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12 Tenets of Customer Focused Content Marketing

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Marketing be a vast and complicated endeavor with lots of options, tricks and strategies to choose from. But there's one thing that's not up for debate, consumers are taking control over what they consume and when they consume it. From TIVO to Netflix, Spotify to Snapchat, today's consumers have the tools and desire to shut out the traditional marketing "noise". Making traditional marketing less and less effective by the minute.

That's where customer focused content marketing comes in. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Marcus Sheridan a while ago and get his take on creating content that answers customer questions. It's amazing what happens when you give consumers the answers they're looking for. They like you and if you provide enough value, they begin to trust you.

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12 Tenets of Customer Focused Content Marketing

  1. 1. 12TENETS OF CONTENT CREATION How to Answer Your Customers’ Questions with Compelling Content LISTEN Social media, email, telephone...wherever (and whenever) your customers ask questions, you should be there listening. These questions will serve as the fuel for your content creation strategy. List out all of the questions your customers commonly ask. A 30-minute brainstorm session should yield AT LEAST 50 customer questions. 1 ADDRESS EVERY QUESTION Even if you can’t directly answer a question, take the time to provide some insight around it. From an SEO perspective, search engines aren’t looking for an exact answer: they’re looking for content that addresses the question. 3 PAY ATTENTION TO TITLING Titles are like mini calls-to-action that compel people to click. To help folks click into your incredibly useful content, dedicate time to coming up with great titles that incorporate your target keywords. 5 TALK ABOUT THE COMPETITION It’s no secret: Your prospective customers are going to compare you with your competitors online. So, if this competition conversation is going to happen anyway, wouldn’t you rather have it happen at your house (a.k.a. on your blog)? 7 “How much does a fiberglass pool cost?” was the most common question posed to Marcus Sheridan’s pool company, River Pools and Spas. Since it was impossible to provide an exact answer, Marcus wrote an article that explored the various factors that impact price and provided an average price range. To date, Marcus has been able to attribute a minimum of $1.7 million in sales to tthhaatt oonnee aarrttiiccllee.. MARCUS SHERIDAN “ 2 MAKE A LIST For each question on your list, do some keyword research to figure out what keywords and long tail phrases you should be targeting. After all, folks need to be able to find your content in order for it to be helpful. 4 RESEARCH KEYWORDS Always answer your customers’ questions honestly, even if they pertain to “taboo” topics (like problems or issues with your businesses’ products/services). 6 BE HONEST The second most common question Marcus used to get was, “What are the problems and issues with fiberglass pools?” Considering River Pools and Spas specializes in fiberglass, this might have been a touchy subject. But instead of skirting around the question, Marcus wrote an article that addressed it honestly. The result? Do a search for “problems with fiberglass pools” and see wwhhoossee wweebbssiittee sshhoowwss uupp ffiirrsstt.. MARCUS SHERIDAN “ A great way to create content around your competition is with the “vs.” format: “You vs. Them,” “Your Services vs. Their Services,” etc. Create a “vs.” post for each and every one of your competitors. Don’t go out of your way to make the other guy look bad: Just stick to the facts. 8 USE THE “VS” FORMAT WRITE ABOUT “THE BEST” How often have you typed in “best [fill-in-the-blank]” when searching for a product or service online? By writing reviews or ratings of the best businesses in your industry, you can own the results for this common search while also providing prospective customers with helpful information. 9 Don’t create content to impress folks or to sound clever...create content to educate! The goal isn’t to show off your genius-level intellect by using big words. So keep it simple and make sure your audience can understand all of the information you’re trying to convey. KEEP ON CREATING Well all know that having more content on your site can help your search rankings. But more importantly, you should keep creating content so you can be the best resource out there. Once a potential customer lands on your site to learn the answer to one question, make sure they can find answers to other questions too! 11 Marcus knows from his analytics research that if someone visits 30 pages of the River Pools and Spas website, and then moves to a sales appointment, that visitor will buy a pool 80 percent of the time. (The industry average for sales appointments is 10 percent.) Marcus’s whole marketing strategy revolves around getting people to stick around on the site and consume ccoonntteenntt.. The more content they consume, the more likely it is that they’ll convert into a paying customer. MARCUS SHERIDAN “ Never make a content marketing decision out of fear. You might worry about talking about the competition or revealing too much about your products or services. Don’t. When it comes to content, you should only worry about being the best resource that you can possibly be. 12 BE FEARLESS BEAUTIFUL REAL ESTATE WEBSITES THAT WORK http://thenounproject.com/noun/list/#icon-No11796 http://thenounproject.com/noun/question/#icon-No21335 http://thenounproject.com/noun/magnifying-glass/#icon-No1638 http://thenounproject.com/noun/hand/#icon-No12769 Built with indexable IDX for better online marketing, local search, and SEO. For expert help, visit placester.com http://thenounproject.com/noun/dart-board/#icon-No13448 http://thenounproject.com/noun/drawing/#icon-No3103 http://thenounproject.com/noun/lion/#icon-No10419 RESOURCES INFOGRAPHIC BY PLACESTER 10 BE CLEAR AND CONCISE

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