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Making the Most of your Content Marketing

You know that content from your blog can translate into revenue. But creating content takes time and effort, so how do you get the biggest return from that content? It's a question of great importance in the world of blog marketing: How do you get your blog readers to buy from you- and to keep buying from you?

How much money are you making from your readers already? There's a high probability you don't know the answer to that question. You may know how your blog analytics look or how many subscribers or followers you've gained from posts, but that doesn't tell you what your readers are doing for your bottom line.

There have always been arguments for content. In the good old days of SEO, creating content was largely a long-term play focused on improving rank in search engines. There used to be simple techniques that worked like a charm to generate clicks. That's not the case in today's world of SEO, where employing techniques that are unnatural just to boost your search engine ranking can lead to penalties - something you want to avoid at all costs. Once the simple techniques stopped working, creating content became a more thoughtful and time-consuming endeavor for content creators, but the content itself became more useful for its consumers. There was a shift toward paid promotion to generate leads, although content creation was always part of the formula.

You may hear discussion about whether to focus your effort on promoting your content or on creating your content. The goal of both is to generate leads, but the reality is that neither approach is as important as what you do with your leads.

Your leads cost a certain amount of money to acquire. A percentage of your leads will translate into revenue for you. You have an overall average dollar value per sale or acquisition. Multiplying the number of leads you acquire or seek to acquire by the average percentage of leads that will buy from you by the average value of a sale on your site gives you a quantification of the immediate value of a lead. But that is only part of the story.

When you factor in the cost of acquiring a lead, the formula above could easily make acquiring leads look too expensive to be worthwhile. Whatever amount you spend in money or time to get people to your content may not look like it pays off once you quantify your return. But that is only part of the story. If you can get your leads to buy from you again and again - to repeat buy - that cost of acquisition starts looking a lot more attractive.

I used to run a men's grooming ecommerce site. The site sold expensive hair, shave, and related grooming products. Once we had prospective buyers in the store, we would be extra careful not to overwhelm them with annoying calls to action. While we had a discreet place where visitors could subscribe to our newsletter, the site wasn't littered with popup invitations or reminders to subscribe. Collecting email information is vital to lead generation, but piling on with popups and calls to action (\\"take a survey\\") is just bad form. Call to action requests generally benefit the site more than the reader or customer. And they can really turn people off. That's not to say there isn't a place for them, but it's not when your tyring to convert a lead.

Once you have a lead on your doorstep, really draw them in. If you are selling a subscription gift box, you might offer to let the customer get their first box for nothing more than the cost of shipping. If they like what they see, then you've got a repeat customer. You might lose a little more to get them to make the plunge and subscribe initially, but you may now have a subscriber who has a lifetime value that will potentially far exceed that loss. Also consider an upsell to offset the cost of acquisition. If you are selling televisions, offer a bundled deal that includes a soundbar or speaker system. You've got the lead, now capitalize on it.

After you convert a lead, build a relationship that keeps them coming back again and again. Cross-selling is one approach to this. If you sold a Keurig machine, offer the customer a deal on coffee pods. Items that have consumable components make cross-selling extremely effective, but it can work well for other items. Even if there is no direct relationship between a purchase and companion items, there are always related items. We've all seen the \\"because you purchased this, you might like that\\" emails. And they usually pique our interest. Cross-selling works well for email marketing, but of course be sure that your customer opted in to receive promotional mailings from you.

In conclusion, content marketing is more than creating and promoting content. The endgame is converting leads and increasing lifetime value from your acquired customers.


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