If you have a product that you want to sell online, the first step is, sensibly, to create the product, then create a stable, well-designed web page that can handle the traffic of your burgeoning business.
But how do you create your customer base? How do you draw in your audience and keep their interest?
Content marketing is the answer.
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Understanding the Importance of Content Marketing
If you want your content marketing to help you sell products, you will need to make sure that your content meets a couple of different objectives.
It needs to be:
- Discoverable. The Internet is huge. The odds of someone randomly stumbling across your website and content are small, even if you properly optimize the content and build it with SEO in mind. Content increases your chances of being discovered, but you're not the only one working with their content.
- Shareable. As long as there have been businesses trying to get customers, word of mouth has remained the most powerful advertisement that you can get, and the one that's almost impossible to buy. With the advent of social media, the methods by which customers share their positive, and negative, sales stories have changed, but the basic idea is the same.
- Interesting. You can take many different approaches with your content marketing without being annoying. You can look to educate, inform, entertain, or stir up controversy. Each type of content will draw in different types of readers and customers, which is good. The best blogs and content sites blend informative, engaging, feel-good, and discussion content on a regular basis so that different readers find different points of interest.
How Does Content Marketing Actually Sell Products?
There are two primary ways that content marketing helps you to sell your products and services online.
First: Content Marketing increases the amount of time that users spend on your website, which equates to more time in your sales funnel.
Any marketer knows that one of the key goals of web sales is avoiding bounce. If users hit your website, decide in seconds that it's not what they're looking for, and click away, not only are you losing a potential sale, you're hurting your search engine rankings.
Much of modern web design is based around making sure that your page is friendly and approachable, and your meta data is clear and understandable so that people who click through get exactly what they're hoping for.
One of the benefits of effective content marketing is that it gives customers a reason to spend more time on your site.
They get the opportunity to explore, learn more about you as a company, and learn more about the products and services that you sell.
They spend more time on your site, which helps search engines know to direct later searchers to your site.
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Second: Content Marketing improves your audience's perception of you as a thought leader.
A thought leaders is someone in an industry who is seen as a front-runner in terms of understanding, conveying, and developing the perception of the industry at large.
People follow them to find out what they have to say about the newest products, industry developments and changes.
When a company begins to establish a reputation as a thought leader, they increase the odds that they'll be found through their writings.
From there, customers can discover the products that are for sale, and may be more willing to invest in the product or service, since they already trust the company itself.
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So What Do I Do to Make My Content Successful?
If you're ready to dive in to great content marketing, fantastic! Here are a few tips to make your venture successful:
- Research your industry. See who else is doing content marketing and investigate what they're doing. While you don't want to recreate your competitor's content, it's often worth looking to see what they're creating, and what gaps they're missing. Make your story irreplaceable and bring it to life.
- Polish your writing skills. If it's been years since you wrote a convincing piece of non-fiction, it's time to get some practice in. Read current blogs and articles to get a sense of how writing for the Internet is different from writing for any other medium.
- Consider outsourcing content. It may be that the most effective way to set up a content platform is to hire a freelance writer. Consider what is the most efficient use of your time and marketing budget.
Content marketing has the potential to make positive changes to your business, once you harness its power.