Inform and Prosper
Share what you know to attract new customers and strengthen relationships
By Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia Inc.
Should a small or midsize local company become a publisher of information for the benefit of its prospects and customers? Strangely, the answer is a resounding yes.
Publishing might seem far removed from what you do on a daily basis, but it has emerged as the secret weapon that helps many businesses connect with consumers and improve sales.
Informational content is the killer tool for improving search performance. Google says in its webmaster guidelines that providing high-quality content is “the single most important thing to do.” The search giant is on a mission to create great user experiences with its search engine, and so it favors informative websites in search results.
By providing useful information, you get customers and clients talking and make them want to share what they have learned from you. They mention your company to their friends and associates and help your posts go viral. There is little else you can do in the realm of marketing that offers such huge potential.
Whether you are ramping up an existing communications program or starting from scratch, you can get a lot done without a huge investment. The least expensive approach is to launch a blog and begin posting high-quality content one post at a time. With a larger investment at startup, you can also create a collection of articles and/or videos about your specialty.
Here are some important things you can do with a blog.
- Create original, informative posts to satisfy Google’s needs.
- Announce blog posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. You’ll gain a following and take on the look of an authority in your field.
- Announce each blog post to your e-mail list to draw more attention and strengthen your image as an expert.
If you are struggling to get the kind of ratings you want on public review sites, content marketing could be a great choice for improving your image. Alternatively, if you are satisfied with your reviews, a steady regimen of informational content could cement your great reputation and make you hard to beat.
As you post new content, monitor the performance of each article or video so you know what’s working and what’s not. Don’t overreact to one high-performing or low-performing post, however, because there could be an unexpected explanation. Plan you topics in advance and stay the course until you see a clear pattern of reader response.
One final point: Do not to make your informational pieces promotional. You can connect an informational piece on your website to the sales channel by using a sidebar that includes “Contact Us” and “Subscribe” buttons and a link to your customer reviews page. You can also append a paragraph at the bottom that includes a sales pitch. For the most part, though, keep the articles strictly informational so as not to undercut your own good efforts.
If you’d like help creating and publishing expert information, please contact me at 800-796-3342 or firstname.lastname@example.org. PriMedia is based in Garden City.