Quality content is imperative to any B2C marketing strategy. Engaging content promotes assorted brands and builds customer trust in addition to driving traffic from social media platforms to product pages. B2C (business to consumer) marketing differs from B2B (business to business) marketing in that B2C marketing is product-driven, while B2B is relationship-driven. Both do require deciding on a target audience, but most similarities essentially end there.
B2C marketing focuses on a large target market, shorter sales cycles, merchandising and “emotional buying,” while B2B is about small, specific target markets, longer sales cycles, awareness-building activities and “rational buying” based on business value.
The ultimate goal of a B2C campaign is converting consumers “from shoppers to buyers” as quickly as possible. Content marketing is a significant option in terms of driving traffic to blogs, product pages, and mobile sites. Quality content comes in numerous guises, including eBooks, featured articles, podcasts, infographics and blog posts. And while you may be adept at crafting digestible content, that’s only half the proverbial battle. Understanding what tactics work best to promote your content is also key.
If you’re looking to drive traffic to your site and subsequently enjoy higher conversion rates and ROI (return on investment), check out these four very-effective strategies for ensuring your content stands out. Each unique option helps ensure brand loyalty and promotes a business as a reliable, informative source that sells amazing products. Let’s take a deeper look at these strategies:
Need a plan for the day your quality content goes live? Create an announcement plan. Multiple options are available for doing this, and while you may choose to employ all or most of them, be careful not to overdo it (i.e. 15 Facebook posts about the same piece of content in one day). Promoting the post in an email newsletter is one option, as an email list is essential to any content marketer. Try notifying your contacts through email about new content via basic message, newsletter with blurbs and “read more” links, automatic emails with the title and link, or a full newsletter with a few ads. A promotional email that links to a landing page is another option if advertising such pages.
The next step in your announcement strategy is tweeting about it. Do this three to four times at the most–try morning, mid-day, evening and late at night on the day you publish the content. Play with different “tweet times” to see what points in the day result in more engagement, and don’t forget to use keyword hashtags!
Once you have handled your Twitter account, announce the post in Google +, and include hashtags in the same way you do with Twitter. If you’re looking to tag an affiliate or expert in your post, type a “+” and the person’s name. You’ll also want to post a link to the content one time on Facebook. Whether you choose to include an introductory comment is up to you! We find that a personable post helps with engagement.
Once content goes live, continue to post about it during the week and remember to get creative. For example, try tweeting a quote or a thought about the post…or the biggest benefit of digesting your content. Comments on Twitter or Facebook concerning how well the post is being received is another possibility. Other “week-of” options include posting about it on LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups, and sharing the post with other social media sites of yours, such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Sharing and image from the post along with the link on Instagram is also an option.
It’s important to engage with commenters as well! Respond to comments on the post directly, as well as comments on social media channels. If you can get a dialogue started about the post topic, that’s also ideal. The more interaction, the better. This also contributes to fan and follower excitement about future posts.
The Skyscraper Technique is a “content marketing solution for link builders” that doubles not only the number of backlinks to a particular page, but also organic traffic to your entire site. Considered an effective option for small operations as well as Fortune 500 companies, this technique also doesn’t require connections with aforementioned influencers.
Take a look at how Backlinko.com increased their traffic in 14 days with this technique:
The Skyscraper technique is a three-fold technique, and first involves finding “proven linkable assets.” Assets are defined as content that is “so awesome” that people must add them to their sites as a resource. The way to ensure linkable asset success is by searching for content that’s “already generated a ton of links.” Open Site Explorer is a great resource for finding such content–simply click on the “Top Pages” button and look for content “with at least 25 linking root domains.” Topsy is a similar option.
Once you find your proverbial golden goose, it’s time to make the existing content “better.” For example, a “link magnet” article such as “10 Amazing Superfoods” is easily enhanced by writing about “20 Amazing Superfoods.” Taking content that’s a few years old and updating it is another possibly, or taking a content idea and adding visually-enthralling images. A beautifully-designed page is much more likely to attract readers than an “ugly page” featuring the exact same content.
After you’ve “beat existing content on every level” through length, visuals and current information, contact fellow site owners who have already “linked out” to similar content. Let them know they’ve linked to your “favorite articles” and that you’ve created like content they may want to feature. Even if you don’t get as many responses as you want, remember that it’s about quality, not quantity, so a few good links is all you need!
The Skyscraper Technique plays on human nature, and how people are “naturally attracted to the best.” This is where the “skyscraper” idea comes in–you’re finding the “tallest skyscraper,” i.e the best (similar) content, and “slapping 20 stories to the top of it.” Once you try the method, you’ll find it’s your content that people want to share, talk about and link to.
Reaching out to experts in your industry and using a quote in a blog post or featured article is an excellent way to promote content. Inform the influencer of the post topic and ask if he or she wouldn’t mind sharing thoughts or advice. Buzzstream is an excellent tool for contacting influencers, and requires filling in keyword information to receive contact information of influencers in your chosen niche(s). Use email or social media to contact your chosen influencers, and remember to message more than one person for best results. Not everyone will get back to you, after all!
Once the blog post or other piece of content is written, quote included, link the influencer’s website and social media accounts. Ask the influencer to share the post on social media and in email newsletters in addition to promoting it on your own channels. Using a quote from a reputable source lends credibility to your brand and provides exposure to the influencer’s audience. Since the influencer is “in your niche,” you’ll expose your brand to more consumers in your target market.
Should you require assistance in creating the perfect email to send to influencers, simply begin by stating your name and your brand. Note that you’re about to publish a blog post and would like to request a quote, as adding a quote provides “even more value” to consumers in your industry. Say you’d appreciate the person’s thoughts on your content topic and that you’ll share the post with him or her before it’s published. You may also want to add you’ll be happy to link the influencer’s website and social media accounts to the post as additional incentive.
Forming lasting relationships with influencers also contributes to content promotion, as these people will continue to share your posts with their audiences. If possible, quote an expert in each post to further emphasize your credibility and relationships with industry experts. Additionally, you’ll build your contact list and can easily keep track of who you’ve contacted and your history with each. Daily emails that display all “follow-ups” you need to make are another of Buzzstream’s services. A free trial is available so you can try the tool before making a decision to commit.
Linking new content with your most popular existing content is an easy yet effective form of promotion. Log in to your analytics program (if you don’t have one, now’s the time) and perform a search for your most popular site pages. Find content that’s remained popular over the last month to six months for best results, and use the Social Crawlytics tool to discover which posts are most-shared. Using the tool is simple–type your URL to find the posts you want. It’s also free, and you can sign up with Twitter. Social Crawlytics has scanned some 435.8 million URLs to date, and features over 22,000 active users. Social media analytics are among the other services this tool provides.
Add links from trafficked/shared posts to your new post–create links within the text if desired. Another option is placing an advertisement sidebar or related content section at the bottom of the post that reads “If You Liked This Story, Check Out [These Posts]” or features similar wording.
Once you’ve linked your post as needed, submit it to content communities. This gives community audiences a chance to view your content, and while competition is quite fierce, if your content is high-quality, you’ll see a rise in traffic. Recommended options include BizSugar, Blog Engage, TribePro and Triberr. Browse each to determine which one (or which few) best suits your needs and go from there. For example, TribePro advertises itself as a serious “time-saver” in you can “gain massive exposure with the click of one button.”
BizSugar is another option for “sharing small business news and tips,” with sections including Startups, Marketing, Finance, Management and Technology. The site makes it easy to promote blog posts, videos, and other quality content designed to “help others learn from you.” It features a community voting system that finds digestible content via the “wisdom of the crowd.” Content with the most votes advances to BizSugar’s home page, and gain feature possibilities including the BizSugar Top 10 Widget, Twitter feed and weekly Top 10 Newsletter, which puts your content where you want it: in front of a larger audience.
TribePro, BizSugar and the other content communities mentioned provide the tools you need to promote not just your latest post, but your entire brand.
Social media content, eNewsletters, website articles and videos are among the top tools B2C marketersuse to promote their brand, which includes posting on an average of seven different social media platforms.
Using a list of social media platforms isn’t necessary, especially as confidence in Facebook as a viable platform is dropping. Pick which options garner the most results and work with those.
And while the above are merely some of the many tools and resources designed to promote your content, each of offers unique promotion strategies. Quality content is the only the first step in ensuring people learn about your brand and the products and services you sell. B2C marketing is about taking those next steps to put content in front of those most likely to buy from you, and keep buying from you.
Consumers rarely find content “by accident,” meaning every content marketing plan requires promotional options that complement each other. Look into the above possibilities as well as paid media options, and remember that some content is more appropriate for certain channels than others. For example, if you’ve created a detailed, well-written white paper, you aren’t going to promote it on Facebook, but you might try testing it on LinkedIn, a more “professional” social media option.
Never launch a B2C content campaign and “hope for the best”! Create amazing content, use several viable options you’ve thoroughly researched to promote it, and see how traffic rises and conversions/profits increase! Good luck!