Killer Content Marketing: 5 Main Content Types that Drive Business

Content marketing is a way of subtly selling your product or service. It’s a method of positioning your company as a thought leader and to show prospects you don’t expect anything in return for the valuable information you’re providing.

Of course, by giving prospects important information at no cost, they will be more likely to buy from you when the time comes for a purchase decision. Content marketing isn’t like traditional advertising; you aren’t making a clear pitch for business in the material you’re sending to the public. You won’t have any calls-to-action or specific promotions but you will call attention to yourself or your company as an expert in the field in which you operate.

This article will discuss five content marketing vehicles you can use to drive some serious business.

#1: E-Books

These take some time and effort, but when done well can really boost your reputation in the marketplace. I use these to position myself as an expert copywriter and some of my e-book topics include:

  • How to create killer web copy
  • How to develop a great brochure
  • How to build and deploy effective email marketing.

My goal is always to provide real value and actionable content to prospects. The idea is simple, while some of my readers will develop their own web copy, brochures or emails, the majority will see me as the go-to expert and choose to hire me when their company needs this type of marketing material.

The trick is to discover what sort of information your prospect base is interested in and then to create content around those topics. E-Books are often used as list-bait, a way of getting prospects to provide you with an email address you can then use to stay in touch. This leads directly into the next content marketing approach.

#2: Email Newsletters

Nurturing prospects with regular email communications is a powerful long-term sales tool. It is also a fantastic approach to content marketing.

Leveraging topics your consumer base is interested in and sending out messages your list expects can lead to increased and steady business over time.

My target market tends to be marketing managers or business owners responsible for their company’s advertising and marketing. So, my email series sends specific messages about various aspects of marketing.

Some of my topics include:

  • How to Track Marketing Results
  • Why Most Marketing Fails… and How Yours Can Succeed, Writing to Communicate
  • and 48 other email messages I developed.

If you send out actionable information that adds value to your prospective customers’ business or professional lives, you’ll see great results.

#3: Blogging

Nowadays, almost every organization has a blog – from private businesses to newspapers through government departments. They all have some form of a weblog providing information to the public.

It’s up to the blog writer to provide content that will cause people to visit the site more than once and eventually buy a product or service from their organization. Blogs offer the added benefit of providing a forum where people can interact with your company.

They can ask questions, offer opinions and get feedback on ideas. It’s a great way to make personal connections with prospective clients.

One of the issues I see quite often in this medium is content that focuses on topics that hold little interest to the target audience. It’s important to use your blog like you would with email marketing. You’ve got to provide concrete value to readers or there’s little point in putting in all the effort or spending money on content creation.

Blogging is more valuable when it’s done regularly so it’s a good idea to post consistently. This encourages people to return and check for new content.

Creating an editorial calendar with all of your blog ideas is a good way to stay on track. Simply make a note every time you think of an idea or come across an interesting topic for posts – then set a specific schedule for each post and stick to it!

#4: Webinars and Video

A great way to personalize your messages is to appear in video or offer educational webinars on a specific topic. For example, I might offer a webinar on improving email marketing conversion rates.

Webinars can be recorded and offered for free or as an exchange for contact information – providing you with ongoing ROI over time. It also offers information your consumer base will appreciate having access to.

You can also provide live webinars that include Q&A sessions to really increase the interactive nature of your lesson.

Videos also offer a great way to position yourself as a thought leader. The truth is, people like doing business with people they know or at least recognize. If you offer solid information and present yourself professionally, you’ll have a great chance to increase contacts, leads and sales.

#5: Case Studies

They’re a creative way to show how you helped a company overcome a specific issue or challenge. Case studies should focus on common challenges faced by companies operating in your target demographic so prospects can relate to the material. In detail, a case study will outline the initial issue faced by a company and then focus on how you analyzed it, figured out a solution, implemented the solution and the end results.

Case studies show precisely how you can help prospects solve their own problems. They are a fantastic way of highlighting your skill set as well as the products or services you provide. It takes imagination out of the equation for prospective clients and helps them understand exactly why you’ll be an asset to their organization.

When developing your content marketing, it’s vital to remember you aren’t going for the hard-sell. You want to show how you’re an expert in your field and let the prospect conclude you’re the right choice for them. This isn’t your average marketing approach but can lead to superior business results.

The articles is prepared by Brian Birnbaum

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Boost Your Web Copywriting Response Rate

Developing reader-friendly web copywriting isn’t easy. People have little patience when it comes to reading content online. They want answers and they want them now. The problem for us folks creating online content is it’s impossible to convince a prospect to choose our product or service in the time it takes for them to lose interest.

So what can we web copywriters do to keep people reading until we’ve shown them our offering is the one they should choose?

I’ve put together a few tricks of the trade learned over many years and many successful websites. By following the techniques in this article, you’ll have a chance to grab and hold your prospect’s attention and improve your response rate dramatically.

  1. Write Conversationally To Connect with Readers – The biggest mistake I see novice copywriters make (and experienced ones too!) is using long sentences, complicated words and jargon. No matter who your target audience is, you should use simple, short sentences. By writing simply, you make it easy for the reader to understand you. You want people to focus on WHAT you’re saying, not HOW you’re saying it. A rule of thumb I use is – if you have to read a sentence more than once to understand it, rewrite it. This technique alone will boost your response rate.
  2. Use Headlines to Grab Attention – Advertising great David Ogilvy said five times more people read a headline than body copy. So you better be sure your headline works hard to capture interest and get people to continue reading. Many web pages waste a golden opportunity by using a weak, lazy headline that offers nothing to the visitor. Give people a reason to stay on your site. Give yourself the chance to turn them into a customer.
    Some techniques to improve your headline writing technique include:

    • Promise a benefit: “Get White Teeth in 15 Minutes or less”
    • Ask a question: Want to Double Your Income in 6 months?
    • Include words such as: new, announcing, introducing
    • Promise useful information: Avoid Making This Major Real Estate Mistake
  3. Write Directly to Your Reader – One of the best techniques for helping a reader focus is by writing directly to them. Write as if you’re speaking to them, the same way as I’m doing in this article. Use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead of ‘they’ and ‘their’. Famous copywriter Robert W. Bly describes a great technique. He says to imagine you’re across the desk from a friend and you’re describing the product or service to them, how it will help, why they should use it etc. I personally believe this to be a fantastic approach that will help you connect with readers and avoid sounding like a corporate robot.
  4. Ignore Yourself – Don’t talk about yourself, nobody cares. Sorry. Improve your web copywriting by focusing completely on the needs, wants or problems of the reader and ONLY THEN explain exactly why your product or service is the perfect solution. Show that you understand why they’ve come to your site in the first place. They are looking for something specific. If you can figure out what that is and address it in your copy, your response rate will blow up.
  5. Write About What’s Important to the Prospect – This is not necessarily a copywriting tip. But it is a way of ensuring you’ll maximize your response. You might love a certain feature or benefit of your offering. You think it’s amazing and sets you apart from your competitors. But what if the prospect doesn’t care? You better be sure that whatever it is you’re focusing on is what the prospect is interested in. This is standard in sales. And really, copywriters are just salespeople behind a keyboard. Discover exactly what drives interest in your product or service and I promise your copywriting will benefit.

As I’ve already mentioned, web copywriting is really about connecting with the reader as quickly as possible. Try to remember that a site visitor has come to you for a reason, it’s up to you to figure out why, and then explain why they’ve made the right choice. Review your copy and make sure it’s reader-focused and you’ll have a much better chance of creating a genuine relationship with your prospects.

This article is prepared for Rebel Trail by Brian Birnbaum.

 

Onavo Launches Insights: Lean How Competitor’s Mobile Apps Really Perform

The first, and perhaps, most important step, in deciding to build a mobile app is to understand the marketplace.

Learning about the competition can be the difference between success and failure. However, until recently, there has been a severe lack of information and usable data highlighting mobile application user trends.

Enter Onavo Insights

Previously, the only data that has been accessible to the general public is the download numbers for the top free and paid apps. However, a new company called Onavo Insights aims to revolutionize the world of mobile app marketing.

Insights collects information from its two previous ventures, which were apps that helped mobile users keep track of and manage the data usage on their phones from third-party applications, in order to create a groundbreaking system that provides detailed metrics for a market that was surprisingly devoid of them.

The service, which Onavo has been giving away for free, provides meticulously detailed information on how well an app is performing in its own category in the marketplace. Insights allows users to access important data such as:

  • Market Share
  • Apple Store Rank
  • Google Drive Rank
  • User Engagement
  • User Retention
  • Biggest Gains
  • Biggest Dips
  • Comparisons between Competing Apps

Onavo currently offers a free and premium version of its Insights services. The premium version, called Competitive Insights, provides even more detailed information about the mobile app marketplace and will analyze how various apps compare with their competitors. It also identifies trends and patterns to help developers plan an effective strategy to gain a competitive edge in the mobile app marketplace.

Onavo also offers two other premium services called Ad Insights and Audience Insights, which are products that focus on the ads inside a developer’s apps. The services aim to increase conversion rates and provide developers with detailed information on which ads are most effective in targeting app users.

Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Marketplace

Onavo Insights collects its data in real-time based off of a sample size of millions of users from its Onavo Extend and Onavo Count services. Onavo Insights then analyzes the data and categorizes it in easy-to-understand snippets.

The service aims to give app developers a deeper understanding of what the public is looking for in an app.

For instance, Facebook may be the top-rated social media application in the market, with an overall market share of 72 percent; however, the Onavo Insights service shows a perspective developer that LinkedIn and GroupMe have had two of the biggest gains in the market over the last month. Even though the market is saturated with various social media apps, many users are still interested in using apps other than Facebook and Twitter.

The Onavo team has created a powerful marketing tool for mobile app designers that has the potential to provide developers with a stronger understanding of user trends, and behaviors, which can in turn help produce better and more groundbreaking applications.

Mobile app development is still in its infancy stage, and, up until now, has not had any real insight into the marketplace and user trends. Onavo Insight has opened the flood gates for developers to access the marketing information that they need in order to better understand their demographic.

It may be a game changer for the ever-growing app market, and is a product that may become indispensable for future developers and application designers.