To be successful online, you must commit to becoming a content developing organization. Fresh, relevant, and compelling content is central to online marketing success.
As more consumers and buyers rely on online sources to make purchasing decisions, organizations that consistently develop and disseminate valuable, informative content will have a distinct competitive advantage.
Anne Handley of MarketingProfs says, “When content became king, marketers became publishers. We shifted our focus from traditional outbound strategies to delivering the kind of content that drives successful inbound campaigns.”
Inbound Lead Generation
Creating and promoting content is key to filling the top of the sales funnel; compelling content drives increased website traffic that you can convert into inbound leads. Recent studies show that companies that create, optimize, and promote content through blogs get 55% more website traffic and 70% more inbound leads.
Efforts to generate inbound leads must be combined with a lead conversion strategy. The role of content for conversion purposes is to make precisely the right information available at the right time so prospects feel confident in doing business with you.
Customer retention requires ongoing engagement, and this is facilitated by consistently providing customers with content that they deem valuable: new product updates, service information, special offers/promotions, industry information, etc.
Online content is often what creates a first impression. This has a direct impact on how you are perceived – and ultimately influences whether a prospect will buy from you.
For online content to generate the desired business results, it should:
• Create value by assisting prospects in making informed decisions.
• Reflect what an organization stands for and be representative of its culture, tone, style, and overall positioning strategy – what distinguishes it from competitors.
• Not be “me-centric”. This will turn off an online community.
• Demonstrate a willingness to share insight and knowledge.
• Tell stories.
• Be developed first and foremost for the target audience – but also take care of the needs of search engines through effective use of keywords.
• Be created and curated. Creation is the development of original content. Curation is the collection and distribution of content developed by others.
• Use a variety of formats; blogs, video, infographics, images, audio, webinars, e-bulletins/newsletters, social media posts, etc. Studies show that conversion increases when multiple formats are used.
The first decision you must make on your online journey is determining how you will become a content developing organization. Once you figure this out, your job is to “feed the beast”.
The potential results are worth it.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org