One of the core strategies for driving traffic to a modern website is content marketing – creating compelling, entertaining, and useful content to capture the attention of your target market.
Content marketing is popular because it’s highly effective, it scales, it adds value, and can be created free (aside from your time). The article you’re reading right now is content marketing.
Your job, as a business owner or digital marketer, is to figure out what types of content work best for your capturing the attention of your audience and converting them into leads and sales.
Let’s take a look at the most popular core strategies. This will help you understand what your options are and what you want to start experimenting with.
Blogging & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Blogging is the act of publishing articles online. SEO is the act of getting your website’s articles and pages ranked in search engines so they can be found by lots of people.
Here’s a basic 3-step blogging & SEO strategy:
Write and publish articles that engage your target audience in various ways.
Your target audience finds your articles by searching for the topics you’re writing on or by seeing your articles on social media or mentioned on other websites.
Your target audience gets so much value from the article that they decide they want to (A) buy from you or (B) hear more from you (so they sign up to get on your email list or they contact you directly).
It’s not as easy as just sitting down and writing some articles and publishing them on your website, though. For starters, you have to know exactly what to write about. To do this properly, you need to know what your target audience is searching for and looking for and how much potential traffic is up for grabs.
This is where SEO comes into play. Since your target market is going to be using search engines like Google to try and find your content, you need to make sure that people are searching for what you’re publishing and that what you’re publishing comes up when people search for it.
You also need to write the highest quality content possible, because there’s a lot of competing content floating around in the world and there are many other established websites competing for people’s attention. If you’re thinking that this is hard work, you’re right. However, the payoff for getting content ranked makes it all worth it. If you play the blogging and SEO game right, you can earn tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of targeted visitors to your website every single month, for free.
Podcasting is like doing your own radio show. Except, instead of it going out live on the radio or the internet, it’s typically pre-recorded and published to a directory like iTunes.
Millions and millions of people are podcast listeners and most of them use apps on their phone to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. If your podcast is published in the iTunes directory, anyone can subscribe from anywhere in the world and listen to your content.
The story gets even better, though. The iTunes directory acts like a search engine, so just being in the directory with the right keywords can result in a lot of organic audience growth.
This isn’t a situation where you have to pay to promote your podcast or worry about sending attention to your podcast from other platforms (though that does help).
When you publish a new episode, the directory is updated and the new episode is automatically sent to all your subscribers.
Here’s the basic 3-step podcasting marketing strategy:
Start a podcast on a topic that will engage your target audience (like I did with Six-Figure Grind).
Publish episodes and promote your show to build a consistent subscriber base.
Use your authority, influence, and calls to action within your podcast to convert listeners into leads and buyers.
Podcasting is exploding in popularity because of how effective it is at converting listeners into leads and buyers.
We talked earlier about building KLT (know, like, and trust) with your audience. Well, it turns out that being in their ear for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or even longer every single week is a really good way to do that.
And since a successful podcast might have tens or hundreds of thousands of downloads every single month, it’s a massive opportunity.
By the way, you don’t have to start your own podcast to leverage podcasting. You can find podcasts that are already aimed at your target market and work your way onto those shows as a guest.
You’ll need a good reason for the host to bring you on their show, though. Having a book is a good way to get in. Having a name for yourself is another good way. At the end of the day, the host wants you to bring value to their audience.
Also there’s a thing called Podcast Sponsorships. We talked earlier about how effective podcasts are for building KLT and I recommended that you try to be a guest on certain podcasts in your niche if you don’t want to start a podcast of your own.
That’s not the only option, though. Most of the larger podcasts in your niche will have sponsorship spots you can pay for. They’ll do an “ad read” to put you in front of their audience as a recommended product or service.
This can be a highly effective form of digital advertising because of the nature of podcasts and the types of audience’s podcasts are able to organize and nurture.
One thing I’ll recommend is that if you’re going to do podcast sponsorships, don’t send people to a website address. Most people are listening to podcasts on their phone and on-the-go. They’re not going to stop what they’re doing to type in a website address and fill out forms.
Instead, make them text a code to a special number in order to get your offer. Use SMS (text message) marketing to collect their data and then send them the details of the offer. This allows you to not only capture their phone number but their email address as well. Then you can use SMS marketing and email marketing to follow up until you get the sale.
Not enough businesses are doing that. They’re still sending people to websites like we’re stuck in the old days. As a podcast host myself, I can tell you that SMS marketing is way more effective than trying to send listeners to a website.
YouTube is the largest video platform on the internet. It also behaves like a secondary search engine for hundreds of millions of people. Anyone can start a “channel” on YouTube, publish videos, and start building an audience of subscribers.
As is true with podcasting and the iTunes directory, YouTube acts like a search engine. So, you can build an audience directly through the platform without having to send subscribers to your channel from other platforms.
Here’s the basic 3-step YouTube marketing strategy:
Start a free branded channel on YouTube.
Publish high-quality videos that engage your target market and show up in YouTube search to build a subscriber base.
Use your authority, influence, and calls to action to convert your viewers into leads and sales.
What’s the scope and scale opportunity? It’s massive. YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active users watching videos for more than an hour a day on average (and that’s just on mobile devices).
YouTube viewers tend to be very loyal, too. If they like your content and personality, they’ll subscribe and continue coming back to your channel over and over again. It’s a great way to build KLT.
Another upside to YouTube is the ability to broadcast live to your audience. When you broadcast live, YouTube will prioritize your content in the feed and let people know that you’re live. This can bring more attention to you and let you engage your audience in a really relevant way.
A webinar is a live or pre-recorded online presentation. Typically, they’re slide-based, but they don’t have to be. While this might seem super techy, all that’s required is a webcam, microphone, and basic webinar software.
Here’s the basic 3-step webinar marketing strategy:
Create a free class on a topic your target market is interested in and get them to register for the webinar.
Teach (typically from 30-90) minutes.
Close with a direct pitch for your product or get indirect sales through product mentions and follow-ups.
Many people have great success with direct pitches on webinars and others have great success with indirect selling. There is no hard and fast rule – you should test out which strategy works best for your audience.
It’s also somewhat dependent on what you’re selling. If you have a software product, for example, you can teach a concept that requires your software and your audience will naturally see the power of the software and want to buy. It can be as easy as that. If you sell an information product, you might need a harder pitch to get good results. The best webinar players are getting stunning results, though. It’s not uncommon for a single webinar to do tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales depending on the size of the audience.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind about webinars, though:
Unless you have an existing audience, you’ll likely need to pay to drive leads to your webinar funnel.
Webinars have a “show rate” of about 30%. In order to get 100 people live on your webinar, you’ll need to get about 300 people registered.
Not all sales will happen on the webinar. Many will happen in the following days, but only if you have a good follow-up system in place.
There are specific formats that yield better results than others. It can take a lot of testing to figure out which format, which topic, and what style of delivery works best for your audience.
Webinars tend to work best when they’re combined with email marketing.
Here’s another benefit to webinars: When you design one that works really well, you can automate it by creating what’s called an “evergreen webinar.” You can even automate the pre-webinar emails and post-webinar follow-up emails.
Once that’s done, you drive traffic to your automated webinar funnel and you can make consistent sales without doing any extra work. It’s a very powerful opportunity.
Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing channels. For many businesses, it’s the number one driver of sales online. The reason email marketing is so effective is that it gives you the ability to “nurture” your prospects over time.
For many businesses, like those that sell software or information products, the sales cycle tends to be longer and requires significant KLT. That means you have to stay in communication with your prospects for a long time. Email is better for this than almost any other channel.
Here’s the basic 3-step email marketing strategy:
Create an account with an email service provider.
Build your email list using various digital marketing strategies.
Email your list with content that engages them and nurtures them and use calls to action to drive sales