April 15, 2014

Make Your Business Bloom with Content Marketing

If your website were a garden, how would it look? Would it be overflowing with lilies, lilacs, and irises? Or would it be bare? A garden without any flowers will have a tough time attracting passerby—and the same can be said about your website.

Your website should work to capture visitors and hold their interest, with the hope of converting them into actual buyers—and content is your ticket to achieving this. As CMI and Marketing Profs pointed out in the recent “B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends- North America” study, 93 percent of B2B marketers are now using content to increase sales. And 74 percent are using it to promote lead generation.

Below are some ways that you can use custom content to make readers stop and smell the roses:

1.  Publish articles that are shareable: What’s the first thing you do when you read an article you like on the Web? You want to post it on Facebook or tweet about it. Create articles that are worthy of sharing, such as “top lists” and best practices. And don’t forget to include pictures, infographics and videos with each post—a surefire way to see your metrics soar. This will help spread your brand image and reach unique visitors who would otherwise be difficult to find.

2. Encourage dialogue on your site: There’s nothing more frustrating than reading an article and wanting to give your thoughts or opinions, or ask a key question, only to have no place to post your comment. Include questions at the end of your articles so that users can continue the conversation and help further the dialogue.

3. Drive action with calls to action: Your articles should work like a funnel, steadily driving prospects toward a specific, gated landing page on your website. By steering a visitor to a gated asset such as a white paper or webinar, sales can then use that information to follow up on leads.  

4. Talk about your industry: As the CMI study indicates, 65 percent of companies use content to discuss trends and spread knowledge about what’s going on in the industry. Consumers want to see that you are a trusted voice in your industry, and not a rogue solution that will steer them in the wrong direction. Make sure you post content that lets them know you are a go-to source for news and information as it will help build brand loyalty.

5. Find the voice of your brand: Spend some time thinking about your tone before you write, and then make sure to correlate that tone with everyone who will be contributing to your content. Remember that it’s okay to have a variety of different voices, like a bouquet, but ultimately they should work to send the same message and promote the same ideas. Otherwise, you could wind up confusing your readers.

Remember: every garden ultimately starts from scratch. Plant a few seeds of content and watch your blog or website grow into the robust resource.  

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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