For many companies, “content” is an abstract idea. They know what it is, they know it’s important – but they aren’t quite sure what to do with it. (Basically, how I feel about NFTs.)
But great content is more than pushing publish on a quarterly blog post, rolling out a well-timed meme on social media, or sending an email blast. In fact, when used with intention, content can help your business drive real results that can help you not just achieve, but exceed your goals.
Here are a few ways you can use content to drive leads, encourage potential customers to make a purchase, and share business outcomes:
So you want high-quality leads
Acquiring leads can sometimes feel like herding cats. After all, people are digitally savvy and hyper-vigilant these days, especially when it comes to sharing personal information like email addresses – so leading them down the trusty marketing funnel is becoming more challenging.
However, with clever content that is fresh and appealing, you’ll be more likely to gain high-quality leads who are legitimately interested in your business and what it offers.
Try interactive content – and we don’t just mean giveaways (although those can be good, too!)
Think about how you like to spend your time online and what it takes for you to happily hand over your personal data. Giveaways are often people’s first thought – and they can be a great way to gain new leads and grow brand awareness. For example, if your company designs kitchen gadgets, you could hold a giveaway for a basket of goodies for new homeowners or people just learning to cook. Nothing wrong with that!
But there are options beyond giveaways – try building quizzes (Which kitchen gadget matches your baking personality?) or polls (Which cake reigns supreme?) that give people the ability to opt-in to receive communications from your brand. So long as you’re up-front and transparent with these pieces of content, you’re very likely to receive a whole slew of leads.
Try gated content – but not a paywall
If your company is sitting on a plethora of useful first-party customer data, then you are likely sitting on a content goldmine without realising it. Pro tip: put that data to use by deriving insights from it! Though you may need to enlist a content agency to help you with this (ahem ahem), you can use your data-driven insights to put together an engaging thought leadership series, an insightful white paper, or a juicy report – all of which are great ways to gain new leads.
To do this, tease out a few choice pieces of information and share them on social media or pitch them to targeted and trusted media contacts. These teasers should whet people’s appetite and leave them wanting to know more. Then, when they visit your website to get the info they crave, signing up for a free account, sharing their email address, or logging in using their Facebook or Google account won’t be a huge ask. Besides, if they want to hear what you have to say, they’ll likely be more than happy to hear from you again!
So you want to boost sales
The bottom line for every company is more sales. But figuring out how to get people to purchase your products is such a complex undertaking that there are entire industries and fields of study devoted to helping businesses do this. While splashy ad campaigns and high-profile celebrity endorsements can often get the job done, there are other ways to persuade shoppers to push “purchase” – and it often requires showing rather than telling.
Try partnerships with content creators – they don’t have to have millions of followers
The term “branded content” might leave you in a cold sweat – but trust us, you don’t have to shell out enough money to buy a house to have a successful partnership with an influencer. Instead, focus on who your target audience is and then look for online personalities who are part of that audience and have great engagement – which is not the same as the number of likes! (Psst: if you want help identifying the right creators for your brand, hit us up, we’re good at that!)
From there, ask the influencer for an honest review, in their own style and words. What they say needs to be genuine and authentic to resonate with their audience, so give them the space they need to do that. Once their post is up, boost it on your own channels and hopefully you’ll not only reach a new audience, but see an increase in sales, too!
Try highlighting your existing customers – and always credit them
If you’re not sold on branded content, you can turn to your existing customers for more organic content. Who says you can’t? Shout about great reviews you receive and share images your customers have posted with your products (but get permission first, and do credit them for their work). You can even interview your most loyal customers for a blog post or a video!
Get creative with formats – turn those plain-text reviews into eye-catching graphics, make some gifs, shoot a short video with your phone. With the array of apps and other tools available for content production, there’s a wealth of options to experiment with – test a few (or a lot) out to see what works best for your brand and audience.
So you want to share your great results
If you recently ran a kick-ass campaign, won a major award, or exceeded an exciting business goal, you can definitely share that information more widely than just your team at the office. You might even drive leads or boost sales because of it.
Try publishing a case study – it doesn’t have to be the length of a term paper
Don’t be intimidated by the term “case study” – this isn’t necessarily something you need to outsource. All you need to do is put together an explanation of what you were looking to achieve (including the challenge you tackled), the steps you took to reach your goal, and the great success you saw because of your hard work. Once it’s ready to go, you can share it on your website, on a microsite, or on your social media channels – whatever floats your boat! It really is okay to show off a little.
Try dynamic visuals – the more creative the better
If a case study isn’t for you, another way you can present your success is to illustrate it. Infographics are always a popular way to showcase data and insights, and they’re a great way to catch someone’s attention. But don’t feel limited! If you want to commission a webcomic, an animated video, or a documentary about how your team worked together to make an achievement happen, go for it – just don’t be afraid to share it.
Though “content” may seem like a very abstract idea, with a little bit of planning and a strategizing, your business can use different types of content – things like blogs, social media posts, long-form reports, and visual storytelling – to achieve results that will help your business grow and succeed. All you have to do is make it work for you!
If creating content feels like a crossword puzzle with no solution, we can help – give us a shout by emailing [email protected].