10 Content Marketing Tips To Boost Sales, Drive Traffic, And Earn Trust
Nowadays, it is increasingly hard to attract customers by simply telling them about your product. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing is able to engage the audience and make them loyal clients. Here are some basic content marketing tips you’ll find useful for your dropshipping business.
What makes content marketing different from advertising
Try remembering one of those billboards you often see along the road when going to work. What do you see there?
It is usually some kind of product or a happy person, a price or a discount, and of course a slogan or a call to action. It might evoke certain feelings like hunger, thirst, or the desire to buy something; it might be humorous or irritating, but there’s something that makes such ads different from content marketing. They’re useless!
For example, let’s imagine I sell sportswear. How do I promote my product?
I can use various types of advertising such as banners, paid search, or even TV commercials. Or I could start creating content related to sports, sports clothing, equipment, exercises, etc.
The difference is that the latter contains information useful for my potential customers. Thus, content marketing has two crucial features.
First of all, you create content for the audience (useful, entertaining, educating). My potential clients are the people who like sports and want new sportswear. Moreover, they must be interested in other topics related to this hobby.
Secondly, I put references to my products in this content since I want to kindle the audience’s interest in my sportswear. I do promote the product, but not directly.
Seems simple, right? However, efficient content marketing requires proper understanding of its methods and goals. Use these content marketing tips to work out a good strategy.
Content marketing tip #1: know your customers
Your ultimate goal is to convince people to purchase your products. Consequently, you must understand who these people are, what they value and what they want.
It seems self-evident, but many beginner entrepreneurs either want to target as many people as possible or fail to understand their customers’ real problems. As a result, their marketing campaigns either attract irrelevant audience or can’t offer a solution. In both cases, successful conversions become rare.
A good solution to this problem is building your buyer persona, or a description of your potential client. It contains all the relevant information (gender, age, family status, income, goals, etc.) as if he or she was a real person.
After that, you can regularly come back to this model to check if your content is really what this person might want.
#2 Understand the sales funnel
Now you know what people you are after. However, you can’t just grab them and sell your product, because most of your potential customers don’t even know about it.
Expert marketers use the so called sales funnel as a model of the key stages each customer passes on his or her way to the purchase.
People are already looking for a solution (they want new clothes, they need a new car, etc.), and your goal here is to tell them about your offer. So, this is when they meet your product for the first time.
Sometimes, a customer will buy your product immediately, but, in most cases, he or she will leave the decision for later.
At this stage, a customer is thinking over the options and comparing different offers. So, it’s time to tell about your product in detail – what makes it better than other options, what extra benefits the client can enjoy, etc.
Finally, your offer wins over the alternatives, and the customer is ready to buy the product. Your job is to make the process easy and simple.
However, your relationship with the customer does not end with the purchase. If you manage to offer customer support, additional services and products, or valuable advice, you can convince them to become your returning clients.
The idea of this content marketing tip is to provide your target audience with relevant content at each of these stages.
#3 Cover relevant topics
Again, this tip may (and probably will) seem obvious, but I want to make sure you really understand the essence of content marketing. Follow my thoughts.
You know who your potential clients are, know their goals and problems, and what stages they pass before they purchase from you. Now you can use the knowledge to come up with the topics that can interest the audience.
For example, if you sell paints, brushes, sketchbooks and other stuff for people interested in drawing and painting, you might want to cover these topics:
- Modern art and artists
- Drawing and painting techniques
- Tips from experienced artists
- Best tools for beginners
- Genres and their features
These are just several examples I sketched out. As you can see, they are all related to my products and might interest my audience, but I avoided irrelevant topics such as sculpture or poetry because i) it could attract irrelevant traffic, i.e. people who are not interested in my product; ii) these topics will hardly interest my audience.
#4 Optimize your content for search engines
Like it or not, but most of the information we find on the Internet comes from Google or other search engines. Therefore, even if you’ve created valuable content, your content can lose to a less informative page with better SEO.
So, do not ignore this stage. Read more about SEO in this article.
#5 Diversify your channels
Not limiting yourself to only one promotion channel is one of the most valuable content marketing tips you can get. The more channels you use, the larger audience you work with. Moreover, depending on your niche, you can adapt these channels for potential customers on different stages of your sales funnel.
For example, in most cases, social media groups will work best for raising brand awareness, while product videos on YouTube could convince the people who got interested in your goods to make the purchase.
#6 Write eye-catching headlines
While the headline of an article is a small part of the text, it is hugely important because this is the first thing a potential reader sees. The headline’s ability to catch the viewers’ eyes determines whether they will or will not read the post or watch the video.
Here is the list of headline formulas that have proved to be efficient:
- How to… – How to develop a great marketing strategy
- [Number] of ways / ideas / things… – 7 crazy ideas for winter vacation
- [Number] of mistakes most people do… – 10 mistakes most guys make on a date
- [Why] + [Unexpected / controversial fact / suggestion] – Why pop-ups actually don’t work
- Anything negative – Worst advertising campaigns ever!
Numbers work great; negative statements work even better. Make your titles short, but powerful, surprising and unexpected. And don’t forget to include keywords in them.
#7 Use visuals
Plain text is boring, so try using visual materials whenever you can. Add screenshots to your articles to visualize your statements, or even go for pictures with little or no meaning.
If possible, use videos in your marketing strategy as more and more users prefer this type of content.
#8 Post regularly
Google and other search engines like active websites and pages, i.e. the ones that constantly change. Same goes for your readers and viewers: if you like an article, you’d like to see more such content on the given resource. Therefore, you should regularly update your channels by adding new content.
#9 Update old content
Content gets old, fewer people can see it, and search engines begin to perceive it as irrelevant. Therefore, updating your content is a good strategy.
Since you don’t want to change your URLs, don’t include the year in it. This way, you can change the title (Best sportswear in 2019 >>> Best sportswear in 2020) but won’t have to change the URL.
However, it’s not only about dates! You want to keep the information in your posts and articles fresh, so fixing or adding a couple of paragraphs is useful too.
#10 Repurpose your content
Since you will most likely use different channels to promote your content, you can also repurpose it into another format.
For instance, if you’ve written a good article, which lots of site visitors liked, you could reformat it into a video, thus, showing the same content to those who don’t like reading.
Of course, repurposing will require serious adaptation to the new format, but it’s easier than creating something totally new.
Most important content marketing tip
Lastly, don’t expect this promotion method to bring results right away. Yes, content marketing is aimed at sales, but its immediate purpose is to build closer relationships with your audience and earn their trust. That’s why it takes time.
On the other hand, you can and should try new types of content, new channels and new topics to see what works and what doesn’t.