I’m of the firm belief that every business should have a solid content marketing strategy that consistently generates a stream of new prospects and customers for their products and services. Unfortunately there is still some confusion as to how to successfully implement such a strategy that gives you these exact results.
Unfortunately It’s Likely You Are Publishing The Wrong Type Of Content!
All too often companies continually publish news related content that doesn’t actually address the actual problems, issues and concerns faced by their prospects. It represents a massive missed opportunity. They have lost sight of the fact that people discovering their business online will only truly care about their latest news, once they see the business truly cares about solving their problem first. This is why I urge business owners not to dominate their home page with news. I promise you that news related content is best positioned a level down in your navigation menu bar, because when it comes to making first impressions count, it isn’t a priority.
How To Generate A Consistent Stream Of New Business
What counts online in terms of generating a stream of new prospects and customers, is your ability to quickly engage with new visitors by immediately answering all of their questions. This may seem an obvious statement to make, but I make no apologies for making it because it’s rare to see a website truly acknowledge this principle.
Typically your prospect will search for the answer to their question online, and once they reach your website only spend a maximum of 7 seconds on it to find their answer. This may seem like a short period of time but please consider how impatient you are yourself when it comes to searching online. You know from experience that a slick website design won’t cut it, if you can’t easily and quickly find the answer to your questions. This is why you need to take control of your own content marketing and extensively provide the answers to questions your prospects are searching on and asking every day.
It’s Time To Regain Control Of What People Are Saying About Your Business
The truth is too many companies are solely relying on third party review web sites to answer these questions on their behalf. I ask you why would you let the likes of Google+, Yell, Yelp, Open Table, Trip Advisor, Yahoo Answers, Facebook Reviews and Foursquare dictate what others think of your company! Isn’t it right that you should take control and answer these questions?
Imagine for one moment you are a restaurant owner in St Andrews, you can guarantee that visitors are searching daily on the following keyphrases in Google, Yahoo and Bing:
- What’s the best restaurant in St Andrews?
- Reviews of the top restaurants in St Andrews
- Best dinner menu in St Andrews
- Most child friendly restaurant in St Andrews
Would you agree it would make total sense for you as the restaurant owner to answer each one of these questions in the form of a fully search engine optimised blog post? Isn’t this better than allowing a third party review website like TripAdvisor to be the only one to offer an opinion.
That’s just four keyphrases out of hundreds searched on daily. I recommend you carefully consider and take note of every question you hear your prospects and customers ask you in person, on the phone, via email or online as a future blog post.
Each time you answer a question you need to be open and honest as you address the pros and cons. If not you can bet you will be found out as your prospects carry out their homework online searching for their answers to problems, complaints and reviews related to your industry.
Is Your Frequently Answered Questions Page Set Up Correctly?
It’s common to see a business take delivery of their new shiny website, happy in the fact that they believe the frequently answered questions (FAQ) page ticks the box when it comes to all of their prospects and customers’ questions being answered. This is so far from the truth, your FAQ page shouldn’t be one page but instead a page that individually links to many different questions and answers. This way you can easily search engine optimise each one using a WordPress plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast. I urge you not to put all of your answers on a FAQ page, you definitely need one answer per page.
Let’s Get Started With Your Content Marketing Strategy
Start now to consider the issues and problems your prospects are currently facing. What questions do they consistently ask you for guidance on? Within an hour you should be able to list at least 50 questions. These represent the next 50 articles for your blog.
As you set out the titles for your next 50 articles, please don’t ignore the elephant in the room, too many businesses hide their pricing. It simply doesn’t make sense to ignore your prices as you will only end up frustrating your web visitors
Let’s Talk About The Elephant In The Room!
If you don’t write a number of different blog posts about your costs, fees and prices people will feel frustrated and move on. Be confident in your pricing and justify them with the value you offer. Unless you are Walwart you don’t want to enter the race to the bottom by competing on price. Instead if you find it difficult to be exact with your pricing include a range of prices and show the reader what factors determine the variations. I’m sure everyday you have the same conversation in person with a prospect, and this is the very reason why it needs to published in a written form on your website. It’s time you lead the conversation online.
Make things easy for your prospects, you can guarantee if you don’t answer all of their questions they will easily return to Google and review all of your competitors.
Once you have created an in-depth post for each of these questions and many others about your products, staff, history, customer testimonials, special events, it’s time to write about your local community.
It’s Time To Think Out Of The Box
Apart from answering the questions your prospects ask you on a daily basis, there’s so many other ways to publish great content your audience. You should consider how to gain even further authority in your community by offering solutions to other problems your potential buyers are suffering from.
To get you started here are some ideas for a local business like yours. These suggestions will help you create evergreen content your prospects and clients will enjoy and share amongst their family and friends. In these examples I have used my home town St Andrews:
- 10 Must Visit St Andrews Tourist Attractions
- 7 Essential Tips For Parking In St Andrews
- 5 Ways To Have A Day To Remember In St Andrews
- 7 Local Websites Every St Andrews Visitor Should Know About
- 5 Tips To Choosing A Restaurant For Your Special Occasion In St Andrews
- A Day In The Life Of A St Andrews
- 7 Ways To Celebrate Christmas In St Andrews
- 5 Great Ways To Help The Local Community In St Andrews
- 10 Useful Facts We Learnt On The Fife Council Website
- 20 Amazing Facts About St Andrews
- 12 Annual Events Not To Miss In St Andrews
- The Top 10 Places To Listen To Live Music In St Andrews
- 7 Healthy Ways To Lose Weight Living In St Andrews
Your business needs to become the authority in your own marketplace and location. Previously I spoke about how you need to create a customer avatar so as you can think like your prospect and work out what’s on their mind. This is a great strategy for brainstorming even more questions you can answer as part of your content marketing strategy.
Don’t Forget To Post Reviews Of Your Competitors
You may feel it’s only customers who write reviews but that simply isn’t true. It’s time for you to start writing reviews. For example who better to review a restaurant than a restaurant owner!
Take the restaurant owner in St Andrews, they should be equipped to list the top 10 restaurants to eat at in Fife. Why leave this to a restaurant critic, give yourself the authority to educate your target audience. It goes without saying that you don’t include your own business in this type of review. You can rest assure your credibility and trustworthiness will go through the roof simply by posting the review. Furthermore your own business website will be inundated with new targeted visitors looking for more answers to their questions. You have just become the go to person. An article like this immediately gets shared on social media time and time again. Furthermore people will bookmark your site and Google will reward you with quality inbound links
Let me also point out this isn’t a time to bash your competition. In our example the local restaurateur will have a lot of positive things to say in reviewing the top restaurants in his neighbourhood. When you read a newspaper review they often summarise with the pros and cons. You should keep the negative comments factual. For example there may be limited car parking, but as a consequence you have the opportunity to explain the best solution to this problem. Or a restaurant might not be a fit for someone if they are vegetarian. Believe me when I say reviews are a great way to educate your market and become a local authority.
In Summary There Are 5 Issues You Need To Be Writing About
As you draft up your content marketing strategy and decide on the 50 – 100 posts you would like to publish over the next 12 months, I urge you to write about these 5 topics.
1. Your prices, costs and fees.
2. The problems and issues your website visitor needs resolving now.
3. The different product and service comparisons your reader currently being considering.
4. Reviews of others in your town and neighbouring ones.
5. Practical useful information that interests your local community. You should be the equivalent of a local magazine.
Cover all of the 5 topics extensively and optimise each one using Yoast’s SEO plugin.
Here’s My Promise To You …
If you do this in a real, unbiased and transparent way, I promise you 4 things will happen.
1. The reader will consider you a thought leader in your profession and in their eyes. As a result you will become the authority.
2. You will dominate your local search rankings because you are first person to finally answer the actual questions people are asking daily on Google.
3. You will leapfrog many of the third party review websites!
4. Website visitors will trust you, remain on your website longer and have no objection in calling you.