'll notice that it is designed for maximum conversions.
The most commonly requested information for these CTAs is for the visitors to enter their active email addresses. As a thank you, subscribers receive exclusive content like "11 Must Use Apps & Tools" or full access to the community.
Use Email Marketing to Full Potential. (Tim Ferriss)
This next inbound marketing tip still comes from Tim Ferriss. In case you missed it, he was notoriously famous for his outspoken and well-known dislike of email at one point. After he had acquired all those emails, however, he started to rethink his views.
Tim invited himself into the inboxes of millions of users with a single blog post declaring, "I'm not spam," and framing his email newsletter/blog post updates as personal communications from a friend.
Similarly, once you've convinced visitors to become paying customers on your site, it's time to put your newfound email list to use!
Use Interactive Content. (Jeff Bullas)
According to Jeff Bullas, interactive content is the future of content marketing. Hence, it would be best if you leveraged it as early as today.
Interactive content is an invaluable tool that may provide tremendous results from your content, including better audience attraction, engagement, website traffic, and lead conversion rates.
Add polls, calculators, infographics, slideshows, and podcasts to your usual content mix. You're giving your audience options for how they might take in, digest, and connect with your marketing material. By incorporating these features into your posts, you may significantly increase your readership and keep readers on your site for longer (both of which are great for SEO).
You will need to trust in the process to achieve the same level of content marketing success as the pros. Just a few expert recommendations can have a dramatic impact on your marketing metrics. So if you're losing hope in capturing the inbound attention you desire, start by creating valuable content and determining the best distribution channels for your offering.
Trust me. If you practice what you've learned above, you'll see incredible results over time!
(Related article: 8 Content Marketing Strategies E-commerce Brands Can Implement Immediately)