Okay, in the next ten minutes I’m going to give you some amazing tips for producing content that your audience really, really want… and how to market that content without turning them off in the process. But just before I do that, I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I learned this week. Because this week has been awesome.
Why? Because I’ve just got back from Content Marketing World 2016, over in Cleveland, Ohio. And I know what you’re thinking: here we go: geek alert! And you’d be right, I am indeed a marketing geek. But if you’d been at this event, I’m pretty sure you’d be just as excitably geeking out about the power of content marketing, too.
Cleveland was hot, hot, hot – and the marketing topics we were covering were even hotter. The hottest topic of them all? How to use content in the most effective way to attract and retain visitors, keeping them right in front of your brand and converting those visitors into sales. Lovely, beautiful sales.
Now, I happen to know that this issue is top of mind for just about all of my clients in the geospatial sector.
And the good news is, this is all totally achievable… but it’s certainly not easy. You have to be ready to put in the time and the effort to make it work.
Or, as marketing guru Joe Pulizzi (@joepulizzi) says:
[ctt template=”4″ link=”37cM_” via=”yes” ]“If you’re not “all in” with your #contentmarketing program, you should stop” @joepulizzi #geospatial @EBTMarketing[/ctt]
So, without further ado, here are my 6 top tips for attracting visitors to your catalogue of solutions… without going all salesy and putting them off along the way.
1). Go All In. The number one thing I tell my clients in the geospatial world is this: it’s better not to bother than to do it half-heartedly. Posting sparse, mediocre content will turn off your visitors and damage your brand in the long run! Doing it properly will do wonders for your brand, but the internet is a busy place and if you’re not willing to be a serious contender, you’re in a worse position than if you simply stayed out of the game, because your lacklustre efforts are out there for all to see. In fact, top brains all across the marketing sphere agree on this one. If you can’t commit, stop. Be in it fully or not at all!
[ctt template=”5″ link=”YXb64″ via=”yes” ]“Slow the *&%^$ down and do your #contentmarketing right — or don’t do it at all says” @annhandley #geospatial @EBTMarketing[/ctt]
2). Focus On Substance. You’re in an amazing position: you create something your customers really want and need, and you have the expertise to back it up! So don’t go giving our mediocre *&%^$ . This is guaranteed to put your customers off. Think about it. If you read something that doesn’t give you any substance, you will switch off – and probably will never go back there for your information again. Giving out great content will build relationships, but putting out stuff you know isn’t up to scratch will reduce the number of visitors coming to your website! So, make sure you’re always offering value. What do your visitors really want to learn, know and read?
3). Don’t Wreck Your Google Rankings. Google will penalise you if visitors “pogo-stick”. What’s that, I hear you cry? Pogo-sticking is when something like this happens: a visitor searches “what are the best methods for surveying land?” but the page they click on doesn’t answer their query, so they click straight back off and search again. When this occurs, Google will kick your butt and push you down the rankings! In other words: don’t stuff your page with keywords, make sure that you really do answer the questions or fulfill the search goal you aim to fill!
4). Be Smart About Design. This sounds basic, but many Geospatial’ers never give it a second thought. Old, clunky-looking sites, poor content and non-mobile-friendly pages put people off in an instant and send them pogo-sticking away on instinct. So do yourself a favour and sort out your design. Make it easy for visitors to find you, navigate to what they want… and they’ll stay on your site long enough to decide whether to buy.
5). Make Sure it Loads Fast.. This is VITAL. If your pages take an age to load, whether due to overly high resolution images or pages that aren’t optimised for mobile, your visitors won’t stick around. It doesn’t matter if they’re surveyors, architects, construction dudes or civil engineers, not one has that kind of patience! Test, test and test again to check they’re never waiting more than a few seconds.
6). Prioritise ‘Why’ Over ‘What’! Remember this: your ‘what’ may change, but your ‘why’ never does. People often make the mistake of asking themselves, “What am I doing?” “I’m adding a blog”. But this really isn’t the important thing. The important thing is “Why am I adding a blog?” to which the answer is something like, “To grow an audience, because I want to increase my followers, which will increase my exposure, which will increase my sales leads”. If you know why you are doing something, you can change your methods to best suit your audience. If you’re fixated on the modus operandi all the time, you’re just blindly following trends!
At CMW, I was captivated by a keynote called @michaeljrcomedy. He’s a smart, witty comedian, and he told a story that stuck with me.
Michael Jr asked a musical teacher at a conference to sing ‘Amazing Grace’. The dude sang a really nice song and was applauded by the audience. But Michael then asked the dude to sing it again, but this time, pretend he was an adult who had been shot in the back as a kid and whose uncle just got out of jail. The powerful rendition elicited applause resulting in a standing ovation. The man put his heart and soul into it because he knew the ‘why’ he was singing, not just ‘what’. The message? Let’s hear it from Michael:
[ctt template=”4″ link=”ah471″ via=”yes” ]“The key isn’t to know your what. The key to success is to know your why” @Michaeljrcomedy #geospatial @EBTMarketing[/ctt]
So that’s the most important thing I can teach you about great content: know why you’re giving it to visitors, and make sure they understand why it will help them. Don’t just tell them what something is and leave it there. Make sure they really, really get it – and they’ll lap it up. I promise.
Got any more super hot tips on how to keep your visitors intrigued? Let us know here.