Hi folks! Welcome to the latest installment of Exclusive Concepts’ Your Daily Concept: Get Smarter Every Day.
It’s Wildcard Friday, and I’m your presenter Ché.
Last week, I attended a Search Marketing Now webinar that focused on using content to market your business. The SMN webinar was led by Joe Pulizzi, an industry-leading authority on content marketing. Today we’ll discuss some of the principles covered and review some of the advice he provided during the presentation.
Snaps for Ché
Ok, so maybe the title of this slide is a little ridiculous. That being said, I’ve given you a lot of advice about your SEO content strategy, and it is always great to hear some reinforcement. Some of the major points that Pulizzi discussed did just that.
Now, this may sound harsh, but it’s an unfortunate truth that businesses must accept in order to improve their site copy. Allow me to rip off the band-aid –You are the only one who cares about your ad copy. There, I said it. I say this not to be a big, bad copywriter, but because the sooner you accept this, the sooner you will be able to devise content that they will care about. So many businesses write “we” this and “our company” that; it reads like an ad and with advertisements literally flying in people’s faces all day, the last thing they want is for their Google search query to pull even more ads. I know you probably want to shout from the rooftops all the great services your business has to offer, but refrain.
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So what’s the solution, and how does one go about writing compelling content?
- The first step is to take the focus off you and your business and place it on customers and their needs. I’ll say it again – focus on the customer. Stop focusing on selling, and, ironically, you will probably sell more. Tell the customer why you, your business or your products are the solution to their problems. Answer the question “what’s in it for them?” When employing this strategy, subtlety goes a long way.
- Write something useful – this goes along with showing them how you’re the solution to their problems. What are some tips for using their product, what’s the profile of a customer your business serves best, (for hardware applications) how would the customer install your product, etc. Instead of making the customer go find resources for information that can answer their questions, you be the resource. It will position you as an expert and it creates trust, which, in turn, ups your chances of being the company they choose.
- If your product is pretty basic, or if you have exhausted all the useful information you can think of, use your writing to entertain them. Heck, even if you are following the above suggestions, use your content to entertain them. If people are entertained, they will read more and they will remember your business.
- The next thing to keep in mind is that your content should be the BEST out there. If it’s the best, potential customers have no reason to go elsewhere. This also contributes to positioning you as an expert, and it will instill brand loyalty in customers. Hey, if you think your content just has to be “good enough,” that’s your prerogative. Just know that they will find the site that set out to be the best, and you might lose business. If you set out to be the best, and really take strides to ensure that happens, you’ll be the one to beat.
- Follow these suggestions, and develop a unique voice that is all your own. Creating this voice is the best way to set yourself apart, and you will endear your business to people.
This is all information we have discussed before. If you need in-depth information or if you would like examples for these tips, see my previous posts and videos.
The BEST Process
When writing copy, Joe Pulizzi recommends following his B.E.S.T. Model. The basics include:
- B, which stands for “Behavioral,” reflects the behavior of the audience. Without understanding this, you cannot write content they will find meaningful or useful, and you definitely can’t figure out what type of content they would enjoy. Writing funny, quirky content for the CEO of a Fortune 500 financial company probably won’t resonate the way it would for a younger audience.
- E is for “Essential.” The content should be essential to them and their needs. We have already discussed this concept.
- S stands for “Strategic.” Do not employ a “one size fits all” content strategy. Your audience can likely be broken down into different groups. Break your audience down by buyer persona, and learn as much as you can about each persona. Find out where they’re hanging out online, what blogs they use, what resources they prefer, etc. Once you see what they like and dislike about your competitors, you can use that to…
- T, or “Target.” Target each content group separately. Not all content caters to the needs of an entire group of customers, so write content that caters specifically to what you’ve learned about each group. This will ensure that a higher percentage of people find your content compelling.
While watching the webinar, I thought this was a really great summary of how to get started on your content strategy.
The BEST Process:
Here is the example he gave of a site that has followed this example well:
This is Proctor & Gamble’s site. It’s not a blog, but a site that provides home tips on organizing, gardening, cooking, decorating, etc. Seriously – read it. It provides useful tips and advice for the home and for simplifying life. They do not use the site to sell their business or their products. As far as I can tell, they do not have a cart. It has a lot of content that is useful and easy to read. It is laid out in a way that is quick to skim and easy to take away useful tidbits.
“But Ché,” you might ask in frustration, “why would they take the time and energy to do this?” I’ll tell you why. It widens their customer base. Whether people are looking to buy their products or not, Proctor & Gamble reaches a wide audience of people who are interesting in making their home life simple (which is what their products do, presumably). They have the logos of their products strategically placed on the page, but not obnoxiously so, and I’m sure they have few qualms about “recommending” products to help people with the advice they give. This very conveniently shows the customer why they need some Dawn or a Swiffer without saying in bold print “BUY THIS SWIFFER! BUY DAWN!!!” They reach that conclusion on their own after reading through the site.
All Hail King Content
So the moral of the story is to provide relevant, useful and compelling information for your customers, or just plain ‘ole show them a good time. One thing that we (here at Exclusive Concepts) say all the time is that Content is King, and the SMN Webinar only supports that assertion.
Everyone can write compelling copy, but if you need a little boost to get you started, or if you would rather leave it up to the pros, Exclusive Concepts offers Advanced SEO Copywriting services that use all these strategies and more. Call us today for a FREE audit.
Thanks for watching everyone, have a fabulous weekend! We’ll be back on Monday with another exciting installment of Your Daily Concept.