Do you share your content like this? -- “I wrote a new blog post! Check it out!” You, sir or madam, have missed the point.
I’ve seen this way too many times not to point it out. And believe me, I’m not trying to be mean, just honest--
Most people will not give a hoot that you wrote a blog post.
Now don’t get me wrong. Writing is hard work and finishing a post is a great accomplishment. Your friends and family will be happy to pat you on the back for a job well done.
But your prospects, the people you’re trying to attract to your business through content marketing, will not care about your personal accomplishments.
They want to know “What’s in it for me?”
Your job is to make that obvious. Here’s how.
It all starts with the post.
If your content isn’t truly valuable to your prospects, then no amount of promotion will make them care enough to read it.
Your first task is to come up with an idea for a blog post that speaks directly to the needs of your prospects. (And that also aligns with your goals as a business.) The post should be filled with juicy tidbits for your prospects that will eventually nurture them toward a sale.
Keyword = Eventually
For now, keep the salesy part out of the equation and just focus on the needs of the prospect.
Let’s say, for example, you’re an independent insurance agent in Texas, and you want to sell more homeowners insurance policies. You know that homeowners insurance is extremely expensive in TX right now due to several years of disastrous weather. And there are lots of people hurting for lower premiums.
That is a fantastic opportunity for you, as the insurance expert, to provide answers to this target audience. Here are just a few questions they might be asking and that you could write a post answering:
- Why does homeowners insurance cost so much in Texas?
- What does the average home insurance policy cost?
- Are there any quick ways to lower my premiums?
- Are all carriers charging the same, or should I shop around?
- How do I get the best premium possible for my policy without sacrificing coverage?
Now you’ve got some awesome ideas for posts that your prospects will actually want to read. And, by being there to provide answers, you’re positioning your agency as a go-to source for all things insurance.
All this sounds great, right? But it doesn’t end there.
Now comes the task of actually getting people to the page.
We’ve discussed in previous posts about optimizing your content for search, which is a great way to attract new people to your business. For the purposes of this post, however, we’ll focus on sharing your posts to your social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Linkedin.
If your current strategy is to share posts by proudly proclaiming: “I wrote a blog post!” Please reconsider.
It’s time to apply the same principles of writing we learned above to your social shares. If you’ve already written a post that your prospects will want, this part is way easier.
Now all you’ve got to do is remind them of their problem and make some kind of promise. Here’s what I mean--
Let’s say you ended up writing a post that answers two questions from our example above: “Why does homeowners insurance cost so much?” and “Are there any quick ways to lower my premiums?"
The problem is, your prospects can’t afford their high premiums. The promise is, you can tell them why it’s so expensive and how they can possibly lower the cost.
So a post on, say, Facebook could look something like this:
Sick of paying so much for homeowners insurance? Find out why home insurance premiums cost so much in Texas (and what you can do about it). http://notarealurl.net
If you were drowning in debt, how could you resist clicking on something like that?
Believe me, I know how hard it is to write a great blog post. And it’s tempting to want to share that accomplishment with everybody around you. Especially if you’re new to the world of content marketing.
But it’s critical to your success that you remember the ultimate reason for creating awesome content -- to attract people to your website, provide value, and win their favor.
Help them out and, in turn, they’ll help you out. The power of reciprocity is strong.