Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Building Your Audience Through Content Marketing

Have you ever generated a big marketing push, spending hours on content creation that you hoped would move the sales needle, only to find that your hours of content creation went nowhere? Maybe you got an initial response, followed by the sound of crickets chirping. Does that mean the content itself failed? Well, maybe, but it more likely means that you didn't pursue a smart, effective content marketing strategy. Let's look at some basic aspects of content marketing so you can see where you might need to adjust your approach.

Hunting Versus Farming

We networkers use the phrase "hunting versus farming" to describe the careful process of establishing an identity and building trust with potential buyers, as opposed to just making a big splash and grabbing whatever instant business there is to be had. Think of the difference between holding multiple in-depth conversations with people and simply throwing business cards in every direction at a chamber event. Content marketing works the same way. By posting or distributing multiple pieces of relevant, meaningful content that reveals your mission, message, and ideals, you slowly but surely forge a bond between your brand and your target audience. This strategy could make all the difference between one big but short-lived "quick kill" and the creation of an ever-broadening base of repeat customers. 

Don't forget the power of referrals as they relate to content marketing. The more authenticity you establish, the more frequently your audience will share your content and recommend you to other interested parties.

Adding Value Through Relevance

What sets you apart from your competitors? Of course, you might just be better, faster, or cheaper than the other guys. But let's say you sell the same products and services, at the same price and quality level, et cetera. All other things being equal, what additional "special sauce" might you offer? Perhaps the answer lies in the quality and quantity of your content marketing.

Regular blog posts, videos, email articles, and other tidbits of genuinely useful information can provide legitimate added value. Think about all the times you needed quick, free advice or guidance on a particular subject. Chances are that you went online, did a search, found a brilliant video or article, and bookmarked the source of that information for future reference. Maybe you even came to rely on that provider as a trusted expert. That's the power of relevant content. The more helpful your content proves, the better the odds that your impressed, grateful audience will choose you as their go-to source for related products or services.

Reinforcing Your Image (With Variations)

I once fielded a query from a client who wanted to produce an email that would say everything there was to say about her company and produce a massive one-time response. I pointed out to her that (a) that level of information belonged in a landing page, not an email, and (b) content marketing works by feeding the audience small chunks of easily-digested content, one bite at a time.

Imagine how overwhelmed (or even annoyed) you'd feel if a company tried to ramrod everything you needed to know about them down your throat all in one go. Even if your potential customers welcomed that level of information overload, they'd probably retain only bits and pieces of it. So why not introduce those bits and pieces individually? With each new article or video, you can either expand on the piece that preceded it or introduce a new concept, building a complete picture of your brand over time without ever tiring, boring, or confusing your crowd.

Now that you know how to make content marketing work for you more effectively, all you need is the content itself. If you'd rather let an experienced freelance copywriter take that burden off your shoulders, contact me today!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Content Writing for Email Drip Campaigns: 3 Key Points

If you're like the average businessperson, your contact lists, email boxes, CRM platform, and business card holders contain a wealth of prospects, some of whom might quite willingly be converted into customers if they encounter the right marketing content at the right time. Unfortunately, not everyone reads blog posts or peruses online videos as voraciously as you might hope, cutting off possible paths to pursuasion. But don't throw in the towel just yet, because those same folks probably check their email just as regularly as you check yours. That gives you a golden opportunity to grab their attention, build their trust, and influence their buying decisions through an email drip campaign. Let's take a look at three key points you should absorb if you want to put the power of email marketing to work for your organization.

1. A Drip Campaign Involves Multiple Touches

Yes, in an ideal world you could send out one earth-shattering email article or sales message that would sparkk an instant firestorm of purchases or requests for further information. But in case you haven't noticed by now, we don't inhabit an ideal world. A traditional sales rep might have to knock on the same door or call the same prospect on the phone time and time again before getting a response. A successful email marketing campaign relies on multiple touches, with emails sent out on a regular, recurring basis until your respondents either capitulate or filter you into that electronic Twilight Zone cornfield, the spam box.

Of course, it doesn't make much sense to send the exact same email article or message to the same people over and over. In a drip campaign, you send out a series of email messages, with each email message building on the impact of the previous one by explaining some additional aspect of your products or services. Eventually the cumulative impact of these multiple touches finally sways the recipients to respond.

2. Cold Emails and Warm Emails Call for Different Approaches

If you want to mount a successful drip campaign, you need at least two sets of email messages -- one for cold prospects, and the other for warm prospects. Cold email messages don't presume any actual interest on the recipient's part, at least not at first. You might start with a friendly greeting that introduces your company and includes a casual call to action such as, "I'd like to tell you more about how we can help you. Please contact me and let me know when we can set up a chat." Subsequent emails address various problems you solve or features you offer, always closing with a request to communicate.

Once a prospect actually responds, that prospect "graduates" from your cold email list and starts receiving your warm emails. These messages can go into much greater informational depth and detail because you already know the prospect is at least slightly interested. Your calls to action can get a little more aggressive at this stage as well.

3. Email Content Should Intrigue, Inform, and Compel

What kind of content should you pack into your drip campaign emails? Well, as noted above, the warm prospects get more content per email than the cold ones. Generally, however, even the cold emails should point out this or that specific problem that your business helps its customers overcome. The warm emails can include the same kind of content you'd normally create for blog posts. At this point, you're composing mini-articles that can include case studies, industry statistics, and other information likely to hold your recipients' interest. By the time you've cycled through your entire set of warm email messages, you should start getting results as long as you've aimed the right content at the right people.

If creating all that email content sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. The good news is that you don't actually have to do it yourself or tie up your marketing team with it -- not when you can hire a skilled, experienced freelance copywriter. Contact me today, and let's capture your target market's attention!