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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What’s your Real Estate Development’s Story?

What’s your Real Estate Development’s Story?

When it comes to real estate development, marketing isn’t always an easy task. Rather than selling just one home, you’re selling a whole bunch of homes at once, and that means speaking to a much larger number of people. That’s why it’s so important for real estate developers to tell a story. If you think about it, you’re selling people on a lifestyle, not a piece of land. No homeowner is going to purchase a home in a real estate development because the land is really nice. Instead, they’re looking for a place they can call home, where they’ll hang out with their neighbors and raise their kids. That’s why real estate developers need to find their community’s story, and tell it in a way that rings true with the right people.

So, if you’re working on beefing up your real estate development marketing strategy, here are a few tips to help you pinpoint the story of your development. To help illustrate our tips, we’ll be using real-life examples from one of our own housing development clients‘ website.

What Do Your Residents Do?

What does a day in the life of your ideal resident look like? Do they work full-time, and if so where? If they don’t work, is it because they’re home with the kids, or because they’re retired? When you have a better idea of what your residents’ lifestyle looks like, you’ll be able to market to them more directly. You can tailor your development’s story to fit their unique lifestyle, and when you know what they do for a living, you’ll also have a better idea of where to set the price point.

Our client, Sovereign Oaks, worked to pinpoint their ideal resident, and found that their perfect buyer was the type of person who wanted to live somewhere peaceful, where they could raise a family or take in the beautiful natural surroundings, but who also valued cultural experience. As you can see from their homepage, they made sure to incorporate those values into their development’s story by showing potential buyers that their development was located in the peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but just minutes away from downtown Asheville.

Sovereign Oaks_Story

What Do Your Residents Like?

Once you know what your residents do in their daily lives, you’ll want to discover what it is they do in their free time. What do they like, what are their values, and what sort of community do they picture themselves in? If you’re building a retirement community, your residents will want to know about things to do that are very close to the community. They’ll also want to know what sort of support they’ll have access to at home, like a lawn care service, or help with around-the-house repairs. If your community is geared towards younger residents, know that they’ll care less about community services, and more about what they can do in the area, like music and shows going on in town, and possible activities to do with the kids.

Sovereign Oaks recognized that a number of people in their price point wanted to live in a community that valued sustainable living practices. They included things like a community garden and encouraged backyard farming and beekeeping. But since their residents are younger, they also made sure to show that they were up-to-date technologically.

Sovereign Oaks_Community

The above slider, with just a header and a single sentence, convey both of those ideas neatly and easily. Here, Sovereign Oaks is telling potential residents their development’s story. It’s a simple, easy place to live, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have all of your technological luxuries. With state-of-the-art technology they’re able to provide a fiber optic line to each house, ensuring each resident has a superior internet connection.

Choose Three Words to Describe Your Community:

The best way to go about telling your real estate development’s story is to start with a concise idea. One way to make sure your story is consistent, and your marketing content is always on message, is to pick three words that together, describe the culture of your community. For Sovereign Oaks, those three words are something like: tranquil, sustainable, and convenient. From there, and using those three words as core concepts when describing their community, it’s easy to explain to potential residents that when you live at Sovereign Oaks, you’re living in a community that’s peacefully quiet, that values sustainability, and that’s easy to get to-and-from.

Since the Sovereign Oaks story is so clear, it’s easy to qualify or disqualify potential leads, and they’re not often approached by people who won’t be a good fit for their community. In addition to attracting potential buyers who are well suited to purchase their homes, they’re also attracting home buyers who will fit in well with the rest of the residents already living in the community.

Put Your Story on the Web

Once you’ve decided what your real estate development’s story is, it’s time to write it down and put it out on the web. Make sure your message is clear and accompanied by beautiful professional photos of your community. Remember that buyers are most compelled by a community that’s easy to envision themselves in. Show visitors to your site what life looks like at your development, because if they can picture themselves living there, they’re likely to pick up the phone and give you a call.

If you’re interested to know more about how Evenbound drives results for developers, check out the case study below. Or if you’re looking for information on marketing your own housing development, get in touch.

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5 steps to successful content for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs

5 steps to successful content for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs

Content marketing in the B2B space can seem difficult. After all, your company’s products and services are a little more niche and a lot less sexy than most consumer goods. Despite all that, it is possible to create great content for your B2B that generates leads and enhances your brand reputation. Not only is it possible, but it’s necessary as more and more industrial sourcing is done online. So how do you develop successful content for your B2B? It just takes these 5 simple steps:

#1 Identify a target

Or, as writers like to say, know your audience. You need to have an idea of who you’re writing to in order to create successful content for your B2B. As the content creators, we really only see our half of the process—the creation—which means from time to time we fail to account for the fact that content is a conversation with other people.

So, who is your target audience? It’s the people who are buying and using your product or service. For example, if you manufacture components for motorcycle engines, your target audience could be Sourcing Specialists or Product Engineers at a motorcycle manufacturer. Learn as much as you can about this target audience, what challenges they face in their role, what they’re looking for in a supplier, and how your product or service offerings could make their jobs easier.

#2 Say something worth saying

Once you know who your target audience is, and what they do, use that information to create content that is relevant to the challenges they face and the value your offerings could have for them and their company. Overtly promotional content that is focused on your company/service/product is not going to engage your readers—it needs to be useful to your readers; so, instead of a post outlining all the reasons why your company is the best supplier of your product, say auto parts for example, write a post on how to select the right auto parts supplier. That will be content that is both useful and relevant to your readers. Not only do you help them with one of their challenges—finding good suppliers for the components they need—you frame frame your company as one of those good suppliers.

#3 Say it well

We know that your engineers and technical guys are smart, and that they know what they’re talking about. But your readers might not know what they’re talking about, and the content you create needs to be accessible to your readers. That means it needs to be well-written (good grammar is important), it needs to use the right keywords for SEO (search engine optimization), and it can’t be too technical for your audience to understand—so don’t let your engineers write your content. Don’t. (Or if you do, have it edited by a writer.)

#4 Promote like crazy

If good content is published on your site and no one reads it, does it still compel your target audience? No! For your content to be successful, people need to see it, and to see it, they need to know it exists. How? Promotion. When you publish new content, you need to let your target audience know where it is and that they should check it out. Share it on LinkedIn, include a link in your email newsletter, use all relevant platforms to get the word out, and get people interested.

#5 Set a schedule

Nothing will kill your readership like sporadic publication. Once you know how to create quality content, do it on a regular basis. Quantity is almost as important as quality here, so make sure you’re posting at least once per month. This keeps your company fresh in the minds of your target audience, and ensures that what you’re creating really is successful. 

If you follow these guidelines, and you follow them regularly, your content is going to start to attract readers from your target audience. So long as you keep them interested, those readers will convert to leads, eventually becoming clients! If you have more questions about creating compelling, successful content for your B2B, or even if you’re looking for a hand with your manufacturing company’s inbound marketing strategy, give the experts at HA Digital Marketing a call. We can help.

 

For more information about creating an inbound marketing strategy that gets you the leads you want, check out our Inbound Marketing Guide just for manufacturers and industrial B2Bs like you:

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