content marketing

6 Ways To Grow Your Business With Content Marketing

content ideasAll of us want to grow our businesses, otherwise why are we doing what we’re doing, right?  Here are a handful of ways you can use words to your advantage in growing profits for your business.

  1. Increase Your Profile

One of the first things people do before they buy from you is check you out – and so they should. Everyone wants to do business with people they like and trust. In this day and age it’s very easy to perform those checks – your digital footprint is already strong, whether you like it or not. It doesn’t take much to figure out who someone is, how they operate, who their friends are and what sort of service they deliver.

Potential customers will look at your website, nosey around all of your social media profiles, check out the profiles of your customers and read reviews. For these reasons it’s incredibly important to look after your online ‘face’ and ensure it represents you in the best light possible.

  • Always keep contact details up to date and highly visible
  • Keep an eye on review sites to see what people are saying about you and respond appropriately where necessary
  • Update your social profiles regularly – post new content and respond to queries/feedback
  • Publish information on your blog/website that helps customers see and feel the authentic version of you and your business
  1. Appeal To New Customers With Content Marketing

When it comes to increasing profits we tend to think about acquiring more customers. But how can you use content to entice these customers? By turning your website into a hub of valuable information that your prospects are looking for, you will begin attracting your ideal customers from a variety of different channels.

Increasing the number of website pages filled with relevant and unique content means:

  • More space to target keywords and phrases that can be searched via Google
  • More fodder for people to engage with on social media
  • More reasons to email your database with valuable information that generates interest
  • More ways to build rapport and increase your credibility
  1. Increase Customer Lifetime Value

Whilst clearly necessary, acquiring new customers is hard work! Another way to grow your business is by increasing the value of your existing client base.

There’s a couple of ways to do so:

  • Increase Purchasing Frequency

If you are consistently publishing new content that’s relevant to your customer base, you have a valid reason to contact them with it. It keeps you front of mind and brings your products and services back to the forefront for them. For someone who may purchase from you once every six months, content marketing can help inspire them to buy every three months instead. You therefore double their value as a customer.

Often people are in need of their next purchase but they’re simply not aware of it yet. This lag time is costing you money. By touching base more regularly you can reduce the lag time in purchasing frequency and increase your profits.

  • Build Longer Relationships

When you increase your communications schedule and deliver genuine value through your comms, you are going to build a stronger relationship and connection with your customers. When you make them part of your conversation they will feel more inclined to engage with you. It helps to extend the life of your relationships from one purchase to multiple purchases and from months to years.

Building a solid base of repeat customers with a high lifetime value helps iron out the cashflow highs and lows and gives you more revenue to acquire new customers with.

  1. Get More Customer Referrals

Creating content that is eminently shareable is the best way to increase word of mouth business. Give your customers something to talk about so that they proactively share your name with friends, family and colleagues. Publish content that gets cut through (is clever, witty, emotive) and is relevant to solving your customers’ problems. Then ask them nicely to share it with anyone they think may benefit. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive!


  1. Lower Your Sales Costs

Profits are equally tied to expenses as they are to revenue.   By leveraging content marketing you can reduce the amount of time and effort spent on sales thereby reducing costs.

Time is money. And if you’re spending too much time, or your sales person or team is spending too much time on mundane tasks that are not revenue generating, then you are wasting money. Your sales function needs to be as streamlined as possible and that means only working with high quality leads that can be closed quickly. If prospects come to your sales team further along the decision making process, well-qualified, how much better would that be for everyone?

Content marketing can definitely help with this. When you publish content that’s aligned with your ideal customer’s decision making process, you are creating assets that educate and nurture prospects; they’ll either qualify or disqualify themselves as a realistic lead for your business. This is great news! It makes the sales call that much faster and easier for everyone.

The use of marketing automation technology allows you to build these sequences once and then have them running without taking the time of anyone on your team. For instance, when someone visits your website and likes what they see, they download a free thing to continue their education. They then start to receive emails from you, which furthers their knowledge and helps them understand how you can help them. When it comes time to buy, they are more likely to call you, as your brand and know-how will be top of mind. Combining your content and technology in this way can be invaluable to your bottom line.

  1. Reduce Customer Support Time

The key to content marketing is providing information that is educational, entertaining, or valuable in some way. A great place to start is with a list of frequently asked questions by your prospects and customers. If you publish really detailed answers to all of these you will be saving your support team a whole host of time, whilst offering a very valuable service to your customers. The Q&A content becomes an asset to your business that can be used over and over again. Instead of writing a full email response every time a different client asks you a similar question, you can send them a link to your blog post that has already been written.

Having these content assets available on your website also reduces the amount of support phone calls you need to answer. Customers are likely to search on Google or browse your website for answers before they dial. They’ll appreciate you making the information easy to find.

Content marketing can and should be customised for every business. Don’t ignore it and don’t leave it to chance. Regular, relevant content is a fantastic way to increase the profitability of your business.

If you need a hand creating content for YOUR business, drop me a line and we can figure it out on a free ideas extraction session.


Business Buzzwords: love them or loathe them

Buzzword bee cartoonWhether you add these to your ‘never on a month of Sundays’ list, or you try to throw at least three in at every business meeting you attend, these are the business buzzwords you should know for the next financial year.

  1. Remarketing: It’s a form of display advertising (think banners, medium rectangles, leaderboards) whereby the ad for your company is continuously shown to a user even after they have dropped off your website (or the website where they first were shown the ad). This remarketing occurs if the user doesn’t convert (i.e. click on the ad) when they are first shown the ad  This form of marketing (even though some may consider it stalking!) has one of the best returns on investment and should be part of your marketing strategy if you are buying ads across networks.
  2. Goal Digger: [I love this play on words.] A goal digger is someone who pursues and successfully achieves their goals – usually in a creative or opportunistic way.
  3. H2H: [This is soooo good and necessary.] Rather than thinking about your business marketing as business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), innovative brand marketers are starting to throwing around H2H, which stands for human to human.
  4. Freemium: Freemium is a pricing model that is often found in the software or web services industry. It’s the offer of a free limited version of a product or service, sometimes with a small amount of additional features.  The goal is to provide just enough functionality in the free version to hook customers, but limit them in a way that encourages an upgrade to the premium version.
  5. Freeples: [Beware of these people!] These are the ones who constantly sign up for free things – tips, webinars, eBooks, recordings – but never actually ever want to bring out their credit cards and pay for your services.
  6. Newsjacking: This is when a company leverages a current news story to exercise its own marketing or sales message. Quite clever if you ask me, if executed well.
  7. Mydeation: The use of a group, in a brainstorming session, to help an individual solve a specific challenge or to generate ideas for their own new product or business venture.
  8. Conversation Marketing: [Absolutely necessary in the current climate.] Marketing that is conducted with the goal of having a direct one to one conversation with customers through the use of social media and other channels such as email marketing or mobile marketing.
  9. Big Data: Essentially, Big Data is the exponential growth and availability of both structured and unstructured data. The idea is that this data should be used to inform business decisions and direction, as well as product/service development and the subsequent marketing.
  10. Millennials: This is the name for our friends in Generation Y, the kids born between 1982 and 2004. They are computer natives, having grown up heavily using communication, media and digital technologies. Their tendency is to move about a lot and always be connected.
  11. Responsive web design: The process by which your website is designed so that the screen automatically resizes to be viewed correctly on smaller screens such as tablets and mobile phones.
  12. Native Advertising: Native advertising can be considered a sub-set of ‘content marketing’, meaning the practice of using content to build trust and engagement with potential customers. Online advertisers attempt to gain attention by providing content that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. By providing content in the context of the user’s experience, the hope is that it will feel less like advertising and become more easily digestible for the user. For example, an advertiser would write an article to promote their product that uses the same form as an article written by the journalists of the online publication. The word ‘native’ refers to the content’s coherence with other media on the platform.
  13. Brand Storytelling: The act of storytelling is not a new concept. However, the way we think about communicating our stories has altered. Storytelling must be at the heart of any brand strategy. Whilst the content may actually stay much the same as it has in the past, the technology advances – as well as user expectations – have changed the game for how we market and deliver content. The majority of brand marketing tends to fail if there isn’t a really good story at the heart of it.

So whether you love them or loathe them, these are the concepts and buzzwords floating around the marketing and advertising world at the moment. Have some fun with them. Next time you’re in a meeting with a client, see how many you can throw in! If they stare blankly at you, you get a great chance to step up and sound like the guru that you are!

Don’t Waste Your Time With Content Marketing


Did you just write, “don’t waste your time with Content Marketing?”

But aren’t you a Content Marketer, I hear you say?

Well, yes, but the truth is, that for some businesses, content marketing IS a waste of time.

And you know why? Because they just ‘play’ at it. Muck around with it. Learn about it but don’t truly implement it in any meaningful way.

The thing with content marketing is, that unless you actually plan it, work at it and make it part of your business practise, it won’t work.


And who cares right? You’ve got other marketing avenues you can throw your cash at….

I’m probably not supposed to say that, given that this is what I do for a living. However, I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Also, I guess Content Marketing is not really unique in this sense. I mean, how many times have you learnt things, known that it will be good for you or good for your business, been all fired up about it and then failed to follow through? All razzed up and nowhere to go! Nothing changes unless something changes….

The guts of content marketing – building an audience through content creation – is what I preach.

The channels – Facebook, Google+, Twitter – are all must-have tools in the modern business kitbag.
Being found by the behemoth – Google – is imperative to commercial success.
Your blog is your content hub from which all content marketing efforts need to emanate.
There is a process for content marketing success, which, when repeated, will yield awesome results for your business.

I can tell you this stuff until I’m blue in the face, but again, the truth of it is that none of it matters one iota unless YOU ACTUALLY DO IT.

And, I hear you mutter, personal relationships and lots of free value-add content is ‘not relevant’ in my marketplace/industry/business. I’m not a coach, I’m not a consultant, I don’t need to build those kinds of relationships. My products/services sell themselves.

Ok then. Sit back and let them sell themselves, and talk to me in 12 months time when you’re wondering why you don’t have a business anymore….

So, is this Content Marketing hoo-ha all a big fat waste of time? That would be terrifying, right? (In fact, worse for me than you, because this is what my business hangs its hat on!)

Instead of banging your head against the proverbial brick wall, maybe I could just do it all for you. Take that pain away. You could hire me to write your plan, plan your stuff, execute on the plan, write some things….that sounds cool, right? But then what happens when the money runs out and I leave and go do it for someone else?

I’ve written countless plans, schedules, inspirations, strategies… but I wonder how many of them have actually been implemented?

I know this shouldn’t frustrate me, but it does. I know I get paid regardless, and that you are in no way obligated to implement anything you pay me for, but it still shits me!

The truth is, it IS frustrating because I genuinely want to help you achieve success online.

Want to know the kicker? It doesn’t matter what I believe and what I want….YOU have to believe in it first. YOU have to really want this. To make a difference with your business by reaching more people with your awesomeness.

So many business owners come to me wanting to know HOW to write better. And yes, there are definitely techniques and ways to approach writing that can be taught. But I think that we perhaps focus too much on the ‘How’ of content marketing. We get lost in tactics and techniques and forget to ask the big question, ‘Why?’

Here’s the thing. You have to be able to answer these questions:

1. Why do you engage in content marketing? AND….

2. What if content marketing actually works???


Here are my answers:

1. To build an audience.
2. (short and commercial answer) I’ll sell more coaching and consulting gigs. (long and more thoughtful answer) I’ll be able to pick and choose the projects I want to work on and have an enviable lifestyle that works for me and my family without sacrificing time or money.
And this is why I love to (and need to) build my audience through Content Marketing. I love what I do and I really enjoy creating content that adds value and offers something useful to the people who I hang with. Because they’re kinda looking for that sort of thing.

But that doesn’t have to be you. Everyone will have different answers.

However, the underlying truth is that all content marketing initiatives should be about building an audience which at some point you want to sell something to. 

Personal brand, authority, profile are all excellent by-products. But the guts of it is that you have to want to eventually sell something to the audience you are building.

And if you’re not building an audience, then content marketing is a waste of time. You’re simply Facebooking for fun. You’re playing around. Mucking about. Wasting time.

That’s a bit black and white, but it’s the truth. If you’re not working to build an audience, then you’re not content marketing at all.



So here’s some things you can do to STOP wasting time:

  • Set a goal (financial, numbers of fans, etc)
  • Decide on, and really get to know your target audience.
  • Setup the communication channels and tools required to capture that audience.
  • Set up a process to connect with your audience.
  • Dedicate yourself to the task of content creation.
  • Test. Test. Test.
  • Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose.
  • Make friends with – and share stuff from – other creators.
  • Use tools to improve efficiency (measurement tools etc).
  • Create one-to-one conversation opportunities.
  • ASK FOR THE SALE (**If we build an audience and never ask for the sale then the cash register never rings.)

Content marketing is a business function.

When done with purpose, when done consistently and with skill, content marketing works.

How to write a ‘Curated Blog Post’

Numbered Clipboard For List on Curated BlogMany of my clients ask me to write their blogs for them. And that’s fine – it’s work, right?? And I enjoy doing it. Getting into the head of my client, deeply understanding their target market and what they desire and writing appropriate content to inform, enlighten and invigorate them – and hopefully lead them down the sales path eventually. But writing regular posts can be hard yakka for business owners or marketers who have lots of other things in their business to be doing. It’s not always easy to think of topical and new things to say that will engage your audience. BUT there is a way to make it less stressful. You need to be resourceful but not necessarily inventive.

It’s called Content Curation.

You see, not all of your blogging content has to be 100% original. As long you are careful to quote sources, check facts and do some due diligence, you can gather and share selected content from around the web with your readers. Learn who the thought leaders in your industry are, identify the quality resources, then choose only the most relevant and comprehensive insights and pull them together in a meaningful way. And by ‘meaningful’ I mean you really have to add your own thoughtful commentary, or ‘annotation’, to the content to make it individual and set yourself apart as an expert in your field. Content Curation is just as valid as Content Creation if you do it well. It will serve your audience in the same way by educating and informing and should also attract new readers. As long as what you are quoting is credible and relevant, there is no problem. The bonus for you is that you don’t have to create all the content from scratch, thereby saving yourself a whole lot of time. The bonus for your audience is that you are introducing them to different perspectives on a particular topic, and collating useful information all in one spot (saving them time and effort also). They will start to view you as the expert who sifts through all the information and presents it in a useful and (hopefully!) succinct way.

So let’s take a look at how you might pull together a Curated Blog post.

  1. As with any type of blog, you need to PLAN IT

    1. Identify your audience
    2. Have a key take-away in mind
    3. Identify the types of content you want to curate (e.g.: infographics, stats, data, graphs, videos, expert tips, eBooks, case studies, quotes, webinars)
    4. Brainstorm some titles
    5. Create an Outline – intro, body, conclusion

    1. Your intro should empathise with your audience around a particular problem/issue
    2. Step through how you’re going to solve that problem with the content you’re providing
    3. Then move into the body where you should provide more detail about the content you have curated
    4. Start your list of curated items
    5. As this is not a How-To list you don’t need to provide transitional statements between the items
    6. Move into the conclusion where you wrap up how your curated content list answered the problem for the reader as stated in the intro
    7. Finally, finish with a question that encourages feedback or commentary

    1. Include a Call to Action (CTA). Do you want them to download your eBook, sign up to your newsletter, or Tweet about your great post?
    2. Revisit your title – you may want to tighten it up now that the body is written
    3. Link out to any additional resources you may want to include
    4. Choose an appropriate image to accompany your post
    5. Ensure all links are working and correctly named
    6. EDIT and EDIT again!
    7. Publish

I’d love to hear about any of your recent Curated Blogs. Post them below so we can all share in the joy.

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