Post-conversion | Content marketing for revenue growth and increased leads: Part 5

The previous post focused on everything relating to nurturing. The last blog article from the series will include all the details about what many would consider to be the most important part, your new customer.

Post-conversion content marketing

Congratulations: You have a customer!
However, just because a lead has converted into a customer does not mean that their journey with you is over. Did you know that the cost to keep a current customer is six to seven times less expensive than it is to acquire a new one? With your new customers, your goal is to get them to keep traveling down through the last little bit of the sales funnel over and over.
Using content marketing, you can not only ensure that your customers do not exit the funnel but also help to maximize the lifetime value of your customers to the company.

  • Welcome them aboard. Offer a tour of the new digs! Give them a walkthrough of their new product or service and offer up an FAQ that might help to settle them in more quickly.
  • How-tos. Continue with a steady stream of how-to content based on their preferences. Give them guidance on how to set up their product or service or what they can use to enhance what they already have.
  • Share your skills. Give them hacks, skills and knowledge as well as supplemental products and services that will enhance their experience.
  • Let them know first. Give your customers first crack at company news, new features and other informational content that gives them exclusive knowledge.
  • Engage with them. Respond to their feedback on social media. Follow them and check in periodically to make sure you’re doing a great job.
  • Keep publishing. Keep up a regular content schedule and base it off of customer feedback. Ask them what they want and invite them to participate. User-generated content is a fantastic way to keep customers engaged as well as flattered.

How to promote FAQ articles and why they'll improve your website

Last month we received such great feedback about our article “Why FAQs are a good idea for your content strategy” that we’ve created more content to aid in your development of FAQ articles.

How to promote and share FAQ articles

Build an FAQ section on your website with dedicated pages for each Q&A. By structuring your FAQ section so that each query is hyperlinked to a separate page, each answer becomes searchable in both your site and Google.
Incorporate your FAQ articles into your site’s knowledge base. Some marketing tools have great knowledge bases, for example, HubSpot’s service hubCustomers and prospects should also be able to easily spot it on the Home page and the navigation menu. 

FAQ articles will also be useful in areas where visitors go when they need assistance, such as the Contact Us page.
Chatbots have become much more advanced thanks to artificial intelligence. The chatbot can open with a helpful Q/A based on a users action on your website. Or you can trigger the chatbot to respond to specific questions with helpful articles. This helps the customer by providing a quick and prompt answer. It also saves your team time by not having to answer each question individually. 

New features and platform updates are best accompanied with helpful articles to ensure that users will be able to help themselves.

Why is FAQ content a great strategy to incorporate?

When done right, FAQ articles can provide real value to both your business and your readers. 

Visitors will see it as a demonstration of your expertise as it relates to your product or service and business model.

By directly addressing their concerns and removing any purchase obstacles, you also show more value to your customers and prospects.
As an SEO strategy, FAQ articles increase the frequency you publish new content as these pieces are typically easier to create and there are many opportunities to add new responses. FAQs improve your website performance as they typically increase the number of pages visited per session and improve bounce rates. 

Why FAQs are a good idea for your content strategy

What is FAQ content and why are content marketers using it as part of their content marketing strategy? FAQ content, as the term implies, is a piece of content that contains a question and answer (Q&A) addressing a common concern about your business.

Company websites usually have an FAQ page to help answer questions for both customers and prospects. The FAQ page is commonly used for prospects that are not simply learning about the issues, but are farther along in the marketing funnel and therefore making a decision about whether or not they’d like to work with you. 

The About Us page, on the other hand, talks about a company’s history and the most impressive information about the culture and team. 

The FAQ page can be considered a customer service tool. It’s where people go if they need specific information about your products, services or business operation. Your FAQ area can also serve as the first point of contact for customers and prospects looking for answers before they contact you directly with their queries.
Good FAQ pages save account managers and sales reps time by answering common questions, and they also improve the overall experience for customers. Customers like quick answers and transparency improves your credibility.

How should FAQ content be formatted?

Today’s successful companies have the most effective FAQ pages. How are these companies formatting their FAQ content in the digital age? Here are a few FAQ tips and tricks that all SEO and content marketing strategists should be paying attention to right now:

Highlight information
Focus on providing information to visitors. Design a unique FAQ interface that also considers the disappearing attention span of customers. It’s important to have an FAQ section that is uncluttered and easy to use. Make the questions and answers stand out. 
Incorporate keywords
Frame your questions so that they contain the main keywords that site visitors would look for when they scan the FAQ page. Keywords help your SEO. In this example, the FAQ article used the keyword phrase “estimated reading times.”
Keep it simple and concise
Ensure that the questions and answers are clear and well-written. Use simple words and short sentences that could have been written by your customers themselves. 

Utilizing a conversational tone will increase the likelihood of your FAQ page being discovered through Google searches. 

Questions should be written from the perspective of your customers. Answer each question directly, from your business’s point of view.
Consider bullet points for information that will take up more than five lines. If your response requires a detailed explanation or context, you can include a link to a blog article that is dedicated to that topic. Not only will your FAQ page look less cluttered, but it will also be SEO friendly. 
Try a multimedia approach to answer complex questions
If you’re struggling to answer a question in written words, feel free to use images, infographics, slides or videos. 

Use category labels, clickable questions
Organize all the questions by putting them in categories. That way, visitors can quickly find the category that contains the information they seek. If your site has over 100 topics, use category labels and a list of clickable questions to increase your visitors’ efficiency. An effective FAQ section reflects well on the company. Lastly, visitors would feel confident about the company’s ability to provide proper support for their products or services. 

Tags that link an answer to another related frequently asked question is another good way to be helpful to the reader, while also increasing the pages viewed and time spent on site.
End the website page with a CTA
Make the most of your FAQ article by adding a call to action at the end of your answer. A CTA that links to other pages on your site helps push visitors back into your funnel and influence conversions. 

You may also link at the bottom of your FAQ to related articles or Q&As that tackle the next steps

Choosing questions for your FAQ page

The first place to start is with your account managers or customer support team. Ask them about the most common questions they receive. Explain that this FAQ page will hopefully reduce questions, making their life a whole lot easier.
The next group of people to address are your sales professionals. Ask your sales team about the common questions that they receive during the sales process? Including links to these answers is easier that writing out the answers over and over again via email.
In order to truly understand what issues, concerns and questions keep propping up in the minds of your target audience,  take these necessary steps: 

  • Review emails and customer support tickets.
  • Check out social media and online forums discussing your brand.
  • Visit competitor websites and read their user feedback.
  • Take a look at competitor FAQ pages to brainstorm fresh ideas.
  • Ask your family members, friends and colleagues what questions about your service or product they would need to be answered before they decide to make a purchase. What information is missing from your website that causes uncertainty?
  • Collaborate internally. Talk to the sales team to hear what prospects ask during the sales process. Account managers, meanwhile, can tell you what questions come up a lot from their customers.

The whole process will help you determine what people care about most before as well as during and after a purchase. It will allow you to come up with an authentic, useful list of frequently asked questions.

The right questions should be raised strategically to educate customers about your offerings and create demand. Use the opportunity to turn complaints into questions and turn those questions into a path to further customer engagement or conversion.
For more information about creating content that will improve the sales cycle and customer experience, contact Tempesta Media.

Creating a simple, holistic content strategy

Tasked to create a content marketing program and not sure where to start? These questions are a great starting place for developing your strategy. Answer these questions and you will be well on your way to a content marketing program that justifies some serious ROI.

Why do I need to create a content strategy?

Creating content involves a lot more than just writing something and sending it out. You have to think about what your company’s mission is, what your business goals are, who your audience is, and what exactly specific types or pieces of content need to achieve. You also have to do all of that within some sort of sequence in which you decide what you want to convey, how to structure it in the right words or visual form, what tools and resources are needed to get the job done, and how to ensure that everything does what it is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it. If you create content without a strategy in place, you are more than likely to miss the objective you are trying to hit, or deliver the message you are trying to convey, rendering your content creation initiatives a failure.
Best practices for developing a successful content marketing strategy

What is the goal/core message of this content?

The goal should answer the question, “What are you trying to accomplish with the content that you create?” For example, are you using the content to drive new leads, or to move people through the marketing funnel? The core message contains the key concepts and messages about your company that should be present within the content that you create.

Who is the audience of this content?

Is your content targeted at middle managers? Senior execs? External suppliers? Internal employees? The sales team? Perhaps you are targeting casual customers, or maybe even your most steadfast repeat customers. Depending on your target audience, you need to tailor your content’s tone and level of technicality to those specific target groups and carefully choose the platforms on which you distribute and disseminate your material.

What tone should my content take?

Your content can take on a number of different tones. For example, content that is targeted at senior execs or decision-makers would take on a formal and professional tone, and content targeted at a younger demographic might take on a more persuasive, informal, or even a colorful or humorous tone. Your tone should reflect your brand and play well with your target audience. For example, Wendy’s is known to use a very playful tone with all its branding, but Microsoft, which has a very large professional user base, often uses a more subtle and formal tone in its marketing and external communications. This contrasts with Apple and Google that often create content which can be called creative, sometimes quirky, and always ingenious – reflective of the images that both companies strive to maintain.
Find a consistent voice for your company’s content

What themes should the new content focus on?

The best way to pick a theme for your content is to focus on any one of the following: what your key competencies are (this content will reiterate your commitment to that competency, such as quality for Toyota), what market trends and insights you’ve discovered (this content will position you as an industry thought leader, such as IBM catering to the automated AI bot market), problems that plague your specific industry (this content will position you as a creative problem solver, such as any Apple product, or more recently, Microsoft Surface products) or growing and expanding your business (this content will highlight the value, happy customer base, and product/service benefits that you offer, something GE has done for a long time).

What categories should the content fall into?

Content can be broadly categorized into educational or persuasive content. Different people are at different places along the product buying cycle, so to teach those at the top of the funnel who don’t know about your product you need educational material. Keep in mind, however, that educational material should include less direct selling about your company because too much of it can turn people off. However, for people further along the buying cycle (people who may know about your product but need to be convinced to make a purchase), you can use more persuasive and sales-oriented marketing content to close the deal, and that is the ultimate job of content, to begin with.

What is the state of your existing content?

Assessing the state of existing content is made up of several separate yet related steps. First, you need to gauge how well current content is performing in the channels you are distributing it (which is discussed at the end of this article). Next, evaluate existing content against what your competitors are offering and general industry trends to ensure you are not creating outdated or irrelevant content. If the first two steps look fine, you need to apply best practices (explained below) to your content.
Finally, wherever possible, you need to optimize and automate the content creation process and workflow (also explained below) to ensure that your content is not only refined, polished, published and promoted in the right way but that you are also creating the right amount of content for all of the channels you maintain a presence on.

What are the immediate gaps in our existing content?

To answer this, you need to ask yourself if you are creating content around all your company’s core competencies versus just a few, and whether or not known customer pain points are being addressed within the sources you currently have at your disposal. One way to do this is to pinpoint the channels that your target customers most frequently use (or that they can most easily be found on), and see what kinds of content, customer interactions and visibility you already have on those platforms. Compare what you find against what people are saying, and tailor future content around trending topics and any insights you may uncover.

What are our competitors writing about?

This is easy to look up, but it is crucial to not missing the bigger picture. Your competitors may have found a lucrative niche, a message or approach that resonates better with customers that you could learn from. Notice any trends in the content, for example, are they writing about one vertical more than others? Are they offering specific types of content formats that may be more appealing to their audience? All of this helps determine what to write about and how to convey the message appropriately.

Do we need a style guide, voice guide, or brand guideline?

Absolutely. Even if you don’t have one today, it can be developed slowly over time. Tempesta Media’s Voice Profile technology ensures that the writing style and voice of content created for you matches your company’s brand, and you can use our services to build out your branding and develop internal guidelines for all future content. The Voice Profile also captures who your target audience is, how formal the writing should be, and all the other nuances our writers need to be aware of in order to create high-quality content for you. This is in addition to editing services, SEO, unlimited revisions, and more.

Who will be creating the content?

Content creation has become such an integral part of business success that there is an entire industry dedicated to it. To create content, you can hire freelancing content creators, in-house copywriters, or partner with a professional content creation company. You can even write content yourself, but in most cases, it pays for business leaders to focus on running their business and either outsourcing content creation to a third party or hiring a team of in-house writers – but do this only if budgets allow and content requirements can justify and support such a dedicated function.

What timeline should I expect?

Creating content takes both time and money and, depending on the speed at which your industry rotates, you may need more or less content. On average, simply to stay relevant, you should publish at least one piece of relevant, insightful or educational content every week, so you’re looking at a turnaround time of one week per piece of content, but if you are aggressively trying to grow your customer base, you may need more regular posts and sales content going out, as much as two or three times a week. Be careful, though; many people underestimate the time it takes to write just one quality post. It takes at least 2-3 hours of writing time to compose a 500-word blog, and this is excluding the time it takes to brainstorm topics, time spent editing and revising the content, and of course, adding any graphics and ultimately publishing it.

What types of content should be created?

You can write basic blog posts, have a mini e-book on a topic of your choice, create a podcast, send out a press release if you have had an interesting idea or a relevant event that you could talk to your audience about. If you work in a technical industry, you could even have a white paper written to break down a proposed solution or product, and send it out to the public for feedback, critiques and general opinions.

Who will be responsible for content governance?

Content delivery channels are important gateways and interface points between companies, their customers and the general public, so it is important to manage what content is publicly published, who has access and permission to do so, and that all published content matches your brand guidelines. Small companies can have a reliable senior team member handle this important function, but larger enterprises should have a dedicated hire who oversees content governance and publishing.

Will there be a content development workflow (from person to person, division to division)?

Most issues with content creation arise because of a lack of clarity about what needs to be done, by whom, how, and by when. When you consider this alongside the fact that it is worth optimizing and automating anything that you do on a regular basis (from sales email funnels to content generation and customer outreach), you should definitely outline a flexible process in which content generation is first ideated/brainstormed, passed through screens and filters for feedback and improvement, and then passed forward for actual composition, editing, review, approval and publishing.

Where can the content be distributed?

You can distribute your content on your company website, on a social blogging site such as Medium, as an answer to a question in a relevant thread on curated information sites such as Quora or Reddit, and as insight or guest pieces on LinkedIn or other publications that are well-known and respected in your industry. Once you have a piece of content ready, it can also be easily shared on social channels in the form of, say, a Facebook post or a tweet to the blog link, and you can even use email marketing strategies and pay for publication in premium news outlets (think of TechCrunch, HuffPost or Wired as premium outlets for the tech industry) to get the word out.

How will content be promoted?

Two of the most popular ways to promote online content are on social platforms (this content would take the form of, say, Facebook posts that can be promoted on the platform itself using paid promotion or social sharing by a dedicated social media manager handling content promotion), and bidding on Google search terms (using AdWords). You can use one or both of these channels and promote your content on the channel that gives you the highest traction at the lowest cost.
How to allocate your content marketing budget between creation and promotion

How will success be measured?

A lot of content is created to increase brand exposure and customer awareness, so if you define success in these terms, then social platforms allow for fairly easy collection of basic stats on shares, likes, mentions, audience reach and overall views. However, since those things don’t always translate directly into sales or an improved bottom line, you might want to measure success against more technical data such as actual sales (and where they came from), customer engagement levels, and turnaround times for things such as delivery or customer support responses.

Website Traffic | Content marketing for revenue growth and increased leads: Part 2

How to get website traffic with the right content marketing strategy

If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to actually hear it – did it make a sound?
Perhaps you’ve heard this age-old debate. It’s quite fitting for this chapter, where we will talk about distribution methods for content and website structure tactics for maximum engagement. That’s because your content can be some of the best your industry has ever seen – but if no one actually sees the content, it’s as if it doesn’t exist.

1. Before anything else, know your audience

Who are you trying to reach?
What is a typical day in their lives like?
How old are they? Where do they live? What do they want?
You can’t create amazing content that quality leads will want to read if you don’t know who you’re creating the content for.

2. Build a solid foundation

Create epic, cornerstone, evergreen, keyworded, visually rich content. Here’s what we mean:

  • Epic. Create long-form content that tells a compelling story and offers useful solutions.
  • Cornerstone. Your content needs to be authoritative. Show that you know your business inside and out.
  • Evergreen. Your content should be relevant no matter the time of year or what’s going on in the news. It’s always there to help when people need it.
  • Keyworded. Use primary keywords for what you’re trying to be found for. Don’t forget secondary keywords as well as long-tail keywords that consider every last type of potential customer who may need you.
  • Visually rich. Pepper your content with relevant, appealing images and graphics that help to tell your story and make your points.

3. Utilize your owned media

Post the content on your company blog and distribute via company social media channels. Include the content in your e-newsletter, and use it to gather more subscribers.
Now, reach a little further.

  • Reach out to relevant bloggers and ask for guest blogging opportunities.
  • Reach out to relevant social media influencers and ask them to review and write about your product or service.
  • Consider sponsored content by using resources such as Outbrain or LinkedIn Sponsored Content.

4. Drive traffic to your content with search engine optimization (SEO)

When you know your audience and have fully defined the different faces and personalities that an ideal lead can embody, your SEO strategy can begin to take shape. When you know your leads, it’s easier to pinpoint what they might be looking for when they happen to find your content instead.
Find target keywords. Do your research – For example, put some possible keywords into a Google search and see what comes up. Are your competitors ranking for those terms? Then maybe you should be, too.
Monitor search engine results page (SERP) rankings. When someone searches for one of your target keywords, where are you in the results? Are you on Page 1? Are you not there at all? Continuously monitor your SERP rankings for your blog posts and website and adjust as needed.
Optimize your homepage and blog.

  • Use keyword research tools to help build and then narrow down a solid list.
  • Audit your website content to ensure it follows SEO best practices.
    • Does your website use keyword-rich titles?
    • Is the text broken up into short paragraphs using easy-to-read, plain language?
    • Do you use lists where possible to help break up text?
    • Are relevant links to other websites peppered throughout your content to help it build backlinks and authority?
    • Scan for mistakes.
      • Don’t overdo it on the keywords – search engines can figure out what you’re up to and penalize your website for it.
      • Don’t duplicate content on your site.
      • Fix broken links.
      • Convert to an SSL website. Switching to https:// preserves your referral data and assures both search engine and visitors that you provide a safe online experience.

Utilize social media. Remember when we talked about where your potential leads hang out? Well, chances are, they’re hanging out on social media, but WHERE on social media?
Focus your efforts. It’s very tempting to be everywhere at any time to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, but this isn’t the way to go. Find out where your customers hang out and then focus on preferably no more than two or three social networks. Better to be amazing at a couple than spread too thin across many.
Leverage audience targeting. Facebook is particularly good at this. Using your social networks’ analytics capabilities, zero in on who engages with your content the most and then cater to their habits, such as the times of day that they are likely to be online.
Bake social into your website. Make sure your website prominently utilizes social sharing buttons.

How to Create Content for a Niche Industry

Few businesses, if any, can be all things to all people. In fact, it can be an extremely effective strategy for companies of all sizes to recognize and narrowly define their niche market. Targeting a smaller audience and taking steps to dominate their market via a focused content marketing strategy is key to generating leads and positioning a company as a leader in their niche market.
Although a company may think that it’s best to reach a very broad market, focusing their content on a smaller target audience is a great way to ensure that the content is relevant to the reader. It may seem way too time-consuming to consistently create content for each of your various target audiences, however, with the right partner, this can be executed effectively at scale.

Define your target audience

  • Zero in on one key audience segment – Most companies are uncertain about what defines an actual target audience. Many companies will target multiple audiences in hopes to flesh out which one makes more sense for their business. Most content marketers will advise against pursuing more than one audience within a content marketing campaign as the relevance and performance will decrease.
  • Focus on a demographic range – Narrow the audience based on who will be making the majority of the purchasing decisions regarding your product or service. Demographics such as age, income levels and geographic location can be used to appeal to the readers.
  • Pain points – Define what the pain points are for your target audience. The content should help to solve some of the struggles that this audience faces. Develop a content strategy with topics that reflect this audiences’ daily job responsibility, education level and decision-making process.
  • Reflect proper timing – Time your content marketing campaign to match the seasonality and buying process of your audience. Ensure that your content marketing assets and campaigns are ready and launched with enough time to meet increased demand.

Industry expertise

The content must provide valuable information to the reader. Content without substance won’t provide the results necessary to generate more leads and establish your company as a thought leader. Tempesta Media has thousands of writers across hundreds of industries with real-world expertise in your field. They go through a stringent vetting process and have to qualify for industry expertise by writing for Tempesta Media in that industry before writing for any customers. The writing team is optimized based on this industry expertise and who is the best cultural fit. Because the same writers write for your company on an ongoing basis, the quality continues to improve.
By ensuring that your writing team has proper industry expertise, the quality is extremely high and saves customers the time it would take to write the content themselves.
To successfully target and create a content plan for a niche market, many companies choose to employ the expertise, knowledge and experience of a comprehensive content and marketing solution provider. They will create content for many niche industries and employ vetted writers with real-world industry experience. If a company doesn’t have a clear content strategy, the in-house staff will perform the time-extensive tasks of creating content for a niche market, SEO and lead generation, competitor analysis, editing services, voice profile, and so much more.
Tempesta Media is a leader in developing and delivering content for niche industries and driving accountable results for customers. In fact, our writer vetting process is so effective that editing and revisions average less than 0.5 per content piece across all the content that we create!
Because results matter, our comprehensive content marketing solution saves companies up to 80 percent compared to in-house alternatives. In addition, you’ll be assigned a personal account manager who will work with you throughout the entire process and manage the voice, style and final outcome of your content.

How to create content around current events?

Creating content around current events is actually a challenge that a lot of businesses face.
The bigger the business is, the more difficult this can be. The reason why businesses have a difficult time creating content around current events is that a lot of them have to go through an entire compliance and approval process internally before even a single piece of content is published to their website. That approval process can take up to several weeks. Under these assumptions, traditional methods of content marketing can feel impossible for a lot of bigger companies.
There is, however, a way to solve this. We’ve had experience with many of our with our larger clients especially in highly regulated industries such as health care, financial services, and insurance.

Creating content ahead of time

There are certain things that happen in the world or within an industry that, while they are unique, they do happen with some sort of regularity. A good example is a financial services client that covers the stock market, trading, etc. It’s guaranteed that at some point in the future, the stock market is going to go up significantly, or it’s going to go down significantly. Companies can proactively write content around those two events in advance.
Continuing with this financial services example, write a commentary like “The market went up X percent today.” This typically leads to things such as improved GDP or other reasons. You can put your point of view and what message you’re trying to convey as a business or financial services entity. Then go and get the content pre-approved in advance so that the moment that when the stock market goes up 3 percent or conversely goes down, you’re ready with content that you can put out, which has already been pre-approved to comply with your internal processes.
Another example is in the insurance space. Within this space, there are unfortunate events that do happen with regularity. Examples are security breaches or cybersecurity breaches. These can also be natural events such as hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tragic snowfall with blizzards, earthquakes, and volcano eruption. It’s not difficult to write content around those events and communicate your point of view so that when such an event happens, you’ll at least be prepared with a message.
That’s one way a lot of larger corporations are being able to stay on top of the current events that happen while still keeping in place the compliance and regulatory requirements that are associated with their industry.

Creating content using templates

Now if you’re in an industry that doesn’t have all that overhead or you are at a company that can make decisions faster, there are other tactics that you can use. Many clients take advantage of our ability to follow specific keywords or trends associated within their industry. So whenever a large event happens that is associated with an industry brand leader, we can quickly summarize the event or create an article about what happened. We can also provide a standardized point of view based on a Voice Profile.
The summary of the article is something that’s very easy to get approved internally. If your company already has worked with us to develop talking points that you want to be conveyed, then it is easy to turn an article around in a couple days. Within that event happening, you can be one of the first companies to talk to it.
This concept of what I’m discussing is called a news commentary, and it is a readily available content option within all customers interfaces. Customers can easily order such content on a timely basis, by selecting the News Commentary option.
News commentaries can utilize template sharing because once a format is locked in, they are easy to develop. For example, a news commentary format typically includes an overview of what the major event was, what the impact was, and then provide a direct link to whatever the major news source was that covered the event. From there, the key talking points and additional insights are linked together in a homogeneous fashion by the customer’s writing team.

The marketing home stretch

Start 2019 off right by using December to set yourself up for success

The year is rapidly coming to a close. Marketing has received or about to receive their finalized 2019 budgets. The race is now on to use the remaining days of the year to position your department, division or company for success. Here are a couple of tips that can help get 2019 off onto the right track.

Get new systems up and running now

For many companies, December is a slow month for business. For marketers, this is the ideal time to purchase, install and configure new content marketing platforms and other Martech solutions. Work with your vendors so that subscriptions start up in January, but the setup process starts in December. As January 1 rolls around and your content marketing program is optimized, your competitors will still be brushing the dust off of their computers.

Leverage remaining 2018

For most companies, whatever budget money remains at the end of the year or quarter is lost and cannot be carried over into 2019. Nearly every company has some level of perishable funding remaining. Use the remaining money to purchase pre-paid annual subscriptions today. Doing so also can help your department lock in volume pricing or other savings. Tempesta Media offers prepaid annual subscription options.

Plan ahead

An often overlooked area of content marketing is editorial calendar development. Use December to finalize your content production calendar for Q1. If possible, order content assignments in advance, so that finished pieces are ready to deploy January 1.
The first weeks of January are always hectic. Using December to prepare can be the difference between success and struggle in 2019.  Let us help make 2019 a prosperous year for you and your company.

3 questions to ask when evaluating content effectiveness

There can be artistic aspects to creating online content, but it is most effective when it is based on a scientific approach. Content marketing, after all, is about creating and sharing valuable, high-quality content to boost brand visibility while simultaneously generating interest in a business’s products and/or services.
It is well established that content is king and that high-quality content – or 10x content – is what it takes to succeed at content marketing. The problem is that the definition of quality content varies widely within the industry.

What does great content look like?

If one were to ask different people what “great content” looks like, the question will likely generate different answers. Quality, after all, is subjective.
But great content is not just something created by feel or intuition. This is where the science of content creation comes in. It concerns itself with the research and production of different content types and formats designed for a specific audience.
This means that there is an actual methodology that content marketers can follow to determine whether their content meets the standard of “good.” And it all begins by asking the questions listed below.

Is the content targeted?

For any content asset to be successful, it has to be a reflection of the overall campaign’s understanding of its audience, and where specific segments of the audience place in their respective “buyer journey.” This means that a successful content marketing campaign must have different types of content that:

  • Raises awareness
  • Promotes brand discovery
  • Builds thought leadership
  • Nurtures leads into sales

A tried and proven way to understand a campaign’s potential audience is to construct detailed profiles of those buyers called buyer personas–essentially semi-fictional representations of a brand’s ideal customer. They include their pain points, motivations and where they are on the buyer journey. The more detailed the buyer personas, the easier it is to craft content that speaks to their needs, resulting in targeted content.

Is the content credible?

In any niche or industry, there will always be a few people whose ideas and insights command influence and respect. What is it that makes them worth following and listening to? How can marketers create content that has the same effect on their brand?
The good news is that creating content offers a natural way to earn credibility. But it is not enough to just churn out article after article, which will only join the other 2 million “me too” blogs that are published every day.
A proven way to make any content asset more credible is to cite a study, chart, graph, case study or survey, and writing explanations about these findings. Doing this allows the credibility of those references to amplify the importance of the content asset.
If a brand does this repeatedly, each content asset it publishes will eventually gain a steady following of people looking for the next piece to fill them in on a valuable insight or tactic they can apply to their own situation.

Is the content valuable?

Content becomes valuable when it lines up with what its audience needs, instead of being simply the product of a wild guess. Valuable content combines different points that result in a piece that’s interesting, informative, and engaging all at the same time.
And more often than not, a valuable content asset does this by answering questions in the minds of its target audience. For example, someone looking for credible and relevant information on stress will probably have questions like:

  • How do I manage my stress?
  • Why do I feel stressed all the time?
  • Is it normal to feel stressed?
  • What are examples of stress management techniques?

The more questions a content can answer, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the audience. But these answers also have to be credible and based on fact. Anything else is vacuous filler.

Final thoughts

Although there are several other questions that can help determine content quality, these three tips serve as a reliable baseline for measuring the effectiveness of content assets. If anything, the key takeaway from this guide is to consistently produce content that addresses the needs and concerns of a well-defined target audience, which should eventually turn them into loyal customers.

The key to marketing success is customer pain points

Customer pain points refers to the problems your customers face and how your products or services resolve those problems. If your marketing does not take into account the pain points your customers encounter, it will only be misunderstood – or worse, ignored. In order to effectively market your business, you must answer three important questions.

What problem is your product or service solving?

How do you know exactly what problems your customers are having? The easiest way is to ask them about the biggest challenge they are facing related to the product or service you offer. For example, if your company sells baby tubs, you would likely target mothers. And you might ask them this question: “What is the biggest problem you have with existing baby bathtubs?”
If you find out that the biggest problem your customers are having is that it takes too long to find the perfect water temperature for their babies, then you could create an infant bathtub that automatically heats the water to a preset perfect temperature. In doing so, you would solve a very specific customer pain point. You will also fill a niche that your competitors may have ignored.

What need is your product or service filling?

Although every targeted market in every industry is different, most customers have a common set of needs that your company must fulfill before they will consistently engage. These needs include:

  • Feeling special– Customers want your products and services to make them feel special or important. For example, a few years ago, Barclaycard introduced the first crowdsourced social media credit card in the industry. Unlike most credit cards, Barclaycard established its benefits and rewards based on customer suggestions that were put to a vote. The ideas with the highest number of votes became standard policy, including profit sharing.
  • Responsiveness– Your business should be responsive to what your customers tell you. One of the main customer pain points identified by Zappos was that its phone representatives did not have the authority to make changes without getting supervisor approval. So Zappos gave all its representatives the authority to do whatever it took to make a customer happy. After quickly implementing this change that addressed customer concerns, the company’s reputation soared.
  • Reassurance -What is your company doing to provide reassurance to customers that you will stand behind your products and services if something goes wrong? Having a liberal return policy is good, but Amazon took it to the next level when it offered a two-year worry-free guarantee for its Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. The two-year warranty covers anything that happens to the tablet; for two years after purchase, Amazon will replace the old Kindle with a new tablet for any reason, no questions asked. This gives customers absolute assurance that the company stands behind its product.

What value does your content provide?

Remember: Anything that helps solve customer problems should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. And good content, including blog pieces, podcasts, webinars, video tutorials and eBooks, can help educate customers. It will give them tips and tricks for using your product or service and provide valuable information for their industry.
Your products and services are not the only things that can solve customer problems. In fact, providing actionable information to your customers increases the authority of your business and provides invaluable credibility. So when you are creating content, treat it the way you would your products and services. Make sure that each piece of content informs, entertains, answers questions and resolves problems.

Solve the right problems

You cannot market to your customers until you understand what their problems and needs are. From there, you must determine how your products and services provide a solution. But it is equally important to remember that you cannot solve all the problems your customers have. The more you hone in on a specific want or need, the more likely you are to attract their attention.
You should not think of customer pain points as something negative, but rather as the reason that your business exists. Because once you start looking at your products and services from the point of view of your customers, everything you do, including marketing, will be more targeted and more effective. To learn more about how we can help you create content that will solve your customers’ pain points, contact us today.

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