As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to have online content that stands out and garners the attention you need to attract new customer prospects. Let’s face it: there’s so much information out there these days that it’s difficult to get your message heard above the din and clamor of that crowded marketplace. Still, you know full well that you’ll never achieve your larger goals if you can’t find some way to draw attention to your business.
To make matters worse, you’ve probably focused on your content for untold hours and days. You’ve worked tirelessly to hone your image and presentation to ensure that you put your company’s best foot forward as you launch your content marketing campaign.
Yet somehow, you can’t help but feel that there’s something not quite right about your approach. You still have that tiny, lingering doubt clinging to some corner of your mind, and you’re not sure you’re ready to pull the trigger on your campaign launch. Should you just move forward and hope for the best? Or is it perhaps time to take another look at your plan and see if it can’t somehow be improved to better ensure the results you seek?
If your answer to that second question is “yes” then you’ve come to the right place. Below are seven tips that can help you to tweak your content marketing campaign to optimize your ability to stand out from the crowd.
You Need a Niche
Of course, your company already occupies a niche within the marketplace, so obviously that’s not what we’re looking at in this discussion. Here, we’re talking about that niche you carve out for yourself within your chosen market – that niche you focus on with your content. I know there’s a temptation to maintain a broader outlook and avoid specifics in your posted blogs, social media postings, and article submissions, but that’s typically a mistake for most companies.
The fact is that there is a glut of generalized information out there covering almost every industry imaginable. There’s a reason for that, of course: it’s easy to create content that offers few specifics. If you doubt that statement, search for almost any business subject online. It’s a virtual certainty that you’ll be greeted by links to hundreds and even thousands of websites, most of which will be full of content that is basically indistinguishable from that found on virtually every other similar site.
Do you see the opportunity here?
By focusing on niche subjects within your industry, you can develop an identity that separates you from your many competitors. That separation means that you’ll be providing visitors with information that is dramatically different than anything else they can find online. Find that niche and you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself apart from your competition.
Our second tip flows naturally from the first: become the expert in whatever niche you carve out within your industry. And no, that doesn’t mean that you have to march off to some school of higher education and earn an advanced degree in your chosen field – assuming such a degree even exists. What it does mean is that you need to establish yourself as the recognized expert in your field.
Chances are you’re wondering how you can possibly make that claim and expect others to accept it at face value. It’s simple. Since it is reasonable to assume that you selected a field that you actually know quite a bit about, you actually are an expert. Your job is not, therefore, to become an expert; your job is to become the expert – the one that customers look to when they want to know something about your industry.
To accomplish that, all you have to do is focus like a laser on your niche and continue to provide your visitors and customers with information that they cannot find on your competitors’ sites. That’s it. There is no magic secret to becoming an expert. You simply have to start acting and communicating like the expert you already are.
Best of all, once you’ve established a reputation as an expert in your field, that notoriety can help you gain even greater recognition as an industry leader. That recognition will go a long way toward elevating the perceived importance of every message you present, because customers always gravitate toward information provided by recognized experts and leaders.
Image Is Everything
Take a look at your blog posts and your web text. Is there anything missing? Is there anything at all that might help to increase the attractiveness and visibility of that important bit of information you’ve labored so mightily to produce and share with your readers?
Dry text on a web page can do a lot of things well. It can impart information in great detail and educate, motivate, and inspire readers in ways that almost no other form of communication can achieve. Once again, however, there’s no shortage of text in cyberspace. What, then, can make the text on your blog post or web page distinct from every other bit of text out there?
Here’s a hint: rumor has it that one of these is worth a thousand words.
That’s right: pictures! You’d be surprised to see the vast amount of content out there that fails to make use of powerful imagery to enhance the overall message of an article, blog, or other posting. Humans are visually-oriented creatures, and we often have visceral reactions to the images we see. By choosing the right picture to supplement your well-crafted written content, you’ll not only attract more attention but will also help to create an emotional response within your reader that will keep him coming back time and time again.
Video Can Be Magical
Let’s be blunt: if you’re not making use of the hottest video sites out there, you’re missing out on a medium and tool that has already helped many other companies develop viral messaging campaigns that would have cost millions of dollars a generation ago. With that said, do you have a video marketing campaign?
If not, it may be well worth your while to consider how a video marketing effort might enhance your messaging success. Granted, if your company’s customers are not typically the type to browse YouTube or other video sites, such an effort may not be justified. However, if they are, or if your industry is one in which visual presentations can play an important role in communicating information, you simply cannot afford to dismiss video without first investigating its potential benefits.
It’s Okay to Reveal a Secret
Within your niche area of expertise, there are a great many aspects of your own business that you might consider sensitive. Business systems, operational methods, and product or service schemes are things that many companies think of as just too critical to share with even their best customers. Of course, that is fundamentally correct: some secrets should be maintained.
At the same time, there are aspects of your business and areas of your expertise that you have to be willing to share with your readers if you want to earn their trust, develop a deeper relationship, and create the aura of authority you need to be recognized as an expert and leader in your industry. Never be afraid to share some of the secrets of your success with your potential customers.
Most important is the fact that most of your competitors are similarly reluctant to reveal their secrets to others. Once your content starts sharing little nuggets of useful information with your readers, you’ll be setting yourself apart from those rivals. You’ll be offering content that truly stands out in its ability to impart information that most entrepreneurs consider too secret to divulge.
Obviously, you know that your customers have voices. Sometimes, however, it’s important to remind ourselves of that fact and rethink why we’re attempting to convey information to potential customers. We’re not just communicating for the sake of communication. No, the real purpose of this entire enterprise is to create an actual dialogue with your target market that will hopefully result in an exchange of goods, services, or ideas.
That fact alone makes it essential that your content plan be developed with actual customer engagement in mind. We know that customers have thoughts, needs, and desires that they want to share. We also know that they have problems and pain points that need resolution. The goal of your content should thus be to entice those customers into sharing that information with you in a way that enables you to help them find the solutions they need.
To accomplish this, you need to focus on providing a call to action in almost every piece of content you publish. The reader needs to be reminded that you’re not providing information just to educate your industry’s customer base. He or she needs to consistently hear that you are also offering solutions that can solve problems, eliminate pain, and enhance some area of your customers’ lives.
Once your customers actively engage with you, there’s almost no limit to the amount of success you can realize. Moreover, content that creates that level of engagement is unique enough to ensure that your messaging will continue to stand out.
There’s a Big World outside Your Mind
This last one’s a tough thing to learn and remember. Most of us are so ego-driven that it’s difficult for us to view the world through any eyes other than our own. Here’s the problem, though: if you can’t see the world through my eyes, there’s probably a good chance that I’m experiencing the same difficulty as I try to see it through yours.
That does not, however, mean that you cannot actively try to step outside of your comfort zone and make an attempt to view your messaging through the eyes of the average reader or potential customer. In fact, it’s critical that you regularly make that effort. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll soon find that your overall messaging strategy amounts to little more than a conversation with yourself.
The reason for this is simple. You know your business better than anyone else. You also know your goals and the motivating factors that drive you to try to solve your customers’ problems. In other words, you know your own mind.
The problem is that your customers have their own minds, their own way of seeing things, and their own set of motivating factors that can move them in one direction or another. They also have their own ways of processing information, prioritizing messages, and determining what’s worthy of further examination. Without understanding those things, you’ll have a tough time evaluating the effectiveness of your content strategy.
Since you cannot actually enter your customer’s minds, you’ll need to leverage the results of each content call to action to gain greater insight into how your customers perceive your message. The idea should be to develop the type of open communication lines that foster feedback you can use to continually improve your messaging efforts.
If your competitors are still utilizing stale, static content strategies that fail to actively engage prospects, your approach will definitely stand out in the marketplace.
The final word
The bottom line on all of this is that you have a simple choice to make in your content strategy. You can do what you and most other business owners have routinely done for years, and simply adopt the “post it and forget it” mentality. Of course, we all know how well that concept works in today’s increasingly interactive online marketplace: it’s a recipe for stagnation.
Alternatively, you can adopt a more dynamic, customer-centric approach and actively work to ensure that your entire content creation strategy is geared toward creating a unique business persona unlike any other. By choosing the second option, you can help to ensure that your content will continue to stand out from your competitors no matter how crowded the market may be.
We know how difficult it can be to get the most out of your marketing efforts. If you want more tips like these, or other marketing advice, contact us at http://tabithanaylor.com/contact-us/ today. We’re always available to offer new advice and tools you can’t find anywhere else, and will do everything we can to help you find the success you need with your marketing strategies.