Today’s marketers often place a huge emphasis on search engine visibility, which is understandable given that’s where most referral traffic comes from in the first place. However, it’s the obsession with SEO that often comes at the cost of content quality. Sure, you’re SEO-focused articles might help draw in organic search traffic, at least for a while, but is that traffic leading to conversions? Furthermore, what do you have to offer your existing customers if all you’re publishing is surface-level content that’s written primarily for the search engines? That’s where content marketing comes in as a powerful method to maximise customer lifetime value.
What’s more valuable to your business – someone who visits from the search results pages only to leave after failing to find what they’re looking for or someone who finds enough value in your content that they decide to share it with others and perhaps even become a paying customer themselves? Obviously, the answer is a no-brainer, but there are many marketers who fail to recognise the link between content quality and business value.
Does Your Content Solve Problems?
Corporate decision makers face many complex challenges when aligning technology with their operation goals. That means they need real solutions to serious problems, the sort that can translate into a difference of millions of dollars even for the smallest of organisations. Indeed, you might have a fantastic product or service, but it means nothing if you don’t know how to communicate the that value to your customers. So, how do you communicate that value? Put simply, with content that solves problems and quells fears.
The problem with the average SEO article, which is often outsourced on the cheap to people who don’t even have a native-level command of English, is that it does not provide any value whatsoever. Even if it does boost your search visibility, it’s unlikely that it provides value enough for visitors to become leads or share it with colleagues. In other words, it’s a wasted investment that has a minimal impact on the profitability of your business. But, what if a piece of content, even if it’s something as humble as a short-form blog post, brings you a new client? Therein lies the value.
To make a real and lasting impact with your content strategy, you need to focus not on the search results, but on what your target audience really needs. B2B customers have neither the time nor the patience to be advertised to – they want real solutions, and they want them fast. Moreover, given the ubiquity of the service-based model in B2B technology providers, existing customers demand impeccable ongoing support, and a good portion of that is delivered through value-adding content. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the characteristics that define quality content published by a B2B technology firm that knows what they are doing:
- It makes an instant connection with the reader by demonstrating that everyone’s on the same wavelength. For this reason, problem-solving content often starts with a question that establishes rapport by identifying the reader’s main challenge or pain point.
- It offers actionable advice that solves problems or addresses fears, thereby leaving readers feeling that they’ve learned something. When a reader leaves the page having learned something new, the chances of them remembering you or sharing the article are exponentially higher.
- It demonstrates expertise in the industry by addressing the challenges that the target audience faces as well as the solutions and results that your brand offers. Rather than being promotional, it’s benefit-driven and authoritative. It’s about educating, and not about selling.
- It’s clear and concise, because it’s written for human readers first and not for the search engines. There’s no space for fluff when every sentence needs to count. Any key words or phrases should come naturally. If you need to think about how to include them, then you’re doing it wrong.
So, if your content shouldn’t be promotional or prioritise SEO, then how’s it going to increase customer lifetime value? There’s a very simple answer to that – because it gives people a reason to buy from you! But, let’s give a little more explanation:
- It increases the shareability of your content, thereby increasing your brand’s reach. Don’t forget that social media drives almost as much referral traffic as the search engines do.
- It raises the chance that a reader will become a lead and, eventually, a client. Prospect are far more likely to subscribe to your email newsletter if they find your content genuinely useful.
- It helps existing customers get more out of your product or service by offering actionable information. This, in turn, increases the chances of them remaining a customer, recommending others or even investing more in your company.
How much is that worth to you? Chances are, growing your business is worth a lot more to you than the two- or three-hundred dollars it might cost, for example, for a high-quality blog post. Another option is to head to Fiverr and pay next to nothing for cheap SEO content that will do absolutely nothing for your business and might even end up tarnishing your credibility in an industry where trust and authority are paramount.
Do you want to increase customer loyalty with great content? Contact me today to tell me about your project.