6 Steps for Driving Sales Through Content
Eighty-three percent of B2C marketers and 84 percent of B2B marketers say sales is an important content marketing goal, according to an annual report by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. But generating revenue from your content is easier said than done.
The process of building an audience and driving sales takes time, and many organizations quickly lose patience. The secret to success is a content-first business model, says Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi.
At his upcoming Cision webinar “6 Steps to Developing a Content-First Marketing Strategy” on Wednesday, January 20 at 2 p.m. ET, Joe will discuss how to develop a content strategy that will inspire your audience to buy from you.
Joe will discuss his ideas in more detail at the webinar, but for now, here’s a quick look at his six steps for content marketing success:
Step One: Identify Your Expertise
Before you begin, you need to determine what you’ll create content about. Think about what your brand’s interests and passions. You should also be able to offer a wealth of knowledge on the topic. The combination of passion and knowledge is what Joe calls the “sweet spot.”
Ask yourself, “What does my organization know more about that anyone else?” Once you have your answer, you’ll know what to create your content, and your business, around.
Step Two: Discover a Need
If you’re creating the same type of content as everyone else in your industry, you won’t stand out. You need to find a content area with little to no competition. Identify a need that only your brand can fulfill.
Think about where there is a gap in your industry’s content. For example, for aspiring wedding consultants, perhaps there is a lot of information on wedding cake designs but not a lot on how they are made. Fill the gap and tell a different story than what is already out there. Your brand will stand out, and your audience will remember you.
Step Three: Construct the Foundation
Once you’ve identified what your content will be about, you need to determine how, where and when you will create it. Choose a channel to deliver the content to your audience. This could be a blog, podcast, YouTube channel or something else.
Think about how often you’ll create your content. You want to generate consistent, valuable content to keep your audience interested and coming back.
Step Four: Build Your Audience
It’s not enough for your audience to read your content. They also need to subscribe to your channel. This is how you’ll begin to build a loyal, customer base.
Use social media and search engine optimization to distribute your content to a wider audience. But don’t just focus on increasing web traffic. Concentrate your efforts on converting readers into subscribers. You need your readers to take action before you can even think of selling to them.
Step Five: Diversify Your Content
Once you’ve found success with your content, it’s time to consider spreading it to other channels. If you’re running a blog, now might be a good time to experiment with some videos or audio. Or if you’ve been creating videos, maybe start writing accompanying blog posts.
Whatever you do, you want to keep your readers coming back for more. Diversifying your content will also help to widen your reach and grow your audience even more.
Step Six: Start Selling
Only now, argues Joe, is it the right time to monetize your content and get your audience to buy from you. Because you’ve developed a loyal audience through content, they are more likely to trust you and be more open to what you have to offer.
The content-first business model takes time and patience. Building your audience may take a year or more, but in the end having that loyal customer base in place will be worth it.
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