I recently discovered a tv show that takes blind dates to the maximum. Psychologists match two people together, and the first time they see each other is at a marriage ceremony, their marriage ceremony. Want to guess the success rate? Out of 34 couples, the show has seen a 26% success rate.
What would you do on a first date if the other person asked for marriage? What would be the first objection to go through your head?
Is this person crazy? I don’t even know them yet.
How many first dates would you have to go on to find someone ready to marry you that day?
How does this relate to business? Think about the last time you went to a mall. Did you stop when someone at a kiosk began shouting prices at you? Even better, do you seek out those kiosks, or have you learned to pick up your pace and try to avoid the interaction?
“… about 3% of your target market is highly motivated to buy immediately…. However, there’s a further 7% who are very open to buying and another 30% who are interested but not right now. The nest 30% are not interested, and finally, the last 30% wouldn’t take your product, even if it was free.” – The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib
Let me put that into more real terms for you. If the only marketing you are doing is asking for a sale (marriage), you are losing out on 37% of potential buyers.
Increasing your audience by 1233% sounds great, right? But how can you do it?
In this article, I will share how adding Content Marketing to your business will increase your potential audience and ways you can use platforms like Social Media to connect with your audience.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a form of marketing centered around creating content, like videos and educational courses, that will inform your potential audience and nurture them into a raving fan. Properly executed campaigns will break down objections by answering questions your audience may have while building trust and authority, shifting your marketing efforts from outbound to inbound.
What type of people comprises 40% of potential buyers? We have learned that people go through three distinct stages before purchasing a product or service, called the Buyer’s Journey.
The Buyer’s Journey is a process made up of three stages, Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Your brand should not consider a product or service; the only value you can provide. The value for the customer begins as early as the Awareness Stage during their first visit to your website or Social Media page.
THE 3 STAGES IN THE BUYER’S JOURNEY:
Awareness Stage – The buyer notices a problem they have and begins to research the problem.
Consideration Stage – The buyer understands the problem and begins searching for solutions.
Conversion Stage – The buyer decides to commit to one solution.
The 3% of buyers we learned about earlier, people ready to buy, are seen under the Conversion Stage. The remaining 37% would fall under the Awareness and Consideration Stages.
By meeting your potential buyers at every stage of the Buyer’s Journey, you will begin to build a familiarity with them and build the trust and authority needed to enter the Conversion Stage.
How buyers will get to know you better.
You know that Content Marketing is essential, but which tools do you need to use, and how can you create content for each stage of the Buyer’s Journey? In this section, I will share the resources I’ve found to work and how you can use them for your marketing campaigns.
I consider testimonials one of the most vital tools available for digital marketing, and did I mention they are free? Properly structured testimonials will help answer any questions your potential buyers may have while giving them the social proof needed to trust your brand.
“93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.” (Podium)
Google, Facebook, and Yelp are a few of many online platforms that push reviews. While every business has different audiences, each with their platform preference, below are a few ways I have found to share your testimonials.
Turning your client testimonials into celebration posts brings excellent results, by sharing the review they left or taking the testimonial and adding a photo of the customer or product with it. I will share more on this in the Social Media section.
Instagram does not provide a specified section for testimonials. A way to work around this is creating a Highlight on your IG page titled Reviews. Using a tool like Canva, you can create an Instagram Story Template that matches your brand image. Put in a photo and the text from the testimonial to create a slide for each review.
Make sure to be reasonable when asking for reviews. Asking someone to leave a review on three separate platforms will likely result in zero. Instead, put each platform on a time rotation. One month as for Google reviews and the next month, ask for Facebook reviews.
Your website is the foundation of your Digital Marketing Campaign. The customer experience begins on your website, and the quality of your content will determine if that experience continues.
Publishing a weekly blog helps educate your audience and improve your SEO ranking by showing Google you have an active website. Take time to write down the products or services for which you want your brand to be known. From that, create a list of problems people face that cause them to need your brand.
For the Awareness Stage, create articles that educate people who are researching that problem. For the Consideration Stage, create pieces that share solutions to the issues, and for the Conversion Stage, articles with case studies or success stories perform very well.
Another great opportunity with your website is establishing your copy to answer questions potential buyers may have. No, I don’t mean dumping a list of questions onto one page titled “Faq.”
Faq pages are okay, but they shouldn’t be your first solution. Create engaging copy on each product or service page within your website.
Social Media has become a necessity for small businesses with Facebook alone totaling “over 2.6 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2020” (Statista) I tell clients Social Media, namely Facebook, is now considered the home page or resting place for internet users. While you don’t own the rights to your Facebook real estate, it is the best place to meet potential buyers and transition them to your website or email list.
The most frequent response I get is, “But how do I know what to post on Social Media?” Here is a list of ways you can use Social Media to reach people at every stage.
Using the Moz research tool, discover what questions your potential buyers are researching. Break each problem down into bite-sized answers and create an infographic briefly sharing the answers.
Facebook and Instagram are pushing videos, and many digital marketers are buzzing about IGTV. While packing a video full of information can be tempting, keep your videos as short as possible. Ask yourself, can I turn this one video idea into multiple videos without it confusing.
COVID-19 showed us many things for businesses, one being Facebook and Instagram live are a way to build a personal connection with your audience. Holding live Q&A’s either with your audience or by interviewing another professional in your field, educates your audience, and strengthens your relationship with them.
Testimonials, testimonials, testimonials. Should I say it once more for dramatic effect? Publishing posts with reviews build social proof and encourage sharing.
Here’s a post structure I’ve found successful.
Post 1-2 lines of their testimonial followed by 2-3 lines in your brand voice, summarizing the results your customer received.
Wrap it up with a call to action and post a photo of the customer.
Being strategic with your giveaways can speed up the conversion process for potential buyers. Holding a giveaway that reflects your monthly promotion is a way to draw attention to the offer. At the end of the contest, create a few posts sharing with participants that they can take advantage of a limited-time offer for the product or service they were hoping to win.
For service providers offering things like painting classes or yoga classes, Facebook and Instagram Live are a way to connect with people who want to take a class but might not be sure if they are ready to commit. Hold a free session on FB & IG Live for anyone interested in experiencing what you offer.
Behind the Scenes Content
Use Instagram Stories to share behind the scenes content sharing what your business is like and the personality of your staff.
Facebook and Instagram Ads attract the attention of potential buyers and direct them to a designated offer page. Using a limited-time offer or unique hook will urge people in the Conversion Stage to make the buying decision.
Case Studies are a more detailed version of the testimonial posts I shared in the Awareness Stage. In a case study, readers will experience the entire journey your customer went through before, during, and after finding your company.
Joining Your Email List
By signing up for your email list, a potential buyer is clearly showing interest in your brand. Implementing automated email campaigns into your campaign will prevent high-interest opportunities from falling into the cracks.
Creating Video Content
According to Cisco’s VNI Complete Forecast, “Video will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth—representing 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2021, up from 67 percent in 2016.”
You may have noticed by now that Google is using sections of Youtube videos as the top result for question-based or “how to” searches. Proactively creating a video plan for your brand now will set you apart from the competition.
Content Marketing has become more than just the latest trend. Understanding why it is effective and how you can leverage your digital platforms to receive the most generous return is the first step to creating a successful campaign.
You now have a better understanding of how to build your Content Marketing Plan. Get out there and crush it!