How to Leverage your Business with Content: A 5-Step Guide to Drive Business Success

Do you want more sales, new clients, or higher revenue? Most small business owners do. Your brand’s success is tied in large part to how persuasive your prospective clients and customers find your copy.

Strong copy - that is, the written content you publish on your website and elsewhere - is essential for healthy conversion rates. Turning casual site visitors into interested leads, and interested leads into paying customers, is the real goal.

And as many famous brands will attest, valuable, authoritative content is a powerful way to do just that. In fact, B2B brands that blog 11 or more times each month enjoy almost three times the traffic of those who blog once a month or not at all.

But persuasive content that your prospects and customers find compelling and informative is both art and science. It takes time, talent, and practice to develop world-class persuasive copywriting skills.

In fact, most small business owners who adopt content marketing as part of a strategic inbound marketing plan for their brands find that they simply don’t have the time to create enough interesting, relevant content for their audiences. That’s where experienced professional content providers can help you.

In this guide, we’ll examine five ways you can leverage the power of well-written and strategically planned content to improve your brand’s bottom line.

STEP#1: Create a Business Tagline

A good tagline may not be the first thing you think of when you begin creating marketing materials for your business, but it shouldn’t be an afterthought - or worse yet, ignored altogether. The right tagline helps create a shorthand in the minds of your prospective clients or customers that associates your brand with the right values, benefits, and experience.

A tagline is simply a short motto or catchphrase that’s used to help sum up a brand’s mission or values, as well as the products and services that the brand offers. The best taglines are memorable, captivating, and powerfully associated with their respective brands.

Taglines can be, and often are, pithy or clever. However, their first order of business is not to amuse or entertain. First and foremost, a good tagline must be aligned with the brand it’s supposed to represent. The tagline represents and stands in for the brand’s literal products (or services) in the audience’s mind.

Your brand’s tagline should conjure up a positive association, feel compelling and persuasive, and make your prospective customers want to do business with you and your brand. Yet a good tagline moves well beyond sales talk and exhortations to “buy now.” The best taglines tell your users why they should buy your product or services.

Insider Tips for Creating a Business Tagline:

  • Start with your USP (Unique Sales Proposition) or more broadly your UAP (Unique Advantage Point) - i.e. the thing that sets you apart from your competition. What do you do better than everyone else, and how?
  • Clear and memorable are always better than clever and funny. By all means, infuse your tagline with your brand’s personality if you can, but don’t sacrifice clarity and persuasion in the process.

Your Next Step:

STEP#2: Create Valuable Content for Your Readers 

A consistently published stream of reliable, authoritative, interesting content published on your blog or website can convince fence-sitting prospects to make a decision and put their trust in your brand.

However, good content takes time to research, write, format, and publish. You also have a business to run, of course, so you can make one of two choices in regard to content creation, writing the content yourself, or writing a content brief, then outsource the actual content writing.

Either choice is perfectly valid; which is best for you and your brand depends entirely on your available time and your skills.

If you’d rather do the content-writing yourself, you can save time and effort by outsourcing editing and proofreading services of your draft content. Even seemingly tiny errors can ding your reputation and perceived authority in your niche. Yet writers often become “word blind” to their own work, overlooking punctuation and typographical errors. A separate edit by a fresh pair of eyes will help you polish and perfect your content.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can quickly draft a one-page informative “creative brief,” explaining to a professional copywriter or editor exactly what sort of content you’re looking for and providing any style guidelines you’d like them to incorporate into your posts and articles. You can then outsource the writing of the content itself to a copywriter, who will use your brief to ensure the finished product meets your needs and expectations.

Insider Tips to Creating Valuable Content for Your Readers

  • Consider each stage of your buyer’s journey when planning your content. You should aim for a mix of content: informational content to introduce your brand to browsing visitors, more in-depth content to persuade visitors that your brand is trustworthy, and persuasive content to convince them to buy from you.
  • Be as specific as possible in communicating with your provider about written content. Describe your targeted audience for the piece, where it will be published, what the goal of the piece is, and what you want your readers to do after they read the article (i.e. the call to action).
  • Professional copywriters can hit a word count goal with a fair degree of precision, so think carefully about the length of content your audience would most prefer to read. Some audiences will prefer longer, more detailed posts, while others want quicker “snackable” content that they can read and digest in a hurry. Above all, aim to make your audience happy.

Your Next Step:

STEP#3: Write About Your Service or Products

While blog posts and similar kinds of content are usually aimed at educating the audience, other kinds of copy on your website should be written specifically to market your services and products.

The content on product pages, for example, must be persuasive, compelling, and descriptive, showing the product to its best advantage. That’s a completely different kind of writing than the educational or “how-to” blog post.

Sales copy also tends to be more static and longer-lived. Written descriptions and copy on product and service pages don’t typically get changed or updated frequently, so it deserves its own special focus. It’s generally more vivid, with a greater degree of descriptive content, and relies more heavily on the second-person -- i.e. “you,” instead of “we” or “they.”

For service providers, the principles are the same, although the execution might vary a bit. You won’t have a physical object to describe, but you can still reach your prospective client by selling a result or process to them in a similar way.

Think of how you can describe what you do for your clients, not in terms of techniques or specific services, but in terms of what you can accomplish for them. That usually boils down to one of a few benefits:

  • Helping them reach a deeply desired goal
  • Solving a problem or removing an obstacle
  • Saving them money, time, or both

Insider Tips for Writing About Your Service

  • Whether you’re starting from scratch or revising an existing site’s copy, it’s helpful to start with a list of each individual service or product. You can then prioritize according to your specific revenue and sales goals, and sort into logical groupings or categories.
  • Consider the upsell. Whether you’re selling products or services, in many cases certain purchases seem to logically flow into others. For example, a consultant’s client might flow naturally from a single short-term project into ongoing coaching. Or a consumer who wants to get fit might start out buying a book about running, but then decide to get some new workout gear as well. Figure these pairings out so you can connect the pages in some way on your website and with your written content.

Your Next Step:

STEP#4: Create eBooks for Users to Download

While blog posts of 1,000 to 2,500 words are perfect for establishing your credibility as an expert in your field or a leading brand in your niche, there’s also a place for longer written content in your content marketing plan.

eBooks in particular can cement your brand’s reputation as a thought leader, as well as drive sales of both products and services. The eBook market is strong and expected to keep growing from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018.

eBooks are also excellent content marketing tools, especially when you use them to generate and capture qualified leads. Because you craft the message, the tone, and the delivery as a cohesive package, you can use eBooks to “sell” your message to interested consumers and decision-makers without really selling anything at all.

Include an author’s message in your eBook that directs readers back to your website and a sign-up form to capture their information for your email list. This simple conversion transforms your casual reader into a qualified and captured lead, so that you can more effectively target them with marketing messages that they’ll find interesting and valuable.

While an eBook may seem like a daunting project to undertake, there are ways to simplify the process. If you’ve been publishing blog posts or any other kind of informational content in your niche, you may already have enough material for an eBook. All you need to do is collect it, organize it, and provide transitional material so that it reads like a cohesive book.

Insider Tips for Creating Ebooks:

  • eBooks and other longer written content formats can themselves be repurposed later. You can turn each eBook chapter into a shorter webinar, for example, or transform the main points of each section into a visually interesting presentation for Slideshare. Repurposing content can save loads of time, money, and effort for a small business marketer.
  • If you’re not sure what topic to select for your eBook, why not ask your audience? Create a simple online survey asking them to rank potential topics in order of their interest level, then share the link to the survey on your brand’s social media channels.

Your Next Step:

STEP#5: Create and Grow Your Email List

“The money’s in the list.” Chances are, you’ve heard some variation of this online marketing maxim before.

There’s some truth to it. About three-fourths of small business marketers believe that email marketing offers a very good or excellent ROI (return on investment). One study from measured that ROI recently at 122% - far outpacing other channels such as social media, direct mail, and paid search.

Setting up and implementing an effective email marketing program can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. To simplify matters, keep in mind the general sequence of events:

  1. Your brand offers something of value to prospects in exchange for their personal information (name, email address);
  2. The prospect signs up using a form on your website;
  3. Your email list software confirms their opt-in, then sends them a download link, eBook file, coupon code, or whatever valuable inducement you offered to them back in step 1;
  4. You periodically send targeted email messages to segments of your list (or your list as a whole) to connect with them and encourage them to make a purchase (eventually).

That’s really all there is to it, though as with most technological platforms, it can be a little more complex in the details.

Communicating effectively in marketing emails is a specialized aspect of business copywriting, and it’s all too easy to turn off prospects in this medium, where they can quite easily and simply unsubscribe, thus cutting off all contact with your brand.

Skilled professional copywriters who specialize in email marketing keep abreast of best practices for email content. They know how much and where to personalize your messages, when and where to use emojis and emoticons, and what call to action to use.

An experienced email copywriter can also help you design an automated sequence of messages to send to new subscribers, introducing them to your brand and helping persuade them to trust you with their business.

Insider Tips:

  • Design a sequence of autoresponder messages to be sent on a specific schedule to new subscribers to your list. Think of these “drip” messages as a series of conversations, wherein you slowly escort them from one level of awareness of your brand to a deeper level of interest and regard.
  • Segmentation of your email list is a highly effective way to more specifically target your email messages to the right audience. The page on which a new user signs up for your list can tell you a lot about their intention. If they came to you from your author page in your eBook, for example, they’re probably further along that buyer’s journey than someone who simply clicked on a Facebook ad or signed up on your blog.

Your Next Step:

You’re Done!

These five strategies can help any small business leverage the power of digital marketing to meet their revenue and sales goals. Remember to infuse all your content with a consistent “personality” reflecting your brand’s voice, values, and mission, for content that helps differentiate your business from the competition. And always keep in mind the targeted audience’s needs and desires. Write for them, not yourself!

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