Content is king.
I repeat. Content. Is. King.
For those that don’t know what content marketing is, the Content Marketing Agency defines it as, “The discipline of creating quality branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value, and measurable success for brands.”
If you aren’t using it to spread your brand message, you need to start today. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
Since I started my business, I’ve learned a lot about how to use content marketing effectively to improve my sales process. In fact content marketing is nearly solely responsible for driving millions of dollars in revenue to my business year after year.
Let’s take a look at how it helps me.
An Example of Content Marketing
Say, for example, that you started your own plumbing business a year ago. Today, your business has plateaued a little bit. To increase your exposure, you start writing blog posts about things like hiring a good plumber, fixing common problems around the house, and anything else related to plumbing.
Posts that provide value to readers.
Over time, you start ranking for some of these blog posts. When you start ranking for these posts, you start showing up in Google when people search for things like, “how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.” Once they see that you’re an expert, they continue to return to your blog for advice.
When they run into a problem that they can’t fix on their own, maybe they contact you for a personal conversation or even for you to come out to fix the problem yourself.
You’re in business.
This type of content marketing is one of the best ways to increase inbound leads for just about any type of business.
You might be saying “I don’t want a bunch of piddly toilet unclogging leads”. Ok, forget about inbound lead generation only. Content is still extremely valuable, even further down the sales funnel! A prospect could find your business by any means, but that doesn’t mean they view you as an the ‘expert’. You’re just another contractor (or plumber in this case). Having published content in the broad subject matter, whether relevant to them their project or not, establishes you as the ‘expert’ as long as they see it (more on this further down).
Still not convinced?
Let’s take a look at how I use content marketing to improve my sales process.
I Use it to Build Trust and Awareness
Let’s be honest. There are a ton of brands out there that are very similar to yours.
So, how do you stand out? In our example above, the plumber is trying to stand out against his competition by establishing himself as an expert in his niche. Once people view him as an expert, they’ll also start to trust him as an authority.
Once people see him as an authority, they’ll start returning to his website and sharing his information with friends who have similar problems. As he increases traffic and starts to generate backlinks, people will be exposed to a plumbing brand that they never even knew existed. He can then parlay this exposure into even more awareness and leads for his business. I personally like to show our followers examples of past projects through Facebook ads and emails. When they see some of our successful projects and maybe even client testimonials, they’re more likely to want to use our brand for their next project.
Content Marketing Helps Improve my SEO
To increase your organic inbound leads, you need a strong SEO campaign.
One of my favorite ways to improve SEO?
When someone gets on a search engine and types in a keyword, that engine works through its algorithm to provide the person with the most relevant results possible.
How are the search engines going to find your website if you don’t have any content to show them?
Today, the algorithms that a company like Google use are pretty complex. When the search engine crawls the results, the algorithm can now tell the difference between content that provides real value and spammy content that someone is trying to use just to rank for a specific keyword. When you start ranking for some of those bigger keywords, more and more people find your website.
When people find your website, you get new leads. Instead of you reaching out to people, creating ads, or making phone calls, people will start coming to you.
That’s what it’s all about.
Leverage Content In The Sales Process
Ultimately not everyone who contacts you for an estimate will have found your content, and even if they did, they might not have absorbed the content applicable to them. This is really starts happening as you get more and more articles and videos online.
Early on in the sales process, usually before an estimate is given or a meeting occurs I’ll start by emailing them informative content directly related to what they’re looking for. In the case of the plumber with a client considering relocating a kitchen sink and refrigerator, and a blog post titles “How We Take Care To Protect Your Home” would be a good pre sales article.
Post estimate, for the folks still on the fence, you might consider sending them some ‘featured project’ articles showing the before and after of similar work that you’ve done. Better yet, re-market to those that have already with the content, on Facebook! This Is my favorite non-invasive way to stay in front of prospects, and informative content works great here
In both instances, the customer gets another point of content filled with valuable information all of which highlights your company.
I Use it to Keep in Touch With Customers
Staying in touch with customers is important. If you don’t, it’s possible that they might forget about you. However, it’s important that you aren’t annoying. In a world filled with spam emails, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the rest?
How I do it is by providing my customers with something of value in my emails. Maybe they’re having problems maintaining their screen porch. If so, I can send them some content about the best ways to take care of their screen porch to ensure that it lasts longer. Or, if they’re on the fence about working with our company, I can send out some content that shows off our work with previous clients.
The best time to get started with content marketing?
Ten years ago.
The second best time?
If you and your business aren’t using content marketing, it’s important that you get started as soon as possible. When I first started getting into content marketing, the content that I was producing wasn’t necessarily the best out there. However, what was important was that I was getting content out there. Even if I don’t think my early content wasn’t the best, it can still provide value to someone who knows very little about the topic. Also, one of the more important factors that Google uses to rank your content is how old it is.
The longer that your content has been on the internet, the more authority it is going to have. You can always go back later to edit it and make it stronger once you have a better idea of what you’re doing.
Get started today.
What do you think?
Let us know your thoughts and opinions on content marketing in the comments section below!