Trying to stand out online is like standing in a crowd at a concert and screaming your friend’s name, and she’s 100 yards away, watching the main noisemakers on the stage. She can’t hear you. She’s not even looking in your direction. And if she were, she’d probably see the bigger people around you first.
My point is that standing out is hard. The internet is a saturated marketplace with a whole lot of noise, a lot more chaos, and a heavy-handed dash of capitalist ambition. It’s noisy, and most businesses are only adding to the noise rather than creating a bit of quiet.
No, I don’t mean going dark and ghosting your digital audience. I mean creating a moment of quiet from your audience. Getting them to stop in their scrolling, clicking, flipping, and tossing to engage with your video, post, blog, website, email or advertisement is the goal. That’s the pivotal moment. Will they or won’t they become a paying customer? What will make them click?
It’s in the way you connect, which is to say, your story. Not the “who we are” kind of story, but the “we’ve got your back, and here’s why” kind of story.
In this post, I’ll outline three ways you can spruce up your content to create that moment of quiet for your customer so they can make a split-second decision to trust you.
Tip 1: Determine the Problems You Solve
Make a list of 1-5 main problems you solve for your customers, and then make a point of talking about them to everyone, think about them regularly, and constantly work toward solving these problems. Go to bat for your customers against an obvious villain! They’ll thank you for it with their business.
Here are the problems we help our customers solve:
- Being left behind by the growth of digital marketing and the overwhelming noise online.
- Struggling to keep up with the competition online.
- Unable to commit the time to content.
- Not enough staff to help with content.
- No marketing budget.
That last one is actually a misnomer; every business has a marketing budget, or they wouldn’t be a business at all.
Tip 2: Write Out How IT Happens
“It” being your customer’s purchasing journey. What steps do they need to take to buy from you? Creating these steps is a practical exercise, and not so much a creative one. Your purchasing process should be no fewer than three steps, and no more than six. Here’s an example:
The Your Imprint Customer Journey:
- Visit my site, blog and social pages
- Schedule a 15-minute consult.
- Get a custom quote with a scope of work.
- Sign the Services Agreement and other needed paperwork like a BA or NDA.
- Have a discovery meeting with us (jokingly called “The Data Dump”).
- Pay invoice after work is completed.
Yours may be much simpler, like:
- Visit store
- Purchase items
- Refer a friend for a free gift
Once you have the steps they can take, you’ll want to make sure those steps are easy to follow through your website. For example, if your main call to action is “Buy Now,” that needs to be a huge, bright button in the top right corner of your site. It should also be a button all over the website to make it easier for customers to buy no matter where they are on your website.
Tip 3: Create a Funnel
It’s much easier than most people make it sound. I really like this picture from Bias Digital because it lays out the kind of content used in each part of the funnel.
Here’s how ours is set up to help you on your way to creating an airtight funnel:
Visitors comes into the funnel by organic search, referrals, social media, or they go directly to our website. They get here with content to look at more content. That’s a good sign. At the top of the funnel, we build trust. We prove ourselves by:
- Having a fast, user-friendly website that looks good
- Writing content that is relatable to the audience
- Making it clear what we want them to do (schedule a consult!)
- Make it easy and convenient for them to buy (pay after we perform!)
In the middle part of the funnel, people aren’t usually ready to buy just yet. They’re thinking about us, though. They come back to the website a few more times, follow us on social, or sign up for our newsletter. In this part of the funnel, we create content for:
- Email deals at the end of the newsletter
- Social media giveaways
- Polls and surveys to engage them with our services
- Special printing deals
The bottom of the funnel is for sales. These are paying customers who deserve and expect to be honored by their favorite brands. Content here is focused on:
- Delighting them with extra special offers and sneak peeks
- Loyalty program/subscription
- Regular gifting
So, now you know what the customer needs from you because you solve a specific problem they’re having. You’ve created a clearly defined process to communicate with your audience on how they can buy from you, and you’ve made a funnel that will help you create content and keep up with the fast pace of digital marketing.
My article today is a broad brushstroke of how to boost your content to stand out. Stay tuned for more tips and helpful tools on distributing your content and broadcasting your message. Keep Learning by signing up for my company’s Content Marketing Newsletter (Your Imprint)!