When it comes to leads generation for small businesses, content marketing is sure the magic wang!
Content is king!
so the gurus say. And I think they are right because if you really want to generate quality leads for your business, content marketing is one hell of a thing you want to grapple with.
As an Entrepreneur, every marketing strategy that you could ever draft out are channeled down to actualizing one objective: leads generation. It really doesn’t matter how robust or tiny it is, the underlying intent is always to foster lead generation for your small business and hence, more sales.
But how you intend to achieve this matters a lot (especially with the Internet shaking tables in every sector of the economy). You don’t just want to start doing things the old way unless you are simply tired out of business.
The internet plays a crucial role in deciding how marketing campaigns are strategized and deployed. With billions of people (about 4.2 billion people who are potential leads) using and spending much of their time on the internet, you can’t help it but plan along.
And hey, before you start smelling something fishy, a 2016 research by Pew Research indicates that almost half of the population between 18-to-49-year-olds major their source of information online. This number is growing geometrically.
According to the Internet World Stats, Africa alone houses 453 million internet users with an all time ranking 35.2% penetration rate as at 31st December 2017.
Just Take A Look!
Are you a Nigerian or does your small business have a presence in Nigeria?
Nigeria alone constitutes 98.3 million Internet users in 2017 against 200,000 in the year 2000 causing the penetration rate to skyrocket at 49.096%. Imagine what that could become by 2030! The complete report here
Ok, but we don’t want to get engrossed with all of these as it poses only to remind us why we need to incorporate online marketing into our marketing campaign. The odds are that we already know this.
But if you wish to know more on how you can enforce lead generation for your small business using online marketing even if you don’t have a website, read my proven method to taking your small business online.
Now, let’s move on to talk about turning these explosively growing online population into a lead generating catalyst that guarantees 10x more sales for your small business using the power of content marketing.
It doesn’t really matter the nature of your small business, there is a one-size-fits-all approach to growing the largest customer base and making more sales.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Content Marketing Saga!
Hi everyone, my name is Dominic and in this article, I will be revealing to you how small businesses are secretly using content marketing for quality lead generation and how you can too.
If you stick with me through to the end of this post, I will show you practical ways you can be able to turn visitors who are complete strangers to your small business into leads, then subscribers and finally, loyal buyers.
So, where is the witch doctor? Let the hypnosis begin!
Without much ado, lead is someone who knows something about your brand. Through a well-defined process, this lead converts into a subscriber. A subscriber is someone who is interested in your products. Eventually, this subscriber becomes a buyer of your products.
It is interesting to note that buyers don’t just buy at a glance but takes the process of comparing the available products that have promised to solve their problems. One of the key factors that play a vital role in the process is TRUST. The buyer is forced to ask the questions:
- What makes this product unique?
- How can I be sure that the product description is valid?
- What proves does the owner of the product have about their claims?
- What are others saying about them?
However, trust is not even considered where awareness is in a dearth. To create trust means to first establish an awareness of your brand. It is like taking the megaphone to announce your presence and what you can do while allowing the raving crowd to figure out why they should check you out.
Here is an obvious cliche:
Customers buy based on emotion. This explains why an insurance salesman can convince a rich man (who had never thought that death could ever come knocking) into buying a life insurance, fidgeting and trembling. Or a young man buying dozens of oranges that he doesn’t really need in a bid to buy the time and prepare the ground in order to woo the damsel orange seller.
This post is poised to trash the issue of trust and bridge the gap between awareness and buying. In order to bridge this gap, there comes in the strategy of content marketing. This can help you reduce the cost of marketing, enhance quality lead generation, create a great brand story and make more sales for your small business.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING BY THE WAY?
According to Content Marketing Institute
“content marketing is a strategic marketing approach, focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.”
Without blinking an eye, the above definition is profound!
Content marketing is not restricted to articles but also include every piece of content you put out there to engage your audience and create brand awareness. Content Marketing comes in different types and forms. Below we shall look into those:
- This is a long vertical framework that may include charts, statistics, and some other data. It is basically short texts, well-defined and straight-to-the-point. Like the name rightly suggest, it is information contained in a graphics format.
Here is an example of Infographics from The Campaign Workshop
- The pages that constitute a website can be harnessed to create contents that are both appealing and valuable to customers. This is far better than cluttering the pages with offers and ads. One quick hack to remember is that your website serves as a resource center for your customers; don’t try to make it the opposite. Your website is the online office/home for your small business. Give it the attention that your physical office would command.
Here is a screenshot of a page from Entrepreneurtechguide
- Whilst write-ups are a great way to engage customers, videos seem to be the crowd pleaser. According to a YouTube Stats by Huffingtonpost YouTube (which is a video streaming site) has over 1billion unique monthly users.
Optinmonster did a great job in this article and worth reading to get you to understand how tremendous video content marketing is really helping small businesses attract get around with leads generation and nurturing.
Other content marketing formats include eBooks and podcasts. They come in handy for lead generation and nurturing too.
However, it is expedient to note the difference between content marketing and copywriting. Whilst copywriting is a great way to present a product to an audience and cause them to perform a profitable action, content marketing, on the other hand, is keeping your customers spellbound to your brand via giving them valuable and relevant information whether solicited or not. It is a long-term marketing strategy.
WHAT MAKES A CONTENT VALID AS A MARKETING STRATEGY?
As a small business owner, you must understand that your customers are neither interested in you nor your products. Your ads are even annoying if not strategically fired. They are only interested in getting solutions to their problems.
That is the deal and you’ve got to respect that or lose out.
That is why any content that does not relate to the customer’s need is considered SPAM. One thing about spamming is that you misrepresent your brand. But when you pitch your ads around “valuable” and “relevant” content, customers are propelled to perform some actions that can drive sales. A web page cluttered with ads will seldom get a decent following or traffic.
And if you decide to push prospects into your blog through paid traffic, they will quickly jump out if they didn’t get what they needed. The major problem is that they would never come back again and you won’t get to garner the leads you need for your small business growth. Why? Because there is no basis for engagement. So, any content that cannot keep a visitor to hang around for some minutes has failed as a strategy.
Don’t be so focused on lead generation that you falter in content marketing ethics because “lead generation is never as important as lead retention”. A content is marketably valid if it leaves the customer better than he came by solving one of their problems. It is “relevant” if it is speaking the customer’s “language”. What do you think are their challenges? Try writing something to tackle it.
Before placing your ads, give value. Build your brand and win them over. When next you want to sell something to them, they would so like you that the ads will be so insignificant to them they wouldn’t recognize it as one.
Lead generation is not the problem but Lead retention is.
Do you own a clothing store? Or are you creating content for a clothing store?
If you are a boutique store owner, don’t you think your customers may be having issues in matching colors? Or, how they could shop the best clothes without wasting their money or having to spend way much than necessary? Or, getting to know the latest designer’s wear? Write something to address those issues. They may not pay you per se but for remaining your loyal customers, they really did. And ultimately, that is the goal of content marketing: to grow a loyal audience. With time, you will realize you are really making more sales and hacking your small business growth.
So, what makes a content valid as a marketing strategy?
Value, relevance and, consistency. Outside of these, it is a spam/junk.
HOW DO I OPTIMIZE CONTENT MARKETING AS A MARKETING STRATEGY?
This is relative and highly dependent on the business model and services you offer. For instance, as a Hotelier, instead of writing on money saving tips, write on the interesting places one can visit within the geographical location where you operate.
But often than not, coming up with an idea of what to write about could be a heinous task. In this case, I suggest you do either of two things: hire a Freelance Content Writer to get it done or learn to do it yourself. ( After reading this post, creating contents shouldn’t be a problem).
If you chose the later, perhaps, you don’t have the money to hire one or you just want to build your personal brand around your business, it is still OK. Let me share with you some wells of ideas you could draw from in bids to come up with topics to write on.
- EXPAND YOUR FAQ.
- There is a lot of ideas to mine from the Frequently Asked Questions of your small business website. You can take them and fine-tune them into a relieving and refreshing content. Write killer headings and titles that would get anyone read through them. You can read how to optimize your headlines here.
Do you run a beauty salon or writes for one?
You can consider writing an 800-word article in the FAQ “How do I keep my hair from breaking?”.
In fact, as a stylist, this strategy will help you in building trust and authority. Oftentimes, the traditional FAQ section of a website may not comprehensively answer a customer’s question. They may have to do some research on their own to really get accurate answers.
So, having an article that takes a holistic approach in answering these queries will make your work more organized and tidier. When someone contacts you on an issue, you simply refer them to an article on your website.
Great! Isn’t it. Find more ideas below.
- WHAT ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS SAYING?
- Don’t take their little talks for granted or wishy-washy. They might not be knowledgeable in that field as you are. Listen to them! Offer them the ready explanation you can proffer at the moment and go ahead to craft a post on that. Remember you are on a lead generation quest. Next time, you can just refer them to the post.
More importantly, you are writing for your customers…….much to say that their opinion is actually what you need to explicitly relate with them. Taking time to know what they care about, their struggles and how-to’s questions will go a long way in boosting your capacity to generate ideas for fresh content.
One way of doing this is conducting a poll within your online community.
- WHAT DO YOU DO?
- If you really know what you do, you should be able to write posts on your area of competence. Learning the ins and outs of the industry will give you an incredible insight into how best to relate with your customers.
Go the extra mile and don’t be like everyday shop owner. Stand out of the competition and be unique by researching industry and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends. This gives you an edge over your competition.
Let’s say you are a Fashionista who runs a clothing store. You should want to learn dressing code and color matching, identifying quality clothing materials. You can make out highly engaging posts with these ideas.
- HOW DOES YOUR BUSINESS OPERATE?
- Whilst this must be done with utmost care and simplicity, it is important to mentor others who might be looking up to you for direction. You might be thinking that mentor-ship is not your goal, however, you are on Lead generation campaign to grow your small business and this requires customers to act. For them to act, they must come to know your brands, and these proteges, are a good word of mouth ads. This is a powerful ads strategy.You do not have to reveal classified techniques that keep your business up and running. But those tips you consider irrelevant may go a long way in helping someone get started with building a clothing business too or something similar.
They will feel so indebted to you that recommending your business to potential customers is just the least they could do.
WHY IS CONTENT MARKETING SO IMPORTANT?
I don’t believe you asked that question. So far, the answers are obvious. Nevertheless, to add to what we already know, content marketing does the following:
- It Creates Awareness:
Content marketing is a great branding tool. It gives you an edge against your competitors. By creating valuable content for your leads, you are invariably printing your name/brand in their memory. So that when issues relating to your fields arise, your brand name pops up in their buying heads.
- It Generates Organic Traffic.
There is greater tendency for someone who stumbled upon your blog to perform some profitable action than one who visited as a result of paid traffic. Why? Because quality and relevant content is the only thing that captivates a visitor and cajoles them to respond positively by going through your squeeze page and performing some profitable actions.
- Much More sales.
Having a medium where you engage with your customers affords you the opportunity to market your products and services and ultimately, generating more leads and more sales.
Content Marketing is a very profitable marketing strategy with high ROI. Depending on the goal of your content marketing campaign, it always results in more sales in the long run.
- Cost Saving.
Although you can consider hiring a Content Writer if you are time-pressed or simply can’t do it on your own (or you prefer it done professionally), the costs are no closer to ads both online and offline.
According to a by the CMI in this report, Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
Sometimes, the cost of hiring a content writer is over-hyped, but you can still get quality work done at a reasonable price.
- You Build Trust For Your Brand.
This is the most impeccable tool to hold customer spellbound. Once you can earn their trusts and loyalty, you do not need the usual cold ugly pitching and slippery processes to get them to perform actions that could lead to more sales.
- The Big Guys Are Doing It!
Have you tried visiting GTBank Facebook Page? Did you realize how their content flow with the social trends and seasons? It’s thrills customers to have their idol brand flow with them in what matters to them.
If the big brands are doing it, why shouldn’t you?
Now that you have read up to this point, what else? Action, Yeah…Take action to win more customers and make more sales.
Did you find this post helpful? Is there a particular area you need help with creating content for your small business? Please share your thoughts below, we will do well to answer your questions and appreciate your feedback.