Creating Compelling Content [Without Giving Away Company Secrets]

Creating Compelling Content [Without Giving Away Company Secrets]

Creating Compelling Content [Without Giving Away Company Secrets]

As a digital marketing company that believes strongly in the power of content marketing to draw in qualified leads, we get a lot of questions about how to write content effectively. Probably the most asked question when it comes to creating content is, “but won’t we give away company secrets?”  And the answer to that is sometimes, yes. Creating compelling content often means creating content that divulges how your company got to be where you are, and what it is that makes you special. But that’s not a bad thing, and we promise it’s not going to ruin your company or give your competitors a leg up. Here’s why:

If you’re looking to create compelling content, the first thing you need to do is forget everything you think you know. Giving away your company’s secret isn’t going to lose you money or turn clients away.

If You’re Worried About the Competition:

Don’t worry about the competition. At least not when it comes to content marketing. Unless you have some highly prized product like the Google search algorithm that no one could never engineer or produce or that is so top secret your business would literally crumble if one extra person knew it, your competition probably already has the formula. We hear it all the time: “I don’t want to put out too much content, because then my competitors will know how I do what I do.” If we’re being honest, they already know. All lawyers go to law school. All roofers know what products are on the market, and which ones are the highest end. All manufacturers have access to a wide variety of manufacturing methods. What really sets you apart is how you conduct business, and how you interact with potential clients.

If you’re a roofer, it’s not how you put on shingles or what shingles you put on that makes the difference. What makes the difference is that you’re respectful to homeowners, you complete projects quickly, and you make sure your crews clean up after themselves. What might make you stand out even more is an extra-spectacular warranty or service program, but people will have to know about it if you want that to set you apart. When you get down to it, your secret sauce isn’t all that secret. Heck, even McDonald’s has given away the recipe to their secret sauce:

But, if you’re still not quite comfortable with a company tell-all, there are still plenty of ways to write compelling content that endears you to followers and generates quality leads. Start by identifying what makes your company different. Is it your product? Is it your service? Or is it how you interact with clients that truly makes your company better than all the rest. Then, write content that speaks to that exact point.

Tell the What and Why

If you’re genuinely worried about revealing too much, focus on just writing about the “what” and the “why” and leave out the how. What is your product or service, exactly, and why are you the best provider for that good? What’s your elevator pitch? Content doesn’t have to tell how you make your super awesome product, but it should tell potential buyers why they should purchase it from you, and what exactly they’ll get out of working with you.

If you think about it, Panera Bread doesn’t necessarily give out the recipes to their food items, but they do tell you what’s in each of their dishes. This helps people choose healthy meals that they’ll feel good about, but it doesn’t mean they’re giving away their product for free. And even if Panera did give out their recipes, would that mean they’d no longer have customers? No, because people really go to Panera because it’s a fast, healthy lunch option they don’t have to feel guilty about eating.

Address Legitimate Questions and Fears

One of the best ways to get a consumer’s attention is to answer a question they’ve had about your product for a while, or resolve a fear they might have about your product or service. Today’s consumer needs to be fully informed before they’ll even consider making a purchase. They’ll analyze every pro and con of a product, and if they can’t find that sort of information, they’re less likely to purchase it. By creating posts and blogs that answer some of your target clients’ most frequently asked questions, you’ll be able to a) create content that’s genuinely useful, and b) draw in more qualified leads with the content that your target audience is already searching for.

Sell your Process

Consumers are absolutely obsessed about how things are made. Take one look at Youtube or Reddit, and you’ll see streams of videos that show how even the most common household products, like mascara and Pop-Tarts, are made:

You’ll notice that very few of those video-watchers are likely to start making their own Pop-Tarts from scratch, or designing their own, custom mascara. Most of these consumers just want to know what’s going into the products they purchase and use every day, they don’t care about making them themselves. What’s more, it’s just plain cool to see hundreds of Pop-Tarts sliding across the screen. If you want to create compelling content, you can’t go wrong with a short 1-2 minute video that shows how you do what you do. Even if you sell a service, clients want to know what to expect at each step of your service, which is why breaking down what you do into easy-to-follow steps grabs people’s attention.

Demonstrate Capabilities

A great way to generate content that turns site visitors into clients is to demonstrate your capabilities and your results. For home services pros, this often works best with before and after pictures, showing the old (really ugly) kitchen, and the new, shiny kitchen that you’ve renovated. For anyone who’s results aren’t necessarily visible, case studies are your best friend. People interested in what you have to offer will love a case study because they show measurable results for clients just like them.

For us, we’ve found that digital marketing sometimes throws off clients who aren’t tech-savvy. Since you can’t immediately see, with your own two eyes, the results that our services deliver, some people are wary of what we have to offer. We’ve found case studies to be exceptionally helpful in solving this problem because they give cold hard facts: how many leads we delivered each month, how much traffic our clients now see, where that traffic is coming from, and most importantly, how much revenue our efforts generated.

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When you can provide hard numbers like that, people are more likely to respond, because it’s specific and honest. Consumers are tired of the same, general marketing statements like “this will change your life” or “massively increase your returns” that companies boast about, but never prove. People want to see cold hard facts, and they’re excited by content that delivers that, so if you want to draw in qualified traffic, put up a few case studies showcasing the results you’ve delivered.

Get Emotional

Finally, don’t be afraid to get emotional. There’s nothing consumers connect with more than a great story, so be sure to tell them yours. The more a consumer knows about your company and about you, the more real you feel, and the more likely they are to reach out to you. With the rise of internet and technology, there’s been a loss of genuine human connection in business, so if you can find a way to show your clients that you’re more than just a building or a product, you’re likely to have content that more people connect to.

Creating compelling content can be a lot easier than you think if you just identify that thing that sets your company apart. Because in the age of the internet, there isn’t much the consumer doesn’t know or can’t find out. The best way to build a content marketing strategy that delivers legitimate leads is to be honest and helpful, and create a connection with that potential customer. Because when a consumer has their choices narrowed down to you and a competitor, they’re going to pick the option they feel they have the greater connection with, and if you’ve been helping them along by answering their questions directly and providing content that helps them figure out what their options are, they’re going to choose you.

Content marketing is what we do. If you’re struggling to finesse your content marketing or larger digital marketing strategy, we can help. Get in touch by sending us a message at your convenience.

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Turning Home Services Clients into Repeat Customers

Turning Home Services Clients into Repeat Customers

Repeat customers are the best customers. When it can take weeks or months to develop a relationship with a new customer and win their business, it follows that maintaining that good relationship is a lot easier than building a new one, for you and the customer. So what does it take to keep home services clients coming back?

Do Good Work

This isn’t exactly marketing-related, or a secret, but the best way to get repeat customers is to do a great job. If people are happy with the quality of the service they’ve received, when they need that service repeated, they’ll want to call you.

Follow Up

Even though you know that you and your employees do good work, you can ensure that customers are satisfied with a quick follow up message to thank them for their business and to get feedback. If a customer is unsatisfied for whatever reason, you can address it right away and leave them with a good feeling about your customer service.

Send Reminders

Ever get postcards or emails from your dentist saying that it’s time for a checkup? Chances are that you have and that it probably even prompted you to make an appointment. Many home services could benefit from a similar approach, especially with the seasonality of most home services work. If you’re a roofing company, send out a reminder every fall for gutter cleaning or pre-winter roof inspection.

Provide Expert Info

Trust is crucial to retaining customers and developing repeat business, and one of the ways you can do this is by providing relevant, expert information on topics related to your services. You should regularly share and publish content that pertains to your services, so if you’re a roofer, content on roofs and roofing: how to winterize your roof, how often to replace shingles, what are the best roofing materials, how often to clean the gutters, etc. Your customers will appreciate that you share your knowledge and will come to trust your expertise.

Offer Incentives

If you want customers to come to you the next time they’re in need of the services you offer, give them an incentive, whether a coupon for a discount on future services or a gift card to a local restaurant when they book a repeat service. These incentives will help your clients feel like they’re getting a good deal and that their business is appreciated.

You can use digital content such as blogs, digital newsletters, and email mailing lists to enact these strategies and create repeat and lifetime customers. Want to know how? We can help.

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B2B Inbound Tips: Using Email Marketing Effectively

B2B Inbound Tips: Using Email Marketing Effectively

Everyone is using email, so it’s a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers. But if you’re doing it wrong—and a lot of companies are—your email marketing efforts can be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid email marketing pitfalls and ensure your email campaigns aren’t in vain:

Don’t Overwhelm your Customers

Everyone with an email address has gotten annoyed with a company that sends them too much email. If you’re bombarding your clients and leads with email everyday, chances are they’ll notice you, and not in a good way. Send too many, and your recipients will be looking for the unsubscribe button.

Also, don’t spam people. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t. You don’t like it, and your leads won’t like it either.

Send the Right Content at the Right Time

Your content must not only be relevant, it should also be timely. If there is seasonality in your industry, ensure that the content you’re sending right now aligns with those trends. Additionally, your content must be timely in terms of the lead’s point in the buyer’s journey. Leads who are further along in the journey and are nearly ready to purchase won’t respond as well to content explaining what your product does—they already know—as would a lead who is just discovering their need for a solution your product provides.

Intuitively Segment your Leads

Another way to turn off potential clients is to send them an irrelevant email. To make sure you’re sending the right content to the right leads, double-check that you’re segmenting your leads properly. Separate your marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—leads with demonstrated interest in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to make a purchase—from your sales qualified leads (SQLs)—leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and are closer to purchasing.

You’ll probably also want to segment your leads based upon their company size, job title/responsibilities/authority, and pain points; if you’ve created buyer personas, you can use those to segment your leads. Luckily, in email marketing programs like MailChimp and others, it’s easy to segment your leads—so there’s really no excuse not to!

Not convinced? Read more on why segmentation is so important in email marketing here.

Clean Up your Lists

Dumping all of your contacts into your mailing list is not going to be effective. If they aren’t leads or customers, you don’t need to send them email—it’s not going to generate sales, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s just going to annoy people. Plus, it’s going to throw off your numbers: it will be harder to get an accurate picture of your open and click-through rates and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.

If you’re interested in implementing techniques for effective email marketing or adding email marketing to your marketing strategy, let’s start that conversation.

For more information on how Evenbound has helped B2B manufacturers draw in qualified leads and massively increase sales, check out the case study below:

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Why Mobile Traffic is a Home Builder’s Bread and Butter

Why Mobile Traffic is a Home Builder’s Bread and Butter

Mobile traffic is any home builder’s bread and butter. Why? Well, we’re about to tell you. Suffice it to say that if your home building company has a website, it needs to be mobile responsive. The general reason is because almost everyone is searching on their mobile devices these days, but there are a ton of benefits to having a mobile responsive website, especially for homebuilders. Here are a few more reasons why you should care about mobile traffic, and why it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re optimizing your site for those mobile viewers:

Everyone is on Mobile

The most obvious reason that mobile traffic is important to home builders is the fact that mobile searches now account for more than 60% of all web traffic out there. That number is only going to grow. Studies have shown that the average web user heads to their mobile device the minute they think of something they might need. They conduct an initial search, do a bit of research on the product, and then finally switch to their desktop to make the final purchasing decision. While desktop traffic will never go out completely, most users are more likely to pick up their smartphone to gather initial information about whatever they’re searching.

What’s more, today 77% of all adults now own a smartphone, which means that more and more of those mobile searches are going to happen. Smartphones are convenient, they’re right in your pocket, and they can get you answers in under a second. Your home building company should be interested in mobile traffic simply because it is the largest portion of all traffic on the web today.  

Sets You Apart From the Competition

If we keep in mind the regular web searcher’s methodology: starting a search with their phone and transferring to a computer once they’ve made a decision, it’s obvious that having a mobile responsive site can do a lot to set you apart from the competition. Sure, no one is going to buy a house on their phone. However, most people are going to start the search for a new home on their phone. And if you have a mobile responsive site and your competitor doesn’t, then you’re going to be the one that gets the first chance at those clients. A mobile responsive site gives you the leg up, ensuring your site is the first one your potential clients see.

Google, always Google

It’s very rare that we post a blog that doesn’t have something to do with Google, and this blog is no different. Because Google is the all-powerful gatekeeper to internet search results, it makes sense that they’ve weighed in on the mobile vs. desktop situation, and have come down on the side of mobile traffic. In December of 2016, Google introduced their mobile-first indexing update, which essentially told web owners that they were going to start indexing mobile sites before desktop sites.

This basically means that Google analyzes and ranks mobile sites before anything else, which gives more ranking power to mobile sites over desktop sites. So, if you only have a desktop site, or you have a desktop site and a pared-down version of that for a mobile site, you’re likely to get a bump down in rankings. If you’re looking to rank well as a home builder in your area, it’s important to have a mobile responsive site that caters to all those mobile users, as well as Google’s indexing algorithm.

Mobile Users Share

Finally, mobile traffic is any home builder’s bread and butter for the express reason that mobile users share. If you think about your own web use, are you more often looking at social media on your phone, or your computer? If you’re like most people, you look at sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter primarily on your phone. Those sites are the places people most often share content, from photos they like to articles they found interesting and useful.

So, another reason to optimize your home building site for mobile is to take advantage of those high sharing numbers that mobile traffic brings. Homebuilders are especially great for mobile traffic because you do have such shareable content. If you post before and after pictures of projects or showcase the insides of some of your model homes or recently designed projects, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of sharing. That sort of content is exactly what the average web browser loves to look at, and is likely to share with their friends. If you make that content available to them on their mobile devices, you’ll be able to capitalize on the sharing nature of mobile users, ensuring your content reaches more and more people and grows your home building company’s reach.

Getting Started

There’s no questioning the fact that mobile traffic can do a lot to boost a home builder’s digital presence, but where do you start? If you know you need a site that’s mobile responsive, but don’t have one or aren’t sure how to optimize the one you’ve got, don’t worry. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think to get a mobile version of your site up and running. Most web templates, especially if you’re using WordPress or SquareSpace, are already set up for mobile responsiveness. Just make sure yours supports multiple screen sizes, and you’re probably good to go.

While just making sure your site supports multiple browser sizes is the biggest concern, you’ll also want to check that your mobile pages load quickly and that you’re providing a quality user experience by eliminating large pop-ups and streamlining your site’s menu. 

Optimizing your home building website for mobile traffic doesn’t have to be difficult, and once you do it, you’re sure to see a marked improvement in your site’s overall performance. If you still have questions about boosting your digital presence or qualified lead generation, be sure to get in touch. Evenbound has cracked the code to digital marketing for home builders, and we’d be happy to help you optimize your website for mobile traffic and qualified leads. To see how our unique digital marketing strategy delivers impressive results for local home builders and construction professionals, be sure to check out the case study below.
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Link Building – Should You Care?

Link Building – Should You Care?

There’s always a lot of swirling opinions on the internet about what Google still uses to rank websites, and what they don’t. While only Google’s algorithm knows exactly what it’s measuring to rank your website, there are a few things SEO experts have come to agree on as key factors in search engine results page rankings. And yes, one of those things is still the number of quality links that exist to your page. While it’s great to have links to external sites within your own pages, Google still uses the number of legitimate websites who are linking to you, to determine how worthy you are of a higher page rank.

In the past, SEO experts and webmasters alike have attempted to hack this factor of page ranking with various “link building” techniques, some of which worked, and some of which really didn’t. It’s good to know that while you’re researching link building, you should really only trust blogs and content about link building that have been published in the past year. Google always updates their algorithms regularly, but the past few years especially have seen massive, internet revolutionizing updates that also affect how you should go about link building.

Because of those updates, it has become really tricky to link build in a way that doesn’t end up in a Google site penalization. Older tricks like posting links to your page in the comments section, guest blogging, and most definitely link-building schemes, will only result in the penalization of your site by Google. So, since link building still matters for page rank, how can you do it in a way that’s above-board, and will get you the links you want, without a Google penalization?

Have Something Worth Linking To

The absolute best way to get legitimate links is to first have something people want to link to. Whether you’ve got an e-commerce site with cool products, or your site has a number of interesting, informational content pages like blogs posts and how-to’s, the only way you’ll get people to link to those pages is if they like what you have to offer, and if it makes their lives easier in some way. So, if you’ve got a basic website with no blog, and nothing to make it interesting to others in your industry, it’s unlikely that anyone will organically link to you. On the other hand, if you’ve established yourself as an authority in your industry, and offer a great deal of helpful content on your website, you’re more likely to get some quality links.

Build a Community Around Your Content

The best, easiest way to build links is to have people organically link to your pages of their own free will. When you have quality content that speaks to your target audience, you’ll start to build a community of followers. Those followers will check in regularly to read any new content you’ve got, and the more they do, the greater the opportunity that someone will link or share your page.

When someone likes your website and your page content, they’re more likely to link to your page when they create their own content. That sort of linking is the best you can get: people who genuinely like what you have to offer, and want to tell their own followers about it. Unfortunately, it’s not that efficient, and it requires a great deal of relying on other people. While it’s possibly the best way to get links, there’s no guaranteeing when or if it will happen. So, if you’re not comfortable relying on just organic links, the following steps might help:

Ask Nicely

Once you’ve got content on your site that people might actually want to link to, go ahead and ask people nicely! Reach out to other website owners in your industry who hold a bit of authority to ask if they’d consider linking to a certain page or blog post on your website. The best way to go about this efficiently is to follow these three steps:

Set up Templates

It’s not wrong to have a general template that goes out to each person you ask to link to your website. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel twice, so draft a really great email that talks about your company and why the page you’re requesting they link to should mean something to them. What’s more, offer to link to their site in return. People are more likely to agree when there’s something in it for them. Be sure to include your contact information, along with a sincere thank you.

Personalize

While it’s great to have a standard template, it’s important that you’re still personalizing each email according to who you’re sending it to. At the very least, each email should be addressed to one specific person in the company, and ideally, your email’s intro paragraph should mention something specific about them that drew you to their website. The more general your address, the less likely you are to get a response. People get millions of emails a day, and if it doesn’t seem like your email was meant specifically for them, they’ll probably delete it.

Don’t Mass Email

Finally, once you’re ready to send out your request emails, be sure you don’t mass email. There’s nothing worse than getting an email asking you to do someone a personal favor, only to see that 25 other people also got the same exact email. It often comes across as rude, and most people won’t respond when they realize your email wasn’t meant just for them. What’s more, try to send your requests to just one person in the company, especially if you’re using a template. People in the same office do actually talk, and if multiple employees get the same exact email, they’re likely to think it’s some sort of scam.

Never Buy Links

As a final, cautionary note, we’d just like to remind you that it’s always, always bad practice to buy links. No matter how legitimate the company seems, if you buy links your site will face penalties. Google constantly updates their algorithm to sniff out link-buying activity and will flag your site almost immediately if you do buy links. The best way to build links is to do it organically, either by building a community around your site’s content or by asking others in your industry to link to your site.

We get it, link building is a tricky subject. It always has been, and it probably will continue to be, so long as Google uses it as a ranking factor. That said, there are good, white hat methods to go about link building, that can work to get you those links you’re looking for without danger of penalization. If you’re feeling wary of link building, or you’d like a little advice on how you could boost your site’s search engine rankings, get in touch. Search engine optimization is kind of our job, and we’d be happy to help you figure out how best to boost your rankings.

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