If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either an entrepreneur or manager of one, as I write from the perspective of someone who’s been there, done that, and now is helping others get started in this very exciting industry.
This month, I’m sharing with you some of the best tips for online marketing that I’ve learned (and continue to learn) over the years. These tips will help you improve your odds of attracting quality traffic to your website and boosting your sales — even if you’re operating in an oversaturated market.
Tip #1: Create content that is highly relevant to someone’s pain point
The first and most important tip for online marketing is to create content that is highly relevant to someone’s pain point. Let’s be honest, we all want to be helpful, right? But, often times, the information that we need is not provided in the places that we look for it. For example, if you’re wondering how to start an online store, you might visit Google, Bing, and maybe even Facebook to see what others are saying or doing. But, unless your product or service solves a major problem for the person reading your content, you’re going to struggle to engage them.
You can also use search analytics to discover the keywords that people are using to find information about your industry. Once you know this information, you can create content to match these keywords and thus, attract the right audience to your offering. For instance, if you’re a business in the fitness industry and you discover that people are searching for ‘workout routines for women,’ you might create a blog post sharing valuable information about how to optimize your routine to maximize your outcomes. When writing your content, keep in mind that although you want to provide helpful information, you also want to make sure that your content is engaging and interesting. If you want to create high-quality content that keeps your audience coming back for more, follow these proven steps:
Step 1: Find your audience’s pain point
The first step in the process is to find your audience’s pain point. In the example above, the writer found an audience that was searching for ‘workout routines for women,’ so rather than just talking about how to workout, they provided helpful information about how to change up their routines to make them more effective.
To find your audience’s pain point, you need to do some research. Browse through content that is already being produced in your niche and see what is being said. Consider checking out reviews of products or services that your business offers or plans to offer. Look for places where your audience is already congregating (i.e., forums, Facebook groups, and Twitter spaces) and see what topics are being discussed. Finally, ask friends, colleagues, and other trusted individuals in your industry for their opinions about what is working and what is not.
Once you know where your audience is searching or what they’re discussing on social media, you can create content for them. This content should help them solve their problems. If you can match your content to something that they are looking for, you’re going to be able to increase your odds of gaining traction in an already saturated market.
Step 2: Create a buyer persona and target audience
After you’ve identified your audience’s pain point, you need to create a buyer persona and target audience. A buyer persona is a description of the kind of person that you’re writing to and how they think. You can also think of a buyer persona as a ‘persona’ in the Shakespearean sense—that is, a character that you impersonate in your writing.
A persona can enhance the effectiveness of your content by guiding you toward a better understanding of your target audience’s perspective. When you write, you will find it easier to connect with your audience if you assume the role of a person that they can relate to. This, in turn, will make them more receptive to your message.
The next step is to create a target audience. A target audience is a group of people that you’re trying to reach with your content. You can also think of a target audience as those that you’re aiming your content at. A good rule of thumb is to write to whoever is most important to you.
For example, if social media is where you get your information and you discover that a lot of your audience is there, you should definitely create content for them. But, if you identify that your hard-to-reach audience is in mobile apps, you might want to create content for those individuals instead. It’s always good to have multiple target audiences in mind when creating content. For example, if you have a blog post about working out, you might write to those who are new to the fitness industry or who are interested in science-backed methods of improving their workout regimens. You can also choose to write to those who already know a lot about the fitness industry and are looking for tips to improve their own regimens. Finally, you might want to consider writing to those who are interested in science-backed methods of improving their health, regardless of whether or not they’re interested in fitness.
Tip #3: Measure results… and learn from them
To make sure that you’re heading in the right direction as you create your content, it’s important to measure the results of your efforts. This is fairly simple, as you’ll simply need to look at the metrics that you’ve collected (e.g., the number of views, clicks, or users that your content has generated) and study them. In almost all cases, these metrics will point you toward useful information about your audience’s interactions with your content. This way, you can refine your content strategy and continue to provide the best possible experience for your audience.
The important thing to study here is not the raw numbers, but rather the patterns that they reveal. For example, if you have written a blog post about how to start an online store and you’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people who are reading your content, this is a clear indication that your assumptions about your target audience were correct (i.e., people who are interested in starting a business).
Tip #4: Content is only as good as its ability to generate more content
Finally, let’s not forget about the most important tip for online marketing: content is only as good as its ability to generate more content. When you write your blog post, you’re not only providing valuable information to your audience, but you’re also creating opportunities for other content creators to contribute to the discussion (e.g., through comments or social media platforms like Twitter).
When other content creators see that you’ve engaged with the topic, they will be more likely to respond to your call for comment or participation. Your content’s ability to generate more content is, in other words, its greatest weapon in its quest for business success.
Tip #5: Promote your content consistently
Last but not least, we have tip number 5: promote your content consistently. When you write your content, you’re either providing value and getting people to click-through and engage with your material (i.e., driving sales), or you’re creating content that merely exists to be stord.
To put it simply, if you want to be successful in an oversaturated market, you need to make sure that you’re promoting your content frequently and consistently. It’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day minutiae of running a business and forget to promote your content. But, if you want to have a successful blog, you need to make sure that it gets the attention that it deserves. This is why I’m a big fan of using content marketing to grow my business—I can write, produce, and promote content on my blog simply because I have a vested interest in doing so. But, if I want to attract more quality readers to my site, I need to distribute and promote my content far and wide.
The moral of the story is that to succeed in an oversaturated market, you need to write, produce, and promote content that is highly relevant to your target audience’s needs and interests. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your blog’s rankings in search results and thus, increase your odds of attracting an interested audience.
Forum threads and social media posts that link to your content are the digital equivalent of having a sign in front of your store that says, ‘we’re open.’ When your blog posts and social media posts link to and promote your content, your audience knows exactly where to find what they’re looking for and can easily get back to your site if they want more information.