Using the Art of Persuasion
The future of online is moving offline. Amazon’s same-day delivery system, acquisition of Whole Foods, and their mission to expand warehouses to every city shows just how important establishing an omnichannel presence is to survive as a retailer.
94% of all retail sales are still generated in brick and mortar stores, although a majority of purchasing decisions are generated at the start of a search engine search.
As a brick and mortar business looking to expand, the need to develop an online web presence is essential. There is no greater tool in the digital marketing arsenal to spread your brand’s influence than content marketing.
Let’s discuss why content marketing is critical to any business looking to expand their brand. We’ll also analyze how to start a content marketing campaign and how to use rhetoric and authoritative content to truly scale your business and establish an online presence.
Why Invest in Content Marketing
Content marketing leverages onsite, and sometimes offsite, posts to create exposure and authority for a brand by establishing trust and credibility in the customer’s eyes. As opposed to push or outbound marketing, content marketing attempts to create awareness for a business and its set of products without directly advertising or selling them to consumers.
There are many reasons to invest in content marketing. Let’s just list a few:
- 81% of customers conduct online research before completing a purchase
- Year-over-year traffic growth is 7.8x higher for content leaders than followers
- 56% of marketers believe content marketing increases customer engagement rates
- Content marketing generates 3x more leads than outbound marketing- it also costs 62% less
- 60% of marketers post at least one piece of content every day
Aside from leveling the playing field and adapting to a changing business environment, content marketing helps supplement various other digital marketing campaigns, such as SEO, affiliate marketing and email marketing.
Successful content marketing will generate higher online/offline conversions, increase your brand exposure and increase your ROI in the long-term.
Consider how a pet sitting company grew their revenue by 450% primarily through the added exposure gained from their content marketing campaign.
The future of marketing lies in content marketing. Sheerly the ability to connect with customers through brand storytelling and providing an open platform for customers to express their opinions will tremendously help your brand and business.
Most SMEs and brick and mortar stores believe they have nothing to say and there’s no reason to conduct a marketing campaign. Nothing could be further from the truth.
At LSEO, we’ve created blog posts on everything from high fashion to the best cutting fluids to use for your drill lathe.
As long as there exists an unmet demand in your vertical and a large enough consumer base to scale from, content marketing is the ideal candidate to supplement these processes.
hat makes your business different from the rest? What do you have to say about your industry and what stories do you have to tell that will truly benefit your customers? Discover these ideas and let’s get started on beginning that content marketing campaign.
Content Marketing Basics: Getting Started
If you’ve decided to start a content marketing campaign than congratulations on placing your brand at the forefront of your industry and creating a platform to engage with your customers online.
So how should you go about your content marketing campaign? This may require very little investment depending on your industry vertical and the level of competition present.
There are many avenues your business can take for its content marketing strategy:
- Online Blog
- Video Content Channels
- Guest Posts
First, create a content calendar and a plan of action on the frequency of posts you will publish in a given time frame.
Analyze your available resources and decide who will conduct this marketing campaign. You could either conduct the campaign by yourself, leverage freelancers, contract an agency, or hire a centralized in-house unit to meet all onsite and offsite content demands.
All content must have a purpose or else it will not rank organically or do anything to improve your customer’s lives. Decide on the desired conversion that your business will base its metrics off of. Are you looking for increased in-store traffic, visitor traffic to your website or increased online conversions?
Next, conduct a detailed audience analysis to discover topics important to them, as well as their buying behaviour. This can be accomplished through social media, such as Facebook’s Audience Insights or through keyword research.
There are numerous methods to acquiring a greater insight of your audience:
- Consult Facebook groups and analyze user comments for specific demands.
- Leverage BuzzSumo to discover trending topics being shared within your industry.
- Type “your vertical + announcements” for a better idea of changes to your industry that will impact your customers.
- Conduct competitor keyword analysis to discover keywords they are ranking for and engaging consumers with.
- Consult Google Analytics to analyze the web pages your customers are engaging with the most and the least.
- Leverage Google’s autofill to uncover popular search terms in your industry.
Content marketing begins with an intensive keyword analyses. Keywords represent specific terms that users search for in either a transactional or informational query.
Your content marketing campaign can be used to leverage these keywords and rank individual webpages for these terms to provide a quality online resource for your consumer’s requests.
Ideally, you’ll want to identify keywords that have very little competition and a reasonably high search volume. A niche and hyperlocal business will benefit from both long-tail keywords and geo-targeted keywords, relevant to the area.
For example, a local car insurance agency in Wilkes Barre might analyze the search volume and competition level of keywords, such as these:
- Wilkes Barre Car Insurance Company
- Car Insurance Quotes in Wilkes Barre
- Car Insurance Agency Wilkes Barre
- Car Insurance Calculator
- How Much is Car Insurance in PA
Evaluate their relative search volume and level of competition and how well your website already ranks for these keywords. Ideally, a small business will search for keywords with a competition level of 40-45 or lower.
Disclaimer: Unless you’re experienced in using SEMrush, Google AdWords, or keyword software, consider hiring an SEO agency for personal keyword research.
You don’t necessarily need to conduct keyword research to identify topics important to your customers- this strategy will mainly help you acquire more traffic for your website. On the other hand, identifying high volume keywords will significantly improve your brand’s credibility by being displayed for important topical searches in your niche.
As far as semantic SEO has gone, including targeted keywords in your content title-tag, header tags and throughout your content presents a very high correlation to achieving a high organic rank for that keyword.
These keywords will serve as the basis of your topics and it’s up to you to create engaging posts that directly discuss these ideas in one way or another.
Utilize your most important keywords and create categories for different topical themes to provide easy navigation for users on your website.
Content Distribution Strategy
After your keyword research, you must dive deeper into the content distribution process. Who are you producing content for: an online community, customers unfamiliar with your brand or a burgeoning community?
What topics will you tackle, topical or evergreen topics? Ideally, you’ll want to maintain a 1:4 ratio between topical and evergreen topics respectively. As your business begins to float its content production strategy out there, you will naturally find a healthy balance of content frequency and form that provides the best engagement metrics among your audience.
Most businesses follow the 70/20/10 rule of content distribution.
- 70% of your content should apply to a large audience and be able to be consumed by people unfamiliar with your brand.
- 20% will be focused on acquiring new audience members, effectively utilizing visual content (infographics, videos, etc.) for greater social traction.
- 10% will be technically based and may be only be consumed by industry experts and thought leaders. This might include white papers or academic research.
When you’re producing your content remember this simple technique:
Tap your audience interests> Provide insight> Publish
> Re-write> Publish
Follow these tips to better understand your audience and their needs. Content marketing is a puissant demand generator and can create awareness around a particular issue your audience may be unaware of.
Leveraging content marketing’s effective pull marketing techniques remains contingent on the quality of the content itself from a user perspective. It’s no secret how effective distributing quality content can be in ranking your website organically.
But how can we employ content to expand our business and increase our offline conversions? The answer lies in creating brand loyalty.