The internet has changed the way businesses sell, it's simple progression. People are coming to car lots with fire power on pricing and options in numbers the likes of which salesmen have never seen. Using mobile applications such as Yelp give customers the power to rate businesses and leave reviews, and it is leaving a major impact on future business. Yes, the amount of information you can find out about a company online is unholy, but it’s doesn’t have to be a bad thing for your sales department! With so many people flocking to the internet to educate themselves about you and your products and services, this is the time for you to provide the content! The sooner you realize this, the faster you can start creating content with a purpose! Here’s how:
1. Get To Know Your Buyers!
If you want to be the first stop for information that your potential customers go to, you better know what they want. Understanding your buyers’ pains and processes is the first step to creating content with a purpose! Don’t know their pains? Well...find out! One of the very first steps in any inbound marketing campaign is to build buyer personas based on the different products or services you provide and who you’re trying to serve. You should have several personas and after you’ve put them together you should know key information including the industry they’re in, their job title and their major pain points.
2. Create Content Tailored For Them!
Once you have your personas created, it’s time to start tailoring your content to them. One thing you must understand is that different personas require different types of content. An office assistant tasked with finding information on different SEO companies is going to require much more introductory level information on the topic than an IT specialist will. Make sure you remember this when putting together your content, as such assets like word choice and the types of offers you publish can make all the difference.
One other principle to remember is that the various people coming to you are going to be at different stages of the buying cycle. While someone who is just starting to gather information on a subject may find an introductory blog helpful, another person further along in the cycle might need more high level resources, possibly in the form of an eBook. It’s your job to understand these differing needs and have content for each different persona at each stage of their buying cycle.
3. Share the Right Content, On the Right Channel, At the Right Time!
You have blog posts written, your eBooks finished and your phone-answering hand ready, but nobody’s calling. Why? Well, it's about timely and thoughtful distribution! You’ve spent precious time researching and writing on all these different topics so that your target audience will come to you for their information, but before they start coming to you, they need to know you exist. Getting your word out is paramount to the success of your marketing campaign, so start distributing your information (with the help of your buyer personas) through the channels you believe give you the best opportunity of reaching the right audience. Be sure you’re posting this content at the right time as well, knowing that different personas will utilize different parts of the internet at different times.
4. Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
Congratulations! You’ve just successfully created content with a purpose, but the work isn't over quite yet. Just because you have content ready to distribute within certain points of the buying cycle (for specific personas) doesn't mean you can sit back. No matter what you think, there’s always new information out there that needs to be blogged about, eBooks can always be updated and new offers are nothing less than a necessity if you want to stay fresh and competitive as a key information provider for your audience. Keep your eyes peeled for breaking news or fresh content to write. Use analtyics to your advantage, find out why some of your offers are more successful than others, and tweak based on these findings. Don't be afraid to completely scrap one offer and create another one that may fit your buyer personas better.
Becoming a thought leader and information provider in your industry is no easy task, but it’s most definitely worth the effort. Your customers are looking for more and more information online every day, isn’t it time you started providing them with content they want and need instead of somebody else?