We typically think of content as something that can get you better rankings and more website traffic. And content definitely helps you do that. But it’s also so much more than that!
Content can support you with a variety of goals. The key is knowing what type of content can help with which goals, so you can be more intentional and strategic about what you create and share.
Then let’s take a look at your business goals for 2023 and at the type of content you want to create to achieve those goals.
1. Growing your audience/email list
The more you become ‘known’ in your industry, the more customers you’ll attract. It’s that simple.
But even though social media is great and everything, nothing quite beats growing your email list. Having your potential customers’ emails means you can speak to them directly, whenever you want, with little distraction. It’s a powerful tool.
We know this ourselves because we’ve personally managed to grow our business on a tiny marketing budget. All we did was publish the right kinda blogs, convert readers into email subscribers, and, when we’ve built enough trust, sold them our content writing services.
Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses struggle to build a sizeable email list. In a study of over 1000 small business owners by Andrew and Pete at ATOMIC, they found that over half of respondents have an email list of 0-51 people 😬
When you don’t have your own audience, i.e. a list of people you can communicate directly with, you’re reliant on ads (which are pricey), referrals (which are inconsistent) or social media (which can be unreliable).
So how can the content you publish on your website help you grow your audience and your email list?
You can grow your audience by producing more SEO content.
What is SEO content?
SEO content is what you create in direct response to your customers’ internet search queries. It’s in-depth, well-written, engaging content that’s both informative and educational.
And it’s also optimised content, meaning that is written in a way that helps your content pop up in the search results.
The benefits of SEO content
The main focus of SEO content is to help you rank on the first page of Google so that more of your prospective customers can find you.
Being in the search results on the first page is the ultimate aim here because, unfortunately (and you know this as a user yourself), people hardly ever click on the second page or beyond. In fact, according to research, only 0.63% of all Google searchers do!
So for your website to show up higher in the ranking, you need to create SEO content regularly and consistently and always optimise it for search.
This means you need to:
- Research keywords on topics that are relevant to your industry and that are sought-after by your ideal customers (i.e. what are people searching for?)
- Make sure that those keywords are organically (i.e. naturally) included in your content in strategic places (for example, the title, the sub-headings, the description of the images, etc.) You want your content to read well – not sound like it was created by a robot!
- Make sure your content includes both internal and external links to other helpful and related content (just like we’re doing in the next line).
Examples of SEO content
A simple way of understanding SEO content is by thinking about some of your own web searches. What do you typically search on the internet? Often, we’re after information or tutorials (‘How To’ type of content), such as “How to complete your tax return” or “Best pet-friendly cafes in Liverpool.”
Here are some examples of SEO content on our website:
What makes for ‘bad’ SEO content?
Having SEO content on your website is a must. But we see a lot of business owners not quite hitting the mark with this.
Yes, your aim is to rank on the first page of the search engine results, which means the SEO content you produce must be driven by the type of searches your ideal customers type into Google. And you can use the internet and other more specialised SEO tools to decide what topics you should create content around.
But that doesn’t mean your content needs to be boring. Or that it needs to be the same as everyone else.
Quite the opposite, in fact!
You want to make sure your voice, personality, and your individual experience and expertise shine in your content. You’re creating educational and informative content, but you need to be doing this as you.
Because that also gives you a chance to highlight how you’re different and to start creating the brand awareness people need to decide to go ahead and buy from you.
Related content: How to use humour in your marketing, so people fall in love with your business (+11 prompts to help you!)
2. Increasing brand awareness
If your goal is to increase brand awareness with your content, you need to create thought-leadership content.
This is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but is an essential part of content marketing. With so much content out there, the only way to stand out is to create that positions you as the leader in your industry.
You can increase brand awareness by creating thought leadership content
What is thought-leadership content?
Thought-leadership content uses your expertise, insight, and experience to help you become the go-to source of information in your industry.
Rather than a specific type of content, we like to think of thought-leadership content as an approach to content creation. It can be about expressing controversial or outspoken opinions if you want it to be. But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s definitely not about picking fights with people! It’s more about not sitting on the sidelines and letting your audience know what you think about certain topics. We’d like you to see it as content that’s authentically and recognisably you, with a strong brand voice.
So thought-leadership content will typically include:
- Stong and/or controversial opinions
- Evidence of new findings within your industry based on your experience
- A desire to share your knowledge without any limitations – i.e. showing us the why and the how!
- Original research conducted by you and your business and your findings
- A strong voice or different approach to whatever it is you do.
The benefits of thought-leadership content
The main benefit of sharing thought-leadership content is to help you build credibility as a business and be seen as an expert. That’s a sure way to strengthen brand awareness with your prospective customers and clients.
Examples of thought-leadership content
Thought-leadership content can cover the following topics:
- Original research
- Business decisions you’ve made and why you’ve made them
- Expert interviews with others in your industry
- Customer client stories and case studies – ones that show the exact steps you took to overcome a problem with lots of evidence and value. Not just saying nice things about yourself
- Insider looks into your business that is actually helpful for your target audience e.g. publishing your income and expenditure every month and breaking down how you made sales that month (we always love these articles when we see them!)
Here’s an example you might recognise from our website:
What makes for ‘bad’ thought-leadership content?
Thought-leadership content is almost always a good idea unless you’re trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. Remember you’re not trying to pick an argument here!
There’s a difference between saying what you think and firmly drawing lines in the sand and explaining why you believe what you believe and trying to pick a fight with your prospective clients or competitors.
Be mindful of the difference!
Thought-leadership content will typically attract the people who are right for you and your business and ‘repel’ the ones who aren’t. But it doesn’t mean that you have to offend people or burn bridges in the process. There’s no need to criticise a competitor or expose a client, for example. You can express your opinions with objectivity and balance while also being kind to others!
3. Converting more leads
Another goal you might have in 2023 (and you should have this goal all year round every single year!) is to convert more leads. This goal is just (if not more important) than the first goal of growing your audience or email list. Because yes, it’s great doing that, but a large email list doesn’t pay the bills, you’ve still got to convert those subscribers into paying customers.
And that’s something businesses often neglect!
So what type of content can help you convert more?
You can increase conversions by creating sales-enablement content.
What is sales-enablement content?
As it says on the tin, sales-enablement content is what you produce throughout the selling process to engage with your prospects and directly address their concerns.
It shouldn’t just talk up your products or services, but it should also tackle the ‘objections’ your prospective customers have towards working with you. Whether they vocalise them or not, it’s your job to identify them, break them down, and explain (step-by-step) either why they’re not applicable or how are you planning to address them through your work.
For example, if you offer online fitness coaching, someone might think the service isn’t for them because they think they won’t be able to keep themselves accountable unless they have their coach physically in the gym with them. So how do you address that? How can you show them, through your content, that your service can actually help them and solve the problem they’re experiencing right now?
The benefits of sales-enablement content
Sales-enablement content help you gently guide your prospective customers towards making the informed decision to buying from you.
It’s not about being pushy or ‘salesy’ here. You’re not trying to convince just anyone to buy. You’re explaining to the people who are right for you what you can do for them and how, so they can feel reassured and confident in thinking you’re the right choice for them.
Examples of sales-enablement content
Sales-enablement content can include:
- Case studies from clients
- Objection-led content – problems with your industry, products or services, why you’re priced differently, why you don’t do something that others in your industry do etc
- “How to find the right…” type of content, such as “How to find the right Virtual Assistant for your accountancy business.”
- Buyer’s guides
- Use cases
- Content that breaks down the process of working with you
- FAQ style content
Some examples you can find on our website are:
What is our Black Friday offer all about then?
Why is our SEO content writing & blog management service so expensive?
Biggest Problems with SEO Companies (and how you can avoid them!)
SEO Content Writer vs SEO Agency: Which One is Best for Your Business?
What makes for ‘bad’ sales-enablement content?
When creating sales-enablement content, you don’t want to be overly promotional. But there’s an easy way around this – think about your customers and what they need. Put yourself in their shoes:
What are they worried about?
What’s holding them back from going ahead and working with you? Is it money? Lack of time? Lack of self-confidence? Something else?
And what fears or doubts might they be experiencing right now?
Spend some time thinking about these questions (or even better, ask your prospective customers directly, if you can) and address them in your content. This will allow you to create sales-enablement content that does its job of helping you convert leads into sales while also being helpful and not pushy.
Related content: How to increase your sales using objection-led content and How to Make Content Part of Your Sales Process (so you get more sales, faster!)
4. Retaining more customers
The last goal you might have (and one that completes the sales cycle quite nicely) is retaining customers.
You’ve done all the work to attract people into your world, wow them into becoming your customers, and now you want them to be loyal and stay. You want them to be so happy with the results they get from working with you that they buy from you again and again.
You can retain customers by producing customer service content
What is customer service content?
This is content that helps your audience achieve their goals by using your product or being part of your service.
Remember you’re addressing your customers now – not just leads and prospects. These people have already bought your product or service – they already know you’re brilliant!
But they still have questions about how to use your product or what to do next. So think about what type of content you can create that helps you serve your existing customers.
Ultimately, your aim with this content is to make your current customers reach their goals faster and more efficiently – which is good for both you and your customer!
The benefits of customer service content
The good thing about sharing customer service content is that it helps both you and your customers. How?
For one, it saves you time in answering questions. If one customer has a question about how to use your product or service, chances are that others will too. So answer these questions at scale and through your content – you do it once, and you don’t have to keep repeating yourself.
And when it comes to your current customers, it keeps them super happy. Have you ever been in a position yourself where you’re not sure about asking a question about a product or service you bought? You may feel embarrassed or think it’s a silly question. But if the business owner has already pre-emptied and answered that question, you don’t even have to put your hand up and ask!
One of our SEO content writing clients recently told us that their customer service team shares our content with customers every single day, and it has saved them hours every week in admin time!
Isn’t that brilliant when you can just find all the information you need? That’s exactly what customer service content can do for you.
Examples of customer service content
An example of customer service content we wrote back when we were web designers is How To Write Your Website About Page.
We used to create the design and graphics for our website design clients, but they’d need to write their own copy. So we served them with content that helped them make the most of the service they were buying from us.
Another example we think is brilliant is this blog post from ScoreApp – 29 Simple Ways to Launch Your Quiz Lead Magnet.
Once you’ve set up your quiz, ScoreApp also produces content that helps you launch it, so you can take the next step. That’s customer service for you!
What makes for ‘bad’ customer service content?
The only thing that makes customer service content ‘bad’ is the lack of it! We don’t see many businesses regularly producing this type of content. And ‘product updates’ don’t quite count, especially if they sound technical and boring. This isn’t customer service.
Customer service content still needs to be helpful, engaging, informative, educational, and in your own voice. The only difference from the other types of content we talked about is that it’s aimed at your existing customers rather than your prospects.
You’ll often find that customer service content is all helpful for non-customers too. They’ll find it, learn more about you and your business and become a lead. So there are no excuses!
Would you like our help to achieve your business goals for 2023?
In this blog post, we discussed four different types of goals. You may have decided to focus on one or two as priorities for 2023 or you may want to work towards all four. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
But whatever your goals, content marketing can play a big part in helping you achieve your objectives, as long as you produce content that aligns with your goals. If that sounds overwhelming and like too much work for the time you have available, we can help!
Our Blog Writing and SEO Agency is the ultimate time-saving solution for ambitious and time-poor businesses. So if you’d like us to help you research and write your content for you, get in touch!