YOU – The Most Important Ingredient in Your Content Strategy


Tag Archives: Content Strategy

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YOU – The Most Important Ingredient in Your Content Strategy

As I already wrote dozens of times on this blog – content marketing is a long game that cannot really be hacked or automated. Every time you’re producing something for your brand, you have to invest 110% of yourself.

If you want people to convert through your content, you cannot fool around and keep piling up generic texts and posts that don’t offer any real value to your audience.

Nope. It doesn’t really work like that.

There are no cutting corners here.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re creating just another blog post, infographic, or a video for your company – if you don’t really apply yourself, you won’t see any significant results from your content.

Even if it generates a couple of shares and likes, it will still suck, and everybody will know it.

Why? – Well, because your readers will immediately see that there’s no real passion behind your work. They will instantly recognize it as another post whose sole purpose is to fill in an empty space on your site and social media accounts.

This sort of thing could break your brand and drive all your customers away.

That’s why most online companies go out of their way to figure out how to please their readers and serve them with content that’s actually important to everyone who comes into contact with their brand online.

Story Beats Data, Every Single Time

Even though most marketers praise data and call it our lord and savior when it comes to content marketing, the truth is – data means nothing if you don’t know how to leverage it right.

When it comes to creating content that sparks user engagement, a lot of marketers are prone to trying everything and anything before they take the time to deal with their best asset here – themselves.

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It doesn’t really matter how well you understand your niche and market, and how good you’re with turning data into results, you’re the only one that can make some difference here. Everything you are, like, know, and believe in – that’s the only thing that will sell your content.

That’s your honey pot. The only thing that can truly set you apart from your competitors.

How come? – Well, because most people remember stories far better than numbers and stats. And as we all know, the best stories are the ones that come from personal feelings and experiences.

Listing down important information in your messages without a proper flow, tone, persona, or story around it isn’t really content marketing. In order to make the most out of your data, you need to wrap it around a meaningful and engaging story that truly explains the power behind your insights. That’s why I do my best to insert as much of myself as possible in my writing. 

Presentation Is Everything

Through the years, we have seen numerous examples that masterfully showcase just how important storytelling and personalization is to marketing. The way how people will process your information is solely dependent on how you lay it down in front of them.

You need to share a real, living, and breathing face with your readers and offer them a scenario in which they can actually picture themselves if you’re interested in making the most out of your efforts. And what better face to present to them than your own?

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Stories are extremely powerful – they put everything into context and helps us digest certain information on a more personal level. Naked data cannot do that. Stories dig deep into our being and trigger those emotions and memories that inspire us to take certain actions.

But not all stories. What kind of stories help people truly relate with what’s being laid down in front of them? – Those that have real, colorful and likable protagonists.

Putting Your Audience In Your Own Shoes

People best learn by example. That’s a fact. That’s why we need to keep producing all sorts of different case studies that present our targeted audience with real life success scenarios.

Case studies are content marketer’s best friend. When you build something that works, take it apart, and put it back together in front of your audiences eyes – your value and worth instantly becomes undeniable. Nothing really influences your audience to go on and try your service like a detailed record of certain practices and principles used to reach real life goals.

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However, content writers often find themselves in situations where they cannot disclose certain information or company metrics, and yet, their (my) job still demands that they keep up coming up with new material that will continue to grow their brand’s audience, stimulate engagement, and keep those conversions piling up.

Back in the day when I was still new to this content marketing game, this sort of thing often stressed me out. There was a lot of pressure on me to generate some serious results, even though I had basically nothing to work with.

But then I started thinking: What can I do to make my users recognize the value in my products and service? – Paint a picture with me, as a relatable protagonist in it, of course.

The “This Could Be You” Method

In order to go for something, people first need to see themselves in a certain story. They need to feel like your proposal is something that can surely work for them. A well-told story pulls people in and persuades them to go ahead and chase that sweet picture that you painted for them. In order to complete a certain action or pay for a specific product and service, they need to see the future, to even the tiniest of details and feel good about it. The only one who can help them do that is you.

Naturally, you cannot just write shameless suck up content, and expect from your targeted crowd to buy your story just because you’re giving them everything they want to hear. No. You need to humanize your story and show the struggle, as well.

That’s what I do, and so far – it’s been going great for me!

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Even though most of my colleagues don’t really practice this sort of thing in their content, I focus on making my texts sound in my reader’s head like we actually met for a drink, and I opened my heart to him (or her). I share a lot of personal information in my writing and I think this sort of thing really helps my crowd sink into my words.

But, before you start to blab on and on about yourself in your content, you need to know that 90% of your readers don’t really care about you, as a person. Moderation is key here. Your audience only cares about themselves and how to get the most out of a certain deal. That’s it.

Sure, this isn’t something that most of us who work hard on sharing great stories want to hear, but hey – that’s how it is. And it’s ok. It keeps us grounded. Your role here is to serve as an avatar, with real problems, interest, and flaws, to help them connect the dots and see themselves as a person who can replicate your success. Nothing more, and nothing less. That’s why it’s of crucial importance to figure out how to keep your content concise, relevant, and personal and entertaining at the same time.

A little too much of anything can drag you down here. Allow people to meet the man behind the words, but make sure that you don’t turn your company blog into your diary. Stay on track, follow your goals, but remember that people buy stories, not products.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope it helped you breathe some new life into your content. If you have anything to add or ask – feel free to write your thoughts in the comments sections below.

This is where we part ways.
‘Till next time – take care!
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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How To Rock Content Marketing And Increase Your Sales

I often write about content marketing on this blog. Everyone who visits this website at least once a month knows that. Why? – Well, because I am one of those marketers who truly believes that a great and intelligent content marketing strategy has the power to completely reinvent any type of business.

Be it big or small – your business could benefit from owning a smart content marketing strategy.

In my experience, during the years, I have seen a lot of mediocre brands become real leaders in their niche solely by adding a this above-mentioned technique to their overall marketing arsenal.

Their user engagement and sales numbers went through the roof just by creating and publishing content that reaches out and speaks volumes to their targeted crowd.

How come? – Well, it’s pretty simple. The no.1 goal of every content marketing strategy is to stimulate user engagement. It’s primary job is to improve communication with your users, and pump up your brand awareness. Even though your company or niche might not really seem content friendly at first, this technique is ALWAYS a great solution for your brand.

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It doesn’t really matter if you sell bricks, gardening supplies, web hosting services, or squeaky toys – as long as you’re operating in a profitable niche, your leads will be interested in reading more about your products and services.

How come? – Simple. Everyone wants to know what they’re buying. People want to know how to make the most of their purchase. They want to know how something works, what’s it made of, what can it do, and how using that specific product or service can turn their life around for the better.

The Struggle With Content Marketing

Even though this all seems great, and this technique is known to help businesses grow in all sorts of different areas when it comes to content marketing, and basically every other type of marketing, people are only interested in one thing – making more sales. Everything revolves around that. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, if you’re not improving your sales rates – you’re in trouble.

Why? – Well, because making money and getting new clients is what every profitable business is about. If you’re aren’t banking in on your leads, it’s only a matter of time when your efforts will start to negatively affect your work. When there’s no growth in sales, there’s no growth in business, which means that, sooner or later, you won’t have enough money to pay your employees, expand your work and hire new people.

Nobody wants that. No one wants to find himself or herself in a situation where they have to witness their own demise.

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Even though content marketing promises fortune, most of the times – it falls flat on its own face. Why is that? – Well, because people don’t know how to really leverage it right. Even though everyone who once practiced content marketing and failed will say that he or she really invested a lot in this form of marketing before calling it quits, it often isn’t quite true. I’m not calling these people liars, I’m only saying that they don’t quite understand what it really means to invest in content marketing.

Paying someone to write 5-10 blog posts for you, and calling it quits when those texts fail to bring you tons of new leads and clients doesn’t really qualify as “investing in content marketing”.  

Thing sort of thing has created a lot of negative buzz about this sort of practice. Thanks to a couple of terrible efforts, there’s an army of business out there that strongly believe that content marketing doesn’t really drive sales.

I beg to differ. I’ve personally helped more than a few business grow their customer base by coming up with an appropriate content marketing strategy for their brand. How did I do it? – Simple, by doing the following things:

1.  Optimizing The Sales Funnel

Even though you have managed to find great topics and produced quality content on your blog, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you hit the right mark. If you want to create content that will stimulate people to go ahead and actually buy something from you, then you really have to get to know your sales funnel.

You need to get really close to your shoppers, study their each and every move, and finally – understand what exactly is generating their interest in your products and services.

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Your prospects tend to do a lot of different things before they actually make a sale on your site. Looking up your products and services online, comparing features and prices with your direct and indirect competitors, rethinking their judgments and decisions, searching for discounts and easy ways to get their hands on your merchandise, etc. The list goes on and on, depending on what you do and what you sell online.

That’s why, when I start working on strategy, I always first carefully study my sales funnel. That’s the place where I get all my content ideas that help design all sorts of different material that directly speaks to my prospects, and gives them everything they need in order to reassure themselves that they’re making the best possible decision by doing business with me, or my employer.

What makes my brand special? Why should he or she care about my offerings? How and why is my product or service better than others? How does it add value to their needs? How, where, and when’s the best time and place to go ahead and purchase what I’m selling? What else am I bringing to the table with my products and services? – These are just some of the more common queries I try to answer on my blog and position really high in SERP for targeted keywords.

The key to making money via content marketing lies in understanding your funnel and audience and customizing your efforts to appeal to your prospects needs and desires.

2. Being Relevant Isn’t Enough – You Need to Charm, Impress, and Connect With Your Prospects On a Deeper Level

I don’t know who said it first, but I heard a lot of content marketing experts preach about the importance of producing relevant content. These guys claim that all you need to do in order to make your content marketing efforts profitable is to produce stuff that’s relevant to your audience.

Yeah, but that isn’t really enough. You cannot just focus on creating sterile blog posts, images, infographics, case studies, webinars, use cases, and such that only aim to be relevant to your niche or industry. Nope, substance matters here. You need to go beyond that and come up with content that actually means something to people. You job here isn’t just to communicate value, but to make it interesting to the people you’re trying to reach.

Sure, your content might be useful and valuable, but is it interesting to read? Is it fun? Is it designed in a way that will impress your targeted crowd from top to bottom? – If not, then you’ll have a problem with generating sales via your content marketing.  

It doesn’t matter how good or smart your messages might be, if they don’t spark interest – your prospects will never bite on them.

It’s not just about quality here. You need to know how to walk the walk and talk the talk if you want to get your ideal customers attention. Your job here is to make him or her feel like your brand is more than just a brand. You have to demonstrate that your company truly understands its targeted crowd and that you are the only one out there that really gets how they tick.

You have to become the full package. You have to live what you sell if you truly want to connect your prospects.

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I don’t know about you, but if I was shopping for a skateboard, per say, I certainly wouldn’t buy from a guy who looks and talks like he works in a bank. I would look for a tattooed guy who broke almost every bone in his body by grinding that thing. I’m willing to bet that this isn’t just me being crazy.

3. Make The Conversion Easy and Natural

Creating a great piece of content that speaks volumes to your audience is only the first step on your journey to grow your customer base. It doesn’t matter if you impress and amaze your targeted readers, you still need to get them to actually create a conversion on your site. Signing up for your newsletter, registering for a free trial, requesting a custom quote, opening a ticket on your site, talking to your sales representatives – conducting any single one of these actions is great for you! Why? – Well, because it means that your prospects are moving one step closer to completing a sale on your site.

Even though this seems like a pretty straightforward deal, most business out there struggle to get their site visitors more than just that. Even though there are millions of reasons why this sort of things keep happening, I think that one of the major culprits here is none other than the deficit of intelligent and well-places conversion options on their site.

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If you want to win big with your content marketing, you have to provide your visitors with options to create on the end of every amazing post you produce.

We cannot expect from people to complete a certain action on our site if we don’t really ask them to. They cannot read our mind. That’s why most marketers, including myself, are going out of their way to come up with intelligent call-to-actions that don’t feel forcefully fitted into our messages. I don’t know how my other content marketers do it, but my strategy here is to let my audience first read my story, get what they’re looking for, and then come into contact with my proposal, as a natural extension to everything that has already been laid down in front of them.

4. Reward Their Loyalty and Attention

Everyone knows that generating new customers isn’t easy these days. That’s why we need to provide extra care for those that we already got. When you really sit down and think about it, selling to people that already like and trust your brand is a lot easier that going after those that have little or no knowledge about who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.

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As a seasoned content marketer, I have to say that a little kindness and attention to detail goes a long way in this business. Make sure that you active users feel special, loved, and safe should be your on top of your priority list here. I always try to come up with special deals, ebooks, free frameworks and once in a lifetime upgrade opportunities that are exclusive to my most loyal customers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you have anything to add or ask – please, write your thoughts in the comments section below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.

That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.

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