The Washington Magazine

The Washington Magazine

Content Marketing: The Best Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out

Content marketing is one of the most reliable and effective ways to reach your target audience and turn them into customers. But if you’re in the dark about content marketing and aren’t sure where to start, you might be frustrated by how difficult it seems to get started or how confusing it can be to determine what works best. Don’t worry—we have all the answers! Read on to learn about some of the best ways to do content marketing successfully so you can reach your goals in 2017!

Begin with your buyers in mind

Great content marketing starts with knowing your customers—not just who they are, but what their problems are and how you can solve them. What types of products or services do they need? What kind of information would be most valuable to them? What type of media channels would they use? Once you understand these questions, determine where your buyers spend time online, how they interact on those channels, and what kinds of content is already popular.

Do proper keyword research

Before you even think about writing your content, look at what people are already searching for in your industry. Find topics that aren’t overly saturated and see if you can gain traction on those terms—for example, content marketing tactics may get a lot of search traffic, but it’s also a very competitive topic.

Create a call-to-action on every page of your website

A call-to-action (CTA) is a phrase, graphic, or button on a webpage that tells users what action you want them to take next. Creating CTAs that accurately describe what your business is offering and why users should take action is essential for driving website traffic and converting leads into paying customers.

Use you instead of we

When it comes to content marketing, you and your are two key words you should get used to using—and that includes on your website. Remember that, when you’re doing content marketing for your company, you want people to think of themselves first; if you mention yourself too much, though, readers might get turned off by your seemingly self-centered tone.

A/B test everything!

A/B testing is a tried-and-true way of generating fresh ideas. Simply put, you run two versions of an ad and collect data from each. Which ad generates more leads? Which one gets more social shares? A/B testing can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t—and save time and money in your content marketing efforts. What tools should you use for A/B testing? Try Landing Lion or AdRocket.

Always use an opt-in form

While there are a lot of people that don’t believe in opt-in forms, there is plenty of data out there showing that they work. People who opt-in are more likely to buy from you, so you should be asking for their email address (and not just hiding it somewhere on your website). People want things for free, but if you give them something valuable in exchange for their contact information and make your offer good enough, they will almost always take it.

Stuck? Write down your ideas then let them sit for 24 hours

Instead of trying to come up with an answer right away, write down your thoughts and then let them sit for 24 hours. This will give you some time and space to look at your ideas objectively. It also gives you time to ask people who may be able make suggestions that would never have occurred to you. Then go back and put together your post.

Always be building relationships

Building relationships with potential customers, vendors, and partners is one of the best ways to get new business. It’s also one of hardest things for many small businesses because it requires that you put in extra time and effort.

Invest in yourself and your business

Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to ensure your business success. It not only means furthering your education, but also getting an adequate amount of sleep, keeping up with current trends, and following industry news. All of these are important parts of being a successful entrepreneur, and by investing in yourself you can be sure you’re working toward attaining those goals.

Create lead magnets, ebooks, infographics, case studies and webinars

Lead magnets—such as ebooks, white papers, and checklists—provide a way for you to capture email addresses in exchange for valuable content. This helps you build relationships with future customers who may eventually buy from you. In fact, HubSpot reports that emails with attachments perform 135% better than emails without. HubSpot also found that click-through rates on links contained in emails have a 2300% higher conversion rate than those in Facebook posts or tweets.