It’s not what you have, it’s how you use it.
This article is letter (U) of our “Your Words Have Worth" series that shows your words and online content have value. “Your Words Have Worth" looks at what's the hottest, latest, and greatest for the coming new year and beyond. Find links to more articles in the series below.
It’s one thing to make content. It’s a whole other deal to know how to utilize your content for maximum optimization.
When your content has worth, your words have worth. Online, your content is your voice. When your content has a reputation as trustworthy and credible, your brand is seen as an authority.
Content can be utilized in several ways.
Show, Don’t Sell
Going for the sale or throwing in a sales pitch is outdated marketing. People today have been overexposed to the same old marketing techniques. As a result, obvious marketing techniques don’t work anymore as people constantly have their guards up.
That leaves the question, “How do you use your content to show, not sell? Do you ‘sneak’ a sales pitch into the content you write?”
Nope, no sneaking here. Don’t even think about it. Trust and transparent business practices are demanded by more than 90% of consumers. Just be upfront and honest with your audience, mistakes and all. Your audience will trust and respect you as a result.
The answer is to use your content to teach.
The marketing landscape has shifted to accommodate the individual. For that reason, many marketing messages orient themselves as teachers, consultants, or experts.
Create content that shows people something they didn’t know, provides a perspective they never considered before, or reminds them of something they once knew but have since forgotten.
You may know this type of content as infotainment or branded content. Content Ghost defines branded content as “content that is written and paid for by an advertiser, that teaches the reader something about the advertiser’s business but that does not contain any direct sales pitch.”
Content Ghost then gives the example of Bob. Bob was a contractor who wrote a monthly Q&A with tips on how homeowners can get things done around their properties. His most popular post was about how to install a leak-proof corner shower unit. How can he tell his post did well? He received tons of positive feedback. Some of that positive feedback translated into sales!
Help Your Audience Use Your Content
First, we learned teaching with your content is way more effective than selling with your content. The second method we will cover is also audience-centric – help your audience use your content.
It can be a big frustration for content creators to learn that only a small percentage of people who buy or try their products actually use the product. When content creators pour their heart and soul into creating training programs, how-to video courses, and in-depth ebooks, it can be a bit discouraging.
You may think, “Hey, they paid for it. It’s up to them to use it!” But this point of view has several disadvantages.
For one, you lose out on getting customer reviews. Obviously, if they don’t use your product then how can they leave a review about their experience?
Second, you have a lower retention rate. Customers who don’t use your product tend not to stick around. Say goodbye to any chances of up-selling, too.
Third, you lose out on building a lifelong relationship with customers. Many would prefer a loyal advocate over someone who impulsively uses your product and forgets about it.
To get to that point, you have to really care about giving lifetime value to your customers. You want your customers to experience a positive, transformative life change from using your product.
The most obvious example to help your audience use your content is publishing a resource site or knowledge base.
Content Distribution Channels
You don’t want the great content you create to just sit there. You want it to go out and see the world! Content distribution channels are another notch you can add to your content marketing belt.
Content distribution kills two birds with one stone. For one, distribution channels get your content in front of new eyes who would have never seen your content otherwise. Second, content distribution generates and directs traffic to your website. People see your content in their social media feed, thinks it’s cool, and clicks the link to your website. Before you know it, people are subscribing to your newsletter, buying your products, and re-posting your brand’s content.
Here are just a few content distribution channels.
1. Guest blogging.
Guest blogging is a powerful, but often overlooked method, to drive traffic to your blog. You are publishing content to your target audience. Guest blogging gives your content access to people in your niche who can appreciate and gain benefit from it. They may also become future followers of yours as a result too.
2. Email marketing
It’s a huge compliment when a lead gives you their email address. It’s one of the most direct and personal spaces to contact someone. When a lead invites you into their inbox, it’s as if they invited you into their home.
Influencers use their network of followers to spread the word about your brand. Look for an influencer that specializes in your niche. The best way to pique their interest? Create a product/ service/ content they genuinely like and would love to share with their followers.
If guest blogging is not your thing, syndication gives you all the benefits of guest blogging without the drawbacks of not owning your own content. Syndication gives other sites the ability to post your blog entries as they are release. This has a two-fold benefit. You distribute your content for more coverage and you get the initial credit for your post (you gain the SEO/ traffic statistics).
5. Resource site
Being a resource site means you are the authority that other blogs in your niche use a reference. This guarantees traffic to your blog as your site will have links when cited in other posts. This does take time though. No one became an authority in their niche overnight.
Utilize Different Types Of Visual Content
Now, you wouldn’t be utilizing your content if you were just posting the same type of content all the time. To spice things up, here are different types of visual content you can use:
1. Blog Articles
The bread and butter of many blogs, articles provide a resource to your audience, an opportunity to reinforce your brand, and a channel for promoting your products and services.
Infographs are a fun way to present otherwise dry information like statistics, data, and resesarch.
Memes are online jokes that can come in any size and shape from images to gifs. Memes are more lowbrow, so if you’re going for a high-end feel, you can skip memes.
4. Images & Videos
People are more likely to finish articles that are broken up with images. It’s best to stick with original images. You can customize images using the simple drag-and-drop photo editor, Canva. Landing pages with videos increase conversions by 86%.
If your information is too long and complex, a presentation on SlideShare can keep your audience engaged.
Your potential customers will appreciate screenshots that give them a sneak peak into the inner workings of your product or service.
It’s not what you have, it’s how you use it. In this case, it’s about utilizing your content to give the most valuable, engaging content to users. This, in turn, helps increase your conversions.
One way to add value with your content is to show and teach rather than write a blog post thinly veiled as an advertisement. Another way to build strong relationships is to show your audience how to use your content. Help them help themselves.
Even better, utilize content distribution channels to deliver your content right in front of your consumer’s eyes. Whether they’re in their inbox, on social media, or in search engine results, seeing your content again and again will keep your brand at the top of their mind. To avoid your content from becoming redundant, switch things up by publishing a meme, video, or infograph!
This article is letter (U) of our “Your Words Have Worth" series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Your Words Have Worth" looks at what's the hottest, latest, and greatest for the coming new year and beyond. Find links to more articles in the series below.
(A) ...coming soon
(V) ...coming soon
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(W) ...coming soon
(O) ...coming soon
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