Inbound Marketing AKA Content Marketing. THE Blueprint You Need To Gain More Customers
21st February 2018
Business owners looking to attract new leads and sales always look to paid advertising. Businesses are brainwashed into thinking that they need adverts to get customers. While this is partly true we’ve proven time and again with our clients that there is also another way. A very effective and if done correctly, cheaper way too. Not only is it cheaper once you’ve set it up it keeps on working for you for free!
In this post we’re going to lay out a blueprint for inbound marketing (content marketing as it’s often called) that will skyrocket your website visitor numbers and with a little push from Facebook dramatically increase your sales and leads. Not just right now but for months and years to come.
We’re going to show you something that will change your perception of marketing and the way you look at getting customers forever. This is a much more sustainable marketing strategy and it’s got no on-going monthly costs after the initial cost of production.
It’s a monster blueprint to success at over 4000 words so stick with it. When you get to the end you’ll have everything you need to get started and create an endless flow of new visitors to your business website.
Lets look at what happens to your website visitor numbers when content marketing starts working.
In the beginning there were ads, lots of ads…
Traditional marketing for most businesses revolves around paid search (Google Adwords) and social media and it has done for many years. These are great vehicles to attract potential customers and will give you an instant boost of traffic to your website but if you turn off the ads your traffic turns off too. Pay per click (PPC) marketing works, but it’s not as cost effective as inbound or content marketing.
You may have a sales team in addition to advertising that cold calls or warm calls your existing clients. That’s massively effective but also extremely to purchase data and employ sales people. Not to mention it’s also very hard work. People hate being sold to and it can have a negative effect on your business if you annoy your customers too.
What if existing customers you already have and new prospects you don’t know actually emailed you, and asked for proposals and quotes rather than you having to chase and find them?
Inbound marketing can do that for you and increase the leads and sales your business generates 10 fold and more. The best part though is it will keep on working when your sales people have gone home and your ads are turned off!
Would you like to have a machine that automatically brings you customers? Of course you would.
Why Content Marketing Works
Think about what YOU do when you want to buy something or learn how to do something.
Think about WHERE you go to perform research into products or services you are about to buy in your personal life or for your business. The world changed when Google arrived and it hasn’t looked back since.
We all search on Google, for everything, and that’s not going to change any time soon.
People don’t react to adverts as much as they used to.
We are smarter and better equipped than ever to find out information we need to make a buying decision ourselves. If we want to buy a new car, sofa, computer or anything these days we’ll look online for reviews. If we want to hire a trades person we’ll go to checkatrade or search on Google for people near us. We’re desensitized to adverts now and our brain is trained to ignore them online in just the same way as we make a coffee or pick up our phone or tablet when the adverts come on TV.
When people want to buy a product or service the start performing research.
Content marketing gives them the information they are looking for while letting them know you exist.
You solve their problem with information while also subtly telling them you can help
You don’t advertise to potential customers YOU HELP THEM!
Your customers have problems that need solutions. Your business provides solutions for them. When we are researching for products or services though we’re not necessarily looking to buy. We’re looking to find a solution to our problem. What we want is someone to provide the solution to our problem NOT TO SELL US THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE even if that is the solution and they just don’t know it.
Right now you’re reading this post because you want to get more leads or sales for your website or business. Have we sold you anything yet? No, we’re simply providing you with a solution we know works. Hopefully by the time you have read this you’ll understand all about content marketing, how it works and what you need to do to implement it into your marketing strategy.
We will have solved your problem. If however you need a little more help at the end we can assist you further but we’re not selling anything here. We’re telling you how to do it. Some people are lazy, some don’t have enough time to implement new things and we’re here to help them but what we want to do with content marketing is provide a solution. That’s the key to why it works. You’re readers are happy by the time they have read your content and got their solution. If they want to employ someone you are top of the list because you helped them.
This is called Inbound Marketing and the time to start using it is NOW. Basically it’s getting great content published on your website that helps people and provides solutions to problems.
Inbound Marketing is all about ATTRACTING your audience to you instead of pushing your product on them.
Inbound Marketing is all about creating content that will help your target customer – Answering their questions, solving their problems, and starting a relationship.
Once the relationship starts, they will begin to trust you as an authority and be curious about what solutions you have that can solve their problems.
They like you, they know you, they trust you, and then they buy from you.
Here’s the EXCITING part. This is how it works.
The 5 Step Blueprint to Content Marketing Success.
There are 5 steps to go through when you execute your content marketing strategy. PLUS a bonus step that will speed everything up. It’s incredibly simple.
Step 1. Identify problems your target audience (potential customers) are having.
First we need to know what our customers are likely to be searching for on Google.
There are 3 main ways we’re going to come up with our list of problems to write about which use our experience, a little spying and finally a clever little thing called Google.
FIRST – What do you get asked for. Pick the obvious ones.
There are obvious search terms which are the core keywords we want to rank for. For us it’s things like “web design company in Worthing” and such like. We offer lots of services based around SEO and marketing too and deal with customers nationally so there are literally hundreds of phrases we can think of.
Things like “how to get more traffic to my website”, “best way to market an online store”, “how do I buy a domain name” etc… You get the idea. These are questions we’ve been asked hundreds of times over the years so it stands to reason our customers are asking Google too. Your experience will always be the number 1 source of questions and answers. Think of what you do every day, what tasks you perform, what customers ask you when you give them a quote etc…
Now brainstorm this for 10-20 minutes and I bet you’ll have at least 10 core burning questions/problems you can solve for people.
SECOND – Spy on the competition. What are they up to!?!?!?
You will have competitors in your industry and industry leading companies. The big boys in your industry that everyone wants to be. Well I can bet you some of these are already doing content marketing and running a blog. If they aren’t then you’ll have governing bodies or other resources that will publish content.
Google the top 10 keyword phrases you think people would type to look for a company like yours. Visit the top 10 sites on each of these results pages and see if they have a blog/news/resources section.
Now bookmark all of those and spend the next hour going through their blogs and copying all the cool headlines you can see. You’re going to find tons of problem solving pages there. If you’re lucky and have lots of big players in your industry, after an hour or two you’ll have 100+ subjects to write about.
Now we’ve got lots of subjects and problems and we just need to write the content to educate our site visitors and solve problems for them. If you want to, the easiest way to write the content for these particular subject ideas is to copy what you find on the websites you got the ideas from. You can’t copy it word for word as Google hates duplicate content and won’t even include it in search results. But, you can read it one paragraph at a time and then re-write it in your own words. That way you have 100% unique content and they’ve done all the hard work for you in coming up with the article!
THIRD – Use Google predictive search to find out what people are looking for.
This is a goldmine! You’ve probably seen it and used it but never given a though to what it actually is. Google predictive search actually SHOWS YOU the top searches being performed around the words you’re typing into the search bar. It’s absolutely genius if we do say so ourselves.
If you start typing any search query into Google it will show you the most common searches around what you are typing. These are the actual searches your potential customers are performing so we need content to help them find our website when they search.
Take a look at the example below for wood flooring and you’ll see what we mean. If you are a wood flooring supply or fitting company or even a home improvement style company, you can write a piece of content about “wood flooring in the UK”, “How to find wood flooring near me”, “Wood flooring on sale”, Wood flooring underlay” (types available, how to lay it etc…) and the list goes on.
If you type all the products and services you provide in there along with what your customers ask you for on a daily basis you’ll have the EXACT searches they are performing. This is GENIUS and this alone can give you 100+ ideas for great content that will both educate, solve problems and more importantly attract visitors for you.
If you go one step further and enter 3 words you get even better ideas for searches being performed. Look at the results below. They are practically giving you the titles of your content to be added to your website. Thank you Google. People want to know about the pros and cons, prices, best ones for dogs, hardnesses and so on. With just one keyword entry there we’ve come up with 4 awesome articles we can write that people are searching for. That’s a months worth of content in one search. You get the idea here. There’s an endless supply of content you can write but these are the ones Google KNOWS people want, so use them.
Step 2. Get articles written about these problems offering a solution. Even better multiple solutions.
So we now have a huge list of titles for content we need to add to our website so we can give our lovely potential customers the solutions they are looking for and attract them to our website. All we need to do now is write all the content.
Not everyone is a budding Shakespeare and awesome at writing so you have two choices here. Either sit down and open up Word so you can start plugging away or find someone to write the articles for you. More on that later though.
The key to good content writing is both length and making it what we call “evergreen” or “cornerstone” quality content. Evergreen and cornerstone content refers to things that are both massively informative and also never go out of date. This is the best content you can write as you can have it on your site in 5 years and it’s still relevant.
If you write about the latest fashion in wood flooring in 2018 by 2019 it’s out of date. If you write about the best wooden flooring types for period properties however that will still likely be relevant in 10 years time. It can keep on pulling in visitors and being informative for years. That’s why we call it evergreen.
The length of the articles you write is also hugely important. You can’t just write a quick 200-300 word article covering the problem and solution and expect people to be satisfied with that. Yes, occasionally it might work but Google loves big content and likes to rank what it thinks are informative pages, higher than a little 2 paragraph post on a blog. You need to be informative and blow their socks off with detail so they know you are the person they need to talk to about this. As a bare minimum your articles should have 500 words but for real good quality evergreen content that will blow them away shoot for 1000-2000 words with nice images in too.
This post took around 3 hours to research, plan and write and we’re up to about 4000 words. This is an exception and 2000 would suffice maybe but Google’s going to love this and we’ll rank high for a lot more searches with double the amount of text in our article. More importantly though by the end of it you’ll have no doubt about how content marketing works, and if you want help with it hopefully we’ve shown you we know what we’re talking about, and you’ll at least give us a call!
Step 3. Publish the articles on your website.
This goes without saying but it’s an important step so we couldn’t leave it out. Besides we wanted 5 steps!
One thing to note here is that you need to make sure you have a catchy headline that includes the search terms you want the content found for in Google. Also you need to use proper H1, H2 and H3 formatting in your content. Google likes to know what the important parts of the text are and the H tags tell them just that.
Also make sure you use good imagery throughout so it doesn’t look like a big boring book, and name the images correctly too with keyword rich names. This is basic SEO stuff which your web people will know about anyway. We like to uses memes as there are always funny ones to demonstrate a point and add a little humour to an article.
Step 4. Promote your awesome new content your existing customers and potential new once through email and Facebook.
OK so this is the secret sauce. Where the magic happens. Why we’re doing all this in the first place. etc… etc…
Great content is just pixels on a page if you have nobody reading it. We’ve lost count of the amount of times customers have said they do content marketing and point us to their blog with 2-3 nice posts per month on it. When we ask them for their Google Analytics information and look at how many views it gets, well you probably know the answer.
YOUR CONTENT NEEDS TO BE SEEN TO BE USEFUL!
So we’re going to achieve 2 and possibly 3 things in this step.
FIRST – LETS EMAIL OUR CUSTOMERS. We’re going to send an email to all our existing customers (if we have some, but don’t worry if you don’t) and we’re going to tell them we’ve got this great article that’s really helpful. If you have a new business, or one that has one-off sales and only one service or product, then this step may not be relevant but if you do have an email list, I bet you’re not using it much.
This is the perfect opportunity to get back in touch and offer your customers something interesting. If it’s relevant to them great, if not they’ll just ignore it. Either way you just popped back into their mind. Maybe they’ll be looking for what you do again soon or possibly a friend or family member was talking about what you do. The point is it can’t hurt to get in touch with your existing customer base every now and again can it.
Every time we write an awesome article we’re proud of we’re going to email a link to it out to our customers. You don’t have to do this every week but definitely make sure you’re in touch at least once a month. If you publish 4 pieces of content a month just pick your favorite or the one that will reach the largest audience.
SECOND – WE’RE GOING TO POST IT ON FACEBOOK & SPEND £10 BOOSTING IT. This is the bit where you say “oh now it’s costing me money” and start to switch off. Well, just wait a minute and hear us out, we’re only talking about £10 here not a bank loan.
If you haven’t tried any Facebook marketing yet then this will open your eyes to a goldmine when it comes to a content marketing strategy. If you have tried Facebook ads you didn’t try just helping people did you? You tried to sell something in your ads and they didn’t work well, if at all. Go back up the page and re-read the bit about us all becoming blind to advertising.
Now you may well be here because you clicked on a little ad in your Facebook timeline saying something like “How to increase your website visitors every single month“. Notice how we didn’t say you had to buy anything and so far we’ve not tried to sell you anything either have we.
If you’re this far down the article we’ve done a great job of educating you as to how you can achieve exactly what that ad said on Facebook. We’re just offering you some advice/help to solve a problem you have. These types of ads get 1000 X more clicks than ads trying to push a product or service onto us. All we’re saying is “hey, got a website? Want to know a simple way to get more visitors?”.
Nobody can really answer no to that question so why wouldn’t they click it, doesn’t cost anything to take a look. The next thing that people love when they arrive here is we don’t want your email to deliver you a PDF so we can bombard you with emails selling our products. Sure you can signup if you like but we’ve giving you this blueprint and content absolutely free. Giving information in exchange for an email does work well but giving it for free and educating works virtually 100% of the time.
Now we’re not going to go into fine detail about how to create Facebook ads. That’s a whole other post in itself but it’s pretty straight forward. You basically setup your ad graphic, choose who to target based on their likes and interests and create the text for the ad. You are guided nicely by Facebook when setting them up and there’s a handy guide here too.
The important part about the Facebook ad section here is YOU ONLY SPEND £10 boosting that post on Facebook initially. Our goal here is to put this ad on Facebook in front of as many relevant people as possible and see how they react. If you get lots of clicks and your Analytics tells you people are spending time on the page that’s great. If the phones ringing or sales are coming in from it (look up Facebook conversion pixels) hey, we’ve got a winner. If it’s not engaging and not working from a sales point of view we’ve lost £10!
The £10 spend rule is there to perform an experiment to see if this article helps us grow our enquiries or sales. If it gets just one sale or phone call we know we’re onto a winner. The next step should be obvious. Repeat with a bigger budget and see what happens. We’ve found 3 core articles really hit home with our readers and those we spend £100’s on every month, answering burning questions and generating new enquiries.
So what if the article did nothing? Well that’s going to happen. The worst case scenario here is we’ve spend time on our article and £10 seeing if it will generate business. On to the next one.
We now have an awesome piece of content on our website and that is now being indexed by Google to be included in the search results for our problem and solution. It won’t happen over night but that article that didn’t bring home the bacon on Facebook is going to start generating visitors to your website from Google search results. We’ve got a salesperson now working for us 24/7 and over time he’ll bring in something. He always does.
Step 5. Offering your readers a “done for you”, paid solution.
So this is the nitty gritty end of the post. In a minute we’re going to let you know we can do all of this for you for a small fee and take it all of your hands.
Your articles are going to do the same thing to your potential customers in some way too. It could just be a line at the end that says “if you are interested in WHATEVER THIS IS ABOUT then call us or email us”.
It could be more complex than that, you can tag a detailed description of a service that provides the solution to the problem you initially attracted the visitor here to solve. It can also be as simple as just having the customer on your site, and them clicking onto another page to find out more about you. You have proven your an authority on this problem now, so why wouldn’t they get in touch with you if they need help.
The point here is you’ve attracted a visitor who has a problem and you’ve given them the information they needed or the solution they were looking for. Now you’re simply saying “hey, we can help you if you need it” and nothing more.
There is no hard sell needed at this stage. Your content has proven you know your subject matter and the customer reading it knows that. You don’t need to sell anything to them. They either now want to do whatever it is themselves or they want help. All we want with content marketing is to help people, become authoritative in our industry and let them know we’re here should they need us.
Job Done! It just works.
Step 6. (OPTIONAL) Boost your posts up the search results in Google with SEO link building.
OK now we mentioned secret sauce earlier. This is the secret sauce on top of the secret sauce.
This newly published, great article on your website has the potential to be found for 100’s of what we call “long tail search terms” which can generate 1000’s of visitors for your website every year. Long tail search terms are the most commonly used on Google. They are the 4-5 word phrases we all type in on a daily basis and as our content is so rich with keywords around our subject we’ve got loads of them on our website in our new content.
These long tail search terms are really, really, really easy (I know they’re really that easy) to rank high on Google for, it’s almost criminal not to try. With just a small amount of link building activity pointed towards your articles you can get them rankings in a matter of days or weeks. Because Google tries to find exact matches for your search term first there is a lot less competition for long tail search terms. They make up well over 50% of daily searches so it’s so important we show Google OUR content is what it needs at the top and not other peoples.
The way we do that is by building links to our content to show Google other websites rate it. Each link is a vote for our content and that in turn boosts our rankings for lots and lots of search results.
Now, this is an optional step, but if you want to make sure every piece of content counts then it’s an investment that can pay you back 100 times over. You don’t need to spend £1000s building links either. These are low competition search terms we’re after here so 5-10 good quality links often starts the ball rolling, and traffic will start arriving very soon. Your content if it’s good, will naturally gain more links and the snowball effect happens from here.
If you can handle everything on this page yourself, but the link building is beyond you, we can help. CLICK HERE to take a look at our in-content link building packages which are usually all that is needed to rank content for long tail search terms. One of those packages each month spread over all your latest content will work some serious magic!
Ready to get started?
Everything above can be done yourself as we’ve said and the best way to do it is to put aside 4-8 hours a month in one go and get all the content you want written, then drip feed it out on a weekly basis to your website. Email your customer list if you have one, setup your Facebook ads to test your new contents effectiveness and follow the blueprint. Four articles a month is a good starting point but the more you write the more chance you have of attracting visitors, potential customers and sales.
Want Some Help?
This is the bit we told you about. If you need help we’re here. If you can handle this yourself, go forth and maketh your millions. 🙂
Not everyone has the writing skills to do this, or the time to put in so get in touch if you need help and we’ll put the whole thing on auto-pilot for you. You can have the whole process from start to finish outsourced and just sit back and watch the results.
We started our content creation service to help time poor customers actually get it off the ground.
We can also boost your written content (step 6 above) with SEO link building , while also handling the Facebook ads too.
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