How to Succeed at Content Marketing

How to Succeed at Content Marketing

Part #6 in the series: 2018 Digital Marketing Trends: What to Watch for in the New Year

Would you trust a mechanic with your vehicle if you knew he took his own car to the shop down the street?

How would you feel if you saw a copy of Oral Surgery for Dummies sitting on your dentist’s desk?

There’s a reason they say that content is king: because while we wouldn’t want to give our business to charlatans who don’t know what they’re doing, we do want to spend our money with professionals who not only know their stuff but share it openly and freely.

Content marketing is the process of creating useful content that genuinely helps your target audience in order to build your reputation as an expert in the field and garner clients who trust your ability to deliver quality work.

There are over 1.3 billion websites in existence at the time of writing this post, so almost anything that could be said about a given topic already has been. Your job, then, is to say it in a way that appeals to the needs of your specific audience.

So, in this post, we’ll explore how to succeed at content marketing using a few simple strategies to write content that converts visitors into customers.

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Start with a Strong Value Proposition

Your ideal customer has a problem that is only partially solved, and you have the rest of the solution.

Imagine a homeowner whose bathroom sink is leaking. They’ve got the tools to fix it themselves but not the know-how, so they search Google and land on the do-it-yourself section of a local plumber. The website provides detailed step-by-step directions to fix the sink, but it also showcases how knowledgeable Joe Plumber really is. Plenty of visitors will land on the page, realize they’re in over their heads, and decide to call Joe instead because they have already seen the value he offers.

Like Joe, your content needs to offer visitors exactly what they need when they need it. If they don’t convert into a customer, they’ll at least be more likely to convert into a follower.

Write to Persuade

Even though your content should genuinely be helpful and informative to visitors, you can’t ignore the fact that you are trying to sell to them. When any given blog post isn’t promoting a specific product or service, you are still trying to sell the authority of your brand so that visitors will return later or share your content with friends.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing to persuade:

  • Copywriting guru Ted Nicholas claims that “73% of the buying decision is made at the point of the headline”, so don’t write off the importance of the first words your visitors are going to read.
  • Break your text up. Short paragraphs, bold headings, and bulleted lists (like this one!) are more inviting for online reading than giant blobs of text.
  • Write conversationally—the way your target audience talks. Just make sure it comes naturally to you or hire an editor to finish the job.

End with a Call to Action

If you’ve done your job right, readers will reach the end of your content having gained not only valuable information but also newfound trust in your brand. Now is the time to make an offer. For some posts, this might just be a list of links to related articles meant to keep the visitor browsing.

For others, it might be a powerful call to action meant to drive home a sale, like this:

Too busy running your business to develop a content marketing plan? Let Artful Pussycat show your competitors why content is still king.

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