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Content marketing is the hot marketing trend these days. For businesses with strong consumer or business appeal, content marketing is a great tool to get the message out.
But what if your products or services aren’t all that interesting…or maybe even boring? What if you sell paper, extension cords, plumbing supplies or parking services? Some businesses are considered so “dull” that their owners think content marketing isn’t a viable solution. If you are one of those people, you are probably leaving money on the table.
Despite what you might believe, content marketing can help just about any business…even the dull ones. You just have to know how to use content marketing to your advantage. Here are five tips for successful content marketing.
1. Write about situations people can relate to, not your product.
If you sell white paper, don’t bore people by writing about white paper. Rather, talk about real situations that people can relate to. For example, “How to remove paper that’s stuck in the printer,” or “How to change your page setting from portrait to landscape.” Develop clever ideas about what can be done with white paper and let the ideas flow.
The reader may not buy paper from you when he or she reads the article, not immediately at least. But at some point in time, they’ll need paper and remember you. The reader will also associate your brand with being “helpful.” If you do it correctly, you might also get the reader’s e-mail address or they may subscribe to your newsletter. And if you included a coupon in that newsletter…you might earn a sale more quickly than you anticipated. When you interact with potential customers, you have the chance to offer value, which builds recognition and the foundation for a customer relationship with your brand.
2. Analyze why your customers already buy from you.
Most likely, you started with clients that found you in a traditional way. But what are they buying from you? Are they getting your product because of your service? Is your pricing a factor? Is it because your location is convenient? Maybe your product packaging makes it easy to identify in a storage room with dozens of otherwise unremarkable packages.
Once you identify the reasons your product sells, you can create content related to how your product solves related problems. For example, if your clients buy your paper from you because of your location, you might make it a point to mention the areas, cities, or towns that are nearby. Or, for those not so near, mention your same-day delivery service. The point is to learn what’s important to your customers and then feature that.
3. Include an interesting case story.
Many companies develop marketing content that contains mostly technical or commercial information about their products. That’s not wrong, but that kind of information belongs in a catalog or on a spec sheet. When you’re creating marketing content, you aren’t simply informing. The goal of good content is to tap into an experience or even an emotion. A great way of doing this is through a case story.
To create an effective case study, help the reader become invested in the story and what’s going to happen next. Hire effective writers that understand your target markets and know how to connect with people through writing. You need a writer who knows the art of storytelling, and can craft interesting stories about how your customers find value from your brand.
4. Speak in Second Person
The most recognized and loved word for every person is their own name. But if you don’t know a potential customer’s name, then the next best is “you.” Whenever possible and appropriate, address your audience directly. Use direct phrases that make the reader pay attention. “Hey YOU!” “Are YOU ready to save money?” Remember, customers are reading your content because they are trying to satisfy their own needs, not yours. Keeping it “user friendly” will win friends and will increase positive familiarity with your brand.
5. Adjust your content to make it appropriate for the type of clients you have.
To be more specific, sometimes your customer is the final user, sometimes your costumer is a manufacturer or another business who will use your product or service.
The way you create content for these types of customers is completely different. For successful content development, you must know your customer needs and understand their language. Create content that speaks clearly to their individual needs and goals. When you create content that speaks to your target market clearly and with purpose, you will engage them, earn their trust…and eventually earn their business.
Writing content that makes your “dull” business interesting is one of the challenges many companies face.
The job often is considered unimportant and is frequently assigned to someone who is equally uninterested. But you want your business to shine! Remember, there is no dull content if you can truly engage your customers. The best content marketers understand how to make most any business stand out and gain positive attention.
About the author: Patrick Goodness, CEO The Goodness Company