It’s a broad term.
Whatever medium you use to reach out to your market, content is increasingly the key to success. What use is a video if nobody watches it?
Going one step further, how can said video help to boost your business if it isn’t reaching the right people? If it isn’t successfully conveying the intended message? If it fails to generate leads?
Believe it or not, there are a number of ways to use content to drive business growth, and we’ll give you seven right here.
1. Let your customers do the talking
User-generated content not only actively engages your customer base, it is viewed as far more trustworthy.
A recent study revealed 66% of people trust consumer opinions posted online whilst only 29% trust the content of a company whose products they don’t buy.
2. Connect with users in their space (without being invasive)
Social media is an ever-evolving communication phenomenon, with Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2016 Toolkit revealing people to pay more attention to social media posts than blogs and news articles.
Sharing interesting and relevant content on social media also helps to attract new, relevant customers by generating social referrals from your existing customer base.
With 83% of global respondants surveyed by Nielsen saying they trust the recommendations of friends and family, customers sharing your content with their own networks can have a tremendous impact.
3. Think differently
What makes your offering unique?
Answer this question and you unlock the door to a stream of ideas for fresh, informative and engaging content. Sharing that unique expertise that is both useful and and specific to your business ensures the most relevant audience is attracted and encouraged to return, whilst showcasing your company as the expert with unique insights only those in-the-know would be savvy to.
4. Ask the right questions
Always look at your content from the viewpoint of your ideal user, focussing on the singular rather than getting caught up in a blur of faces, criticising and evaluating everything prior to putting it out there.
‘Why is this useful to my audience?’
‘Is this attracting the right people?’
‘What would my user want to do next and how can I guide this journey?’
‘What do I want this visitor to do next and how do I encourage this?’
The top three things that make content effective, according to a study conducted by the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, are Audience Relevance (58%), Engaging and Compelling Storytelling (57%) and Content that Triggers a Response/Action (54%).
5. Be easy to find
What use is an amazing blog post if the relevant audience can’t find it?
Search Engine Optimisation is vital in ensuring your content is highly visible and discoverable, driving the relevant audience to the information they are most likely to be interested in. When it comes to converting visitors into customers, users gained through SEO have a 14.6% close rate, while those engaged through outbound marketing have a 1.7% close rate (Search Engine Journal).
6. Be in the right place at the right time
Google, when evaluating their concept of micro moments, discovered that 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task.
This opens opportunities for those who know how to use them. Putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes by using their likely situation, at the time your business could be of use to them, enables you to provide content that feels personalised.
For example, if your company sells kitchen utensils, a helpful and informative blog series of common kitchen mistakes and how to solve them would provide a useful and informative point of convergence for business and potential customer.
Another example uses time and location, enabling restaurants to encourage visitors by highlighting positive reviews, directions and the menu most relevant to the time of day to nearby people. This positive first impression encourages sign-ups to, for example, your monthly newsletter, or in some cases induces trial in the customer, building solid foundations on which to develop the relationship.
7. Open a valuable stream of communication
For both your business and the customer. Generating leads through useful and relevant content helps you to gain an understanding of what the visitor is looking for, allowing you to tailor your communications to their needs and therefore increasing the chance of converting visitor into customer.
The customer journey can be made or broken by the content you put out there, and knowing how to speak to your customers and guide them to your shared end-goal is vital to success. A focussed (and well thought-through) content strategy makes for happy customers and valuable leads, so it’s worth putting some effort into.
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