Use valuable content to grow your business
“All great marketing is about understanding the people you want to reach and creating something valuable, interesting or entertaining just for them.” David Meerman Scott
Business development is changing, buyers’ expectations are changing. Valuable content is the focus of all effective marketing today.
Here is a short explanation of how to create and use this powerful type of information to help you sell your services and grow your business.
Why aren’t my customers listening?
If you run any type of professional business today you’ll know that, in terms of marketing, the world has changed dramatically. Tried and tested activities for getting client attention just don’t work as well as they once did.
- Advertising rarely gets enough response to justify the considerable costs.
- The specialist press you relied on for coverage has at best shrunk and at worst completely disappeared.
- The website you invested time and effort in creating a few years back doesn’t generate the leads you badly crave.
- Even your trusted network isn’t delivering enough opportunities to keep you going anymore.
You are expert in what you do and know that there are clients out there who would really value your assistance. How on earth do you get their interest?
Changed buying behaviour in a web-driven world
In the last 5 to 10 years the web has transformed buying behaviour. In the past, if a potential client wanted information on your services he would call your office and engage you or one of your sales team to get the low down on your offering.
Today his first port of call is undoubtedly the Internet. He’ll search on Google, ask his online social network for recommendations and visit your website. He is checking to see who he can best trust to solve his business problem. He expects to find valuable content. He’ll want to sign up for updates and social media feeds to find out more.
Today your customers are in control and you’d better make sure that the information you put up about your company answers their questions and positions you as the useful, trusted resource they seek.
Content: the beating heart of today’s marketing
“Content marketing is the only marketing left.” Seth Godin
Today, effective marketing is all about creating high quality content and sharing this across the web. By quality content we don’t just mean information that is well written or artfully produced. By quality content we mean information that is first- and-foremost of real value to your particular client base.
Educate your clients, show them best practice, tell them what to look out for, give them valuable tips on how to achieve success, demonstrate how you’ve helped others in their shoes; answer their problems, open their eyes
Creating and distributing this kind of relevant, valuable and compelling information will help you turn prospects into buyers and buyers into long-term fans.
“Create the type of information your buyers actually want to consume”
Marketing with valuable content is a win-win for your company and its customers: your potential clients get the information they require and you get to demonstrate your expertise and usefulness.
Valuable content will help you sell. It helps your ideal clients find YOU and makes it easier for them to buy from you. It doesn’t replace traditional sales approaches but adds weight to them. It’s the kind of information that those who appreciate your service are happy to pass on - making you easier to recommend. It’s an opportunity to position your company as the ‘go to’ place to turn to when the time comes to buy.
A different approach to client communication
If you want to reap the rewards that valuable content brings you need to start communicating differently. There are different rules of engagement here. The valuable content approach is not about continuing to holler about how amazing your firm is as we all did in the past. Unthink what you learned about sales and marketing messages. Help, don’t yell.
Your position should be NOT “look how great we are” (as in a traditional brochure) but “look how useful we are – we have the answers to your problems.”
This approach is truly customer-centred. Create content that is genuinely useful to your customers. Make yourself indispensable.
Not easy but essential
Creating and consistently delivering this type of information takes effort. You need to build a deep understanding of the needs of your target client base and of where and how you add value. It also takes time and skill. Valuable content may not be easy but it is an essential tool if you are going to grow and sustain a successful consultancy or service business in today’s social, web-driven world.
“The Valuable Content approach really works. By turning our website into a useful hub of information on all things payroll related we’ve seen a massive uplift in visitors, inbound leads and sales. Sonja and the team have helped us create all this content – it’s hard to do by yourself. They’re talented writers and digital marketers who really understand how to get the most from a business website.” Paul Marsden, Director of The Payroll Services Centre
We champion valuable content. Find out more about how the Valuable Content team can help you to apply this strategy to your business here.
Valuable Content Marketing: How to make quality content the key to your business success
By Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton, January 2013
David Meerman Scott’s book ‘The New Rules of Marketing and PR’ is the best argument I’ve found for this client-focused approach to marketing. ‘Get content, get customers’ by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett also gives valuable advice on the content tactics and types you can employ.
Relevant articles on our blog:
- What is valuable content? A short explanation and some examples
- Valuable content will help you sell – a short overview of the types of information you can provide, what to write about and examples of local heroes who do it right
- 5 things you can do to promote your company better - suggestions on where to focus your marketing and content efforts this year