Gain Customers Without having to sell: Content Marketing Part 2

In my last tip, I introduced the concept of Content Marketing. In case you missed it, you can read it here. Today, I’m going to give you the framework to set up a successful Content Marketing campaign.

Target Audience – Define your target audience. Who are you trying to help with your content and how will you help them in a way that no one else is? Make sure that you get specific enough to know what your target audience values and where they get their information from. Brainstorming sessions with your team members are the easiest way to define your target audience. A word of caution with brainstorming sessions; appoint someone to facilitate the conversation and ensure that the group remains on task not veering off into a different direction.

Type of Content – After you know who you are targeting and where they learn about things. Determine what type of content your target audience consumes as well as what type of content your team can produce. Start with whatever is easiest for your team. It may be small videos from the field explaining situations or problems that you typically run into or it may be in a written blog format like this post. Whatever it is, don’t try to do too much at first. It is best to get good at one type of content before adding others to the mix. Which leads me to my next point.

Consistency – Content Marketing thrives on consistency. Whichever type of content you are delivering, make sure you are doing it on a regular basis. Your audience will come to expect the information that you are putting out there and will be disappointed if they don’t receive it. Not every piece of content will be relevant to everyone and that’s okay, it is more important to be consistent in your production of the information.

Champion – Lastly, who will be your Chief Content Officer? This does not have to be a formal position with a pay raise and all, but simply someone that is in charge of the content that gets sent out. This person shouldn’t be the only one that is creating all of the content, just the last person to review it so that the messaging is similar across all pieces of content.
Once you have your basic Content Marketing campaign strategy in place, it is time to actually start creating the content. I recently attended a seminar session from Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion. In his presentation he gave us the five areas that you need to address within your content.

Cost/price questions – Explain the range of costs for typical tree care services and what factors play a role in determining the final cost.

Problems/issue questions – What are the most frequently asked questions from your customers? Create content aimed at solving your target audience’s problems. Two examples may be: Why are the leaves on my trees turning yellow? Or how do I know my tree is safe?

Comparison questions – Help your audience determine what the best choice for their situation is by giving them the honest advice about the options to their issue. Example: How to minimize the impact of Emerald Ash Borer; give them information on treating the trees versus the cost to remove and replant.

“Best of” Lists – Many internet searches start with “what is the best…”. Create a list of topics that you can write on including; best trees for backyard shade, best practices for hiring a tree service, best tree services in my area, etc. Yes, you read that right, “what are the best tree services in my area” should be a content piece that you produce. By highlighting a few other professional tree care companies in your area you actually prove that you have the customer’s best interest at heart and more times than not, they’ll call you to do the work because of your openness.

By installing the principles of Content Marketing and committing to the process, you will gain new customers without having to sell them.

Written by: Eric Petersen