Content marketing is a significant trend these days, and the majority of businesses are using it in one form or another. Most people think in terms of blogging when content writing is discussed, and that is the subject of this piece. However, many brands may not be following some universal rules when writing blog posts, so there will be plenty of valuable information in the following article.
Make sure you have a content plan.
Before you write a single post on your business blog, you want to ensure you have a plan for content. The content plan you create doesn’t have to be particularly complicated, but should at least give you some idea on the subjects you will cover and some degree of planning for each post.
Of course, if several people are managing content, then it’s even more important that the whole team are aware of what is being worked on. You want to be especially careful that duplicate articles that are effectively the same aren’t written, and some pre-planned content is likely to lead to higher quality posts created.
Ensure you have a schedule.
Along with your content plan for the subjects you cover, it’s crucially important that you have a schedule for new content. Your audience needs to know how often they can expect new content from you, and you will see higher engagement levels on your content as a result.
There are also some practical considerations to keep in mind here, as well. For example, if you have a lot of content, you want to spread it out. The good news here is most blogging programs, or content management systems allows for the scheduling of blog posts. Similar to social media, users will engage with posts better at some times rather than others, so that’s a final consideration in the process.
Stay focused on your brand.
As mentioned, it’s crucial to have a content plan and to schedule your updates intelligently. However, it’s also essential to ensure your blog posts are relevant to your brand. Of course, this may be variable depending on the nature of your business. As a general rule, you should be writing content that is related to your industry in some way.
The articles that you create should be relevant enough for you to offer personal insight and opinion on the subject material. So, don’t just write content for page views just because it’s popular if it doesn’t relate to your brand. Doing so will confuse your audience and potentially lead to a lack of trust. Remember also that you are looking to add value and stand out among your competition.
Don’t just write about breaking news.
Of course, you may want to write about the latest news on your blog. It’s certainly true that a lot of websites go along with that way of operating. However, it usually only works because of the sheer volume of content and remember you are competing with a lot of other writers and websites when following this strategy.
Therefore, you want to ensure some of your content is going to continue gaining page views over time; otherwise, you will be writing all the time. The best type of content for this purpose are list-style articles on evergreen topics. What you are looking to do here is write content that doesn’t age the same way breaking news items do. Most of these articles revolve around tips and how-to pieces, which are relevant to your brand and industry.
Consider engagement and social media sharing.
Business blogging has undoubtedly changed over the years, and what worked ten years ago wouldn’t be so productive today. Modern-day blogging is all about engagement and connecting to social media. Therefore, you want to make your content visually attractive and easy to read.
When it comes to social media, you may wish to include some images that can be shared on Pinterest, for example. While content is crucially important, it’s often visuals that can make a blog, piece stand out. Therefore, work on ensuring your content is engaging and can easily be shared on social media. Of course, this may include social media share buttons and a call to action at the end of the piece.
Most brands realise the importance of having an active website with a blog. However, the trend towards content marketing doesn’t mean that all companies get it right. This article has looked at some universal rules when it comes to business blogging. Remember to have a content plan, schedule posts effectively, stay focused on your brand, write more than just breaking news and consider engagement and social media sharing.
How To Market Your Business Effectively At Trade Shows
Customers tend to gravitate towards businesses that are readily available, visible, and familiar to them.
This means that if your brand, product, or service is not known to your target audience, you’re likely to lose many prospects to your competitors.
But, there’s good news. You can advertise and promote your brand using traditional marketing methods, digital marketing methods, or a combination of both.
Trade show events remain one of the most widely-used traditional methods for marketing businesses.
Read on to learn the benefits of participating in trade shows, the reasons why nobody is visiting your exhibit booth, and what you can do to market your brand effectively:
8 Benefits Of Trade Shows
Face-To-Face Meeting With Customers
When it comes to business success, nothing beats face-to-face meetings with clients. Participating in trade shows offers you the opportunity to meet and communicate with your customers and other attendees in real-time. You get to shake their hands and look into their eyes as you talk about your products and services. This is an experience that you can never recreate digitally.
Face-to-face meeting when done right can help you to:
– Give your company more personality and make your existing customers more loyal to your brand.
– Build long-lasting relationships with customers and other professionals in your industry.
– Sell directly to customers in a relaxed environment.
– Generate new leads and business opportunities.
Be sure to include employees who are naturally good at selling, customer service, and relationship building in your sales team to increase your chances of success.
Trade shows are attended by businesses of all sizes and individuals from all walks of life.
Therefore, taking part in such an event exposes your brand to a wider audience and allows you to promote your products and services to thousands of interested parties in one place.
This makes trade shows one of the most cost-effective marketing methods for all businesses.
Leads To Year-Round Promotions
When used correctly, trade shows can also help you to create lasting impressions in the minds of prospective customers, which, in turn, can lead to continuous marketing for your business.
So, how can you achieve this?
By having a well-designed booth that attracts the attention of attendees, providing promotional materials and giveaways to increase your brand awareness, verbally explaining what your business is all about and how it can benefit the customers, etc.
Provides An Opportunity To Launch New Products and Services
There’s no better place to introduce your new product or service to the market than in a trade show event filled with numerous attendees.
The face-to-face interactions with your visitors allow you to explain the most important points about your new product or service clearly and answer any questions that they may have.
Allowing your customers to have a first-hand experience of your new products can significantly increase their interest and persuade them to buy whatever you’re offering.
You Get Instant Customer Feedback
This is another benefit of exhibiting your business at trade shows.
As your current customers and prospects interact with your brand, they get to provide their reviews and feedback on your products and services in real-time.
Listening to what your customers have to say about your brand is very important, as this allows you to know what they really want and work towards meeting those needs.
Enables Small Businesses To Reach Thousands Of Prospects At Once
If you have a small business that is still unknown, attending a trade show can greatly help you to reach numerous prospective customers at once and get your brand name out there.
Distinguishes Your Brand From Its Competitors
In every trade show event, every business must have its own exhibition booth or stand.
A stand that is properly designed and well-branded should communicate your brand story to potential clients effectively and distinguish your brand from other exhibitors at the show.
A quick look at your stand should help answer what? how? and why? about your business.
Enables You To Gain Knowledge About Your Industry And Competition
Trade shows also provide the perfect opportunity for you to gather market intelligence about your industry.
Since businesses stand close to one another, you should seize that opportunity to network with other businesses and gain knowledge of the latest trends in your industry.
You should also learn from your competitors to help improve your brand in the subsequent shows.
Some of the things worth observing include your competitors’ engagement tactics, booth design, sales pitches, and product displays.
If you’re already participating in different trade show events, but you’re not getting visitors to your booth, these could be the reasons why:
5 Possible Reasons Why Nobody is Visiting Your Trade Show Booth
Dull and Boring Booth Design
Trade show events are like community festivals where attendees engage in exciting and fun activities.
Because of this, you have a much higher chance of attracting people’s attention with a booth design that provides the same happy feeling than the one that’s too formal, dull, and boring.
So, feel free to use colorful decorations to spice up your booth a little bit.
If music is allowed, be sure to play some fun songs in the background too.
The whole idea is to make your booth stand out and attract your target audience without being too loud or pushy.
You’re Too Serious
Holding a successful trade show requires more than just showing up at the event and waiting for people to come to your booth.
You must be proactive, enthusiastic, energetic, and able to hold meaningful conversations.
Having a smiling and friendly face also goes a long way in making potential customers feel welcome to your booth.
On the other hand, if you or any of your employees look too serious, uninterested, grumpy or bored, nobody will want to come close. They’re much better off in a place where they see a friendly face.
Poor Communication Skills
The surest way to drive people away from your booth is by trying to sell to them directly as soon as they arrive. Potential customers want to feel loved and valued for who they are and not just for the money they bring into your business.
Therefore, having effective communication skills is key in keeping your booth visitors interested in staying around.
Strike up conversations on things that you know will interest them.
Ask general questions about their interests, jobs, families, and hobbies.
It’s only from speaking to every person individually and carefully listening to their needs that you’ll know which of your products or services suits them most.
Nobody Understands Your Message
Attending a trade show provides you with a unique opportunity to showcase your business to many people who will be seeing or hearing it for the first time.
However, if your message isn’t clear to your target audience, they’re more likely to move to the next exhibition booth.
Everything about your booth should convey a clear and effective message about what your business is all about in a visually-appealing and professional manner.
Hiring copywriting and branding experts can help make your message clear to everyone.
Failure To Market Your Booth Properly
Lastly, if you fail to tell others about the upcoming trade show before the D-day, nobody will know about your presence there.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you don’t get any foot traffic to your booth.
How To Attract People’s Attention To Your Trade Show Booth
Here are some tips that will make thousands of potential customers come to your booth:
You need to let people know that you’ll be attending a trade show several weeks in advance.
This can be done through social media platforms, email campaigns, word of mouth, or blog.
Tell your followers, friends, and family members all the important information they need to know about the show, for instance, where the show will be held, the date of attendance, where to find your booth, etc.
Don’t forget to ask them to spread the word to as many people as possible to give it the much-needed publicity.
Host A Virtual Event Prior To The Show
This is another way of boosting your brand visibility and attracting people to your booth before the show takes place.
Hosting live question and answer sessions, webinars and virtual conferences gives you an opportunity to engage your current customers and prospects, and show them how your business can solve their problems.
If you can provide them with valuable information for free, they’ll be encouraged to attend the trade show to meet you in person.
Attract Attention Through Contests
Entering attendees into a contest is also another excellent way to attract them to your booth. People naturally love free things, so you can be sure that this method will work if you do it right. Have every visitor you receive, sign in their details in a guestbook, and then participate in the contest.
Make sure that the prize you offer the winners of the contest relates to your products and services and appeals to all of your customers.
For instance, a tablet, iPad, or a survey software copy would be an ideal prize if you are in the business of selling survey software. It’s a great way to help attendees understand your business better and get their contact information for follow-up at a later date.
Provide Plenty Of Giveaways
Since many people attending trade show events expect to return home with some goodies, you shouldn’t disappoint them.
It pays, therefore, to prepare different promotional materials for your business in advance.
Provide attendees with free business cards, pens, brochures, important literature about your business, and other things that have your business name or logo on them.
Food giveaways are also a big hit with almost everyone, so if you can provide people with free packaged food with your business contact information on them, it will go a long way in boosting your brand visibility and generating leads.
Arrange Your Display Space Properly And Make It Stand Out
A cluttered display space, with items all over the place, will negatively affect your business image. So, it’s very important to arrange your products properly on the display table with the smallest items at the front and the largest ones at the back.
Also, consider having a presentation board (preferably stand-alone) or a slideshow presentation if your display space allows it. Displaying pictures and videos explaining the benefits of your products and services to attendees will surely draw their attention.
As part of your display, you should also consider showing off a portfolio of your best projects to visitors. Arrange them neatly in a binder and place the binder in a place that’s easily accessible.
Don’t Leave Your Booth Unattended
Lastly, make sure that there’s someone in your booth at all times to attend to visitors; someone who has a deep knowledge and understanding of your business. Taking a few assistants with you will make it easier for you to take a break if you’re tired or need to go to the bathroom. However, if you’re on your own and have to take a break, leave a note telling visitors how long you’ll be gone.
Overall, trade shows provide a great way for businesses to engage in face-to-face interactions with their customers. But that’s not all.
You also get to promote your business to thousands of people who are genuinely interested in your products and services and generate valuable sales leads. It’s an investment that’s worth your time and money.
9 Practical Tips To Increase Your Lead Magnet Conversion Rate
Lead magnets have evolved over the years, but there’s one thing that has remained the same – they do work. The higher the value you provide to your prospective customers, the more they’re likely to trust you and your brand. Therefore, taking time to create a lead magnet the right way is a must if you want to build a strong email list, have a loyal audience, attract leads, and ultimately convert those leads into paying customers.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 9 practical tips you can use to increase the conversion rate of your lead magnet:
1. Keep Your Lead Magnet Targeted
Targeting is crucial if you want your lead magnet to have a high conversion rate. In other words, your magnet should be able to provide very specific answers to the specific questions the customers are asking.
For instance, a free eBook titled, “Your Ultimate Guide to Parenting Children with Autism” is considered more specific than one with the title “Your Guide to Parenting.” While both of them talk about parenting, the former is specific to parents with autistic children. Therefore, using the first eBook as your lead magnet is likely to get you more qualified leads than the second one.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Lead magnets that perform best are those that add value to the people receiving them. This value can be in the form of important information the customer is looking for, a much-needed service, or a solution to a specific problem the customer has.
Defining your target customers is important because it helps you to tailor the content of your offer in a way that appeals to their specific needs. On the other hand, if you have no idea who your target audience is, you’ll most likely end up with a generic lead magnet that doesn’t address anyone in particular or solve any particular problem. That’s a recipe for disaster.
3. Tease Your Prospects With A Glimpse Of The Content In Your Lead Magnet
There’s no better way to get prospects to sign up for your lead magnet than providing them with a glimpse of what they stand to gain from it. You may have a considerable number of web visitors, but not all of them will subscribe to your email list just because you’ve asked them to.
Some people want to know beforehand what they stand to gain when they give you their email addresses. Such unsure visitors can only be persuaded to opt into your email list when you give them a glimpse of all the good things contained in your free offer. So, it’s a good idea to include a description of what your lead magnet is all about on the landing page. You also need to state clearly how your magnet will provide value to your readers.
4. Use Your Best-Performing Content As A Lead Magnet
Do you know that you don’t have to create the free offer you intend to give to your prospects from scratch? Yes, that’s right. Considering that a lot of time and effort goes into making a good lead magnet, it makes sense to give out content that you already have in your content library. However, you can’t just choose any content for this purpose; it has to be one with the highest performance.
This can be anything from a webinar that recorded the highest number of attendees, an eBook that received the highest downloads, a blog post that was read or shared the most, or a video that received the highest number of views.
So take as much time as you need to scroll through your resource library and find that one content that you believe was the best performer. Don’t forget to repurpose the content into a downloadable file first before using it as your lead magnet.
5. Consider Providing A Bundled Package
Another way of improving the effectiveness of your lead magnet is by providing a bundled package. Many businesses are already using lead magnets to lure prospective customers, so you need to step up your game to stand out.
If your competitors are offering only one free resource, raise the stakes higher, and provide a package containing multiple resources in return for their email addresses. As long as all the free resources provide significant value to your visitors, you can expect your bundled package to generate more qualified leads than a single offer.
6. Offer A Lead Magnet In The Form Of Content Upgrades
Content upgrades are simply downloadable versions of the content they’re placed within. Here’s the reasoning behind providing content upgrades – that people who spend their time reading your content do so because they find it useful. Therefore, providing the same content in a more snackable form (i.e. in a PDF version) can be useful for your readers in the future when they want to refer to it.
Just to make things clearer, let’s assume that you have a post titled, “Your Ultimate Guide to Parenting Children with Autism” on your blog. What you should do is to create its PDF version, and include a link to it within the same post where your readers can download the file. The PDF version here is what you’ll offer as a lead magnet to your prospects.
It’s important to note that content upgrades are used mostly within blog posts. However, you can also include them within eBooks and other types of content. Using content upgrades often results in a higher conversion rate because they provide more context and convenience to the reader.
7. Offer High-Quality Content Always
Your free offer also has to be of high quality if you want it to perform well. Some businesses don’t invest enough time and effort when creating a lead magnet. Because the offer is free, they see no need to make it special for their prospective customers.
However, offering a half-baked magnet only ends up destroying their brand image and business. As if that’s not enough, most of the leads that such magnets attract usually don’t convert into paying customers in the end.
Because of this, you need to ensure that your content is valuable and of high-quality. Use the following points as a guide when creating content for your prospects:
a) Offer content that’s easy to read and digest.
b) Offer content that has high perceived and actual value, and is relevant to the needs of your prospects.
c) Deliver the exact content resource that you promised in your lead generation form.
d) Deliver your content in a format that your customers can access immediately.
e) Demonstrate your expertise in your content to give your prospects a sense that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
f) Don’t focus on trends to attract prospects because your offer will get outdated faster. Instead, you should make your magnet evergreen so it remains relevant and valuable over time.
8. Offer Appropriate Lead Magnets At Different Stages Of The Buyer’s Journey
This is another point worth paying attention to if you want your offer to convert highly. Certain types of lead magnets are appropriate only at certain stages of the buyer’s journey. What this means is that if you offer a free trial to a prospect who is in the awareness stage or a free eBook to someone in the decision stage, you’re most likely to get a low conversion rate. Why? Simply because these lead magnets aren’t appropriate at these stages.
Let’s discuss the different stages of a buyer’s journey in detail to give you a better understanding of what we’re talking about:
a) The Awareness Stage
This is the stage where prospective customers have just realized that they have a real problem they want to solve or a need they want to fulfill. Many customers here turn to Google to try to find a solution to their problems. Note that your prospects still don’t know you and your brand at this stage, so it won’t be appropriate to ask them to buy anything from you.
Your goal at this stage should, therefore, be to create and increase awareness about your products, services, and brand. Examples of lead magnets that do well at the awareness stage include videos, infographics, blog posts, eBooks, and other downloadable resources such as checklists, templates, tip sheets, and guides.
b) The Consideration Stage
The awareness stage is all about competition. Prospective buyers are through with their search and have a list of brands with products and services they believe can fulfill their needs. However, they haven’t made up their mind yet whether it’s your brand or your competitors’ brands that will satisfy their needs best.
This is a huge opportunity for you to offer content that will help nurture these leads and build a trusting relationship with them. The most suitable types of lead magnets to offer at the consideration stage include Frequently Asked Questions, case studies, webinars, comparison content, white papers, and demo videos.
c) The Decision Stage
Potential customers, at the decision stage, have assessed the several options before them and narrowed down to a few they’re convinced can provide solutions to their problems. They’re now ready to make a decision on which brand to purchase from. This is a good chance for you to convert these leads into long-term paying customers.
You can do so with compelling offers and call-to-actions, as well as the right content. Examples of content types that are recommended at this stage include free estimates/quotes, free trials, free consultations, live demos, coupons, and video testimonials.
9. A/B Test Your Lead Magnet
A/B testing or split testing, in simple terms, is an experiment whereby two different variations of something are compared to find out the one that performs better. This something can be an email copy, a web page, or a landing page. The experiment involves giving one version of whatever you’re testing to one group of users, and another version to a different group at random, and then analyzing the results to see which version comes on top.
When done the right, A/B testing can help you create better content, improve your user engagement, increase your conversion rate, and, ultimately, improve your sales revenues.
Different Ways To A/B Test Your Lead Magnet
A/B testing is very important if you want to know whether your lead magnets are working for your business or not. Here are a few A/B testing ideas worth trying:
a) Test Landing Page Designs
A landing page is a stand-alone page where you direct prospective clients and ask them to opt-into your email list in order to receive your free offer. Before you conduct an A/B test, you’ll need to create two unique designs of your lead magnet’s landing page first, and then give one design to one group of prospects and another design to the second group.
Analyze the performance of each landing page design in terms of traffic, conversions, clicks, etc. to know the one that performs better between the two. Go a step further and try to find out why one design performs better than the other before deciding to use it.
b) Stand-Alone Content Vs. Bundles Package
You can also test to see if a bundled package converts better than a single content resource.
c) Test Different Types Of Lead Magnets
If, for instance, you’ve been using mainly eBooks as your lead magnets, you could try offering other kinds of content such as infographics, videos, and checklists to see how your audience responds to them. Just makes sure you provide the right type of content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
d) Test The Size Of Your Discount
Lastly, if you’re giving a discount to your audience, try offering two different amounts to see which one leads to higher conversions.
These are some of the tips and strategies that different marketers use to boost the effectiveness of their lead magnets. Feel free to try them out until you find what works for you.
Three Types of Posts for Your Company Blog
The majority of brands now realise they need a robust content marketing strategy, and a company blog is a critical component within that. The following article explores some different types of blog posts to use.
It’s crucial to vary content to keep your audience engaged, and this piece will show you how.
Industry news and reaction
As stated, your company blog should be varied with the different types of content you use. Getting the balance right is crucial here. Your audience wants to be informed, so you should focus some of your attention on providing the latest news from your industry.
Keep in mind the intense competition in the marketplace for this type of content. Remember your competitors may be sharing the same news as you. Therefore, you also want to include some of your own commentary.
It’s crucial to pinpoint what this piece of news means for your business or how you are taking advantage of the latest industry trend.
Share your news
Another way to make your blog stand out is to include content that only you can write. The obvious example of this is sharing your own news. There are various ways you can do this, such as publishing a case study of the work you have done for a particular client.
An approach like this works well for marketing agencies; it’s not a hard sell but it does provide an opportunity to show what you can do.
There are other options as well, such as a report from a recent event of yours – you can even include video highlights or an interview you did. Always think about what your audience is interested in and which type of content they will engage best with.
Sharing good news makes your brand more personable and encourages engagement with your audience. Be careful though to avoid writing promotional posts regularly, and always look to add value through your company blog.
List-style evergreen posts
Latest industry and company news should certainly be shared regularly to keep your audience informed. However, one of the problems with this type of content is it only typically gains short-term views over a day or two when it’s fresh.
It’s also crucial to publish content that doesn’t age in the same way.
The best approach for this is list-style evergreen posts. To put it simply, this is content that stays fresh for months or even years after it is published. Again, ensure you are providing value to your audience by covering the topics they are most interested in.
Remember blog posts like this are fun to write, easy to promote and can be shared over and over again.
Content marketing is a significant trend and something most brands need to be involved in.
If you’re serious about this type of marketing, you will want to have a company blog that you update regularly.
It’s necessary to find the right balance with the content you publish, so this article has explored the topic in greater detail.
Remember to provide commentary on industry news, share your own news and create list-style evergreen posts.
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