By: Lon Haenel – Vice President – Digital Media
Everybody loves a good story.
From primitive cave people, to first-century scholars, to renaissance thinkers, to modern day entertainers—much of our past is known today, thanks to the story.
That got me thinking. If everybody loves a story so much, how can we do a better job using “the story” to sell more stuff? Content marketing—or modern day storytelling—has come of age. Why? It simply is effective. Businesses have known for longer than the internet has been around that no form of advertising is more powerful than the testimonial. A happy customer singing the praises of great service, a good deal, or just a straight up great buying experience, is a great way to sell your stuff. Buyers demand great content. Put another way, content is king of the internet. A recent Act-On survey revealed why content marketing is so powerful. Of all buyers, 71% trust brands that provide relevant content without trying to sell something. In fact, buyers do their research. An alarming 70% of consumers read four or more pieces of content before making a purchase decision.
Purchasers have always been in the driver’s seat. That isn’t changing anytime soon. But consumers are doing more of the things online that they used to do offline. When researching, 78% use the internet to “shop” before they buy. 87% use a search engine to get them started. And, now, for the first time ever, mobile search has surpassed desk top search. In turn, it fuels the growth in search. Google and others have enjoyed an exponential growth in search. Between 2009 and 2012, search has grown 50% per year. Impressive. What is all that search doing for us? How many times have you found a product or service by researching a solution to a problem? It connects us to the content we want and need!
Does Google love content? You bet. Google is the #1 search engine on the planet. Who is #2, you might ask. Well, that’s YouTube- the #2 search engine on the planet. By the way, Google owns YouTube. Get the picture? Google loves content.
If you’re still not convinced that content is a powerful marketing tool, consider this. Content is the currency of the internet. The opportunity to publish content and tell a story gives local business the upper hand. Here are six reasons to consider leveraging content to make more sales.
- Improve search engine rankings – The more content you produce, the more likely you will be found by your prospects when they are researching your industry online. As long as you have a content marketing strategy in place, optimizing for specific long-tail keywords, you should see a significant increase in search engines rankings. Connecting your business to more shoppers results in more revenue.
- Best sales tool – A blog works for you 24/7/365, never calls in sick or takes a vacation. It also never flirts with the lady in accounting. Sell, sell, sell.
- Share you expertise – A blog is an excellent platform to showcase your knowledge and expertise. Use content to position your competitors. Do it to your advantage before they do it to you. With competition on the run, display your advantage and benefits, as well as how you’re connected to your community. People do business with people they know and trust.
- Answer questions – A blog is an excellent place to answer any/all questions you’re received in the past from customers and/or prospects. Add credibility to your content. Give yourself a voice- a powerful strategy in storytelling.
- Increase revenue – The more content you produce and promote, the more website visitors you’ll attract. The more visitors results in more leads and the more leads typically equals more revenue. Google isn’t the only one profiting from the web. Soon you will, too.
- Mass exposure – Your content is available for sharing, emailing, posting, and pinning. When members of your audience share your content with their like-minded followers, you open up another audience. Call it “audience cloning.” Almost like magic, your followers include your content in their friends’ newsfeeds.
Content comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors: web and mobile content, blogs, business listings, search engine optimization, social media content, and video. That’s a lot of content. Chances are you’re using many of these. But creating content can take a lot of planning, writing, and execution. When done properly, more buyers and prospective customers access your content online. When you’re generating great leads, foot traffic, and online orders, your digital marketing becomes less expensive—and a lot more fun.
You get all the credit, but you don’t have to do it by yourself. Grow your business by getting found more often. Stay relevant to customers looking for services and products you sell. Building great content and marketing your business online is a great way to sell, without pushy sales tactics. If just one of these ideas can help grow your business, we’d love to help.
Local Matters Digital Is Content
Local Matters Digital works with you to imagine and create meaningful digital content planning, writing, and execution. We specialize in blog writing, email marketing, social media, and video. We focus on small and midsized businesses. We’re a small business, too. So we understand you’re busy. Our clients are amazed by how little it costs to get started and stay moving. Local Matters Digital solutions are client-focused and are never one size fits all.
Every story should have a happy ending. Here is yours. Put the power of the internet and the strength of content marketing to work for your business. Get found and stay connected. Watch your business grow. Great content, great stories, your audience is waiting to ride off with you into the sunset.