Many business owners and marketers have the wrong impression about content marketing. They approach their strategies from a seller’s point of view; trying to convince people to trust the business by promoting aggressive content. In its essence, content marketing involves customer-focused techniques aimed at promoting a business by showing how it can help people solve their problems through certain products and/or services.
That can be done by launching unique and useful articles, blogs, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, and other forms of content that add value in the online community. When people access high-quality content on a regular basis, they gain more trust in your company and the products you promote.
The main question for business owners and marketers without much experience in content marketing remains: how do you craft the perfect content that delights customers? We have some tips that will help you achieve the desired results.
1. Listen to your customers! Understand what they need!
Before you can produce high-quality content of any type, you need to realize which problems, questions, and interests your target audience has. How do you find out what your potential customers want? You listen to them!
When people want to buy products or services, they have multiple choices on the market. They are always looking for a trustworthy brand, but they also need to spend their money effectively, meaning they want to get more out of the investment! Since you want to offer content that proves your brand is the best choice, you need to get crucial information about the amount of money an average customer is willing to spend, the features and advantages they are looking for, their preferences in terms of color and design, and every other factor that helps you make the sale.
You can get such info on social media and online forums. Join relevant groups on Facebook and observe the discussions. Follow important Reddit threads related to your business and see what questions and problems your audience has. Then, you’ll only be left with two tasks: creating and distributing relevant content
2. Analyze the content marketing campaign of the competition
What products and services are competitive brands offering? What makes those options a good choice for your own target audience? How can you convince your customers that you’re making the best offer? An analysis of your competition is an important aspect of the overall content marketing campaign.
Your articles, blog posts, press releases, and all other types of content should make a difference through uniqueness and value. When you understand campaigns of competitive brands, you’ll be able to build a better one.
3. Offer recommendations and call the audience to action!
A reader spends quite some time with an article, and they are very interested in the things you have to say. What are they supposed to do after finishing an article? Are you going to live them hanging, with no other option except to bounce off the site? Of course not!
A content marketer should include a call to action or/and recommendations in every single promotional piece they publish.
Once a reader goes through a promotional post, you should recommend them to share it on social media, leave a comment sharing their own experience, read other articles at your website, or make a purchase.
As for the recommendations, you should offer some tips that will help them deal with certain challenges and problems they are facing. Provide a few links for further reading, and remind them that you’re always there when your readers need more advice.
4. Share experiences
Do you know what makes a certain piece of online content really believable? Real experience! Get an actual user of your products or services to share their story. Your content should expose the problems and issues they had before relying on your brand, and the way your offer helped them improve the quality of life.
You’ve certainly seen those articles that promote weight loss products. Although not all of them are based on actual experience from real users (the guys from this industry like lying and inflating), many people from all over the world recognize themselves in those stories and they decide to try the pills, teas, and other products.
You shouldn’t play the scam card, though. Remember: you want to convince the customers to make a purchase by offering real experience, but you also want them to be really happy with the product, so they will return to get some more and they will recommend your brand to their friends and the online community.
5. Make the content personal
When you address your readers directly, they get an impression that you’re talking to them. If you could observe someone reading the content you published, you would be happy to see them nodding or responding in any other positive manner. That’s what you need to achieve: a reaction.
There is only one way to get a positive reaction from the reader: talk to them as an individual. Use you, we, your, our, and similar target words that achieve such an effect. The reader will feel like you understand their problems, you’ve been through the same, and you know how to help. That’s what content marketing is all about: convincing the reader to make a purchase without the salesy tone written all over your content.
6. Be enthusiastic!
Regardless of the type of content you publish, the audience should feel your brand’s energy through it! If, for example, your target reader is struggling with depression, you want to convince them that everything is going to be okay as long as they find the strength to make an effort. You don’t want to bore them or depress them even more through lengthy, useless content with no point.
Write short, powerful sentences, which the reader will remember after leaving your website. You need to think like a consumer and talk in a way that your readers can understand. Share some knowledge, but make sure it’s not confusing and overly “academic”.
A content marketing piece should be very straightforward and written in a positive tone. Instead of explaining why your reader has problems and making everything their own fault, you tell them that many other people face the same situations, and there is a simple solution. When you raise their enthusiasm, they will be ready to take the action you suggest.
7. Launch your content through multiple channels
Many content marketers make the same mistake: they focus their energy solely on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social communities are undeniably important for raising brand awareness, but they are not the only options you have.
Your target audience can be found on different channels, including websites, article directories, blogs, forums, etc. However, they may also read newspapers, watch TV, listen to radio shows, and enjoy reading magazines. You need to know where your audience is, and you need to use all those channels to distribute your content.
8. The visual impression has to be delightful!
From all those tips we offered above, we can get one conclusion: you need to please your audience with the content you launch through the marketing campaign. That means that you should help them solve problems and get enthusiastic about discovering solutions, but it also includes the visual impression your publications leave.
There are multiple formats you can use for your promotional content. In addition to text, you can also use infographics, webinars, videos, podcasts, commercials, social media communication, etc. Whatever your choice is, you have to make it visually stunning. If, for example, you’re inviting the visitors of your website to listen to a podcast, you need to pay great attention to the design of the page. Although the design has nothing to do with the quality and appeal of the audio material, it will play a great role because it will invite the visitor to check out what you have to offer.
Instead of sticking to a single content format that works for your audience, you can try to mix it up sometimes. Throw in some great infographics in the middle of the text, and add interactive images that take the user to resourceful website.
Customers Love Content! You Just Need to Get It Right
It doesn’t matter what target audience you’re focused on; everyone loves great content! This type of marketing is not necessarily expensive, but it’s certainly effective when you get your strategy right. These are the main tips that help you delight the customers with content marketing:
- Listen to the audience and understand what they need
- Analyze the competition and offer something better
- Include recommendations and calls to action
- Share experiences
- Make the content personal, enthusiastic, and visually appealing
- Distribute your content through multiple channels
See? It’s not that hard when you think about it. Start with small steps, and craft a content marketing plan that will drive your brand to success!
Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers
Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.
Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.
Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.
Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.
Health & Fitness
For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.
Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.
With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.
Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.
Do You Really Know Your Readers?
See the featured image up top guys?
I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.
Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.
But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:
- did not listen to my readers
- did not ask my readers questions
- did not spot my reader’s pain points
- did not read my reader’s comments carefully
- did not spot patterns among my readers
Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.
Reader Red Flags
You do not know your readers if:
- traffic stalls or disappears
- blogging profits stall or disappear
- engagement dies on your blog
- nobody seems to reach out to you on social media
These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.
Do You Know Your Readers?
I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.
I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.
The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.
I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.
Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.
Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:
Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:
He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.
Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.
If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.
Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.
Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.
Listen. Ask. Observe.
5 Best Content Upgrade Ideas to Growth Hack Your Blog Email List
Growing an email list is a pain in the ass and rightfully so. It’s no longer enough to send out weekly newsletter as a way to get their attention. You need to go the extra mile to provide site visitors with immense value for them to sign up to your list.
Content upgrades provide the value that tips the scales to your favor. By giving them something in return immediately for signing up, you grab their attention and get them to subscribe to your list.
However, it’s not enough to offer just any content upgrade. You need to make sure that the incentive email contains actual useful information about the topic. If not, there’s a risk of your new subscribers to opt out from your list due to your poor content upgrade.
To help you make the most of your blog’s list building strategy, below are content upgrade ideas you can create for your blog so you can generate more subscribers for your list and help grow your traffic and sales.
Content upgrade ideas you need to use for your blog’s list
1. Cheat sheet
It’s difficult to cover everything about a topic in a single post. For example, if you’re writing a post on how to promote your blog the right way, you can’t break down the exact process of promoting your content on a social media platform. You can turn it into a post on its own so you can create more content on your blog.
Another alternative is by turning it into a cheat sheet that visitors can download from the post once they sign up to your list. The cheat sheet contains hacks about a specific topic depending on what the visitors wants to know.
Going back to the previous example, since the post is about promoting their blog, your content upgrade can be about growth-hack tactics for Pinterest blog promotions. You can details the exact steps on how you can effectively share your content and drive more traffic to your site using this image sharing social media site.
A downloadable cheat sheet about a related topic you weren’t able to cover on the post increases the chances of people signing up to your list. This way, you grow your list and they get their hands on the cheat sheet. It’s a win-win!
Your visitors want something quick and useful for their content upgrade. After reading a long and exhaustive post about a topic from your blog, for instance, they want to cleanse their pallet by downing the information you gave them into actionabl bits and pieces.
That’s why checklists are great content upgrades because they complement your long-form content by summarizing them into different points they need to check. For example, if you listed down the many SEO factors that bloggers need to observe, you can create a checklist for the factors that people can download. Therefore, instead of browsing your post to see the different factors, they can use refer to your handy checklist to find out which SEO factors to keep in mind.
If you want to establish clout in your industry, then you need to create signature content that will put you in the map. You can’t just churn out content that’s been done to death by your competitors. To stand out, you need to develop reports and use them as content upgrades.
Reports are extremely valuable because they are unique in the truest sense of the word. By putting in the hard work and interpreting the information from the data you collected, you can create content that stands head and shoulders from the pack.
A great report to create is running your own tests or doing a quick survey and giving them away as freebies. For example, Express Writers wrote a data-driven post about the most shareable blog topics. They presented the topics backed by research to help make their case. While they made it a post, you can use the same strategy to create your report and use it as a content upgrade.
Compared to other content upgrade ideas in the post, reports are very difficult to create. You need to be produce substantial proof to back up your claims and double-check your information so everything you say is true. However, the rewards are just as great. Creating a great report will help grow your email list faster than any type and catapult you influencer status.
Some people need motivation to help them with their needs. For example, people struggle to write blog posts regularly. There are lots of factors that explain why they find it hard. However, you as a blogger are not responsible for explaining why. Your job is to show them how to generate posts for their blog like it’s second nature.
This is what Sark e-Media did with their 30-Day Blogging Challenge. For the next month after subscribing to their list, people will receive daily emails on how they can build a blogging habit and churn out excellent posts for their blog.
This example of a challenge content upgrade allows you to continuously engage with your subscribers over a period of time. As part of the challenge, you can invite them to your Facebook Group to discuss the posts they’ve written or sell them affiliate products they can use to help them blog better.
As a purveyor of knowledge, you can evangelize your visitors by handing out worksheet for them to fill out and answer. The worksheets will help them organize their thoughts so they have a clearer picture on what to do next. Worksheets essentially helps people overcome a hurdle in their lives or career. As a blogger, your worksheets are a godsend to them.
An example of a worksheet is a downloadable editorial calendar. To help people blog on time, they can fill out the calendar with the post they plan to write on that day. The worksheet can include other factors about the post such as target audience, keyword, question to answer, and others. By presenting the worksheets as a way to neatly plan their blogging schedule to a tee.
Which among the content upgrade ideas do you want to do?
Each of the content upgrade ideas above work best under certain circumstances. You can’t just choose at random and expect stellar results for your email list. You need to check what your audience needs first and how to present the content upgrades before settling on which type to create.
However, you can enjoy more sign-ups to your blog email list if you use the content upgrade ideas correctly. If your blog is dying for email subscribing, then any of the ones above will make your email rain with sign-ups!
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