Get Real: Content Marketing that Gets to the Heart of It
Let’s face it: Selling is hard work. Salespeople face lots of competition and risk big time rejection. It was true in the day of traveling Snake Oil Sellers; it’s true today. It can also be especially hard when most of your sales aren’t face-to-face, but rather online, dependent on clicks and conversions.
So, how can you better your chances?
Street performers and carnival buskers get the concept! The more eye-catching, dazzling or outrageous they can be, the more people will enter the tent or drop coins in the bucket. The unusual and the unexpected attract a crowd. Sometimes, it’s not even necessary to ask for money. It happens naturally. People like being entertained; they support the entertainers. They spend to see performances, and to buy products.
Setting the Stage
That’s exactly what effective content strategy does. It attracts and entertains; it allows potential customers to be amazed, to smile with you and to get to know you, your company and your culture. And it promotes sales.
People like that. Customers buy from companies they like. They buy from people they know. Clients flock to companies they trust.
In the digital world, effective marketing is more complicated than simply posting occasionally on social media. And it’s far different from standing on the street corner with a clever sign. It’s the total picture. It takes time, effort, expertise and the ability to tailor your message to the right people.
Give your customers a glimpse of the “real you,” and you’re likely to generate more “likes.” We mean that in the literal sense, not only the digital, thumbs up kind of likes. But they’re important too!
Old-fashioned marketing techniques still work. Client acquisition and retention, keywords, site visits, click and conversions, and statistical analytics are tools that measure the effectiveness of online content. They are important. However — and this is vital — marketing guru Alan Orendorff writes about “the genius of storytelling.” Great content connects to human emotions, and that is exactly what prompts buying decisions.
It’s the emotional equivalent of stepping into that carny tent.
Stories are hot right now on social media. Stories on four social media platforms had reached one billion uses daily more than a year ago. in May of 2018. The impact of stories has never been more compelling. They build connections and trust.
Entertain your readers. Go for the “Like.” Show them the real you. Tell your story. Do it again and again, and they’ll keep coming back for more. They’ll tell their friends, neighbors and business associates. You’ll build an online community that’s a little like your own “home town,” where everybody knows your name.
Taking the Right Steps
Engage with your readers in every possible way, through stories and video, graphics and photos, whether through your website or on social media. Be vulnerable on occasion. Laugh at yourself. Let your humanity show. Be relevant and interactive. It’s not always easy. A dynamite logo and a snappy slogan may attract attention, but it’s your continuing story that will leave a lasting impression. When you’re ready to get to work on that all-important marketing strategy, here are some ideas about how to do it right:
Develop a Coordinated and Ongoing Strategy
Digital marketing changes rapidly. What was hot in 2018 may not work in mid-2019. Adapt and change. What’s imperative is the ability to personalize a message, to build pertinence, empathy, trust and transparency. Use readily available data and rely on your analytics to see what’s working. Above all, keep your content fresh and meaningful.
Work with the Right Writer
Don’t just dash off social media posts without a plan. Personalize that plan. Work with an in-house writer, invite guest posts, find a freelancer or work with a content provider like WriterAccess. Take the time to build a relationship with a writer and/or content strategist who “gets” you and can tell your story the way it should be told.
Define Your Target Audience
Rely on your analytics as well as your intuition. Your audience may fall easily into a specific demographic. But you may also find that your buyer pool is larger and more diverse than you ever imagined. Get to know your clients and understand their needs. Develop reasonable buyer personas; address them as real people with legitimate concerns and preferences. In turn, they will get to know you.
Finally, remember the wide-eyed wonder of carnival-goers. Aim to mesmerize your readers in that way, and keep them coming back for more! They’ll like you for it — and they’ll buy from you.
Adrienne C. is insatiably curious and endlessly fascinated by people and events. Travel, education, urban growth and renewal, history, business and finance, agriculture, food and nutrition, healthy living, aging, building and development, space travel and scientific breakthroughs, medicine, veterans affairs — her list of interests and breadth of knowledge is extensive. But, she is always willing to research new topics and explore additional viewpoints.