Most businesses think of content marketing as a way to generate new leads online and initiate conversations. But good content marketing strategists know that the practice can do more. Use your content to nurture customer relations even after the sale.
Content marketing takes planning, strategy, meaningful content and a budget. Are you doing these five things to interact with customers via content marketing?
1. Attract subscribers. If you promise regular, meaningful content, you must deliver on the promise. If you deliver, you'll grow your list of subscribers. Re-tool your printed documents, brochures, and other pieces to use on the web. Various software programs are available to convert PDFs to web or create an online magazine. Content can include articles about your industry, tips on product usage, news on new products, community events, positive outcomes, the latest research, news and information that pertains to your business.
Check out options for digital publishing software, PDF to flipbook, e-commerce catalogs and Native apps for iPhones and Androids like epaperflip (14 day free trial, one-time fee for app development), Publitas (free for one month, then monthly plans ranging from $10-$99), LucidPress (free to sign up, plans ranging from $7.95-$40 a month) and Joomag (basic tools for free, plans ranging from $15.95-$95.95 a month).
2. Use customer testimonials. One of the best affirmations of your quality, product and service is a recommendation from an existing customer. Seek customers who have had a positive experience and ask if they'd be willing to share their story with other potential customers.
3. Survey for quality. Interact with customers by asking about their experience with your business, conduct research on trends and tastes for new product or service development, and keep your finger on the pulse of your market through surveys. Check out sites like SurveyMonkey, which offer free survey options or upgradeable options.
4. Podcasts and videos. What is worthy of a podcast or video? Think of expert interviews, how-to videos, tutorials and product demonstrations. Then think beyond that. People visit YouTube to watch videos for information and entertainment. Tell stories, channel humor, and be visually interesting. Read up on best practices to specifically target your content creation.
5. Community forums. Encourage participation in your content using community forums. Spark lively discussions, encourage responses, be a part of the community's conversation, and suddenly your content is truly interactive and useful. One caveat: plan to assign a representative to watch over the forums to direct the focus and remove any obscene, offensive or unrelated topics.
Marketers are responsible for about 57% of a sale. Today's business buyers (or consumers) don't contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete, leaving your potential profits at the mercy of your company's reputation in the industry and the impression it makes to online visitors. Quality content marketing, either done in-house or outsourced, is vital.
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