It’s a shame that a majority of companies in Malaysia do not pose a strong front in content marketing.
It’s also a great opportunity for you.
Delivering creative and highly valuable content to your customers will bear its fruits and take you to heights you’ve never imagined.
Before that, let’s start with the basics, shall we?
We are currently in the age of digital marketing, where traditional marketing tactics and media are losing its effectiveness.
If the term traditional marketing confuses you, they’re the ads you see on newspapers, television and radio.
Businesses need to move on to new tactics and methods to market themselves in order to be relevant.
People have an off switch for ads these days. Your messages need to be of value to them. Quality becomes crucial.
Fluff won’t cut it anymore.
Businesses need to start creating content. How do you start?
What Is Content Marketing?
The definition states it as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Wooh, that’s a mouthful.
Simply put, it’s an approach to distributing high-quality content to drive actions (likes, clicks, shares and comments) from customers. Still confusing?
In two words, SOFT SELLING.
This means you should start disseminating content for your company.
Do I need it?
Is it a priority?
What do I get from it?
How do I do it?
Cause Effect thinks we can help you with those questions.
Since you’re here, you know it’s important. Everybody’s who’s anybody is doing it, but why?
Why You Need Content Marketing
1. Customer Loyalty
Giving free information that is helpful to your customers will build a network of customers who are loyal to your brand.
You give them a reason to invest their time and attention to your brand.
When you provide this regularly, your customers will check in on your platforms regularly.
This means higher traffic from regular customers. Cha-Ching!
When you deliver high-quality content regularly, your customers see it as a display of your knowledge and strength.
This improves your credibility (trust) and their perception of your business.
It also makes you an authority on the subject.
When you’re an authority figure in the industry, it builds credibility, which is vital when prospects are making purchasing decisions. Without credibility, people might like your ad but won’t buy the product.
The best thing about content is that it is interactive. It encourages your customers and interested parties to ask and have conversations with you.
This means you can get to know who is interested in you.
You understand their needs, concerns and demographics (age, gender, income and location of your target market) better.
Content, when done right, can inspire meaningful interactions, allegiance, and inspire positive advocates (people who say nice things about your brand).
When your customers and prospects want to know something, they Google it.
Your business needs to be at the right place when they do.
You might already know about SEO plans, but the more content you have on your list with the right keywords, the easier you are to find.
Companies with blogs are proven to attract more inbound links (links on other web pages that direct customers and search engines to your web page), and blogs on company websites tend to attract a significant increase in visitors.
The new reality is that no matter what business you’re in, you need to be a publisher as well to remain competitive.
People need your business to deliver insight into a field they barely understand while entertaining them.
Layering valuable information and entertaining content will make your platform a one-stop centre for many.
When you distribute high-quality content, you speak and interact with your customers in a healthy manner.
If you’re an open system company (companies that take customer’s comments into consideration), you don’t just acquire each interaction as a lead, you also increase the possibility of conversions into a sale by setting up the trust before you even make the sale.
HubSpot, in its 2015 benchmark report, found that companies with 400+ published blog posts also got 3x the number of leads over companies that have published between 0-100 blog posts.
How To Start Marketing Content
Every business has different needs, and that means a different content marketing plan.
How can you create a content marketing plan for your business that makes sense?
Here is a five-step framework to help you start:
Set your objective.
What does your content need to achieve to reach that objective?
How will your content support or improve your other activities, including sales, service, promotions, advertising and public relations?
How wide is your target market net?
What do they like?
What do they need?
What do they hate?
This is important so you can match what they want with what you can provide.
What do you need to say?
How do you want to sound?
What topics will you create content about?
Your content must sound right while containing information your audience needs to experience.
It must also be optimised for search engines and your institutional objectives.
How will you share the content?
How frequent will the content distribution be? For how long?
How will you optimise your platforms for content distribution?
It’s best to pace yourself and start with a low frequency to ensure quality.
As your channels get more established you pick up the pace, becoming more adept and able to keep up with the increase of content frequency.
Above all, the quality must never be sacrificed.
Pace yourself. Inconsistency breeds contempt, after all.
5.Monitor & Adapt
This is important.
What impact does your content have on your traffic and search engine rankings?
Which content generates the most engagement?
Are you hitting the right market?
Are the engagements positive or negative?
These are the kind of data you need to assess regularly to keep adapting your content plan and writing to achieve success.
No plan will work straight away.
Leave room to manoeuvre and adapt to the situation to achieve maximum impact.
As you grow, your audience grows as well. Learn to adapt to new markets and their needs as well.
HubSpot is a brand that truly knows how to craft high-quality content and develop tools in the online marketing niche.
We’ve all heard of HubSpot’s case studies, white papers, podcasts, eBooks, videos or blog posts created by HubSpot. You may have also used one of their tools like the Website Grader.
HubSpot was launched in 2006. 5 years later, they have already scaled up to have over 4000 customers and 200+ employees.
That’s an impressive growth track, and it’s still growing.
Are you curious about how HubSpot gets their customers?
75% of their leads come from their inbound marketing efforts, which include content and tools.
Their marketing blog alone has 300,000 subscribers and drives 2M visitors every month.
That should give you a little incentive.
Mint might be a new name for you, but it’s a personal financial product. Mint first established credibility after winning the TechCrunch40 in September 2007.
Mint had no obvious viral growth loop, but the company managed to scale up to over 1 million users within a couple of years.
About two years later, Mint was bought over by Intuit for $170 million.
In 2007, blogging was only used by a small number of companies.
Mint acted on the opportunity and incorporated blogging as one of the central aspects of their marketing operations through their blog, MintLife.
Now that’s seizing the day.
How To Generate Leads
Content is not just an amazing tool to establish authority and build credibility.
It gets you leads.
How do I convert blog traffic into leads? Here are some ways we can remember. To know more, just send us an email! We’d be happy to help
Incentivise your readers to visit your website or fill up an online form containing their emails and contact information.
You can also create competitions and events that require them to.
Here are a few ideas.
It converts at approx. 0.4%.
It converts better than its static partner at 0.76%.
4.Display Notification Bar
A notification bar appears at the top of your blog and communicates an incentive you would like to offer your readers.
Be creative and introduce your website link in a way that will incite the reader’s curiosity.
You know e-mails sell.
Converting traffic to leads through emails will take a longer time than you are comfortable with.
It does offer the highest return, though.
According to SEEWhy report, for instance, email is the best converting traffic source in E-commerce, bringing over 67% of traffic that buys.
Its average ROI is over 40 times the dollar spent.
90% of customers prefer to receive email updates from retailers.
They want it.
If you’re not building a leads list through emails, you’re missing out big time.
Here are few ways to collect emails on your blog:
A popup can be converted at 5.5% rate. A website saw up to 10x increase in subscribers after implementing a popup, based on a case study by AdEspresso.
AdEspresso’s popup converts at around 2.5% each month.
Don’t know what it is?
Our sources say:
Anything that your potential customers will find valuable. You’re going to offer it for free in return for their email and consequently a chance to develop a relationship with them.
A classic example is an eBook. It’s not the only one, though. Here are some good alternatives for those looking for some variety:
Tools | Templates/Checklists | Discounts | Email Courses
There it is. Your crash course in content marketing. If you need a reminder here’s something we made to help you remember all this information.
We hope this inspires you to be one of the prime movers who will benefit the most from practising effective content marketing in Malaysia.
If businesses are to flourish in Malaysia, they must start by embracing new ways to market themselves. New cultures and norms must be implemented and practised in order for the market to improve.
It’s up to all of us. If we all move into the digital age well prepared, the market will improve and Malaysia will be one of the frontrunners of the digital industry. We would all benefit from that.
If you need a little help, come and talk to us for a free consultation in content and the many other services we provide at Cause Effect Consultancy.
Cause Effect is just a click away!