20 Content Marketing Strategies in 2016 (Grow Your Business)8:21 AM
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“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” Napoleon Hill
Do you have a plan to grow your business in 2016? There are so many strategies and tactics being thrown around that it’s difficult to know where to focus for the best results. Content marketing strategies should be at the top of your list.
Content, SEO and social media are your most powerful tools to accelerate business growth.I’ve compiled a list of the most powerful strategies available to businesses who want to broaden market share, increase sales, and build an arsenal of winning tactics whose outcome is exponential growth.
20 Content Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2016
1. Create value with useful content.Blog content drives business growth. Businesses that blog regularly receive 77% more traffic and 97% more links to their site than those that don’t.
Useful content creates value for your brand in your target customers’ minds.
2. Leverage social media to connect, engage and drive leads.In this new era of relationship marketing, attracting target customers to grow your business is easier when you leverage social media.
There will be the needed manpower to manage your community and of course skills to engage them, but the payoff is that with over a billion users on Facebook spending 2 hours per day, social media is the channel to find new customers and drive leads.
3. Optimize your content for Search.95% of purchases begin with search. When you properly optimize your website and content for search engines, you’ll improve your ranking, provide evidence of trust and drive more organic traffic to your site.
4. Launch the awesome power of social advertising.Social ads turn visitors into customers. “Paid Social” promotes your content to your target audience.
- Create and publish useful content
- Selectively promote content on social media
- Build a remarketing audience by tagging site visitors with a cookie
- Apply behavioral and demographic filters on your audience
- Target your audience with social ads promoting offers
- Convert qualified leads into sales
5. Create more value with content offers.Premium content offers like ebooks and email courses generate 3 times as many leads as traditional “outbound” marketing…and it costs 62% less.
6. Get things moving with calls-to-action.With online marketing, as with most every other goal you’re trying to attain, you must ask people to do what you want them to do. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
70% of businesses don’t have calls-to-action on their homepage. This makes it almost impossible to convert visitors into customers. Guide your visitors to the places you want them to go so they’ll do the things you want them to do!
7. Convert visitors with landing pages.Is your marketing plan full-circle? It’s crucial that you examine your goals, design strategies, and execute tactics to reach those goals.
A proper marketing campaign offers visitors something valuable and guides them down the sales funnel.
Landing pages are tools used to guide would-be buyers. Provide a call-to-action and a lead form for them to complete. It brings them closer to the sale and you closer to your goal of growing your business.
8. Build your email list with opt-in forms.Like them or not, pop-ups work! Offer a free, super-helpful ebook compiled from a few of your blog posts in exchange for your visitor’s email address.
Building your email list is vital to growing your business. People who find value in your product or service want to hear from you. They may not be ready to buy but if they’re on your list, you can maintain a “love drip” of useful information so that when they are ready, you’re the one they choose.
9. Encourage employee engagement in content creation.
10. Boost sales with email marketing.Email marketing is consistently voted the most effective marketing channel. Every dollar spent on email marketing has an average return of $44.25.
But not all email marketing is created equal: content rules…again. Spice up your email marketing so much that your customers get excited about opening it. I’m not talking about the same old “direct mail” offers of the past (although many are still using this worn out tactic). Do something different that keeps them coming back for more.
11. Build, improve and promote your online reputation.67% of customers are deterred from doing business with you after seeing just three negative reviews. Develop an internal process to capture your happy, loyal customers’ feedback.
Work to improve your online reputation and promote your 4-5 star reviews on social media and your blog. Tell the story of how awesome it is to do business with you.
12. Think outside your comfort zone.There are so many cool new ways to deliver useful content to your would-be buyers. A lot of new options are available so think outside your normal sphere of content channels:
- Video social ads
- Video streaming (Blab, Periscope)
- Images/Photos you create
13. Master Social Customer Service.These are the facts:
- 87% of customer Facebook messages are ignored
- 71% of those who receive positive Social care are likely to recommend your brand to others
- Only 19% of those who don’t get any response are likely to recommend that brand
14. Build a home for your online community.Where do your customers prefer to spend their time? For most, it’s Facebook. Leverage the tools Facebook provides to build a home for your would-be buyers. Your Facebook page or group keeps you connected and engaged with those most likely to buy from you.
15. Provide social sales training to customer-facing employees.79% of salespeople who use social media as a selling tool outperform those who don’t. But this doesn’t happen on its own. Social Selling requires on-going training which establishes WIIFM (what’s in it for me) so that salespeople see the value in using social media to connect, engage with prospects and foster referrals.
16. Appoint a qualified Customer Experience Manager.Whether it’s managing your content, your website, your customers or your online community, you need someone who fits the bill to listen, monitor, respond, engage and basically nurture your customers.
The best Customer Experience Managers possess these attributes:
- Empathy & Patience
- Social Media Savvy
- Branding/Marketing Experience
- Ability to Recognize Leads
- Emotional Maturity
- Clear, Concise, Professional
- Ability to Resolve – Not Inflame
17. Cultivate social proof to instill credibility.88% of consumers trust reviews from other consumers (“people like me”) as much as they trust recommendations from personal connections.
Spotlighting customer reviews as social proof can increase marketing effectiveness by 54%.
18. Utilize marketing automation to nurture leads.It seems weird to think of the words “marketing” and “automation” in the same sentence, but using software solutions and technology to “automate” some lead-nurturing tasks saves time and it’s more effective.
Businesses who utilize carefully targeted messages to prospective buyers see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6-9 months.
19. Reward loyal customers.It costs 5 to 8 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
It’s difficult to foster and sustain customer loyalty in a world of untrustworthy messages coming at customers like a fire hose.
Focus your attention (aka: content marketing strategies) on keeping customers for life. How can you reward your repeat customers for their loyalty?
20. Address your internal Buy-in.I saved this one for last because it is truly the most difficult. In this “season of transition” there are a lot of naysayers to content marketing.
Employ these 5 tactics to mitigate resistance to change and open the gates to growth for your business:
- Consistent, helpful information. Provide the information that makes their desire to change greater than their desire to stay the same.
- Speak their language. The best way to convey the merits of something that’s seen as fringe is to use an analogous example or story that’s familiar to the audience or person. Today, most of us can’t imagine life without our mobile device. What once was a fringe idea, is now widely adopted.
- Numbers don’t lie. Buy in on change’s biggest obstacle is often a perceived financial burden. Collect and provide data to prove content marketing is viable.
- Address the emotional quotient. Humans are hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Understanding the emotions that come up for people is key to getting others to buy into change.
- Know who to shut out. Keep the Debbie Downers of the world at bay.