Content Marketing

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out by Educating Your Clients and Prospects

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out by Educating Your Clients and Prospects 900 600 Kari Switala

Do you struggle to make your finance company stand out from the crowd? If so, you aren’t alone. No matter what part of the industry you’re in — whether you are a financial advisor, CPA, lender, or other finance professional — the competition can be fierce. There are many avenues you can take with your marketing to differentiate your business, but one of the most effective things you can do is use your marketing to educate your audience.

As you likely know, money can be a frustrating, confusing, and stressful topic for many people. Helpful, educational content speaks to the concerns of your clients and prospects and offers them something valuable. It also positions you as both a thought leader in your industry and a knowledgeable professional they can trust with their finances. Providing educational content can make your finance company stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Education Provides Value

To truly set yourself apart, you need to offer something of value to your clients and prospects that the competition doesn’t: something that is both unique and relevant to your market. Offering helpful information that teaches your audience more about various topics in your industry does exactly that. 

You might be thinking, “But why should I give away my knowledge for free — isn’t that what my clients pay for?” 

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

Here’s the thing: providing helpful information in this way doesn’t mean you’re giving away all of your knowledge free of charge. You’re simply offering people a taste of what they will get when they work with you, in the same way that getting a free sample at the grocery store gives you a taste of the product the store is selling. That free sample of pizza doesn’t fill you up — you have to buy a whole pizza for that. 

Similarly, your “free sample” of information doesn’t give your audience everything they need to manage their finances — it merely gives them an introduction to the knowledge they’ll have at their disposal when they hire you.

Educational Content Builds Trust

Educational content can also build trust with your current and prospective clients. It does this by:

  • Showcasing your knowledge of your profession and positioning you as a leading voice in your field 
  • Making you more approachable, showing that you are someone who is willing to address your clients’ financial questions and concerns 
  • Offering your audience something of value with no strings attached

Providing educational content to your audience shows that you are not in it just to sell a product or service. It shows that you care about your clients’ financial futures. 

Focus on Your Ideal Client’s Questions and Concerns

Using your marketing to educate your audience shows that you’re aware of the questions and concerns your clients and prospects have — that you’re paying attention to the things that matter to them. 

From clearly explaining confusing financial jargon to giving instructional how-tos, center your marketing content on tackling trending topics in your industry as well as the frequently asked questions you get from your clients. 

Most importantly, focus your marketing on topics that are specific to your ideal client — their concerns, dreams, and aspirations. While it may be tempting to cast your net wide by sticking to generic topics that will attract a wide range of prospects, focusing your marketing on a specific audience is a much more effective marketing strategy. Prospective clients are more likely to connect with you if they view you as a business that specializes in solutions that suit their needs. 

Take a look at our recent blog on buyer personas to learn more about honing in on your ideal audience and how doing so can benefit your business.

Once you determine what demographic you most prefer to work with, offer content that is relevant to that group. For instance, if your ideal clients are parents and families, you might focus on topics such as building up savings, college planning, or school year tax-saving tips. Or, if you want to work primarily with small businesses, you might create content about starting a business, tax laws relevant to entrepreneurs, or how to close the books at year-end.

Be Authentic: Draw From Your Passions

Something else to consider as you determine which topics to educate your audience on is your own unique set of passions. What are your favorite aspects of your industry? What topics are you most passionate about?

These topics are the ones you will likely have the most insight into, as well as those you are the most excited to talk about. Maybe you’re passionate about helping people prepare for retirement so they can live the life of their dreams in their final years; or perhaps you love explaining the complexities of tax rules to new business owners. Whatever your niche is, harness that enthusiasm and share it with your audience. This excitement and eagerness to share will come out in your content, giving you an authenticity that sets you apart.

Your own passions, personality, and history are uniquely powerful tools in differentiating your business. And bringing who you are, your background, and your unique vantage point to the table will help you attract a client base with similar values and interests. 

Share What You’re Learning

Regardless of what area of the finance industry you work in, continuing education is an essential part of staying on top of your game. As you work to keep up on your own education, share your newfound knowledge with your clients and prospects. 

Ongoing training enables you to help your clients make continuous progress on their financial goals. Sharing about the classes you’re taking and what you’re learning shows that you are continually improving yourself and your offerings. This can help you both attract prospective clients and encourage current clients to stick with you for the long term.

So don’t hesitate to talk about your ongoing professional development as well how any credentials you hold translate into better service for your clients.

Use a Variety of Methods to Educate Your Audience

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out

So now that you understand the role education plays in differentiating yourself from the competition, let’s talk about how to best get this vital content to your clients and prospects. There are a wide range of methods available that lend themselves well to educating your audience — here are some of the best.

Blog Posts. Blog posts are a great way to give either a quick overview of a broad topic or a deep dive into a more specific topic. Blogs can range from 300-2500 words (or more), so can be a versatile tool for a variety of subjects. 

To give you an idea of what a blog might look like for a company in the finance industry, we’ll refer you to two of our clients’ blogs: Wood CPA and Simplify Wealth. Take a look through their blogs and notice how their posts reflect their individual personalities and passions, as well as the audiences they are targeting.

Guides and eBooks. Guides and eBooks are ideal tools for going deeper on a topic. They are typically offered as downloadable PDFs, and can vary in format from being more of an extended blog post to something akin to a manual or organizational tool. You can even combine several of your previous blog posts about a topic to create a guide on that subject.

Simplify Wealth’s Optimize Your Life Organizer is one example of a guide that we helped create. It provides educational material and instructional guidance in a workbook format that walks an individual through the details of their finances.

For another example, check out this eBook we wrote for our own marketing purposes!

Email Newsletters. Email newsletters give you the opportunity to connect regularly with your clients. A newsletter should be short and sweet, so it isn’t a great place to go deep on a subject. However, it’s the perfect tool to highlight updates (tax changes and deadlines, for example) and to link articles (your own or ones from outside sources that you trust), guides, or eBooks on relevant topics.

Social Media. Like newsletters, social media is a great way to share quick updates and links to relevant resources. It can also be the perfect place to get a bit more personal — sharing about your own educational pursuits as well as your hobbies and interests. You don’t want to get too personal here, but you also don’t want to only share business-related information or sales pitches.

Social media is more like a networking event than a billboard: you certainly want to talk shop, but you should also share more about yourself in order to connect with people on a personal level and build relationships and trust. Check out Wood CPA’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages for some great examples!

Vlogs, Live Videos, and Webinars. Video offers a way to connect face-to-face (or close to it) with your clients and prospects. It gets not only your words, but your face in front of your audience, making you seem more familiar and providing for a different level of connection. From posting vlogs (video blogs) on YouTube to doing Facebook or Instagram lives to offering webinars on relevant topics, video can be an excellent way to bring educational content to your audience.

The methods you choose to incorporate into your marketing strategy will depend on the specific demographic you are targeting — where they like to get their information and what their particular needs are — as well as your own preferences, comfort level, and time constraints.

Make Your Finance Company Stand Out With Help From Wild Fig 

Here at Wild Fig, we have experience helping our clients in the finance industry stand out from the competition. From blog writing to email newsletters to social media planning and posting, we can help you reach your ideal prospects with quality content that educates them and showcases the unique value you bring to the table. Sign up here for a FREE 30 minute strategy session to talk more about what we can do for your business!

market your practice

How to Market Your Practice While Showing Your Prospects You Care

How to Market Your Practice While Showing Your Prospects You Care 900 600 Kari Switala

A Guide for Medical and Dental Marketing

Think about the important relationships in your life. Take marriage, for example. When you wake up every day, do you seek out your own agenda and act without consideration for your spouse? 

Hey honey! I planned our summer vacation. I’m thinking Italy. I went ahead and booked our flights, created our itinerary and reserved all our lodging. We’ll be gone for two weeks and travel all over the country! It’s going to be a great time. You’ll love it!

While Italy may be on your spouse’s bucket list, you went ahead and planned an elaborate and expensive trip without their input. What if they were hoping for an inexpensive and relaxing Southern California beach getaway instead? Your plans might leave them thinking, It’s like they don’t even know me or care about what’s important to me. 

In this case, you missed the mark and the money you spent on all those reservations might best have been spent on marriage counseling. Operating based solely on your own agenda without considering your partner isn’t a recipe for a healthy long-term relationship. 

A healthy relationship involves knowing and valuing what’s important to the other person and responding to that.

It’s the same with your medical or dental practice. Whether you’re in dentistry, orthodontics or pediatrics, your practice, if it’s successful, revolves around your patients and knowing what’s important to them. What kind of care are they looking for? 

Let’s take a look at a few important things to consider when marketing your practice in a caring, relevant and effective way:

Start by determining who you want to attract 

If you want to grow a successful practice, you have to define your target market. You might be thinking, I want to serve everyone and address every dental need. While that may be true, a targeted approach will drive your business much more effectively than a general approach. 

If you’re a dentist, maybe you want to focus primarily on children and helping them keep their teeth healthy for life. You’ll emphasize the importance of biannual recare visits, fill a lot of cavities and prepare a lot of mouths for braces.

Contrast this with a dental practice that focuses on serving baby boomers in a higher income bracket who can afford veneers and other high-end dental procedures. You may even want to be zip code-specific, targeting boomers in a large retirement community near your office. 

As you’re fleshing out your ideal client, begin to think about these important questions: 

  • What are my ideal client’s primary needs? 
  • What do they value? 
  • What do they base their decisions on?

I don’t get it. Why can’t I just target everyone with dental needs? This whole “ideal client” business seems unnecessary and I think it might hamper my ability to grow my practice. 

Think about it this way. What kind of fish do you want to catch? 

If you prefer to catch crappie, you’ll probably put a worm on your line. If you want to catch smallmouth bass, you’ll fish with leeches. Once you define your ideal client, you can craft a successful targeted marketing strategy that speaks precisely to your audience. This will help you reel in the right business and at the same time, build your brand and stand out from your competitors. 

Speaking of standing out in a crowd….

Convey your unique value proposition 

The medical and dental industries are highly saturated which makes differentiating your practice that much more critical to your success. 

With your clearly defined target market in hand, it’s time to brainstorm your marketing strategy. Once again, keep your patient at the center of the process. 

If children are your ideal client for your dental practice, for example, you will target your marketing towards their parents. Now put yourself in their shoes and consider their ideal dental practice:

  • Busy parents with young children value easy, flexible scheduling. They seek out a dentist who can see their child Monday-Friday after 5 p.m. or on Saturday mornings so they don’t have to leave work to bring their child to an appointment. 
  • They want to get in quickly when their child develops a toothache and they suspect a cavity. 
  • They want a dentist who understands children and offers special comforts to put their child’s mind at ease during their appointment. 

In this scenario, your ideal client’s values could be summed up as flexibility, responsiveness and caring

market your practice

An important component of any successful marketing strategy involves telling your story and highlighting your values. Knowing that flexibility, responsiveness and caring are important to your ideal client, you can weave these into your messaging on your About Us page, letting website visitors know that these are some of your core values—ones that you’ve built your practice on. You can create blog posts around these values. You can highlight them above the fold on the homepage of your website. You may even incorporate them into your company’s one-liner

Using these core values as a launching point, you can speak to parents’ needs and offer your solutions. 

Are their children nervous about going to the dentist because of a negative past experience? Empathize with these parents and tell them about all the comfort measures you offer that can help! Cable TV with kids programming, essential oils, warm neck wraps, comfy blankets….

Our amazing client, Eggert Family Dentistry, lists 17 comforts on their website that they offer to their patients to make dentistry as easy and pleasant as possible. Way to go, you guys! 

Busy parents who come across your messaging will quickly identify with you. Many will respond by making their child’s first dental appointment or switching to your practice because you address their concerns better than their current provider. As you continue to grow your marketing strategy and attract your ideal clients, you’ll develop a reputation in your community as a parent and child-friendly dental office, you’ll experience the snowball effect of referral traffic and you’ll grow your business. 

You know what they’re looking for. Now go get ‘em, tiger! 

Ok, so you’ve established who your ideal client is and you’re working on developing messaging that connects with them. This begs the question: How do you get your messaging in front of your ideal clients? 

Here are a few proven strategies:

Optimize your website. You have a ton of information you want to get in front of your visitors. Don’t worry—your website can accommodate all of it. Just make sure that, first and foremost, your website is always patient-centric. Again, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, this time as you create content and design the layout for each page.

If you’re searching for a dermatologist, for example, and you’re looking at provider websites, which would be the most compelling to you? A homepage with a big block of text that talks all about the history of the clinic and the doctors that practice there or a headline that reads, “We take skin seriously,” followed by a few bullet points about their state-of-the-art technology and a list of their services? 

Also, create and post regular blog entries that convey your expertise and address your ideal client’s common questions and concerns. Once again, kudos to our friends at Eggert Family Dentistry who do an excellent job of providing consistent value through their blog! Make sure you post your blog entries on your social channels and link them back to your website! And while we’re on the subject of social media…

Leverage social media. First of all, which social channels do your ideal clients use? Let’s say you’re a dental practice marketing to the 55+ age group. You can have the best social media marketing campaign in the world but if you put it on Instagram, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Most of your ideal clients are over on Facebook connecting with their friends and keeping up with their grandkids’ sports and shenanigans. It pays to do your research!

Once you get your marketing campaign up and running on your prospects’ desired channels, use each channel’s built-in analytics tools to test and measure your results. What are the demographics of the people who are interacting with your posts? Are you actually attracting your ideal clients? Which posts get the most traffic—the ones in the morning, afternoon or evening? At the beginning, middle or end of the workweek? Are many people engaging with your content on the weekends? Tweak and test your marketing until you hone it in. 

A few social media content tips: 

  • Always provide value
  • Post regularly
  • Design posts that are interactive and engaging
  • Be consistent in your branding
  • Drive visitors to your website to learn more!

When effectively utilized, social media can be an outstanding lead generation tool that will help you target your perfect audience.

Gather patient reviews. The medical and dental industries are largely driven by reputation. Keep in mind that being a patient is a vulnerable position to be in. Patients don’t trust their health to just anyone. They want some basis of familiarity or reason to trust you. While personal recommendations take the cake for driving traffic across nearly every industry, don’t underestimate the power of patient reviews. 

Did you know that, after as few as five reviews, 68% of prospects form an opinion about your practice?

The moral of the story? Never quit gathering and posting reviews. Create a Google My Business link and post it on your webpage. Encourage current patients to write reviews, and for patients that do, add their names to a monthly drawing. 

Additional ideas include developing and implementing an SEO strategy, utilizing email marketing and recording videos of your providers discussing what they do and addressing common patient questions and concerns. Because, at the end of the day, your practice must revolve around your patients. 

Ready to take some of these ideas and run with them? Sweet. We believe crafting a patient-centric strategy will help you stand out and will drive the success of your practice. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Sign up here for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session and learn how we can help you stand out and take your practice to the next level.

B2B Marketing Strategy

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

6 TIPS FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY 900 600 Kari Switala

I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t want to grow their business. I have, however, met hundreds of B2B business owners on the verge of burnout from working tirelessly day after day, week after week, year after year, without seeing the results they want.  The problem? More often than not, they’re lacking a solid B2B marketing strategy.

Schitt's Creek

The good news is that it’s never too late to course-correct. At Wild Fig Marketing, we suggest integrating these helpful tips into your strategy to rock the socks off your brand and ignite your ROI. 

Tip #1: Post on your blog regularly

B2B Marketing Strategy

Your blog is a powerful little bugger…and it’s often underutilized. Did you know that your blog has the power to drive organic traffic to your website, increase your SEO rankings, position you as a thought leader in your industry and supply practical information for your prospects and current customers? 

Let’s take a closer look…

  • Because your blogs address your target audience’s questions, concerns and pain points with practical information, you attract organic traffic to your website and grow your image as a thought leader. 
  • When you add internal links and high-quality outbound links to blog posts or other parts of your website, you increase your SEO rankings which means more exposure for your brand. Check out this post on leveraging your blog for more brand traction. (Dare you not to click!)
  • Unlike social media posts, blog posts sit on your website so they’re not subject to changing search engine algorithms and they increase the time visitors spend on your website. 
  • Blog posts are an excellent way for visitors to get to know your story and your team members. 

And this leads me to the next tip I want to highlight…

Tip #2: Humanize your brand 

B2B Marketing Strategy

Gone are the days when companies do business with other companies simply because they’ve been in the family for four generations and they’re a household name. Today’s business owners want to work with businesses they can relate to or at minimum, that are human and approachable. 

So how can your business ditch the Armani suit and don the Lululemon yoga pants?

  • Tell your story. Why did you start your business? What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business off the ground? What lessons have you learned the hard way? The moment you close the curtain on authenticity, you alienate business owners who need your product or service but want to work with a relatable, down-to-earth brand. 
  • Share your customers’ stories. Build a “Testimonials” tab into your website and weave testimonials into your blog posts and other content. Publish story blogs and create YouTube videos (that link back to your webpage) where customers share how your company’s solutions drove their business’ success. 
  • Showcase your core values. What values is your company built on? How are these values woven into your company culture? How do these values affect your professional relationships? If your company gives back to the local community, what does that look like and how is that charitable contribution driven by your values? Many business owners seek out professional relationships with companies whose values and culture closely align with their own.
  • Incorporate humor and outside-the-box thinking. Just because certain emails are routine doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Dare to break the mold by incorporating memes, GIFs or other forms of humor and creativity. Here are some fun ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

P.S. Postal scripts are another great way to humanize your message! (See how I did that?) 

Tip #3: Utilize email marketing

B2B Marketing Strategy

Folks, this is a showstopper. If you think email is old school, think again. 

Email marketing is the single most effective way to reach your prospects and convert leads. 

  • Send out targeted emails to stay top of mind with current customers. 
  • Create a lead nurture campaign to convert more prospects into customers by following them on their journey with your brand and providing valuable information that intersects each stage of that journey. 
  • Create and distribute monthly email newsletters that educate your prospects, customers and strategic partners to increase your referral traffic.

Tip #4: Automate your sales and marketing processes

marketing automation

Automation does the heavy lifting in many aspects of your business. It saves you time while actually enhancing that personal connection. 

Engage in marketing automation with automation software (we adore HubSpot) and send out targeted communication to your prospects based on their interaction with your brand. This is much more targeted than email blasts to your entire contact list and it’s much more efficient than manually communicating with prospects in a way that is relevant to their engagement.

Engage in sales automation by scheduling routine emails that:

  • Welcome new subscribers 
  • Demonstrate your product or service 
  • Remind prospects about upcoming meetings
  • Follow up with leads that have gone dark
  • Thank new customers 
  • Celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or brandaversaries

You can also categorize hot, warm and cold leads with predetermined criteria and send those leads into separate funnels for further, relevant lead nurturing. 

Are you tired of manually scheduling meetings and all the back and forth communication that goes along with it? Calendly and the HubSpot meetings tool are scheduling software options that lighten the load for your sales reps while providing a simple, time-saving experience for your prospects and clients.

Tip #5: Create lead magnets

If your ultimate goal is to grow your base of brand ambassadors who will help you grow your company, you can’t lose sight of the first step. The most potent way to attract prospects to your brand is by creating lead magnets—valuable freebies prospects receive in exchange for their basic contact information. 

Lead magnets can take many forms but guides, checklists and ebooks are three of the most common. Learn more about how lead magnets can help you grow your business here.

Tip #6: Leverage LinkedIn for effective lead generation

LinkedIn Lead Generation

96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing—the vast majority. If you don’t have a LinkedIn presence, you might as well be standing on the mainland waving to your Fiji-bound competitors. You’re missing the boat.

We know that companies posting at least once a week on LinkedIn see double the engagement rate than those who aren’t. But the lead generation potential extends far beyond this point. 

At Wild Fig, LinkedIn is one of our biggest client generators, second only to referrals. Over time, we’ve developed a solid LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy.

We…

  • Defined our target audience.
  • Determined which types of content they find valuable.
  • Post regularly with a good mix of content that speaks to our target audience.
  • Pay close attention to who’s viewing our profile.
  • Send these people personalized connection requests (without the creepy stalker factor, of course).
  • Continue to provide valuable content and engage with our connections and our wider target audience.

Learn a little more about how the Figgy LinkedIn magic happens in our recent post!

When you adopt a LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy as part of your overall B2B marketing strategy, you set yourself up for a far greater return on your investment. 

Now that your mind is bursting with fresh marketing ideas, it’s time to put some wheels on them! If you’re overwhelmed or want a better idea of how to integrate these tips into your existing marketing strategy, we’d love to help! Sign up with Jen for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here.
Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency. Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand.

WHY CONTENT MARKETING IS CRITICAL FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY COMPANIES

WHY CONTENT MARKETING IS CRITICAL FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY COMPANIES 900 600 Kari Switala

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly created a list of 17 worldwide sustainability goals as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #7 exists to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This goal intersects the rising costs of crude oil and gas and growing frustration over the drastic price fluctuations in this arena. 

Consequently, consumer demand for sustainable energy is increasing. While this is great news for renewable energy companies, it also means that each company is up against an increasing amount of competition as more and more players are entering the field. That’s why it’s critical that renewable energy companies differentiate themselves through a solid marketing strategy. 

And what is at the heart of a solid marketing strategy? Content. 

Here are three steps to get your content marketing strategy off the ground: 

1. State your differentiation factor

content marketing

Your differentiation factor is your company’s unique selling point. It answers the ultimate question, Why would an environmentally-conscious consumer choose my renewable energy company’s services over the next guy’s? To determine this answer, there are a few preliminary questions you need to ask yourself: 

  • Why is our service the best on the market?
  • Who would benefit the most from our service? 
  • What advantages does our service offer over similar services from industry competitors?

Once you pinpoint these answers, you can weave together your differentiation factor. 

If you are unsure about what truly sets your company apart, here are a few ideas:

  • Survey your employees, collect their feedback and look for common words/themes/trends.
  • Take a look at your Google reviews and see what your customers are saying about you.
  • Reach out to recent customers and ask why they chose you.

Now you’re ready to move onto the next step: defining your target audience. 

2. Define your target audience

content marketing

In the process of crafting your differentiation factor, you spend time analyzing the exact person or people your service is best suited for. These people are your target audience. Every single piece of content you create should speak to this audience. Defining your target audience increases the likelihood that your prospects will recognize the need for your service and stay engaged with your messaging, eventually investing in your renewable energy offerings. Want some help? We recommend this user-friendly tool by HubSpot!

3. Craft valuable content 

content marketing

Content is the meat and potatoes of your marketing strategy. Once you clearly identify what sets your renewable energy company apart from your competitors and you know who your target audience is, you’re ready to create relevant content that educates prospects, warms them up to your offerings and convinces them to make a purchase. Does that sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. There are a few key pieces of content you should be creating that will help you with this process:

Blogs: Did you know that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads? That’s why blogs are non-negotiable. The best way to educate your prospects about your company and your service is through long-form content that is highly shareable. 

When you create blog posts, you focus on offering your target audience value by addressing their pain points, questions and concerns and showcasing how your product can intersect their journey and make their life better. Once you add blog posts to your webpage—SEO enabled so search engines can find them—you can link to them on your social media channels and in your newsletter, directing your prospects back to your website to learn more about you. Plus, creating consistent, valuable content enhances your brand image and paints you as an expert in your industry which can help set you apart from the competition.

FAQ’s: Chances are, when prospects first land on your website, they will have a lot of questions:

What is renewable energy? Do you work directly with consumers? How do you calculate energy savings? 

Provide them with value by creating an FAQ page that answers the most common questions your sales team hears. Be sure to include links to your other valuable content such as blogs and whitepapers where you address these questions and link to your Contact page so they can easily reach out if they’d like to speak directly with a member of your sales team. 

Did you know that you can optimize your FAQ page for SEO? By making each of your answers to your list of frequently asked questions SEO-friendly, you make it that much easier for search engine spiders to find your content…which makes it that much easier for potential customers to find your website!

Testimonials: In this information age, few people make purchasing decisions without reading reviews. If they’re just learning about your company, prospects want to know you’re credible before giving you their money. Capitalize on this powerful source of social proof by incorporating testimonials into your website and adding them to your blog posts, newsletters and campaign content. Testimonials will increase consumer confidence and drive sales for your company. 

Lead nurture campaigns: Long sales cycles are typical in the renewable energy industry. From the time your prospects first learn about your company until they make a purchase and you deliver the service, months or even years can pass. That makes lead nurture campaigns, as opposed to drip campaigns, an effective way to educate your prospects. 

The goal of a lead nurturing marketing campaign is to deliver pertinent emails at crucial points in the sales cycle. These emails are triggered by certain prospect behavior such as visiting a webpage, downloading a piece of content, performing a specific search on your website, etc. These emails coincide with the actions they engage in and help grow a sense of trust as you “nurture” them along their journey. 

If you want help devising a marketing strategy and creating content for your renewable energy company, Wild Fig Marketing would love to speak with you. Contact us here to schedule a complimentary 15-minute exploratory call and learn how we can partner with you to launch your content marketing efforts and grow your business!

Repurposing old blogs

HOW CAN I REPURPOSE MY CONTENT?

HOW CAN I REPURPOSE MY CONTENT? 900 600 Kari Switala

It can be a struggle to consistently come up with new content that is relevant to your audience—content that makes them want to engage with you.

Did you know you can repurpose your old blog posts and other resources rather than constantly creating new content?

Repurposing past blog articles, ebooks/guides, or even webinars can help you get more value out of the content you’ve already worked hard to create. When you adapt your content into different formats—combining several blog posts into an ebook/guide or creating new blogs out of the content from a webinar, for instance—you extend the reach of your current content, allowing you to engage new audiences.

Getting Started With Repurposing Your Content

If this sounds intriguing to you, there are two things you will need to do before you can effectively repurpose your content:

1.) Complete a content audit.

Auditing your current content is crucial. It will show you the topics you’ve already addressed and any related content you could link together. It will also show you what content has been the most engaging and what has fallen flat. (Spoiler alert: you’ll want to focus on the more engaging content and let the duds go).

content audit

To audit your content, start by gathering your blog posts, ebooks/guides, worksheets, videos, webinars, and any other resources you’ve offered in the past. Organize all of this content into a spreadsheet, keeping track of the following categories:

    • content title
    • topic
    • buyer’s journey stage
    • lifecycle stage
    • content format
    • targeted buyer persona
    • and any additional notes that could be helpful as you search through your list in the future

Use this helpful worksheet from Hubspot to help you stay organized as you gather your current content. The content audit is by far the most painful part of this process (especially if you’re a creative type who’s not a fan of spreadsheets!), but trust us, having all of this information gathered into one place will be a vital resource for future content creation. You won’t know how you ever functioned without it.

2.) Decide what you want to be known for.

Which topics do you want to become the go-to expert for? Who is your ideal client? Asking yourself questions like these will help you hone in on what content you should repurpose. It doesn’t make sense to repurpose pieces of content that are not going to attract your ideal work or client, so let those go and focus on the ones that will.

Finding Content to Repurpose

Once you’ve done your content audit and chosen the topic areas you want to focus on, it’s time to find some content to repurpose. Search through your completed content audit worksheet, looking for content or topics that stand out, such as:

  • Top performers. Use Google Analytics to determine your top performing blogs over the past 6-12 months. These are your best bets as far as increasing engagement—if your audience enjoyed them, they’ll probably want to hear more about those topics and will be likely to engage with them again in another format. Consider creating webinars, ebooks, or email campaigns addressing your most popular topics.
  • Topic Clusters. Notice which of your blogs could be combined into long-form content such as ebooks, guides, or webinars. Can you reuse past blogs to create bigger pieces of content that could benefit your audience in some way or answer questions they have?
  • Common Questions. Do you have a blog (or several) that answers questions you often get from your audience? If so, repurpose them into a Q&A video and/or downloadable guide.
  • Helpful Statistics. Are there certain blog topics that involve a lot of numbers? Repurposing those numbers into eye-catching and relevant infographics will give you great fodder for social media posts and provide a way to link back to the original blog to boost engagement further.

You get the drift. Focus on the content your audience is already gravitating towards and ask yourself if there is new information you can share that relates to those topics or if there is another way to deliver the information to your audience. Do you see how effective this can be?

Bonus: Optimizing Old Blog Posts

As you’re working through your content audit and choosing old blogs to repurpose, take a few moments to optimize those old posts to improve your SEO. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Consider adding a short list to the top of the blog—doing so can help with snippets and SEO ranking.
  • Update the title to include a long-tail keyword that aligns with the question(s) your target audience would search for online.
  • Look for other blog articles you’ve written, videos you’ve created, or other resources you offer (ebooks, downloadable pdfs, checklists, etc.) that are relevant to this topic and include links to them in the post.
  • Make sure every blog includes a call to action (a link to view more content, follow you on social media, book an exploratory call, etc), and update the CTA as needed to keep it relevant.

We hope this quick intro to repurposing your content was helpful. Now all that’s left to do is to get started! Repurposing your content effectively will help you reach your audience, increase engagement, and get more out of the work you’ve already done. Need help creating ebooks, guides, or other content from your old blog posts? We know someone who could help. 😉

Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

STRATEGIES TO HELP CUSTOMERS FIND YOU ONLINE

STRATEGIES TO HELP CUSTOMERS FIND YOU ONLINE 900 600 Maddi Koenig

Did you know that 67% of a customer’s journey happens online? More and more, consumers are doing online research before making any kind of decision to purchase products or hire services. If you’re not showing up prominently in online search results and social media, it’s unlikely that potential customers will find you. To really attract an audience, you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you online. Let’s go over a few strategies to help you do that.

Stake Your Claim on Your Name

Claim your name on every social media platform you might ever want to use, even if you don’t plan to use them all now – if you wait, they may not be available later. Create a custom URL for each social network whenever possible (most platforms allow this). This makes it easier for others to find you on social media and allows you to point people to a customized name that is easy to remember. Use the same name for your website domain and social media networks if possible (or choose a second name to use when the first isn’t available). Ideally, this name should include your business name.

Title case your website domain and social media URLs on all of your marketing (capitalize the first letter of each word). That way they will be easy to read and remember – you want them to be recognizable with a quick look.

For example:

facebook.com/WildFigMarketing 

is much easier to read than

facebook.com/wildfigmarketing 

Do you see what we mean? This is especially helpful if your URL is lengthy.

Note: how people enter the URL into their browser won’t matter – whether they use capitals or lower case they’ll still get to your website or social media page. Title casing just makes it easy for people to see your name at a glance.

Consistently Post New, Relevant Content 

Your website and social media accounts don’t have to be flashy but they do need to cater to your target market. Think about what your customers need from you:

  • Why have they come to your site?
  • What do they want to know?
  • Is the most important information easy to find?
  • Is your main message highly visible?

Relevant content will grab your customers’ attention and keep them coming back for more.

Another important element in your online presence is consistency. You want to post on your blog and social media networks as often as you can to keep the momentum going, but you also need to think about how often you’ll be able to consistently post. If you start posting daily, your readers will come to expect that and will see you as less reliable if you suddenly drop down to once a week. If all you have time for is a weekly post, then do that – just be consistent.

Boost Your SEO With Keywords

Believe it or not, the text content on your website is even more important than visual elements. It conveys your message of course, but it’s also how Google finds and ranks your site. Make sure all of the text throughout your website is keyword-rich. (Check out our blog on keyword strategy here). Keywords – the words people would use to search for your product or service online – are how you get noticed by Google search.

Keyword-rich content will boost your SEO (search engine optimization) and help you appear prominently in online search results. The goal is to rank on the first page of Google search, as people rarely look beyond the first page. Since it is difficult to rank on the first page for every possible thing your customers would search for, focus on a few words or phrases that reflect what’s most important to you and use those keywords throughout your website copy. You can also use keywords in page titles, meta tags, image descriptions, and page descriptions to help boost your SEO.

Stay Active on Social Media

Stay in front of your audience by being consistently active on social networks. To start with, figure out which networks your target market uses most. The most common are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, but the ones you focus on will depend on your target audience’s demographics. Regardless of which network or networks you choose, our advice is the same – stay active and use these networks to interact with your audience.

That doesn’t mean you have to post your own new content every day. Do post some relevant content of your own, but also share content you find and want to pass on to your followers, post polls and questions to gather opinions and increase engagement, respond to comments people post on your page, and comment on others’ pages and posts.

Also, keep your finger on the pulse of what others in your industry are doing online by joining groups, following other accounts whose content you find useful, following people who follow you, and subscribing to blogs in your industry. These things will all help you become an online resource in your area of expertise and get you seen by your customers.

Sprinkle Your Website and Social Media Addresses Like Confetti 

In other words, put them everywhere! Add icons or clickable links to your email signature, website, eNewsletters, ebooks, and other online documents. Add this information to all of your social media networks too, so people can connect with you on multiple sites if they want to. If you’re short on space or the platform only allows for one or two sites, include only your top ones. Don’t forget to make sure all of the links work, and if possible set them to open in another tab.

On your website, make your social media icons easy to find. Generally speaking, the top or bottom of the page (or both) is the best spot for them. Make sure the icons are big enough or spaced far enough apart to be able to easily click or tap on them.

You should also include your website and social media URLs on all printed materials, including business cards, brochures, ads, product packaging, letterhead, invoices, and more. Make sure your customers can find your accounts easily.

All of these tips will help you stand out online so your target audience can easily find and engage with you. Need help with your online marketing strategy? We can help. Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

CORONAVIRUS CONTENT TRENDS

CORONAVIRUS CONTENT TRENDS 900 600 Mindy Traylor

and Ways to Adjust Your Content Marketing Strategy Accordingly

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like everything is changing. Three months ago, we didn’t think twice about meeting a friend for lunch, catching a Friday night movie or snatching up tickets to a show or sporting event. Now, many of us would sell a kidney for any one of these opportunities. As a result of drastic changes on the world stage, content is shifting as well. What people are searching for and engaging with is driving new trends and savvy businesses are paying attention.

Trends in content creation include:

 Content that brings joy

Inundated by countless stories of tragedy and loss and a large amount of personal and professional uncertainty, we want a breather. We want good news. So much so that, as of April,  Google searches for “good news” were up 355%.

The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, responded with The Tonight Show: At Home Edition, a quarantine version of his mainstream late show. And it’s a raging success. Fallon’s show fills homes around the country with late-night humor, relatable anecdotes and silliness…with a side of virtual A-list star interviews, of course.

In an attempt to offset the pervasive negative news, many social media platforms, news stations and publications are drawing attention to COVID-specific “good news,” highlighting heroes on the frontlines, recovery stories, mask and PPE drives and donations, etc.

Content that invites participation 

Spending months in quarantine is breeding a prevailing sense of boredom. In response, many of us are seeking out participatory activities.

The social media platform, TikTok – famous for lip-syncing, dance and comedy videos – has experienced a recent jump in app users. In March alone, more than 12 million people checked the app out for the first time. 

In response to social distancing guidelines and shelter-in-place orders, many businesses such as gyms, art studios and dance studios are converting their classes into a participatory online format, giving consumers the opportunity to connect with others while still pursuing the activities they love.

Content that fosters connection 

Whether we are quarantining alone, with family members or with roommates, many of us are feeling cut off from important relationships and things we enjoy, causing a spike in depression and anxiety. One way people are choosing to combat this is through digital connection. Digital connection platforms such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom have been around for a while and we were certainly using them. Now, however, usage is at an all-time high, leaving everyone with a pulse wishing we had purchased their stock. These platforms make staying in touch with family and friends much easier and help facilitate many participatory activities, including the ones listed above.

As the content consumers seek out changes, businesses are switching up their marketing approaches.

Fresh marketing strategies include:

Issuing COVID-19 positioning statements 

Whether or not you’re in the foodservice or hospitality industry, consumers want to know your business’s position on the COVID crisis. This knowledge gives them peace of mind and creates a “we’re all in this together” sense of solidarity. It also sets consumer expectations: Is the pandemic driving the demand for certain products, causing lower-than-normal inventory? Will it take you a little longer to return emails and phone calls or ship out products? Email a COVID positioning statement to your subscribers and add it to your company website.

Creating content hubs

Hopefully you’re finding innovative ways to market your products or services during this time. As you create content that intersects current consumer needs, create a hub on your website for this in-demand material. A content hub makes it easier for consumers to access your valuable information and positions you as an industry leader during this uncertain time.

Creating fresh, relevant content 

Make sure your content is relevant. No one saw a worldwide pandemic on the horizon so this might mean readjusting your marketing schedule a bit. Discover what people are searching for by checking out trending posts on Reddit and regularly consulting Exploding Topics for popular keyword searches.

Prioritizing highly relevant content 

Move relevant content to the top of your blog. Highlight it in your weekly emails and in your monthly newsletter. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. See if you can refresh and republish old content that may intersect current events and address people’s newfound concerns and needs.

As you engage your audience with fresh, relevant content, maintain your brand image and your integrity. Don’t play off of people’s fears – there’s enough fear-mongering out there already! Meet your audience where they’re at. Address their concerns, educate them about your product or service and how it can help them navigate this time and continue to provide the valuable content they’ve come to expect from your brand. A nimble marketing strategy generates referrals and creates lifelong customers.

Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

BLOGS: A MARKETING STRATEGY MUST-HAVE

BLOGS: A MARKETING STRATEGY MUST-HAVE 900 600 Mindy Traylor

Blogging is an investment in your business. And blogs don’t have to be overwhelming! In a recent study by Orbit Media Studios, it takes an average of 3 hours and 57 minutes to write a blog post. Theme Grill reports that blog posts between 300-600 words strike the balance between being highly shareable and ranking well for SEO. Let’s take a closer look at a few main ways that blogging stands to benefit your business.

Blogging helps increase your SEO

Why take the time to create content if your prospects can’t find it? SEO is a hot-button topic these days and understanding how it works is critical to marketing success. When you publish blog posts, unlike social media posts, they populate in search engines. When you leverage an effective keyword strategy in your blog post content, your posts populate more frequently and achieve higher SEO rankings. This, in turn, drives more traffic to your posts and ultimately, to your website. HubSpot reports that blogs help companies generate 67% more leads every month!

Blogging adds value to your brand while positioning you as an expert in your field

When you write a post for your business, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Answer a question they have. Solve one of their common problems. Address common sales objections. Address skeptics by highlighting customer success stories. Your goal is to provide your readers with relevant information that speaks to their unique struggles while at the same time piquing their curiosity so they stick around to learn more. Hit that content sweet spot by clearly defining your target market and developing your content around that market.

And be consistent! One piece of content isn’t typically enough to convert a reader. According to HubSpot, “47% of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before making a purchase.” When you consistently generate quality blog posts that speak directly to your readers, you build your credibility and position yourself as an industry expert. Then, when your reader is ready to make a purchase, your brand is top of mind.

Blogging creates more opportunities to engage with your prospects

As a business owner, you’re always looking for fresh ways to get in front of your audience and engage with them. Blogging checks both of these boxes. Your effective SEO keyword strategy gets you in front of your audience while your valuable content keeps you there. At the end of your posts, invite your readers to engage with you on your topic by using the comments field. Ask them to share their experiences or throw out any questions they have. (Pro tip: Reader questions make great subject matter for future posts!) And always respond. This builds a bridge between you and your audience and creates that personal connection visitors will remember down the road when they’re in the market for your product or service.

A few parting tips

  • A quality blog post includes 1-2 keywords, headings, an engaging introduction, images or video, at least two pertinent internal links, at least two high-quality external links and a clear call-to-action.
  • When you publish your blog post on your website, don’t stop there. Create a post summary and a link to your post and put it up on your social channels to attract a wider audience and send more traffic to your website. If your business has a newsletter, include a summary and a link in there as well. Then ask your audience to share your post with people in their sphere who may be interested in your content.
  • The goal is to distribute your post as widely as possible among an on-point audience (which positions you as an expert in your field and keeps you top of mind with prospects so you’re their go-to in their time of need!) And always ALWAYS invite people to subscribe to your blog so they never miss out on your valuable content!

Do you want to improve your blogging strategy but need a little help? We’ve got you covered. Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. Contact us on our website or set up a complimentary 30-minute strategy session here!

Content Marketing for Manufacturers

Content Marketing for Manufacturers 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Sometimes manufacturers are reluctant to get into content marketing, thinking it’s more appropriate for “soft” products like food or services. Even manufacturers who buy in to the benefits of CM may fail to pursue it for a variety of reasons: budget, limited time, uncertainty about whether your efforts have an impact, or simply the ongoing struggle to create engaging content.

CM is actually very valuable across all industries and businesses. It may sound counter-intuitive, but a crucial way to distinguish yourself in the vast sea of content out there… is more (and better) content!

Benefits of Content Marketing
How can good CM help you? Lots of ways:

  • It’s cheaper than traditional / print marketing channels, offering a better ROI
  • It increases organic search traffic
  • It attracts high quality, qualified sales leads
  • It drives more conversions
  • It generates measurable, actionable data and valuable analytics
  • It distinguishes your company with consistent brand messaging
  • It boosts the power of your messages through tailored emails and calls-to-action

According to a 2018 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of manufacturing marketers use CM. Of course, it’s one thing to use it–you want to actually benefit from it, and that’s where we’d like to help you in this article.

Quality Content is Crucial
CM relies on good, engaging content. It’s GOT to make readers react, and ideally, it should trigger an urge to share. If it’s not worth sharing, it’s probably not worth reading or remembering, so it’s better to have a trickle of high-quality content than a flood of content that isn’t relevant. Your credibility is on the line, so be critical and don’t waste your prospects’ time–you’ll turn them off.

You Don’t Need a Massive Budget
We won’t deny it: Producing good content requires time and money. You might hire a freelancer or a marketing firm, or you might tackle it in-house, but it will require some resources.

To minimize those resources, start small. First, be sure to leverage your existing content. Review your website, collateral materials, white papers, case studies and testimonials. These categories all contain content that can potentially be repurposed without a big investment. Pace yourself. You don’t need to post every day, you can stretch out your existing material by posting just once or twice a week when you’re getting started. Create a calendar and schedule out your CM, and utilize multiple channels. After you’ve posted a blog entry, you can share it on various social media channels in subsequent days or weeks.

Focus on creating useful, high-quality pieces that you can reuse after an interval, and expand on in the future. If it’s genuinely informative and well-written, it’s evergreen.

Simple Tricks for Creating Engaging Content
It’s common to face writers’ block, but use your imagination and mine your resources. Evaluate your existing testimonials, FAQs, and instructions. Find out what customers ask, say, or complain about, and respond.

Ask yourself “who are my prospects, what are my prospects interested in, what are their pain points?” You can share compelling related content, from other sources. It doesn’t have to be original, it just has to be useful and clearly attributed. Are your decision-making customers usually engineers? HR professionals? Chemists? Accountants? Share information that will help them, and they’ll remember you favorably.

Review existing content. Can you expand on anything or provide an update?

Evaluate what makes you different from your competition, and highlight it. Tell your origin story and the stories of your products, materials, employees, customers, community. Take readers behind the scenes.

Measuring Content Marketing Success
CM tends to generate so much data, you may be overwhelmed, so narrow down what you focus on as you measure success. Start by identifying your overarching goal. If you wish to build a robust social media audience, shares and likes measure your success. If your objective is qualified leads entering your funnel, measure clicks and conversions.

 

Would you like to know how effective your content marketing truly is? Then check out our complimentary Content Marketing Analysis Tool today!  marketinganalysis.wildfigmarketing.com/free

8 Simple Tips to Creating Content That Teaches Instead of Sells

8 Simple Tips to Creating Content That Teaches Instead of Sells 900 600 WildFigAdmin

As a business owner you are the expert when it comes to your product or service. You also know better than anyone how what your business has to offer can improve the lives of each of your customers. As opposed to boring your customers with generic advertisements and off-point information, effective content marketing that educates your customers provides immense value. Josh Ritchie, CEO and co-founder of Column Five, clarifies that this education must “deliver useful information in the right context at the right time” to maximize its impact.

Let’s take a look at some easy ways to do this!

1. Empathize
This involves getting to know your current and potential customers on a personal level. It’s easy in this technology age to maintain distant and impersonal business relationships. Instead, see your customers in their humanity and make that personal connection. Go the extra step and shoot off that personal email, give them a call or take them out to lunch. Ask them about challenges they’re coming up against, what they need help navigating and offer a genuine dose of empathy. You will begin to see common pain points that you can then address in your content marketing efforts.

2. Be transparent
It’s ok for your customers to hear about the mistakes you’ve made and the obstacles you’ve overcome. Sharing your story in a transparent manner allows your customers to more-readily identify with you and lends you their listening ear. Then, with an engaged audience at your fingertips, you are able to share how your business can help them overcome similar obstacles.

3. Embrace your unique perspective
There are likely many competitors in your field. However, you are wired uniquely and possess your own combination of life experiences and perspectives. This is both your greatest gift and your greatest offering. Quit comparing yourself to the competition. Instead, educate your customers and allow your brand to flourish from your distinctive place.

4. Create bite-sized content
Your customers have a problem and your brand has the perfect solution. The temptation can be to come in like a flood, inundating your customers with all the content your business has to offer – the equivalent of a torrential downpour! Your customers don’t have the ability to absorb and apply everything all at once and will be overwhelmed if they try. Instead, break it down. Consider providing bite-sized, easily-applicable information that can help your customers navigate their problems a little bit at a time. This may look like singular-topic blog posts, short video snippets on individual products or services you offer, insightful tweets or the like.

5. Go where your customers go
Where are your current or potential customers gathering their information? Providing valuable content across these channels or touch points keeps your business top-of-mind, highlights your expertise and encourages them to dig into more of what you have to offer.

6. Capitalize on seasonal happenings
The yearly calendar provides a plethora of opportunities for your business to intersect your current or potential customer’s journey with valuable information. What might this look like? If your business is a landscaping company in the northern part of the country you are aware that by late winter people are dreaming about spring blooms and lazy summer days relaxing and entertaining outdoors. With this in mind, you can provide both valuable and timely content for your customers. You can create a video snippet with tips for planting a beautiful garden or – because spring rain is coming – create a blog post about the importance of implementing proper drainage around the foundation of your home and ‘plant the seed’ for future business.

7. Provide hands-on education
Is your business launching a new product or service? Consider creating a live demo, offering samples of your product or step-by-step pop-ups on your website that help customers navigate new features. The more value you provide in an easy-to-access fashion the easier it is to develop a loyal customer base and generate referral business.

8. Dialogue
Instead of talking to your customers find ways to have dialogue with your customers. In addition to carving out time to make personal contact though face-to-face interaction, implement ways for your customers to engage with your brand via social media forums, a Q & A section on your website or a blog post comment section. This dialogue communicates to your customers that their opinions matter and you are listening. It also communicates that, in addition to being an expert in your field, you are a perpetual student – striving to continually grow, learn and improve.

Are you ready to learn more about the how’s and why’s of educating your potential and existing customers? Wild Fig Marketing is here to help! Schedule a free consultation call here to get started on your path to educating your existing and potential customers!

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