The soul of every business is sales. That’s the singular reason why you see all the ads you see out there in different shades, formats and style.
All in a bid to make you buy something – no matter how small, so that one business somewhere will not die.
But here’s the problem.
We live in Generation Y (people born between the early 1980s and 1990s), a generation that’s smart, intelligent, impatient, lazy and amidst several other characteristics, a generation is known as the ‘me me’ generation.
This article by Business News Daily points out that Millennials may simply be adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological change.
I am trying to get you closer to understanding the complexities that exist with these people you’re trying to sell to. They understand your every move and and tactics, so, you need to do more than just rolling out an advert on social media to be able to sell to them.
You need to make them like and trust you before you can make them buy a thing.
So yes, advertising is somewhat dead.
How then do we get our products in front of our buyers? – you ma ask.
I’m going to show you how to scale any business in Nigeria with content marketing.
And yes, that’s the new advertising.
Content marketing is the way to make people of any generation X, Y or even Z, in any given country to crave for your product or service, and I’m about to show you 10 simple but powerful ways to scale any business in Nigeria with content marketing.
You may have heard that;
– People desire and seek out great content. Google wants those great contents too to reward with a top ranking on search result.
– Content is the best way to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve — to get people to know, like, and trust your brand.
– Content that spreads via social networks, generate powerful word-of-mouth exposure for savvy content marketers.
Well, they’re all true and even more. So let’s get to our 10 smart steps.
1. Build a strategy
Here’s where I start from, whenever I talk about success in marketing and business in general.
I like to as this question…
Do you start your car and drive off before you figure out where you are headed?
I just head you say of course not.
Nonetheless, marketers still do this evil every day. No wonder there’s a lot of frustration as seen by many marketers on their journey in online marketing.
In fact, According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 benchmarks, lack of strategy is one of the biggest reasons why content initiatives fail. However, only 37 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.
It goes without saying that if you don’t have a strategy, it’s likely that you’ll experience significant challenges in implementing content marketing tactics.
Your strategy will answer key questions such as:
- What am I trying to achieve?
- Where am I now?
- How do I get to what I want to achieve?
- How do I measure success
Answers to this questions are critical and crucial. There are about 10 more questions you need to ask and document the answers which I have talked about on Developing a content marketing Strategy
Need help with crafting a result driven content marketing strategy? Talk to a strategist and get a complete document in 48 hours.
2. Streamline your process.
Building a business can be overwhelming, so is content marketing. One powerful approach that have proven to be highly effective is the popular computer science divide-and-conquer approach; where the bulk work is divided into small tasks for fast and simple accomplishment.
The biggest struggles for content marketers is to constantly produce engaging content that your customers will enjoy. Streamlining your content marketing efforts helps you to be fast and efficient in producing content.
- Decide who handles which aspect of your content creation process.
Whether you are a small business or a giant enterprise, defining and assigning roles will make is easy for you to track progress and stay proactive.
- Plan your editorial calendar.
Brainstorm your content ideas before the publish date is due, make sure you never run out content even if you travel. Remember, your audience check up on you to know what you have for them. Don’t leave them with nothing. Use automation to keep working even while you are on honeymoon.
- Atomize the contents you’ve created to fit into several other channels you have.
This way, you have fresh information, without necessarily brainstorming a new idea, going out to your followers on different channels.
3. Forget about selling – Build reputation.
Remember these are the millennials, they don’t like advertisements. In fact they seek to learn when they want to buy, so putting up an advert and telling them to buy is almost a waste of time.
Rather than focus on selling your product or service, you should focus on building your brand reputation. Like you already know, everybody just wants a solution to their problem, and there are a-thousand-and-one businesses like yours trying to solve that same problem.
So, winning this guy to buy from you against the other 999 isn’t a game of chance, luck or sporadic advertising. It is a conscious and consistent process of reputation building known as content marketing.
Let’s look at a scenario;
One woman always puts up a photo on her shawarma business page on instagram with the caption “Shawarma for sale” or “buy now”, another woman always posts ‘how to combine shawarma with coke to make a memorable lunch’ or even some tips on how to make quick shawarma for your family – with a CTA
Between these two businesses, which would you buy from if you ever need to buy shawarma?
If you chose the second woman, you’re correct because that’s how marketing works. And if you really want to scale your business, then you should give that second woman’s approach a trial now.
You sell a lot more of any product or service when you can demonstrate value and expertise upfront.
It’s in sharp contrast to what everyone else is doing, which is claiming value and expertise using ordinary “marketing” tactics
Here are some quick shots at building reputation:
- Be in the know:- know what’s trending in your industry, don’t offer a 90s advice to your audience in 2018 they will smack you down.
- Use quality visuals: Thank goodness you don’t have to attend the best photography school in the world to produce a nice picture, your phone can do a lot more than you can imagine. Explore and make sure your creatives are sweet and appealing to this generation.
- Be original: One thing the internet can do for you is to spread your bad news faster than the good ones. No matter how much you crave for recognition the internet, be true to yourself, be original, create your own space, slangs, voice, tone, trend, movement etc… just have a unique identifier, do it consistently and your fans will love you for it. Whatever you do not copy personality.
- Produce Quality Content: Your blog, website, emails, social media profiles and every internet outlet you have should be a dome of quality content. You can get quality contents delivered to your web outlets on time whether you’re doing it yourself or outsourcing it to a content marketer. These things are not so expensive.
4. Take it personal
Your audience is a human being with everything you have from nose, eyes and ears to feelings and affection. Stop talking to your audience like you’re a sales doll.
He/she is a person, not a people. Relate on a personal note with all of them. Again, thank God you don’t need to keep a manual register containing their names, sex, address, job role or occupation to be able to reach them with personalised messages.
Email marketing software packages like Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse and Mailerlite have some awesome personalization features. So the next time you want to send out emails, try them out and see the difference in response or conversion.
Automation tools like AI powered bots can also help you achieve personalizations easily.. With bots you can even have a one on one conversation with your customers while you’re asleep.
To set up a conversion focused bot – that will interact with your customers and make actual sales and even help you solve problems and grow your business on autopilot – speak to our strategists to get you started.
From your email newsletters to your your blog posts, make sure you’re addressing one guy or babe and not a crowd. That way you give your followers a sense of belonging, you make them feel special, you make them trust that you truly care for them and finally you make it easier for them to buy from you – intoxicatingly.
5. Be like them.
One of the woeful mistakes marketers make is not researching their audience extensively. You don’t know their pain, you don’t know what excites them, you don’t know what their day to day life looks like, and you are trying to sell to them?
You gotta be kidding me!!!
To be the king of the jungle, you literally have to live in the jungle. But wait, don’t pack up yet, you can live in the jungle and not be there. Thanks to technology and social network.
One of the most powerful opportunities that the internet has given us isn’t just connecting with people across borders, its actually learning and understanding people’s way of life without having to ever speak with them.
At ContentMarketer we use a lot of tools to learn consumer behavior and buyer intent. Some of the tools we use are Facebook’s audience insights and fanpagekarma. You can also create surveys to know people would react to what you have to offer.
Once you identify these places they hangout and where they chillout, chances are you’ll also identify their pain points too, then you need to approach them with a “I feel same too”
Here’s what I mean. If your customers are already used to going to work with danfo, and you have a better product option, your first point of call isn’t to condemn their way of life, your first point of call would be to let them know you’ve been there and you enjoyed it too, until maybe probably something happened.
If you do that, you’d have successfully taken them through the journey of realization. And then it’s easy for them to flow with you on the journey that eventually leads to conversion (sales).
Also, be where they need you and are talking about you. Set up social listening systems with tools like hootsuite to know when your brand is being mentioned or when discussions revolving around your niche is raving.
This will enable you create contents that your audience would be interested in.
6. Be consistent and real
It goes without saying that consistency is one of the most challenging aspects of content marketing. Once you’ve started, you just have to keep doing it and prompt.
It’s as hard as doing good and nobody sees the difference between the good and the bad, but you have to keep doing the hard stuff anyway. To solve the problem of consistency and promptness in content publishing, use tools like hootsuite, hubspot and buffer to automate your content releases.
The superhero brands are not the ones without mistakes, they’re in fact the ones with the most human touch (probably mistakes) to their name.
When you let something slide off, be real to your fans and own up enough to apologize. Let’s say you didn’t deliver on your promise, don’t make up stories, come out clear and apologize then make things right.
That way, your brands feel you are credible and worthy to track business chances with.
7. Always have a win-win offer
Like we established earlier, your audience don’t want advertisement when making purchasing decisions, they want valuable information, they want content.
While you’re giving these values out, back it up with a win-win offer. You should consider giving out incentives, vouchers or running contests. All of these are ways of getting value to your audience while receiving great value to your business too.
You may require them to provide an email address or complete a short survey to receive the offer.
8. Don’t be restricted – throw in some naira for promotion
With all the recent algorithm shake ups from major advertising platform owners like Facebook and Google, it goes without saying that paid promotions are becoming our biggest hope of getting content out to a wide audience.
Organic reach for businesses are declining by the day. You shouldn’t be hesitant to throw in some Naira into promoting your contents so it can achieve its maximum reach.
A lot of contents exist out there but they are simply limited by reach because of mal-promotion.
No matter the effort you put into creating content, if you don’t distribute it well, it will not get to its destination let alone serve its purpose. Content is king, but distribution is queen.
A post from content marketer explains the content marketing distribution framework and how you should start promoting your content. Read it here
9. Collaborate not compete
Anyone who thinks they will become successful on their own may as well pack it up now. There are reasons that you should be collaborating with other like-minded people in your industry—namely; because it helps you both.
Rather than pick a fight with other brands in your niche and try to beat whatever they do, look for creative ways to collaborate with them to achieve tremendous value.
Now here’s a catch on this.
The more you both achieve success together, the more the world sees you both as authorities in the industry.
Let’s assume you sell shawarma in front of a shopping mall, one good collaborative opportunity is to give one free drink (coke) to any body who buys a certain shawarma roll.
The idea is that you’ve collaborated with the mall owners to give out one coke to every buyer but of course, somehow you can find a way of inculcating the price of the coke into the shawarma.
Another way you can skyrocket your sales with collaboration is by leveraging the customer base of an already established brand with database of customers within your target audience.
A practical collaborative approach which most small businesses in Nigeria have either used in the past, or are currently using is; owning a page (store) on the jumia or konga platform.
The jumia platform is already established wth rich database of internet buyers in Nigeria, their behaviour and demographics. Years and money went into getting that data.
As a small business probably just starting up, your first point of call is not to compete with these brands, you should rather look at ways you can leverage their authority to scale your business.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of having your own internet space, but there’s wisdom in innovation rather than invention. Need I say also that your website is not the business model, your website is only a location.
So, as a business you probably have a store/office in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and the world wide web. Rather than just build a website because it’s what people are doing, look for where you can serve your customers the most – collaborate.
Influencer marketing is another form of collaborative marketing and it is highly result oriented – when done well.
10. Dare to Ask
Make it clear when you want people to take an action. The truth is, if you’ve done steps 1 to 9 and you ignore step 10, people may never know that you offer something for money, or have a premium version of what you are giving out, and then sales may never happen.
It’s like building a beautiful house and fixing a bullet proof door which is cemented into the building without a key handle. Visitors will be attracted to the building, they’ll walk with you through all the buying journey, but when it’s time to take action, they’ll freeze because there’s no door, no clear prompt.
Here’s another example; if a reader lands on a blog article and there is no clear call to action at the bottom of the post, it’s likely that the reader will leave the site without completing any other tasks.
However, if there is a CTA at the bottom of the post asking them to read more articles or to sign-up for an email newsletter, that can encourage them to continue interacting with the site.
Tell your customers what you expect from them:
- Social shares
- Buy something
- Sign up for something
- Forward to a friend
- Anything at all you want. Make it clear and in an way that it’s easy to do.
Yes, we are not selling firsthand, but after you’ve done the prepping, you need to prompt the sales for it to happen. At this point don’t be scared to ask for few Naira for your premium product or service – but is only after you are sure the customer is ready to buy.
11. Measure, Report & Document
Creating content is only the first step of the content marketing process. After producing carefully thought out content and distributing it to your audience, the next step is to measure the success of your efforts.
Because data is necessary for continual improvement. And if you don’t see results you want, you need to change the status quo.
By including a measurement strategy into your content marketing initiative, you can adjust your approach, delivery and determine all possible paths to customer conversion.
So what and how do you measure?
To measure what matters you need to look inside data, this part is scaring for some digital marketers but yes, it makes a whole lot of difference and i have to spit it out – you need analytical skills.
There are several analytics software available, their giant is Google analytics
So, some of the things you should measure include:
- What’s your page view value? Is it increasing on declining. If it’s increasing, then that’s a good sign that your audience are consuming your contents.
- What’s the number of unique visitors you have? Increase in this number is a sign that your collaborative efforts is feilding results.
- What’s the average time people spend on your pages? The higher the more engaging your content thought to be.
- What’s the bounce rate? Are people leaving immediately they arrive? Do they visit any other page? The structure of your website should answer this. Normally, the lower the better except for a one page websites or where your landing page is the checkout page.
- Are people sharing your contents? This indicates whether people consider you valuable or not.
- What’s your follower growth rate? Have you doubled your instagram followers in 3 months? Are they increasing engagement?
- Are people commenting on your posts whether website and social? This scores how well your contents resonates with your audience and you can also see what they agree on and what they disagree on too
- How many Marketing Qualified Leads(MQL) have you added to your contact list?
- What is your email open rate? Are people reading your emails? Are they unsubscribing? You can get this results using email marketing software like Mailchimp
- What’s your CTR (Click Through Rate)? Are people clicking the links you place on your emails, blog posts and social media posts? If not, you might want to do more convincing, value propositions and CTA optimizations.
Content marketers need to prove the value of their work. By using a data-based measurement approach, and analyzing the campaign at multiple points the process, you can make the smartest decisions for your brand. Go forth and measure.
Need help growing your business with Content Marketing?
Still need help putting it together or putting it into action? Talk to us. Tell us about your business, its goals, and we’ll help you uncover your next step to success.