Everyone needs help with something, right? That’s why using content marketing for sales works so well.
Not only does content marketing cost more than 60% less than other forms of marketing and advertising. It also has a higher return on investment— 90% of customers appreciate that content marketing makes them aware of problem-solving products or services, giving your message the power to convert them into customers.
Create great content and market it to your target audience, and you’ll earn leads, win customers, and sell more products. Here’s how you can use content marketing to drive sales in 2021.
Research Your Audience
You can’t just create a blog, start posting articles, and expect customers to flock to your site with their credit cards in hand. First, you’ll need to esearch the type of content your audience wants and needs. Consider surveying current customers or potential customers about what information related to your industry they would find helpful. Take a look too at the types of content your primary competitors produce. Remember that content should be informative and helpful to your audience. What problems or pain points can you help them eliminate?
What phrases do people search for on Google in relation to your products? You want your content to include specific keywords that people would naturally use to find your products or service. Create a short list of these words to include throughout all of your content. This is how Google algorithms will help people find you. For best results, it’s best to have an SEO audit done each year to refresh your list of keywords and keyword phrases, get new ideas for blog posts that will rank on search engines, and make sure the back end of your website it tip-top.
Outline Buyer Personas
Who is the person most likely to purchase your product or service? Gather all of the information you can about them. Include their demographics, consumer behavior, motivations, interests, etc. to create a fact-based story about who they are and what motivates them to make a purchase. Your content marketing should always target one of your buyer personas. This will allow you to create content that connects with your audience and meets them where they are in the customer journey. Even if they’re not ready to buy immediately, they might be down the line! Keep this in mind when crafting your content marketing strategy.
Create Content Buckets
Content buckets are content categories that speak to different aspects of your business and different buyer personas. When you write about topics in clusters, linking between posts, you help your site’s SEO ranking by keeping readers on your site and encouraging them to visit multiple posts while they’re there.
If you’re a physician, for instance, one of your content buckets might be Patient Education. This bucket could encompass content that explains recent medical research findings in an approachable way for your patients. Another content bucket could be Giving Back—where you highlight meaningful ways you contribute to your community. Which content buckets are right for your business? Brainstorm a few and then make sure you are alternating the subject matter of your content to keep things fresh and hold your customer’s interest.
Consistently Publish Content
You have to create regular content to increase the likelihood that your blog posts will convert. Establishing a regular posting schedule lets Google know that you’re dedicated to educating visitors. Search engines consider content frequency, length, and quality when ranking your website. Publish SEO blog posts at least twice a month, using a variety of the SEO keywords identified in your SEO audit. Aim for these posts to be 800–1,200 words to encourage readers to stay on your site. Don’t forget to optimize your blog URLs and titles for SEO—include keywords and keep them short for the best performance.
Include a Call to Action
You want the content you post to solve problems for the readers, not just try to sell your products or services. But there will be times when your product or service is the way to solve the problem. When that happens, include a call-to-action in your post, encouraging readers to learn more about your offerings and how they can benefit from them. Your CTA should be helpful, friendly, not just a cold sales pitch.
Keep your CTA’s brief (no one likes that guy at the party who only talks about how awesome he is, right?) And don’t include too many CTA’s—it’s distracting. As a good rule of thumb, only link to product landing pages within your content when it’s relevant. Also, always make sure your anchor text is descriptive so readers aren’t shocked or annoyed when they click and reach a sales page. Ill-placed CTA’s might feel inauthentic and cause frustrated clients to leave your site.
Offer Video Product Tutorials and Guides
Consider showing or explaining to potential customers how best to use your products or services through a product guide or video tutorial. You can clearly demonstrate various uses and benefits of the product in a relatable, fun way. Helpful content like this will attract attention and show customers why your product is the best fit for their individual needs. Bonus: search engines love video because people love video content!
Provide Customer Testimonials and Social Proof
People are much more likely to buy your product if they know other people have used it and experienced positive benefits. Ask current clients to provide testimonials about how your product or service has helped them. Or to comment on how smoothly your customer service team makes the purchasing or returns process.
Also, use social proof to show how others are engaging with your content or purchasing your products to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) and encourage people to buy NOW. Some websites even incorporate real-time purchase feeds that broadcast each time a consumer purchases a product. These tactics make users feel safe and motivate them to buy, not just browse.
Here’s our testimonials page, as an example.
Vary Content Types
Provide something for everyone. Some people enjoy reading a long blog post, but many prefer video content or would rather quickly skim an infographic. To convert with content marketing, make sure your blog includes plenty of videos, photos, graphics, and slideshows to go with each post. Also consider publishing case studies, white papers, and other long-form content.
Share Content Marketing for Sales on Social Media
Don’t put tons of effort into an awesome blog post and then forget to promote it! Help your audience find your new content and discover why they need your product. Share articles on your brand’s social media platforms to create engagement. Don’t forget to include applicable hashtags and visuals for attention!
If you’re serious about content marketing for sales, you should also add a Buy button to your social profiles and make sure products can be purchased without leaving the platform. You can also run ads that promote your content or ask users to join your mailing list—yet another way to make sure they always receive the awesome content you’re producing.
Be Where Customers Are
To truly get the most from your content marketing, you have to meet customers where they are and make yourself a resource. This means not only sharing your content on social media and being part of the discussion there but also making yourself a thought leader in online discussions and on forums. Think about where you can discuss the problems your customers have and (eventually) how your product solves them. Then go to those places and begin engaging with the people already gathered there. This is a very authentic, boots-on-the-ground way to share your content and find your ideal customers.
Create an Email List
More than 90% of people in the United States using email at least daily. Growing an email list of potential customers interested in regularly receiving your content marketing and then running email marketing campaigns is a sure way to convert with content marketing, as we mentioned above. Try implementing a pop-up on your site to gather emails. And make sure to only send campaigns a few times a month to make sure you aren’t spamming your list of potential first-time or repeat customers.
Track What Works
Your content marketing is not a magic bullet. It takes time to build your SEO and create great content that converts. You’ll have to try different approaches to see what works best for your audience. Track your content marketing efforts and document what works well and what does not. Identify key performance indicators and keep your eyes peeled for obvious (and not-s-obvious) trends. Then, of course, do more of what works well! Or hire a digital agency that specializes in content strategy, like Witty Kitty, to do it for you.
Content Marketing Conversion Tips
We hope these tips help you think about how to use content marketing to drive sales this year. You should start implementing this advice today! Blog posts have a huge potential to convert into sales, which is why so many companies are using content marketing strategies. If you still need guidance or want to outsource your content marketing, we can help!