Why Great Content Isn’t Enough

I make a living creating content, but I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not enough if you’re trying to market your business online. Here’s how to take great content and turn it into great marketing material. 

The Problem With Business Blogs

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make when they try to do their own digital marketing is to create a blog that does nothing and goes nowhere.

You’ve seen them out there, languishing in the far, dusty corners of the web.  Maybe they’re well-written blogs but they’re forgotten blogs, useless blogs, blogs that don’t do anything.

Great Content Isn’t Enough

You have gone to all the trouble of creating masterful blog pieces, but if all they’re doing is just sitting there looking pretty, you’re not even close to realizing the full potential of all that work you put in.

A Blog is Only a Cog

Most business owners don’t care about blogs. What they do care about are leads and customers. A blog is important only inasmuch as it’s part of a larger marketing machine.

A blog is only a cog in that machine. 

To win at marketing, you need to start zooming out and thinking in terms of processes. Blogging is a technique. Marketing is a process.

Step Up to the Marketing ‘Process’

Your goal is to orchestrate a complete end-to-end marketing process that takes your online visitors and transforms them into loyal customers.

All of this will be automated.

Not all your online traffic is bound to become customer material, but a well-planned marketing machine will siphon out the leads for you and cultivate them as well, so some of them become customers.

Where do you fit in? Ideally, you jump in towards the end of the marketing process with a phone call to a very warm hot lead.

But before anything as wonderfully automated as all that can take place, you’ll need to get your process in place. To help you understand what that entails, here’s a look at what the whole progression of transformation looks like:

online visitor→subscriber→frequent visitor→engaged visitor→prospect→lead→customer→loyal customer→brand ambassador 

Hopefully, you won’t have to lift a finger until halfway through that progression when you have an actual lead.

Starting up the Machine: You’ve Got Great Content… Now What?

With the right online platforms and processes in place, you should be able to coax people through that flow on a regular basis. The first step is: you’ll need to get yourself a lead magnet.

By adding a lead magnet to your blog, you effectively take your blog to a higher level and make your content go to work for you on getting new leads. This is where you become a real marketer.

Lead Magnet 101

Your blog is free to all your online visitors, but a lead magnet allows you to slap a price on your premium content. Lead magnet, by the way, is just marketing lingo for super desirable content.

Essentially, with a lead magnet, you’re giving away premium content in exchange for email addresses. That’s done via a form on your website where people can submit their email addresses to your list, and voilà, you’ve fired up your marketing machine.

Of course, the magnet has to be magnificent or else nobody will bother filling out your signup form to obtain access. This magnificent content can take the form of a white paper, a subscription to your newsletter, an ebook, a video, or any other strong, desirable content you can come up with.

That is how you begin coaxing online visitors through the progression mentioned just above. Once someone is added to your email list, they become a subscriber:

online visitor→subscriber→frequent visitor→engaged visitor→prospect→lead→customer→loyal customer→brand ambassador 

See? You’re already two steps into the game. If your subscribers like what they get, they’ll come back for more. Keep regularly posting great content and email your list about it so they’ll come back often to see what’s up.

Soon, they may start to add comments, follow you on social media, remember your name, and more. That puts you deep into the flow:

online visitor→subscriber→frequent visitor→engaged visitor→prospect→lead→customer→loyal customer→brand ambassador 

Notice what’s next: prospects! You’re just one step away from having some good prospects. And your automated marketing machine is qualifying them for you.

Automation 101: In Case You Haven’t Noticed…

The flow we keep circling back to is largely automated. This automated process is qualifying leads for you so you don’t have to waste time calling people who aren’t interested in your services. How is this done?

All you’ve done at this point is to post good content on your blog, then create a lead magnet. You subscriber form works for you 24/7, collecting those emails. Then, by continuing to post great content, you keep those subscribers coming back.

There are more ways to engage your subscribers, and that’s to get proactive with more emails. Emails will also serve to narrow your subscriber list so you can hone in on those real leads.

Begin by sending follow-up emails only to those who have demonstrated a further interest in your product or service. Don’t do it by hand, though. Keep track of everything with a good Email Service Provider. This is the first principle of Automation 101.

Automation With Email Service Providers

Email Service Providers help you by keeping close tabs on the behavior of the people on your email list. Who’s clicking the links in your emails? Who’s clicking on CTA buttons? Who’s replying to surveys?

The email platform can send different emails to different groups depending on their behavior. That’s a very simple form of what online marketers call segmentation. Those automatically-generated emails? Those are called autoresponders.

Autoresponders are Your Workhorses

An autoresponder is an email that’s sent out automatically in response to a certain type of behavior on your website or in response to a previous email.

For example, if someone submits their info via the contact form on your lead magnet page, you’ll want to thank them for their interest in your lead magnet. Sending that ‘thank-you’ email can be an automatic process set up through a helpful email service platform like MailChimp or AWeber.

Here’s another example. Some people on your list will respond to an email that offers a free consultation. Well, that’s a lead. Time to pick up the phone!

Now look how far you’ve come:

online visitor→subscriber→frequent visitor→engaged visitor→prospect→lead→customer→loyal customer→brand ambassador 

Where Your Marketing Machine Can Take You

You now have under your belt the core components of a marketing machine. This machine will work for you to qualify leads while you are off attending to other matters.

By the time you enter the picture, you’re dealing with a qualified lead who’s primed and ready to buy. All they need is a bit of personalized attention from you.

Lead magnets and autoresponders may sound like inflated marketing gimmicks that won’t be around for long, but that’s not the case. Lead magnets work to grow your email list of contacts, and that’s always an asset. Autoresponders work to tame that unruly list, cultivating prospects, leads, and customers for you. Those outcomes will always be at the top of the marketer’s agenda.

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