An oft-quoted adage in the marketing world states that a prospect usually needs about seven exposures to an offer before deciding whether or not to take action.
It’s well worth heeding, but it also raises the issue of how you entice a prospect to actually take note of your offer seven times.
We’re huge proponents of e-mail, of course, because they’re a proven and effective means of getting one-on-one, exclusive screen time with our recipients.
Among other advantages:
- Email can offer a message that they can choose to open, and
- We can efficiently segment our recipients to make the message more relevant to them.
Their effectiveness, of course, depends on how engaging your reader finds their presentation and content.
Capturing a visitor’s full attention is also a key reason for creating your own e-commerce site, which is much simpler than it sounds.
This platform can one-up e-mail by being more accessible. Few people save e-mail messages, but they’re able to become frequent visitors to your site if you give them a good reason to do so.
That, of course, also comes down to presentation and content.
Here’s the good news about composing effective articles:
Don’t try to do too much. It distracts from your purpose.
And here’s the reason why publishing content is worth the effort:
Then, make sure you’re in tune with two of content marketing’s fundamental premises:
- You understand your ideal customers’ emotional perspectives and pain points, and
- You understand your ideal customers have a life.
Your objective is to provide sufficient value and variety to entice your prospects to visit your site at least seven times. Once they become customers, you’ll want them to continue visiting.
These guidelines will assist:
1. You’re writing an article, not an ad.
Content marketing enables you to paint your brand’s usefulness with a broader brush by subtly offering examples of how it improves your prospect’s quality of life.
Thus, there’s no need to go straight into a sales pitch. Usually, there’s no need to include a sales pitch at all. Instead, take a holistic approach and focus on the niche itself. For example:
- Find informative slice-of-life topics that share a common interest with your niche,
- Provide how-to insights that pertain to any given aspect of your niche, and/or
- Discuss secondary applications of your product and/or service.
If you’ve designed your site so your product and/or service is tastefully displayed, your visitors will know what you’re featuring.
2. Be fluent with your niche’s terminology and lingo.
Using your own voice and style, compose in a manner that’s recognized as everyday life by your target market.
Just don’t go overboard. Remember, subtlety reigns in content marketing.
For instance, over at our snarky sports site — The Daily Player — our writers compose in a manner that simulates what’s being said as opposed to being read to provide the sorta casual tone of sports-bar talk.
This results in a mix of slang contractions like woulda, shoulda, coulda, bitta, etc melded into the journalists’ grammar bible, the Chicago Manual of Style.
Toss in a bitta terminology every hoops fan would know, and voilà …
It’s not so exclusive that a generic sports fan couldn’t figure it out while hardcore fans will recognize we’re one of them.
3. Include a marketing link to your product and/or service.
As you’re posting a piece relevant to your niche, it’s perfectly logical to drop a subtle hint that your product and/or service is intertwined in making your visitor’s situation better.
These links, of course, should lead to your sales funnel in one of two ways:
- Send them to a dedicated page on your site that introduces them to the funnel, or
- Send them to a landing — aka squeeze — page that places them in the funnel.
After you’ve compiled a number of articles — and remember to make them evergreen — compose one that’s a more direct promotion of your product and/or service. Monitor and analyze its effectiveness over time and work to refine it to maximize the potential of visitors entering your sales funnel.
Make this article your anchor link, inserting it into a pertinent point near the end of select other articles. This also accomplishes the added objective of creating an internal link — ie- accessing another page within your site — that is a significant element in search engine algorithms.
4. It’s about your readers, not you.
Content marketing is ideal for building a brand and showing how it can make your visitors’ lives better in some way. This keeps the focus on them, as it should be.
Besides, do you really want to be defined by your acquisitions? Some promoters consider overt affluence to be a validation of their business, but in this century of deep fakes, who knows what’s real anymore?
It’s more effective to earn a visitor’s respect and build your position as an authority within your niche by presenting credible information that can help them resolve an issue in their lives.
5. Get to the point and stay on it.
Word economy is essential to a successful article. Don’t bury the value you’re providing by drowning it in bloated verbiage or crazy claims.
Ultimately, you’ve got a story to tell about your product and/or service, and in doing so, you’re building a brand.
Make it so your visitors will want to return at least seven times — and hopefully more — because you’re giving them a desirable reason for doing so. Your message is interesting and creates an awareness that puts your product and/or service on their radar screen.
Once you’ve got them thinking about the possibilities your brand can offer, they’ll return. Often.
Content marketing exists to accomplish that very objective.