Content Marketing Strategy: When and How

Content Marketing as Part of a Digital Strategy.

Content marketing is primarily a way of attracting, engaging and eventually converting website visitors. Website content is the text, images, or video content that forms part of your user experience. Apart from your static anchor web pages that form your website, content marketing is more likely to be part of a blog, news, or FAQ’s.

Content marketing is one of the most important optimisation strategies. Every website needs to be found by its intended audience, without visibility, people cannot share and link to your site.

The more visitors, links and engagement a website has, the more ‘authority‘ a website possesses and the better its overall ability to rank in the search engine rankings.

Content plays a huge role in website visibility on Google’s SERPs. You can’t distribute subpar content and expect to gain likes and shares. Your content has to deliver value and be of interest to people looking for it.

Content marketing isn’t a one-off. As is often noted, websites should regularly deliver relevant content, the kind that people want to share and engage with. Without great content, you have nothing, and no matter what SEO strategy you employ, it will fail. No one will link to a site with little or poor content.

This applies to websites of all size. Obviously, for well established corporate sites, creation and content distribution is a bit easier but you can guarantee the competition is fierce. Big budget fight big budgets and the winner will surely be the one that has a centralised plan, innovative content and quick response times. Don’t just leave it to your agency of choice to come up with content plans.

Smaller websites just need to get started. Start writing quality content and get it online. Don’t stop until you have a following and you start ranking for your chosen area of expertise.

Content Distribution

Depending on who you are targeting will dictate what content you create, and how you distribute it. There are lots of channels including the big social networks and more traditional email marketing.

Engaging in content marketing is not easy by any measure, but this single SEO strategy will help you rocket just about any of your listings to the top of Google’s SERPs over time, as long as it’s done the right way. To do this, there’s a very specific method. You have to ensure that you build similar and relevant content that’s keyword specific on authority sites such as Medium.com, LinkedIn.com and Quora.com

To distribute content you have to ensure that you build similar and relevant content that’s keyword specific on authority sites such as LinkedIn.com and Facebook, and that the content has a single link from the authority site back to the main anchor content on your primary domain.

In Conclusion

Obviously, this has just been a brief introduction to the concept of content marketing. In summary, identify your customer, write content they will be interested in and distribute it on networks that they will find it on.

Share knowledge, special offers or interesting news and have more people find your website and spread the word. Don’t forget, this will take time!

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How Visitors Consume Content – Increase Visits and Conversion

This article aims to help website owners understand how people consume content, so they can increase visits and conversion.

Can we agree that the whole point of a website is to sell something? This might be a political ideal, awareness, an idea, or something as simple as a product or service. Government websites ‘sell’ a quicker cheaper, self-service way of doing tax returns, or completing forms. Charity sites ‘sell’ information in the hope that you will donate (which you should).

Websites (online content) need to offer the reader something so that they will engage (buy). Since starting our dedicated SEO and online marketing service, the trend has been to create long-form content. Doing so demonstrates authority and value to the search engines so that they rank well in the search engine results.

Content Size

There is no doubt that the emphasis on quality over quantity has impacted on SEO even more so in 2016 than in previous years. The average article length complied on popular optimisation sites is a testimony to this. The average word count with info-graphics, commentary and links to associated articles, represents a significant time investment.

IF (word count > 1000) THEN Quality = High?

Is this what valuable content is for visitors? Fair enough if the article is an in-depth review of Keynesian economics and whether now is the right time to be borrowing more to invest in infrastructure. That kind of content needs a bit of meat. But if the article is about the top 10 trends in local search engine optimisation. Or how one burger is better than another; are readers really going to set aside 15 minutes to read the content (remember, they are probably on a phone)? It may increase the time on page stats, but only if there is value in it for the visitor.

Modern Content Consumption

Here at Online Customer Solutions, we believe there are a number of elements that help visitors decide whether to open an article (website) and then continue to engage with it:

  • The Headline
  • Introduction
  • Article Length v Relevance v Quality (layout + content)

The headline (page title) combined with the introductory paragraph (meta description) dictates if visitors open the link.

The headline signifies the article’s relevance to the individual and the introduction helps emphasise the relevance but also signals the content and quality of the article. Assuming everything passes and the link is opened, this is still no guarantee that the content is going to be read and engaged with.

“Very rarely do people have enough time to read an in-depth article, you need to get your message across quickly, preferably with a call to action.”

We can help you increase visits and conversion, contact us now.

If the content is as expected, and the layout isn’t putting anyone off, then we are on to the next stage. Speed reading or ‘skimming’. Reading the first sentence or two of each paragraph will help form the reader’s opinion. Whizzing down the article to see if it continues to be of interest.

Relevance is very personal, and can’t always be controlled, but this comes back to ensuring the article headline (title) and introduction (description) is as accurate as possible. Speed reading forms part of the decision process as for whether to read the whole article. Is it going to be worth the effort? What will I get out of it?

Often long articles or web pages include phrases like: “We’ll get on to that later” or “Stick with it, it’s going to be worth it”. These tactics are also used by salesmen – the more time you invest in something, the less likely you are to walk away. This doesn’t work on web pages, visitors don’t need to start again, they just click ‘back’ and forget. So, even though the long content is meant to help page time, it could actually hurt it.

In our opinion, the value is to be found in a more recent trend:

  • Make your headlines accurate (no click-bait please)
  • Reduce the size of an article (or amount of content)
  • Link to further information.

This will help time-on-page (more people will read it), bounce rate and conversion.

Conclusion

We started out saying that “The aim of this article is to help website owners”. Obviously, being website owners ourselves, we hope that you are ready to engage with us via our contact form. We really do help businesses increase visits and conversion.

Very few people read articles to the end, thanks for making it this far!

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Lead Generation – Call Centre v Online Marketing

Online Lead Generation Compared to a Traditional Outbound Call Centre.

Lead Generation

Online advertising, search engine optimisation, content marketing and social media. All these, used well, combine to raise awareness and place your online self in front of prospective customers at the right time in the right place.

Your online self can be a social media page or better still website. A good website projects authority and creates confidence. Social media is a great way to get the word out or ask for recommendations. Pointing people to your website means they can buy directly from you. There are now add-ins to some social media sites to support e-commerce, for general overall confidence, people still like to have a look round an online website and read some testimonials/reviews. Especially if they have never bought from you before.

Pay Per Click

Online advertising, or pay per click, can be effective when you are selling a product or service and know what people are going to be typing into search for. If you set your PPC campaign up correctly when people search in Google for ‘exercise class in Cheadle’ then you advert will appear at the top of the search results, and you pay when people click on the advert and get sent to your website. A good website will then funnel the potential customer through the sales or sign-up process, resulting in a conversion. Although you can’t win them all!

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has the same objectives but without the cost per click. If you can use online and offline SEO to demonstrate to Google that you are an expert and a trusted authority when it comes to ‘exercise classes in Cheadle’ then they will display your website metadata high up in the search results meaning you get more visits.

Costs are variable depending on what type of website you need, how many customers you are looking to attract. What the industry conversions are typically like and the level of competition in your chosen field. Digital agencies can offer a fully bespoke solution with a price tag to match. Small businesses looking to generate more leads from online marketing can start with a relatively small budget, c£150 – £500 for a website. Depending on the marketing budgets, solutions can be found starting at £250 to set up and £150 per month to run a marketing campaign. A good agency will give you a month free marketing to see what kind of results can be generated.

Outbound Call Centres.

Outbound Call Centre’s have had a tough time since the acceleration of the internet. People rarely wait around for the phone to ring when they want an insurance quote / a new boiler / solar panels.

Over 85% of landlines are now registered with the Telephone Preference Service, so the more reputable call centre’s won’t be contacting a huge percentage of the market. Calling mobiles can be expensive and the contact rate is very low. People screen calls from numbers they don’t recognise.

Then there is the cost. A typical call centre will have agent time (per hour), telephony costs, admin, pensions, tax, overheads, bonus payments. Add on to this the cost of the data (who are you going to call?) compliance – make sure the people you are calling are not on the TPS list. Overall, the cost of making 1 hours worth of lead generation calls will be between £21 – £35 per hour.

Return on Investment

All this is fine if that within that hour you manage to find enough leads or make enough sales pay for the marketing activity, pay your service costs and still make a profit. However, unless the targeting and timings are right you won’t be talking to many people in that hour. Even less of those people will be interested in what the call centre agent has to say. Unless the data has some kind of propensity modelling attached. For example, people who recently bought a sink are likely to want taps. If you are just buying a ‘cold’ list and asking people if they want to install a £5k solar panel system, you might as well get your £3k test budget and throw it in the bin.

There is a place for Call Centre marketing but it is certainly not selling things to people. Call centres can offer flexible highly trained sales people that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford full-time. Setting appointments with businesses to discuss savings, or how you can make them money is where the old-fashioned outbound call centres now reside.

In Summary

Outbound call centre services are for you if you:

  • Are a B2B company with a great product that will save or make other companies money.
  • Need a hard sell.
  • Have a minimum of £3k per month marketing budget.
  • Can wait 3 months to see any results.
  • Don’t understand online marketing (we can help!!)

Online Marketing is for you if:

  • You don’t want to waste thousands of pounds every month.

Online marketing is essential for every business but especially suits small businesses looking to start or grow. Costs can start at £150 for a basic website + £250 marketing setup. Ongoing costs start from £150 per month + marketing budget.

Small businesses can generate more leads and grow without spending thousands of pounds a month. Get started with online marketing today. If you need some help, you can always email us, we’ll be happy to help. info@onlinecustomersolutions.com.

Find out more

Based in SK8, just south of Manchester in the UK. Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website to improving online marketing and conversions.

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Increase Online Sales – Digital Marketing

To increase online sales, you need to increase the number of people visiting your website. But first, you need a website that can convert visitors into sales. But even before that, you can’t improve something you don’t measure. If you haven’t already, install Analytics and measure visits, source and conversion!

Online Customer Solutions specialise in helping small or medium size businesses increase sales online. We have developed a number of tools to keep costs down.

A website needs to be authoritative, expert, and trustworthy. It needs a smooth navigation, work well on mobile. A website needs to be secure and have a simple and transparent payment system.

When your website does all the above, it will start showing up in the search results.  There is more that can be done to increase online sales including.

Increase Online Sales using Digital Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Make sure people who are looking for your site can find it!
  • Social Media Marketing – get a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) – Advertise, for example, on Google or Facebook.
  • Content Marketing – Keep you blog updated! Get a channel on YouTube and create some videos of you making / serving / solving.

OCS can advise on either setting up a new website or helping you enhance the one you already have.

Find out more

Located in Cheadle near Stockport in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide services to a range of business. We specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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