Imagine having an engine for your business that continually brings in new, happy customers. You’re able to connect with potential customers in the right place and time in their buying journey, so they praise the heavens that they’ve found you! To your customers, it feels like kismet. But you know it’s actually through the power of compelling content that your customers joyfully discover your business.
Great content connects with people and creates loyal customers who will love your brand for years to come. It’s never too early or late to build a meaningful content strategy for your company. No matter your business stage, the right content can make a direct impact on your bottom line– and it’s crucial for long- term business success.
1. Create Shared Value
Whatever your business does, it serves a purpose that improves people’s lives in some way. Your content should show the value you add to the world, share your purpose, and impart knowledge or help. That’s how you’ll form strong bonds with your customers and become a trusted resource.
You can create shared value with your customers in many ways:
- Conduct research to understand customers and solve pain points
- Share a compelling brand purpose, mission, and story on your website
- Clearly communicate what your company cares about and why
- Show how you give back to the community
- Educate your customers through blog posts, resources, or white papers
- Reward your loyal email, social, and SMS audiences
The real magic happens when you find the sweet spot between customer needs and your business objectives, and you continually seize those opportunities through content.
2. Anticipate Content Your Potential Customers Want
In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to tap into your potential customers’ wants and needs through search engine optimization (SEO). Through SEO research, you can see exactly what your potential customers are searching for online and optimize your content to show up in search engines, like Google.
But that’s not enough. You should also anticipate your audience’s needs. When you get ahead of search trends, you’ll be the first to rank and show up in search engine results.
You can anticipate search trends by referencing key sources:
- Google Trends
- Market analyses
- Consumer trends reports
- Shifts in Google search volume
- User research
- Website searches
These resources can help inform new content ideas, as well as uncover opportunities for updating existing content. If you anticipate target customers’ pain points and questions, you’ll always be in the right place at the right time to solve them.
3. Champion Expertise
With online content, you must quickly build trust with both customers and search engines. In fact, it’s so important to Google that they’ve coined a shorthand term for how they evaluate a website’s credibility, called E.A.T., or Expertise, Authority, and Trust.
Customers want to know why they should trust you with their time and hard-earned money, and Google wants to protect people from potentially shady businesses.
Level-up E.A.T. on your website by showcasing trust signals:
- Awards you’ve won
- Links to news or media mentions
- Customer quotes or testimonials
- Photos of your business
- An ‘About Us’ section
- Names, titles, and photos of team members
- Author bios for your blog with credentials
- Relevant business stats
- Customer reviews
- Contact information
When you prove expertise, your brand shines. People trust you. And Google and other search engines reward your credibility with better rankings. So, it’s a win all around.
4. Prioritize User Experience
Customers will always remain loyal to the companies that offer the best experiences. When people interact with your website or content, it should feel seamless. For all of us, time is our most precious commodity, and people won’t waste it trying to navigate a difficult website or hard-to-scan text. So, optimizing your content for user experience (UX) is a must.
There are five well-established principles of user experience:
- Findable – Users can find our content & easily navigate next steps.
- Usable – Content is effective, navigable, & complete.
- Accessible – Can be accessed & understood by anyone.
- Useful – Fulfills wants and needs.
- Credible – Established, well-informed, expert advice.
- Desirable – Solves pain points the user didn’t know they had.
Becoming an expert in UX takes time, so may want to enlist a professional consultant to help with optimizations. However, any team can continually improve UX when they understand the principles, educate themselves on their users, and regularly conduct user testing.
5. Treat Your Content as a Product
Your content should have a high barrier of entry that’s difficult for competitors to replicate. It should be more thorough, complete, and helpful than any other content on the same topic. Just as you build a moat around your business to protect it against competition, you want to do the same for your content.
To treat your content as a product, provide unique value that can’t be found elsewhere:
- Showcase singular expertise
- Share first-person stories
- Conduct in-depth research and share it
- Leverage customer-generated content
- Create thorough how-to’s
- Add proprietary tools, calculators, or quizzes
Consistently creating unique, helpful content means you’ll attract loyal audiences in various channels, so you’re always top-of-mind and seen as the ultimate expert in your field.
We all got into business to ultimately help people. Your business may help people find solutions to problems, indulge in self-care, learn new things, find products they need, or create memories. No matter the business, your content has the potential to change lives for the better. When you tap into your business purpose and create impactful, useful content, your business will reach new heights you never thought possible.
This article appeared in the Fall/Winter 2022 issue of the Anchor & Alpine Magazine.