Note: This is a guest post by Lance Trebesch, CEO of TicketPrinting.com.
What is the most important part of a business?
Is it the product? The employees? The business plan?
Any one of these could be the right answer, but the answer that should pop into your head first is the customer. It’s the age-old adage, “The customer is always right.” But, in this case, the customer is always seeking information, and if they find your website has the best information, you’ve got a sale and a customer that will keep coming back when they need your service. The customer is what makes your business continue to operate. They keep you in business, and without customers, you’ll have no product, you’ll have no employees, and you’ll have no business plan.
So how is it that we get and keep customers?
In the world we live in today, in a world that is dominated by the Internet and where everyone seems to be linked into the World Wide Web, anyone can sell anything at any time, whenever they want. So how do you know whom to trust? How do you know that the company you are about to use is the right one?
Marketing is not like it was in the days of Mad Men. Those rules don’t apply when it comes to the Internet. Mass marketing might work for larger corporations, but for small businesses, it’s all about targeted marketing. This is where 80/20 rule comes into play (the theory that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers). This is where the content of your website (articles, blogs, video, podcasts, etc.) comes into play.
Having a website is not the endgame when it comes to content marketing. Having content is not the endgame when it comes to content marketing. These are good starting points, but the key to a building trust with a customer base is having great content. You want the customers to come to your website because they know they will either a) learn something new or b) get the information they are looking for.
The reality is that people are browsing the web for information more than ever. When people do a Google search, wouldn’t you like them to find your website, to find the information you’ve put out there for them to find? When people find your site with the information they are looking for, they see you as a leader in that line of thought. You want to answer the questions they didn’t know they needed the answer to.
As David Meerman Scott says in his book The New Rules of Marketing & PR, “Content brands an organization as a thought leader”.
He also says, “Organizations gain credibility and loyalty with buyers through content, and smart marketers now think and act like publishers in order to create and deliver content targeted directly at their audience.”
Selling products will happen naturally when you have customers that trust you to be a source of information. So now we’ll take a few minutes to show how to get your content into the hands of the people that are looking.
Articles and Blogs
Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great ways to get your content to a lot of people, fast. By putting you a link to your new article or blog post on Facebook and Twitter, you know that your content is going to reach the people that are interested; after all, they are following you for a reason.
As was said before, people search Google all the time to find the information they are looking for. The way to make sure your new article or blog is found at the top of Google is to make your content keyword-rich. This should be supported by a keyword-rich website. While this may take a little SEO knowledge, it is worth it in the long run to make sure you are creating something that is not only friendly to your reader and customer, but also to Google’s little engine bots.
And also, with any great article or blog post, other people will link to it. Once your article or blog post goes live, try pitching it to other blogs in hopes that they will reference it or link back to it on their website. This helps to build credibility.
Video and Podcasts
Many companies are now using regular podcasts (radio-like audio files) and video posts to get their information into the hands of their customers. Don’t be confused by the name “podcast” – anyone can subscribe to a feed and listen, whether they have an iPod or not.
Podcasts and videos are a great way for companies to put a face with the brand. For podcasts, you can inject them into appropriate articles on your site, place them on iTunes for anyone to subscribe to, promote over social platforms, or dedicate a new page on your site specifically for the audio. Again, though, when naming the files, be sure that everything is keyword-rich. Google will love it.
Videos are very similar. You can put them in relevant articles, promote them over social platforms, or dedicate a page on your site for videos. Rather than post them to iTunes, though, you can set up your own YouTube channel and post them there.
Never forget that quality is so important when it comes to the content on your website. Quality brings in customers and providing quality content on a regular basis will garner trust with the customer base. When you’ve got good information, you don’t need to advertise your products within the content of your website. The content itself, the website as a whole becomes the advertisement for your brand, your products, and your image.
Lance Trebesch is the CEO of TicketPrinting.com & Ticket River which offers a variety of event products and ticketing services. After nineteen years of Silicon Valley experience, Lance found the key to happiness is helping customers worldwide beautify and monetize their events with brilliant print products and event services. Listening to his customers and learning about how they plan their events – ranging from concerts to fundraisers has helped him gain insight and expertise on how to host a successful event that he is always eager to share.