So, how much do you currently spend on advertising monthly?
$5000, $10,000, $20,000 or more?
On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with your results and profit margin?
Not satisfied? Think you could do better?
Yes, I believe you can, and in fact, should do better, but the question is:
What is the best way to acquire more qualified leads and generate more sales?
Is it by trying a new advertising method?
Increasing your ads budget? Tweaking your targeting?
Maybe if you change your creatives?
Or hire a copywriter to rewrite your ad copy or any of those stuff the ‘gurus’ like to talk about.
Just maybe you can start getting the kind of results that will make you happy.
Oh wait! You probably have tried some of these things but aren’t happy with the numbers yet?
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying those things don’t work.
In fact they do, just that they usually require that you spend BIG.
And if you are not of these multi-million dollar businesses,
It can be pretty difficult to sustain the momentum.
But what if there was a proven way to at least double your sales and boost your profits, while spending way less than you currently do on advertising?
Wouldn’t you jump at something like that?
Well, the truth is, there is. And a lot of smart business owners are already using it to take their businesses to the next level.
It is called Content Marketing.
Yea, I know you most likely have heard a thing or two about it.
If done right, content marketing can literally transform your business and turn you into an ‘overnight success’
If you want to spend less money, and still acquire qualified leads and customers, content marketing is the way to go.
You don’t have to believe me. But you cannot argue against facts and stats, can you?
According to Demand Metric, Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
Conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters. (2.9% vs 0.5%).
This is according to a research carried out by Aberdeen, where they found out companies who use content marketing as their primary model of reaching their audience boosted their website conversion rates by more than 5x.
Now that we both agree that content marketing is far cheaper, converts better and is much more profitable compared direct advertising,
Shall we talk about how you can use content marketing to acquire new leads and customers, drive up your sales and increase your ROI?
But before we get into that,
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:
… 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.
I believe this is an apt definition, but I’d like to bring in some clarity, which will hopefully help you understand the core essence of content marketing.
There are 5 important keywords to pay attention when talking about content marketing.
They are: ‘valuable’, ‘targeted’, ‘relevant’, ‘relationship’ and ‘consistent.’
Why are exactly these keywords important?
It is simply because creating content without a good understanding of your audience’s desires, needs and interests will be counterproductive to your business growth and profitability.
When your content is not targeted at the right audience, at best, you will only attract unqualified traffic. At worst, you are wasting valuable time, money and other resources on creating content for the wrong audience.
Later in this post, I will talk about effective ways to identify the right audience for your products. And how you can create content that builds relationship with them and get more products and services sold.
But before then,
A study conducted by Aberdeen reveals that content marketing conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters. (2.9% vs 0.5%).
This is one of the biggest benefits of content marketing for brands and businesses. This is why smart businesses are now focusing on building a solid content marketing foundation and interacting with their target audience through different channels.
Content marketing can help you attract more qualified leads and customers.
Want to attract more qualified traffic to your website? Publish blog posts on a regular basis.
What is the relationship between posting frequency and traffic generation?
In a bid to answer this question, HubSpot reviewed the blogging data from over 13,500 companies. The results clearly show that posting frequency has a direct influence over increase in traffic and leads.
According to the data from HubSpot’s research, companies that published 16 blog posts or more a month received 3.5 times more traffic compared to companies that blogged less than four times a month.
One of the most important phases of a sales process is the awareness stage.
If people don’t know you or your business, they won’t buy from you. You will agree with me that there are a lot of people out there that your products or services will be a perfect for but aren’t buying from you simply because they don’t know you exist.
The right content can help you create awareness for your brand by engaging your target audience in a meaningful way. Creating and sharing valuable content will make your audience know and associate your business with value.
Let’s be honest here. People only buy from who they know and trust. If there is an ounce of doubt in the mind of the intending buyer, chances are the sale will not happen.
When you consistently offer your target audience quality and valuable content, they begin to trust you and see that you genuinely care about them. You are not like the other guys who are trying to sell them.
Of course, you are going to eventually sell to them, but it is going to be super easy because they know, like and trust you.
The truth is, it can be difficult to show the human side of your business. But with the right content, you can make a personal connection with your leads and customers.
When you make a personal connection with your target audience, they won’t only buy from you, they become your loyal fans and will go out of their way to tell their friends and colleagues about your business.
One of the proven ways to build credibility and authority in your industry is creating and publishing quality, relevant and valuable content. It can be a blog post, an eBook, a video, podcast, infographic or a case study.
When you regularly publish valuable information relevant to your industry, it will boost your credibility within your niche, among experts and consumers. People will recommend your products or services, without you asking them to.
Content marketing is hands down the cheapest way to acquire qualified leads and customers. Traditional outbound marketing options cost a lot of money and resources to pull off.
But a single optimized blog post can bring you free and targeted traffic for several months from Google, helping you sell more products or services, without spending a dime on advertisement.
When you put the right efforts into content marketing, it can serve you long-term, helping you consistently generate qualified leads and customers.
It is a long game, when you create high quality and valuable content, it becomes an asset that keeps giving.
The 4 Key pillars of Content Marketing:
For content marketing to be successful, there are 4 key elements that need to be excellently executed. They are interconnected and each plays a vital role in turning traffic into sales.
Content creation is a fundamental element of content marketing. And to a large extent, it determines the success or otherwise of your content marketing campaign.
Quality content helps you attract, engage, and entertain prospects and customers, drives new and targeted visitors to your site, and ultimately helps you generate sales and make profits.
Content creation is simply the process of coming up with topic ideas that is relevant to your target audience, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and sharing the information with your audience as a video, blog, podcast, inforgraphic, or other format.
Here are some stats that show just how important content is to business growth and profitability:
SMBs that use content marketing get 126% more leads than those that don’t.
61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog.
Companies that publish 16+ blog posts monthly attract 3.5X more traffic than those that publish 4 or fewer posts per month.
According to a research conducted by HubSpot, 62% of consumers turn to search engines first when they want to learn more about a new business, product, or service — and 41% use them when they’re ready to buy.
If you are serious about attracting qualified leads and customers to your business, you need to take creating content as an important part of your marketing strategy.
You are going to need a well mapped out content strategy to generate sales on a consistent basis.
Yes, content creation is crucial to your business success in the digital age. But you are going to need much more than just creating content to succeed.
You are going to need to be intentional, strategic and consistent to see real results. And that begins by having a strong content planning game.
You need a blueprint. An effective content strategy covers everything from your brand positioning and tone to distribution and promotion, and how you want your target audience to engage with your business.
Plus, what actions you expect them to take when they interact with your content.
This is why it is important to set your content goals right from the outset so you can measure the response and results you are getting to determine what your next line of action should be.
So now, you have created this valuable content.
What is next?
Your content is as good as dead if nobody knows about it.
How do you get your target audience to read your content? This is where distribution comes in.
You need to find a way to bring people to your content.
Actually, there are a few effective ways to do this:
This is one of the effective channels to share your content with your target audience.
As a matter of fact, you should have blog on your website, where you can publish posts on different relevant topics within your industry that your audience will find helpful.
You can attract free and organic traffic to your site from Google and Bing if your blog posts are SEO-friendly.
Creating and publishing SEO optimized blog posts increases your chances of ranking at the top of search engines, which can drive targeted and organic traffic for several months.
You can get your content syndicated across different authority third-party channels. Content syndication helps you put your business in front of fresh eyeballs, which can help you drive quality and targeted traffic to your website.
Once you have your post published on your website, you want to share it on your social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest so your fans and followers can interact with it, and also share it with their friends on these platforms.
Let’s keep the figures modest, imagine just100 fans(with 1000 friends each) sharing your content with their connections on Facebook, you are looking at a 100k eyeballs on your content.
If your content is really valuable and helpful, you could even triple that number.
Here is an example of a post that went viral:
Examples of content that go viral on social media are: Quiz, Research, Shocking Discoveries, DIY Content and Recipes, Funny and Witty posts.
This is another proven way to drive visitors to your content. This requires you to reach out to bloggers and webmasters in your industry and pitch them an idea of writing for their blog for free.
Once they accept your proposal, you go ahead to write a top quality post that is relevant to their blog and their readers would love and learn from.
How do you know what their readers will love? By reviewing their blog and looking at the most popular and most shared posts.
Then create something in that line.
Usually, you can have a link back to your website within the article and in the author bio.
How do you find guest posting opportunities?
There are different ways to go about this but one of the easiest is the Google Search Strings.
You type “niche/keyword” + “write for us” and search on Google.
Take for an example, if you operate in the fitness niche, ‘fitness’ + ‘write for us’ check the result below.
Here are other search strings you can use to find guest posting opportunities
Another effective way to distribute your content is joining relevant groups across forums, and sharing valuable information with readers.
Join popular forums like Quora and Reddit.
When you create an account on these forums, be sure to include a link to your website in your bio. This will direct checking you out to visit your website for more information about your business.
Secondly, look for a topic that people in your industry/market are interested in learning about and a super helpful and informative piece about it, then leave a link to your website within the post and at the end of it.
You can also provide high quality answers to questions relevant to your niche.
Look at the results I got for answering niche relevant questions on Quora for one of the blogs I manage:
Forums work. You can drive targeted traffic to your website through them, you just have to do it right.
Another way to drive targeted traffic to your website is through pay per click ads.
If you are looking to gain instant traction and results for your content, running ppc ads is one of the viable ways to achieve that.
Some of the current top performing PPC ads platforms are: Google Adwords, Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook.
One of the unique features of content marketing is that it is a relational style of selling.
Instead of the ‘in your face’, ‘buy my product or service now’ that traditional advertising uses, content marketing educates, informs and entertains the target audience, ultimately building a solid relationship with them.
So that when you eventually ask them to buy, they will, without objections because they know and trust you.
When someone lands on your website for the first time, the goal should not be to try to sell to them but to collect their information (email) to build a relationship with them, except they came through keywords with commercial intents like:
Some practical examples of how these keywords can be used by a prospect are: ‘buy throw pillows online’, ‘diet pills free shipping’, ‘namecheap discount’ ‘best housing deal in Austin.’
However, when people land on your website searching for information, using the following words:
Examples: how to cure acne, ways to maintain my garden, and tips to lose weight.
They are usually not in a buying mood, so, don’t try to sell to them. They are eventually going to buy, but not now.
What you want to do when they land on these information related posts is to collect their emails so that you can contact them later.
How do you collect email of website visitors? By asking them for it.
Not literally though.
Emails are an important part of peoples’ lives, they are personal.
So, if you want them to give you, you are going to have to offer something valuable in exchange for it.
That valuable stuff you want to offer them is called a lead magnet.
It can be an eBook, a report, video, podcast, webinar, a free trial, checklist, a case study, free consultation or cook book.
Your lead magnet has to be enticing and irresistible for them to want to part with their emails.
If they want to access your offering, they have to submit their email and join your email list.
Once they sign up, they become a member of your tribe.
However, ONE common mistake a lot of businesses make is using a single and generic lead magnet across different pages on their website.
If this is how you still do things then you are losing out on a bunch of leads, and you need to change that.
If you want your pages to convert more, create a lead magnet relevant to the topic on the page your web visitors are landing on.
What am I trying to say?
If you were, let’s say, running pet blog and web visitors land on your page where you talk about how to prepare your dog for a baby, you want to offer them a dog-related lead magnet, maybe a guide on how to treat lyme disease in dogs, and not something on cats or rabbits.
I hope that makes sense?
That simple tip will Instantly boost the conversion rates on your pages when you apply it.
It is at this stage that you start interacting with your email subscribers.
Now, they are a member of your tribe. This is when you begin building a relationship with them by sending them highly quality newsletters.
You start by educating them more about their problem, the causes and the possible damages.
Then you show them how to solve the problem by introducing your product or service to them.
And you demonstrate how your product works, why it is better than your competitor’s, how it can it can help them solve their problem, plus the kind of results people using your product are getting(testimonials).
Then the sale happens.
The ideal thing is to have your sales funnel planned out so the series of emails until the sale are automated. When a new lead signs up, they get plugged into the campaign and start receiving the emails.
Next, I want to give you blueprint that will make your business more profitable:
A Step-by-step guide on how to create content that drives qualified traffic and generate sales
Steps to create content that drives qualified traffic and generate sales
Want to create content that brings you unlimited leads and customers consistently? Here are the important steps to follow:
Many businesses skip this fundamental step, then complain they aren’t selling.
Wait, how are you going to sell when you know next to nothing about your market? Your marketing strategy is based off guesses and assumptions, and you are expecting your products to sell out by a wave of a magic wand?
Sorry, that’s not how it works.
One of the very first things you want to do before creating your content is conducting market research.
Market research is simply digging deep to learn about your target market and their needs, who your competitors are and what they are doing, market trends and customer satisfaction with products and services in the industry.
Why Do You Need Market Research?
Here is a highlight of some of the benefits of market research:
ü Helps you identify opportunities within your market and how to serve different groups of customers.
ü Gives you an insight into the size of the market and people with unmet needs.
ü Helps you determine the best approach to satisfy the unmet needs of your target audience.
ü Helps you learn more about your competitors, what they are doing, what is working for them and what challenges they are facing.
ü Gives you clarity on your unique value proposition.
Now that you have studied your market, before you create your content, the next step you want to take is digging deeper to learn more about your target audience, the people you want to sell to.
Audience research involves learning everything there is to learn about your target audience so you can find a unique angle to present your solution to them.
One simple and effective tip to creating high converting content that drives qualified leads and customers is to develop what is called a customer persona.
A customer persona is a fictitious representation of your ideal customer. This is where you break down who your ideal buyer is so you can fully understand what drives them and how your product or service can best serve them.
Here are some important questions to help you create a perfect customer persona:
What is their level of education?
How old are they?
What is their job and seniority level?
What are their goals?
What are they passionate about?
What are their pain points? What problems will your product be helping them solve?
Where do they hang out?
What are their fears?
What are their most common objections to your product/service?
Now, how do you find answers to these questions?
One of the easiest and fastest ways to uncover your customer’s pain points and goals and is to join niche relevant forums and Facebook.
People share their deepest concerns in these groups, they are sort of a safe space for them.
Below is an example of what a customer persona should look like:
How is it important to the conversion rates of your content?
A customer persona helps you gain valuable insights into the lives of your target audience so that you can communicate directly with them. When you understand your ideal customer’s pain points and passions, it becomes easy to speak their language and connect with them on an emotional level.
This is how they get to trust you because they can clearly see that you ‘get them’, you understand and feel what they are feeling. They’d happily swipe their credit card because they believe you can help them solve their problem.
So, what now?
You move to the next phase.
The second stage of your audience research is keyword research.
Now that you understand what your ideal customer’s pain points are, you want to find out what words and key phrases they are using to search for information on search engines like Google and Bing.
A well done keyword research gives you a bucket list of relevant keywords your customers are searching for online so you can create content that answers their questions.
When you create high quality and valuable content and optimize it to satisfy search engines and searchers, you get a chance to rank at the top search results.
So, when someone searches for information related to what you have written on, they see your website at the top and will most likely click through to your website to consume your information.
Doing this brings you free and organic traffic from Google.
Back to doing keyword research, there are a bunch of tools out there but some of the tools I have personally used and recommend are: Keyword Sheeter, Keyword Surfer, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Keyword Everywhere, and Google Search Console.
For clarity, I’d like to illustrate a basic keyword research process with a few screenshots.
If I were working with a business selling protein powder, and they want me to find relevant keywords their target audience are searching for that they can create content on.
I would start my keyword research by throwing in the general keyword: protein powder into Keyword Sheeter to find other ideas:
Then I export the results and manually review the lists to find keywords that fit into my client’s product.
After compiling the keywords, I would now head to Keyword Surfer, it is a free Chrome Extension.
I can continue to dig and uncover other relevant Low Competition, High Traffic Keywords my client can easily rank for.
Then I plug them into Google Sheets
PS. Keyword Sheeter and Keyword Surfer are free tools, you can do much more with paid tools with more accurate data.
This is just to give you an idea of what is possible, you can refine things to fit into your market or industry.
If done right, keyword research allows you to be Intentional and Purposeful with your content, instead of beating around the bush, you serve your audience what they are looking for, and you can smile to the bank.
You can either do it yourself, or hire someone competent to help you. You just have to let them know what your goals are.
What is next?
The final stage is actually writing the content. Now, you have every bit of information you need to create content that speaks directly to your target audience and move them to do whatever you want to do.
The most important part of this stage is HOW YOU WRITE! You can have all the information in the world, if you don’t master the art of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION, you won’t make any impact.
For your content to generate qualified leads and customers, you need to write in an ENGAGING way.
You most likely read this far because this article is value-packed and engaging.
To create engaging content, write in SIMPLE and SHORT SENTENCES.
Write like you were talking to a close friend. Present your ideas with clarity.
There you have it, the exact steps you need to create high converting content! Follow this blueprint and you will attract more qualified leads and customers, without spending a fortune on advertising.
Content is King, it will naturally attract Queens(leads and customers).