Gain Customers Without Having to Sell: Content Marketing Part 2

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

Gain Customers Without Having to Sell: Content Marketing Part 1

Gain Customers Without having to sell: Content Marketing Part 1

Gone are the days where consumers purchase a product or service based solely on the salesperson’s ability to convince them to buy. Today, the vast majority of the sales process is done by the consumer before they even reach out to you. So how do you earn the trust of your future customers before they pick up the phone to call you? You do it with Content Marketing.


What is Content Marketing?


Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach where you give valuable information to your prospects and customers without trying to sell them anything. It allows the consumer to learn about their problem on their own using information that you created. Because it does not involve you thumping your chest saying why you are the best, the consumer appreciates the expertise you bring. And guess what? They will start to buy from you because they now know you and trust that your intentions are in their best interest.


Information can be created and shared in a number of different ways. The more ways you incorporate into your content marketing strategy, the more effective you will be at reaching your target customer. Blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, home & garden show presentations and social media posts are all ways that you can get content out.


Why Content Marketing works in the tree care industry?


Content marketing isn’t about your brand or the services you sell, it is about your audience and what they care about. The tree care industry is perfect profession to utilize content marketing because it allows you to develop rapport with your target customers. For most professional tree care companies, the target customer is someone who has a strong emotional connection to their trees but also understands that their level of knowledge on how to properly take care of their trees is lacking.


Take tree removals for instance which can be viewed as a commodity service. As long as the tree guy gets the tree on the ground without hurting anyone or damaging your property, they’ve done their job. So why should the consumer choose you over the next company? Using content marketing, you explain what goes into a successful tree removal job, such as, what factors affect the price of the removal and what dangers are in performing the job. It is your chance to show that you are the expert by advising them on all things related to the removal without asking for them to call you, thereby transforming your business from being seen as just another provider of a commodity service (tree removal) to a leader in the industry.


An even more powerful way for Content Marketing to work within the tree care industry is using it to promote proper Plant Health Care. Creating a dialogue on all aspects of tree health will demonstrate to your potential customers that you know how to care for their trees and why they need to hire a professional arborist to handle this for them.


Lastly, it’s important to note that Content Marketing isn’t for everyone and it is not always the best way to get in front of potential customers. However, in my opinion it is the best way to get in front of the right potential customer and build a strong customer base who hold the same values as you do. When done properly, Content Marketing helps you remove the salesy feel to a new customer relationship.


In my next tip, I’ll show you how to start a Content Marketing campaign and give you the 5 areas you should be addressing in your Content Marketing.

Written by: Eric Petersen