The first major hurdle any business has after starting up is the plateauing of their lead generation endeavors. While the business may have started strong with an initial client base, there is the issue of finding new leads once the original client base has dried up or it’s not producing enough revenue to comfortably expand. This is when a business owner would traditionally look towards a marketing plan.
While many businesses still rely on the traditional methods of buying advertising space, TV advertising, going to events etc. these methods can be costly. If you’re just starting your own business there might not be enough to cover expensive advertising. Even then, there’s no guarantee that traditional advertising will be able to bring you clients. After all, how does one measure the impression to conversion ratio of a billboard? There are two things you want to accomplish with intelligent marketing: spend as little as possible and reach your intended audience rather than just the general public.
This is where Content Marketing can change the game.
You’ll always need more clients, but why burn through your entire budget to attract them? Content marketing is an increasingly popular marketing trend that more businesses are turning towards every year. While it’s not free, it’s significantly cheaper than buying ad space because you’re relying on existing channels. Use your social media in a smarter way. Add a blog to your existing website. Leverage your email lists. How are all of these businesses finding success in acquiring new clients through content marketing? Here is how to begin launching your own content marketing strategy:
Think Like a Publisher
Whether you’re a dentist, a real estate agent, or a lawyer, you’re going to have to adjust your way of thinking and add “publisher” to your list of skills. Now, no one is expecting that you shoot for the Nobel Prize in literature. However, you’re going to think like a publisher in that you’re going to need to be willing to write (or hire someone to write) content that people actually want to read. After all, the marketing part of content marketing will be very hard if you’re publishing information that is not shareable or relevant no matter what niche you’re working in. Which brings us to the next point:
Become a Trusted Thought Leader in Your Niche
Becoming a thought leader sounds like a tall order but it isn’t as intimidating as you would think. Every one specializes in something. Stick to your strengths. You’re probably not a writer by trade, but you are an expert in your field. That’s going to be your marketing hook. You can provide information that only a select few people have.
Let’s go back to the example of being a dentist utilizing content marketing. Dental implants are a popular service that many people make appointments for. But they want to know more about them before committing. With content marketing, you can publish and circulate articles pertaining to dental implants so that when potential patients are trying to find more information on implants they end up reading information about implants on your website. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a connection with a new client. But you can’t just publish into an empty vacuum either. People won’t find your site if your on page 59 of Google Search Results.
Social Media Presence is Critical
When one thinks of social media they probably think of updating their friends on Facebook about an exciting vacation trip. That’s an example of the typical Social Media Post. However, there are many business opportunities available when it comes to leveraging your existing social media channels. Twitter is a great way to join in existing conversations and raise your profile. Granted, your mileage may vary on different social networks depending on what industry you work in. But the chances are good that there will be some element of discussion going on around your niche at any given time.
Use already trending topics that may not deal directly with your business but can be creatively parlayed into being an attention grabber. After all, your goal is to get people to notice your posts enough that they’ll click through on a link to your site.
Finding new clients can be difficult, but with a solid content marketing strategy it can become significantly easier. While the above list provides an overview of how to get started, there are many more tips that can help in the creation of content like investing in an editorial calendar or coming up with interactive social initiatives like contests.
For now, get yourself into a publisher’s mindset and begin brainstorming about your initial blog posts or newsletters. Eventually you’ll be able to scale your content strategy to suit your needs as you develop more traffic and high quality links from reputable sources. Time to get writing.