The Need To Touch Prospects Repeatedly With Content
As marketers we all need more visibility amongst qualified prospects. The challenge becomes, what can we do to make effective repeat views possible? A sale typically requires a series of steps and getting to the ‘next step’ requires repeat exposure!
When it comes to marketing, ‘out of sight is most definitely out of mind!’ Prospects are busy living their lives and they only buy when they’re ready. What’s more, they have filters – they research and they qualify us! Straight advertising campaigns often fall on deaf ears in an age where people have immediate access to information. It’s the reason ‘marketing through useful content’ is so effective. By providing valuable information to prospects on a repeat basis, we’re building a relationship on their terms. Information offered is less a sales pitch than a proactive effort to provide the answers, education and the assistance prospects require to develop trust. It takes time for people to get to know us, our brand and our value proposition; it takes time for them to develop the trust they require in order to buy!
The Content Marketing Distribution Checklist!
It’s an old rule of marketing that says a prospect needs to see or hear from us at least seven times before they buy. The ‘rule of seven’ is certainly not set in stone, but the idea of repeat views generally is!
- Plan Your Activity: it’s one thing to write a great blog post that will answer so many people’s questions, but another to do it often enough to remain ‘top of mind’. Remember: out of sight is out of mind!
- Search Optimize: It’s NOT hard to get content marked up well for search engines. Use the keywords that prospects search, use & tag images, embed video, leverage anchor links to related content, add ‘call to action’, offer social sharing opportunities, get Authorship verified, etc.
- Mobile: Let’s face it, people are using phones and tablets to read and search for your answers and information. At least be sure your content can be viewed on all screens. Options like responsive design are emerging to make content more and more screen friendly, but at least be sure content at least cooperates with mobile browsers.
- Recruit Social Shares: What can you do to recruit friends, colleagues and clients to Facebook share, Google plus one, Twtter retweet, etc. so that your content is spreading farther and wider?
- Email Direct: Contrary to what they say, email is NOT dead. Assuming there is a qualified email list, solutions like MailChimp offer code that supports ‘automating posts to an email list’ direct. And we ALL must offer a visitor the option to subscribe!
- Social Network: Where can we re- post and re- position our content in social networks? Get in the habit of re- leveraging content on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and all the other social networks that will have you and that have an audience!
- Hashtags: These are active feeds defined by keywords and a hashtag [ e.g. #longislandcity ] that you can join with relevant content. If for instance, you tweeted a new blog post, added ‘#thesubject’ then your tweet will automatically be added to that feed. Hashtag subjects exist like an ongoing stream of ‘subject specific consciousness’ (if you will). And it’s not just Twitter that uses them, all the major social networks have service for #hashtags.
- Local News Source: Sure they want you to pay for advertising. So does Facebook nowadays and paying for advertising is for another post, but many local news sources are offering a free area for local content.
- Yellow Page Listings: Why not leverage yellow page or directory listings that welcome your updates? Again, why not market your content wherever qualified prospects may be?
- Client Reviews: We recommend getting them at your Google Plus Local listing because it can support SEO and lots of visability, but others like Yelp have lots of traffic. Anywhere you can generate a good review is that much more potentially positive exposure for content.
- Track: You cannot improve what you do not track & measure. The answers to growth are in traffic analytics analysis, alerts and other measuring tools. Google Analytics, Google Alerts, free tools like TweetDeck & HootSuite (or more powerful paid versions of those like Leadify) become necessary to analyze, identify, respond and repeatedly follow through on qualified activity & conversations.
Discipline For Marketing Content Online
Success requires discipline and the cost of either our time or an investment in tools & support. Just consider the opportunity cost of a staff’s attention, planning, creative collaboration, analysis and what it takes to continually develop and market content and you can see the commitment required to succeed online. A website is your brand and where you capture leads the best, so invest in good (code) markup, design, navigation and lead capture that supports both search engines and people!