Many business owners pour time and money into a website or social media ads, but see no difference in their sales. “Why am I not getting inquiries? Why don’t people recognize my brand?” They try to fix the problem with boosting or promos. However, that only yields a momentary spike of interest that immediately fades. What are they doing wrong? Their content marketing strategy.
You don’t have a content marketing strategy
Surveys show that almost 40% of businesses use content with no particular strategy. That’s like wildly shooting bullets hoping that one of them will hit your target. This wastes your resources and can even confuse or alienate your audience.
All your messages must be informed and guided by a solid content strategy. This includes:
- Brand positioning: WHO is your brand
- Target audience: WHO are you selling to
- Unique selling proposition: WHY should people buy you
- Key messages: HOW are you going to convince them
It is impossible to effectively sell any product or service without answering those basic questions. However, many businesses make the mistake of trying to push out as many social media posts or ads as possible, without figuring out what they really want to say.
Your content marketing strategy is not documented
As a business owner, you know your company and your products more than anyone else. Your content strategy is “in your head” and you may explain it to the people who create and manage your website and social media.
However, you haven’t put those ideas and directions in a document. Why is that important?
Clear and unified messages
Writing your content marketing strategy ensures that everyone is on the same page — even new employees or the sales people in your store. This also prevents your brand communication from looking disjointed. If your social media posts are very colorful and casual, but your website looks and sounds very dated, then people will feel that they are looking at two completely different brands.
Focused, cost-effective budgets
Your content marketing strategy helps you set priorities. What is your most important target audience? What products do you want to push? What features or benefits do you need to highlight the most? That can help you or your digital marketing agency focus on the messages that are most likely to grow your business.
A great documented content strategy addresses your positioning versus your competitors, and the roadblocks that prevent customers from buying your products or services. You plan your content to overcome those challenges and become “the best choice” for your category.
You don’t have customer personas
Even if you are selling to a very broad, general audience (ex: women aged 25 to 40) you need to break them down into more specific customer personas. Your content marketing can then be tailored to your audiences. You can:
- Promote it on the right social channels
- Offer the products or highlight the features that are most important to them
- Add more specific parameters for your ad campaigns
Include customer personas in your content marketing strategy document. You can tap your sales people or customer service agents who interact with your audience every day. They understand the “types of customers” you get, and can tell you about their most common questions, concerns and frustration.
Actually talk to your customers. Use the language that they use. Talk about the things they talk about. Never feed salad to a lion.Jay Azunzo, marketing guru
Once you have created personas, you can also research on their social media habits or online purchase behavior. While these are general studies that may not apply to your audience, but they can give you a starting point for your content marketing strategy.
You’re not considering search intent
Everyone does an online search because he or she hopes to find something: a product, feature, price, or answer to a particular question.
That is called search intent (also called user intent or audience intent). It is what the person is looking for. That affects the search phrases he will use, and the type of content you should be serving at his stage of the customer journey. Here’s an example of the search intent of a customer for a food or travel product.
Search intent can help inform your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. You can create content that attract customers at different stages of the funnel.
There are four kinds of search intent:
They want to know more about a certain topic. Usually their search terms will include phrases like what/how/best way to/how to/why. They may look for tutorials, FAQs, videos, or infographics.
People who conduct information searches want objective, credible and useful information. So, don’t just hype up product features. They will know that you are just pushing a sale, and will leave your website for something that will really help them.
They are looking for a specific website. Generally, it’s difficult to rank high for a navigational term unless you are the site that they are looking for. However, you should be able to get the traffic for any terms directly related to your business. That’s why it’s important to have website and social media pages, and be included in online directories.
This indicates a person who is seriously considering a purchase but is gathering information that will help him or her decide what to get. They may be looking for reviews and demos, comparisons between two competing products or services, or more detailed information about a product or a brand.
The person is ready to make a purchase and is browsing the web for the best offer. They may use the words buy/deal/discount/price and the actual product or service name. They may also add location-based searches like near me or the name of the city, neighborhood or country.
You can target audiences with different search intents by using different keywords on your website. Work with your search engine optimization (SEO) expert so that customers can be led to the content that best answers their need.
You aren’t looking at your customer journey
If all your content is focused on just selling your product, you will actually drive customers away. You lose credibility because people immediately dismiss your content as an ad. You also lose the opportunity to build long-term relationships with your customers, and nurture potential customers so that you’re top of mind when they’re finally ready to buy.
The best content marketing strategy addresses all stages of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase/decision, and loyalty. That is especially important if you are in an industry or business that has low brand differentiation. For example, many aesthetic clinics will offer similar treatments and prices. Ads alone won’t convince your customers to walk into your establishment. But if your content marketing efforts engage them on different stages of their customer journey, they will see you as a trusted and familiar brand.
You aren’t using different content formats
The best content marketing strategies combine different content formats to engage audiences in different stages of their customer journey. This can include blog posts, infographics, social media posts, ads, email campaigns, videos. They can be used to persuade your customer on different levels (emotional and rational) or meet different needs (entertainment, inspiration, education, and purchase).
While it’s possible to just have one or two content formats (for example, social media posts and blog posts) there should be enough variety to overcome “reader fatigue.” When people see the same thing or hear the same message too frequently, they tend to ignore or even unfollow your social media accounts. You need to balance consistent branding with fresh or exciting content.
Your content leads to a dead end
Every piece of content should encourage your reader to do something. That action can be visiting your website, reading another article, signing up for a newsletter, filling up a survey, etc.
If you do have a call to action but still have low engagement or conversion, look at where your customers land. Maybe the page takes too long to load, or doesn’t contain the information they expect to find after looking at your ad. Or maybe the problem lies in the web design and user experience. Is it hard for them to find the information they need? Remember the 60 second rule: if users don’t find what they want in under a minute, they will leave the website.
Get an effective content marketing strategy for your Singapore business
Good content marketing involves sending the right message to the right people at the right time. Mapletree Media can create a cost-effective, targeted content strategy for your business. Our full-service Singapore digital marketing agency has helped businesses like yours grow their reputation and sales. Contact us for a customized content marketing proposal.