When we set out on a content marketing journey, our key agenda is to create offerings for readers who get attracted to the brand’s offerings. Whether we do this subtly or in an overtly promotional manner depends on the brand’s requirements. In both cases, the idea is to think what content is highly relevant to prospects and customers, and then deliver it in the format they are most likely to consume it.
So what’s the magical content formula to create content that attracts paying customers? Here are five key elements that go into it.
1. Write content that solves their problem
No matter what the customer base, they are likely to have a problem area for which your product is the perfect solution. If they like to travel, a travel itinerary with an ‘exact match’ peer review is a great way to see which package someone is more likely to buy. This content is not easy to find. It takes a lot of research to put together content that a user will relate to, based on his life stage, family size, income, age and a mix of other factors. And that’s what makes it ‘sales-clinching’ content.
Such content is generally used to subtly introduce the brand to the customer and nudge him to explore more about the solution. Once the customer buys the concept, it is easy to create hooks that can get him to fill a lead form or directly line up for your sales.
How to do this
Conduct online or offline customer research to understand customer pain points and create different customer journeys on the basis of the problem you propose via your content. It can be content on the website, emailer, SMS, lead form, social media or a blog.
To carry forward the above example, conduct a survey to see what millennials look for when traveling v/s what someone in their early 40s with children in tow looks for. If each of these segments receive an itinerary reviewed by their peers, they are likely to find it more relevant to their life stage and travel preference. It may be the nudge they need to book the package with you.
2. Content extrapolating reviews and testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are a tricky part to handle for a marketer. Its authenticity is considered only if it comes from a third party source. For example, you probably wouldn’t pay too much attention to a positive review shown on a product’s own website. But if you were to see the same review on Amazon, you might consider buying the product.
Similarly, you might give more weight to a video review where you can see real consumers talk about using the product. A balanced review that highlights the good and some bad is more trustworthy than many overwhelmingly positive reviews.
How to do this
The first task is to understand third-party review sources for your product. See the most valuable channel that is driving sales. Once you have a couple of channels, you can use API integration or plugins to pull these reviews and show them on your website directly, that too along with the third party attribution.
The second way is to go after your existing customers and chase the happy ones to give you a video testimonial. Using this to attract prospects adds credibility to your product offering.
From an SEO perspective, create a blog that collates all this with links pointing to actual reviews. This blog can be optimized for the keyword “<<product/brand name>> reviews” keyword, giving you an advantage for ranking in search, with positive content.
3. Offer a valuable piece of content in a timely manner
Often, customers are wary of making an upfront investment in your product, especially one that is of high-value. They would like to start with a sampling to nudge them into the decision-making mode. Besides, who doesn’t like a freebie?
How to do this
People don’t want to give the really good part for free, but hey, if it is really good, it will attract customer attention. In case you have a recipe e-Book kindle version, give away one of your prized-possession recipes and it is bound to get everyone’s attention.
Many e-book and online course sellers have found this strategy to be highly effective.
What’s more, offer your products gift-wrapped during the holiday season and it is bound to get a whole new level of reception.
4. Ask your existing customers to create content that can attract new customers
Have you seen some of the little millionaires of YouTube enthusiastically reviewing toys, or those reviewing everything from cell phones to carpet cleaners? It’s obvious that people are hooked to the concept of watching others use a product and share their review.
You can ask influencers to review your product which is likely to attract attention from paying customers. The other option is to incentivize positive behavior like sharing on social media which will add to the visibility.
5. Create comparison content to show superiority
Common human behavioral science makes your search on different websites before deciding what to buy. But what if you initiate the answer even before they ask?
When a comparison is available in a controlled environment like your own website, it may be accepted with bias. But if you have third-party syndication to push this, it can be one of the most important pieces of content that drive conversions.
For example, if customers think of your product being heavy on investment, having an independent financial website or daily do a comparative review will create a perception of credibility. Even long after the article is published, it can be a piece of content that your sales team carries with it to convince and clinch a customer.
The format for content consumption may not be a decisive customer driving factor, but it definitely plays a role in getting traction. Blogs that rank well in key searches can improve your overall SEO value and drive incremental organic traffic and conversions. Similarly, consistent content strategy on social is imperative to build the brand’s positive image.
So, approach content creation and marketing with an end goal in mind, and there is a good chance it will deliver the purpose behind its creation.