The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Service-Based Businesses
20 May 2023
In today’s digital landscape, information is readily accessible, and content marketing has emerged as an important strategy for service-based businesses to boost their brand presence and attract potential clients. Unlike traditional marketing methods that focus on selling products or services, content marketing is about creating valuable and relevant content that resonates with your target audience.
By being able to deliver engaging, educational, and relevant content, you are going to establish your brand as a thought leader, build trust, and nurture long-term relationships with your clients.
I have spoken about the importance of knowing who your audience is in the past because without knowing who you are trying to reach, you will not be able to create content that is going to resonate with them.
You are going to need to identify their needs, preferences, pain points, and their goals. This is going to allow you to create content that will address their concerns and help to provide solutions that are going to work for them.
CRAFTING A CLEAR AND CONCISE CONTENT STRATEGY
To make sure that your content marketing efforts are effective, it is essential to develop a clear and concise content strategy. Here are the key steps to create a content strategy for your service-based business.
1: Identify your business goals
In order to move forward and create a strategy, you need to know what your business goals are. If you don’t have clearly defined business goals, you aren’t going to know what you are working towards.
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Do you want to increase brand awareness?
- Do you want to establish your expertise in your industry?
By aligning your content strategy with your overall business goals, you can create content that is going to help you create those desired outcomes.
2: Know your audience
Knowing your audience is essential to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience. You can use things like surveys, interviews, and social media analytics to help you gather valuable insights into your audience.
This is going to help you to identify their pain points, the challenges that they are facing, and their motivations. All of this combined information means that you are going to be able to take it to help you develop content that provides genuine value and resonates with your audience.
3: Learn and develop your unique selling proposition
Now what is your unique selling proposition or USP?
The USP, also known as unique selling point, refers to the specific feature or benefit that sets a product or service apart and makes it more appealing to consumers. It is typically a clear and compelling statement that communicates the unique value that your service is going to offer. It emphasizes what makes the product different, better, or even more desirable compared to similar offerings in the market.
The goal of your USP is to create distinct perceptions in the minds of consumers and motivate them to choose one service over others. This can include factors such as…
- Competitive pricing
- Innovative features
- Exceptional customer service
- Any other attribute that sets the product apart and is important to your ideal audience
Your USP is going to become a central element in your branding and your content strategy because it will influence your overall messaging, advertising campaigns, and customer communication.
4: Using your customer journey to map out your content
Knowing the journey that your customer is taking is going to help reach them through the various stages of their customer journey from awareness to consideration and conversion. You are going to want to develop content that caters to each stage by providing relevant information and guiding your audience through the decision-making process.
By using the customer journey in your content strategy, you are going to establish your credibility and nurture trust with future clients.
5: Use different types of content to reach your audience
In the Rebuild Your Blog challenge that is currently going on in my Facebook group, we are not only talking about blogging content, we are talking about the different types of content that are going to help you build up your blog readership.
When considering the different stages of your customer’s journey, different types of content are going to resonate with different audiences and the different stages they are on. A few examples of the different types of content that you can use are…
- Blog posts
By offering different types of content, you can reach a broader audience and cater to their different learning styles.
PRACTICAL WAYS TO HELP YOU CRAFT COMPELLING CONTENT
You know the importance of compelling content but how do you go about creating it and sharing it with your audience? Here are some tips to help you create the content that your audience is going to resonate with.
1: Write engaging blog posts
If you have followed me for a while, you know I talk about blogging A LOT! I mean, that is how my business started through blogging. Blogging is an incredibly powerful way to reach your audience.
Blogging is one of the best ways that you can share your expertise, educate your audience, and attract organic traffic to your website. You are going to want to focus on creating an informative and engaging blog post.
Include storytelling in your blog post, practical tips that your audience can implement into their lives, and a conversational tone.
2: Create captivating videos
If you have been on any social media platform lately, you know the importance of videos and how popular they have become. Videos offer a dynamic and visually appealing way to convey information.
Remember that you don’t need to follow the trends in order for your videos to do their job. (Honestly, I HATE dancing videos and will pass right by them.) Remember to educate your audience on things that are important to them and things that are relevant to the information that your audience is searching for. A few key tips to help you with your video content…
- Make the videos clear and concise
- Make the videos visually appealing
- Optimize your videos for the platforms that you are using them on
3: Designing informative infographics
Infographics are a great way to easily share knowledge with your audience and allow them to share it as well. They help to present complex information in a visually appealing and easily digestible format. Infographics are highly shareable and can attract a wider audience through social media.
When creating an infographic, you will want to…
- Use compelling statistics
- Concise text to convey your message
- Visually appealing designs
4: Start a podcast or be a guest on podcasts relevant to your niche
Podcasts provide an opportunity to connect with your audience on a more personal level. There are many Facebook groups that help you find podcast interviews that will get you in front of your ideal audience. Podcasts are great because you are able to share your expertise with an already established audience.
Tips to help you with podcast interviews…
- Research relevant topics that your audience is interested in
- Invite industry experts to speak on your podcast
- Apply to podcasts that are in your niche and shoulder niches so that you can reach other audiences
- Host discussions on trending subjects that can be done on other social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram
5: Create education ebooks, guides, and more
Ebooks and different types of guides can help you to showcase your expertise in a comprehensive and structured manner. You can develop in-depth resources that provide actionable advice, step-by-step instructions, and valuable insights for your audience.
You can use these ebooks, guides, and workbooks to build your email list and stay in contact with them long-term. You can also use these resources to create an income stream. Remember to make these different types of guides relevant to your business and to the content that your ideal audience is looking for.
STRATEGIES TO INCREASE REACH AND ENGAGEMENT FOR YOUR CONTENT MARKETING
You now know how to begin to create a clear content strategy with the tips above and the different types of content that are going to help you. Now it is time to reach the audience that you want to reach. To maximize the reach and engagement of your content, it is essential to promote it effectively. Here are some strategies to consider to increase your reach and engagement.
1: Leverage your social media platforms
Most of us use social media to a certain extent. Are you using it to help build and grow your business? Nowadays, it really isn’t optional when it comes to social media because every business now needs to have a presence on those platforms.
By utilizing your social media platforms to distribute and promote your content, you can help to engage with your audience, ask questions to your audience, and encourage shares of the content that you create.
When using your social media platforms, you are going to want to create a strategy that will continue to bring people back to your website. This means you will need to be consistent in sharing but you will also need to have a plan for it all to work together seamlessly.
If you are looking for help with your social media platforms, I have two openings to start June 1, 2023. I would love to help you with your content.
2: Engage with online communities
Participating in online communities that are relevant to your industry is a great way to showcase your expertise, answer questions, provide valuable insights to potential clients, and to get your name out there.
When it comes to engaging in online communities, you are going to want to avoid self-promotion and focus on adding value to the community. You can include links to your content when appropriate and if allowed.
I have just started a new group called, Blogger Growth and Collaboration, if you would like to join it. I’d love to see you there!
3: Partner with influencers
Most of us have heard the term influencer but what is an influencer and how can it help you and your business?
An influencer is an individual who has established credibility, expertise, and/or a large following in a specific niche or industry, typically through online platforms. Influencers have the ability to affect the opinions, behaviours, and purchasing decisions of their followers due to their perceived authenticity and expertise.
Influencers will often create and share content that is niche specific such as lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and other areas of interest. They use their influence to leverage and promote products, services, and brands that they love (or hate). They collaborate with businesses through sponsored content, partnerships, endorsements, and affiliate marketing. Usually, they will share their personal experiences, reviews, and recommendations to help their followers make informed decisions on products and services.
Influencers can vary in their reach and impact depending on the size of their audience. By collaborating with an influencer, you can expand your reach and your credibility as a business.
5: Build an email list
Building an email list is one of the best ways to nurture relationships with your audience. An email list allows for direct and personalized communication helps to drive conversation, generates repeat traffic, and gives you control over your marketing efforts. These benefits make an email list a valuable asset for businesses.
You are going to want to offer valuable content upgrades such as guides, templates, or workbooks to get your audience to sign up for your email list. You will then want to send regular newsletters featuring content, industry updates, and special offers. Remember to make your emails relevant and engaging.
6: Collaborate with other businesses
Collaboration is the key to success for any business. Collaboration allows you to cross-promote with target audiences that align with your own. You can co-create content, feature guest posts, or even do joint webinars. Collaboration is going to allow you to tap into new networks and expand your reach naturally.
MEASURING THE KEY METRICS FOR YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
To determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, it is crucial to assess the essential analytics that indicates whether your content is achieving the intended objectives. Here are a few metrics that you should begin to track.
- Website traffic and conversions
- Social media engagement
- Search engine rankings
- Customer feedback and reviews
Content marketing presents a powerful opportunity for service-based businesses to boost their brand, attract clients, and nurture relationships with their potential and current clients. You will want to continuously refine your approach to ensure that your content is resonating with your audience and driving tangible results.