Are you scouring the web trying to figure out why people aren’t coming to your website in droves to buy your amazing widget? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Today’s consumer is savvy and avoids overt advertising like the plague. Now that we have so many choices, we can choose to be more selective with how we spend our time, and that includes time spent browsing your website. The answer is to give the people what they want. This is also known as content marketing.

If you build it, they won’t come… unless you give them a good reason.

Part of this has to do with the way Google displays organic search results. No matter the current trends, Google made it clear that their long-term vision is to duly reward those sites with straight-forward, authoritative content. This means that if you don’t have clear, helpful content aimed at building relationships with your audience, Google won’t push you to the top of the pile.

Let’s say you’re an accountant who exclusively serves creative small business owners. Or maybe you’re a crafty little bugger who makes custom electric sitars. Or even a web design company working with clients who want to legitimize their web presence. So how do you reel ‘em in when there’s so much competition out there? Content! Make sure that your content describes who your prospective customers are, answers their questions, and tells them why you’re the best person for them.

You must learn to understand the needs of your audience.

So how do you create killer content that feeds the masses? Start looking at it from your customer’s perspective. Go find them on the web. Join a conversation on Twitter or a Facebook group. What are they searching for? What are their questions? What do they need? They need you, obviously, so be their answer. Search for products or services online that are similar to yours. How did you find them? What specific words did you use? Did you find them through a photograph or a helpful article? This is how you point your audience in your direction. Figure out what they want, and then be that.

By writing on the topic that you know so well, you position yourself as a default expert.

I know, I know, but you’re not a writer! If you’re the CEO of an exotic wood distribution company, I guarantee that no one knows more about odd varieties of hardwoods from other lands. If you’re an accountant who only works with creatives, you’ve learned a thing or two about helping them manage their cash flow even though they’d rather be shooting a documentary about claustrophobic unicorns. And if you’re a web design company with chops, you know all about helping your customers stand out in a sea of millions of pages.

Provide your visitors with real value. They’ll stay longer and return more frequently.

Set your standards high. Be interesting by being yourself. Be consistent. Don’t just sit down and churn out crap because you think you have to. Remember, you’re having a conversation with your customers. You care about them because after all, that’s why you started this business to begin with. You’re not selling your sexy accounting skills or your exotic hardwoods. You’re helping them alleviate the stress that comes with staring at spreadsheets, helping them work through their recent furniture project, and helping them be seen and heard in the enormous, worldly city that is the internet.

Still need some ideas for content marketing?

Tell your own story. Everyone’s got one. Why do you do what you do? What’s different today than when you started? Where do you find inspiration to constantly improve your product or service?

Join a Facebook group, and start interacting. You’ll build a following by having real conversations.

Read a book, or pick up a magazine that focuses on your industry. Not only will you learn about new trends, but you’ll no doubt form an opinion. Please, tell us all about it!

Go to a meet up, or organize one of your own. When’s the last time you talked to real people about their jobs/lives/business ideas? This is a great way to develop and polish your own ideas.

Sit down to a blank page, and just start typing. See where it takes you. Even if it’s not fit for the web, it’s not wasted time.

 

Go ahead and try it. Start sharing photos of your exotic hardwoods on Instagram. Write a blog post, and share it with a creative professionals Facebook group. It’s the best way to attract customers to your site and to you!