Content marketing is one of my favourite marketing strategies because it helps to solve an age old problem – i.e. increasing sales – without unduly annoying or harassing potential customers.
While there is a place for cold outreach in most any business – particularly if you are a real estate agent and /or just starting out (how else are people going to learn about you, fast?) – and there are ways to do it so you get a better return – quite often it results in slashing and burning through potential prospects.
Done badly, cold outreach results in about 97% of potential prospects just shutting off and disengaging.* So it feels wasteful, and like there is a lot of value (to your prospects) and opportunity (for you) left on the table.
Enter Content Marketing.
Done right, content marketing is the opposite experience to typical cold outreach.
Ideally it should be something that makes their day. Or at least makes their day a little easier.
It is about taking the time to build a relationship and get to know your audience.
It is also about putting information out there that people can discover and through it, get to know you.
So that instead of burning through potential prospects, you build brand awareness and have people reach out to you.
Even if you are doing really well with cold outreach, and have mastered the art of demonstrating value almost instantly so that people engage and want more – quality content helps to bring in additional prospects that are pre-qualified in that they have a keen interest in what you have to offer and already believe that your solution could help them.
Some examples of content marketing include:
- Articles: Posted either on your website, in an online publication or on social media platforms like LinkedIn, articles tend to focus on reporting information and statistics in an impartial manner.
- Blog posts: Unlike articles, while still sharing factual information blog posts share it in a more informal manner, often while expressing the personal opinion of the author. Kind of like this post. (Ahem)
- Videos: Either standalone or as explanatory companions to a written piece, videos are excellent for content marketing. Drawing people in with sound and colour, they can help you forge an emotional connection with your audience, increasing memorability and engagement.
- Infographics: Also useful for summarising information in an article, these can be downloadable take-aways that are easily absorbed and shared.
- Web content: The information you share on your website says a lot about you and your company, giving people an idea of what you are about and what you offer.
- Newsletters: These summarise what’s going on in your industry and / or business. They can point people towards your blogs and articles, or stand alone on their own as an informative piece delivered in someone’s inbox or mailbox.
- Books or Ebooks: More substantive than blog posts or articles, these help establish you as a real authority in your niche.
- Webinars: Content marketing does not need to be static, it can also include training and real time engagement with your audience. The give and take in a webinar will prove invaluable to both you and your audience.
- Testimonials: Sharing someone else speaking positively about your business is far more powerful than almost anything you can say yourself.
- Conversations: Taking it one step further, the most valuable form of content marketing is actually speaking with your customers or prospects, in one-to-one consultations where you assess their needs and offer advice.
No matter where your clients are in the buying cycle, good quality content will help you establish a rapport and demonstrate your value. This will help you increase your sales while also building tremendous goodwill along the way.
And, if you think about it, you could also incorporate content marketing into your cold outreach. Sharing something valuable and informative, that makes someone’s day a little easier. Making the whole cold outreach process a little bit more enjoyable, and more effective.
Now that you know what content marketing is, will you use it in your business? What’s stopping you?
Let me know in the comments below.
* According to Neil Patel, fewer than 24% of cold-outreach emails get opened, and the average click-through rates where someone will actually engage with content from a cold email is around 2-3%. Which means that 97% of your cold prospects get simply lost in the churn.
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