In the content marketing era, there is no shortage of great information to consume online. While this provides web-surfing target audiences with a plethora of details on everything from how to find the right case for your iPad to how to screen an accounting firm, it also raises the bar on the caliber of content that will actually reach prospective clients/customers online. When developing web-based content to market your business or nonprofit, consider these ten characteristics of great online marketing content:
Pinterest is the fourth largest traffic driver in the world and Instagram’s weekly site visits recently hit 12 million, up from 56,360 in 2011. People are thinking visually. How can your small business or nonprofit develop visual content that resonates with prospects and further engages current clients? Think Infographics, behind the scenes photos and relevant workplace snapshots.
The beauty of online marketing content and the explosive growth of social media is that people can easily share information with their clients, colleagues, friends and family. In many ways, this makes content sharing the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing, or should we say word-of-mouse?
Businesses, nonprofits and individuals alike need to include share buttons on their blogs and other relevant online content so that interested audiences can share the information that they find remarkable with other like-minded consumers.
It is a lot easier to sell an automatic car starter in the middle of a chilly, snowy winter than it is on a warm and sunny summer day. Look for opportunities to tie your content in with timely trends – holiday shopping, tax season, hunger action month, etc. – to increase people’s receptivity to the information that you have provided. In addition to being timely, great content needs to be…
…relevant to an organization’s target buyer persona(s). Understanding what makes clients tick and what ultimately convinces them to donate or buy is key to creating content that moves the needle. Develop content that is timely and (obviously) relevant for optimal success.
With many organizations keeping their antennae up for timely marketing opportunities, the importance of giving one’s content a unique twist cannot be understated. Give people content that is worth consuming and sharing. Develop content that sets itself apart from the competition and clearly demonstrates the organization’s unique value proposition.
It sounds a bit absurd when you think about more serious topics, such as the dreaded audit, but when executed correctly marketing that is fun can make a big splash. It’s been a few years since Approva unveiled their ‘I Love a Good Audit’ campaign but it remains a top-of-mind example of how to make a dreaded topic more appealing to the target audience. From handing out ‘I love a good audit’ buttons at tradeshows to developing YouTube videos featuring The Singing CPA, Approva nailed it. Relevant and engaging content on an unsavory topic that was approachable and fun. A+ Approva. A+.
What makes a nonprofit’s annual appeal letter effective? Copy that evokes a connection between the reader and the organization. The same can be said for online content. Be it laughing, crying, smiling, smirking or shaking their head, you want people to react to your content. It’s part of what makes it memorable. Look for ways to evoke an appropriate emotional response from one’s target audiences to strengthen their connection to both your content and brand.
Following the rationale behind a nonprofit annual appeal letter, the goal is to have members of your target audience take action beyond simply consuming one’s content. For example, your nonprofit may have recently written an eloquent blog post featuring a client success story. While sharing news of the great work your organization is doing within the community is important, it is equally important to provide those who are compelled to support your cause after reading the post with an opportunity to do so. Something as simple as including a link to a donation page can make blog posts more actionable. This principle should be applied to all marketing content, from trade show displays to online advertising.
The rise of gamification is singlehandedly making the case for interactive online marketing content. While it may not be the best use of one’s resources to create the next AngryBirds, there are ways to apply gaming and reward principles to online content and further engage your audiences.
Attribution is key to building an online community. If someone shared a great statistic, acknowledge not only the source of the data but the person or organization from whom you obtained it. Whether the research is third-party or proprietary, good data is important for developing credible online content.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for helping small businesses and nonprofits ‘get found’ online and attract qualified leads. Before committing to developing a high volume of content, commit to developing high quality content. While Google is concerned about how often you update your website and the length of your blog posts, prospective clients are concerned about the depth of expertise that you are sharing and how your content is relevant to them and/or their business.
Considering launching a content marketing program for your organization? Check out our free Inbound Marketing Glossary. From whitepapers to widgets, we’ve got you covered.