We live in the information age—the Google Era. And era where customers are always looking for information to improve, better and make changes in their lives. In view of this, businesses that become a source of nourishment for their customers excel in the marketplace.
If you run a professional service business like consulting, IT services, engineering, events management, branding, training, accounting services, audit, finance, investing, tourism, hospitality, insurance, legal, health, music, makeups and any others, it means your customers rely on your expertise to do business with you.
If you want to position your business as the best and the thought leader in your field, the main way to go about that is content marketing. You can use content marketing to promote your service business to your target market and attract them into your sales funnel.
But what the heck is content marketing?
Content marketing is the art and science of evaluating the needs of your target market, creating high value contents to meet their needs and leveraging social media channels to promote the content to them so that they can find your content. Content marketing uses a blend of blogging, social media, email and SEO to attract and connect with your target market.
So how do you use content marketing to promote your service business?
- Conduct a Target Market Survey
Content marketing will not help you if you have no clear idea of your target market.
To excel in using content marketing to promote your service business, you have to identify your target market. You have to be clear on who is it that you want help and fill his/her need with your contents.
So you have to answer these questions to know and understand your target market:
- Who is the target market/customer?
- What are the needs and problems that the customer is facing?
- How is the customer coping and solving these problems?
- How does the customer consume information?
- How does the customer find information to deal with his problems?
- Where can the customer be found—online and offline?
- What type of information does the customer needs?
- Develop Your Target Market Profile
Once you have conducted target market survey through questionnaires and interviews, the next step is to analyze that information to develop your target market profile.
This profile should describe the ideal target customer, why he/she needs content, the type of content he/she needs to make decisions and how to present that information. This profile can then be used to start your content marketing campaigns.
- Develop Your Content Format & Schedule
Once you have developed your target market profile, the next step is to develop your content format and schedule. Your content format is the type of content you want to create for your target market. Your content scheduled is how often you will create those contents.
There are different types of content formats:
- Case studies
- Press releases
- Industry Reports
Once you are through with the contents, the next step is to develop your content schedule. When will you be creating the content, how often will you be publishing your content? Will it be thrice per week, twice per week or five times per week?
- Create a Blog & Social Media Pages
Once you have your content strategy in place, you have to set a blog and social media pages to publish and share the contents. Most professional websites do not have blogs because they have not discovered the incredible potential of using content marketing to promote their service business.
So you need a blog or a news page on your site. Then you also have to create social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all others to share and promote your contents to your target market. You can also set up a You-Tube channel for video blogging.
- Research & Create Your Content
Once you have everything set, the next step is to research and create high value contents that will meet the needs of your target market. Your content must be design to solve the problems of your target customers. It must attract them and make them click on the links to read the posts.
Your contents must be rich. The contents must be original. The contents must meet the needs of your target market. For example, if you are into corporate legal services begin to create legal contents that help your customers. Use your contents to attract, connect and help your target market!
- Edit & Format Your Content
You want to make sure you have corrected your spelling, grammar and expressions. You also want to make sure you have formatted the content well so that they can be easy to read and understand. So edit and format your content very well before optimizing them for publication.
Once you are through with your content doing all the grammatical checks, spelling mistakes and all other editing stuff, the next thing to do is to optimize and publish your content.
- Optimize and Publish Your Contents
Optimizing your content is where SEO (Search Engine Pptimization) comes! You can use content marketing to promote your professional service business on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing by optimizing your contents to appear on search engines.
This is because if you optimize your contents by doing the meta tags, meta description, title URL refining, content formatting, readability improvement and all others it will increase and improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website over time.
Once you are done your on-page SEO, just click on publish and your content will go live on your blog/You-tube.
- Promote And Share Your Content
It is one thing to create contents and another thing to share the contents. If you create great contents on your website and you do not share and promote them, the contents will not have no impact on your business.
You have to promote your content if you really want to use content marketing to promote your service business!
So how do your promote your contents?
- Use social share posting on you blog
- Post the content on all social media platforms of your target market
- Send the content via email to your customers and email list
- Share the content on article submission sites
- Share the content on LinkedIn Groups
- Share the content on Facebook Groups
- Share the content on online forums (if allowed)
- Share the content through WhatsApp
- Create PDF of the content and let people access by filling forms
- Connect with influencers to help share the contents.
- Optimize Your Traffic to Generate Leads
If you promote the contents, you will generate traffic on your blog or You-Tube Channel. Once you are generating traffic, the next thing to do is to find a way to optimize that traffic to generate leads that you can take through the sales funnel to close into sales.
So how do you optimize the traffic to generate leads for sales?
- Use Call-to-Action (CTA) to build your subscriber list
- Create pop-up, message and notification bars to generate leads
- Synchronize your website with your CRM to generate prospects
- Use content upgrades like PDF and EBooks to generate leads.
- Nurture Your Leads to Generate Sales
The fact that you have generate leads through your website, social media, blog, autoresponder, CRM and any other digital channel does not necessarily mean that you will get sales. To use content marketing to promote your service business, you have to nurture the leads to generate sales.
You nurture the leads by building relationship with the leads. You nurture the leads by building trust with the leads. And you do this by sharing more contents with your leads over and over again. You nurture the leads by asking questions, finding more problems and helping them.
Then you begin to promote your services to the leads by asking them to buy your services. Over time your leads will be converted into customers and cash will begin to flow into your bank account! Submit your comment below on how to use content marketing to promote your service business.
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Francis Sabutey is the founder and CEO of Think Expand. He is an author, digital entrepreneur, digital marketer, top-notch blogger, and a social media strategist. He and his team works with local businesses and organizations to use digital marketing to attract more customers and build strong brands. To reach him, shoot an email to email@example.com or call/WhatsApp +233548334499.