Content Is King?
There's a saying in online marketing that "content is king." The implication being that it's content that makes your site successful. This is very true... to a point. If your content doesn't please the search engines AND move people to take action, then it really is not doing it's job.
So like all simplistic slogans, there's more to it.
Actually the true test of your content is "does it convert?" By that I mean... does it turn your visitor into a customer. So in my opinion the truth is...
Conversion Is King!
There's no question that content is what starts the whole ball rolling. Creating a page on your website, or putting a video on YouTube, or creating a status update on Facebook, are all ways to create online content. But like with many thinks... it's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it.
Take a Facebook status update for example. It's easy to do. Maybe too easy.
And even if you have thousands of "friends" what's the chances that they will see your update?
And if they do see it, what's the chances they will respond or take action?
And if they do respond in some way, how will you even know it?
Unless these posts on Facebook are done correctly then they will probably have little impact for your business. Here's why...
Are They Paying Attention?
First off, all your friends may not be paying attention when you make your post. If they are not online or have many updates coming in their News Feed from other friends, the post may never be seen.
What if they are really not engaged with your business anyway? Perhaps they "friended" you without any real commitment or interest. They won't be looking for your post and probably will have little interest in it anyways.
That's the problem with Facebook. The quality of people's attention there is very low. Unless...
You've provided enough content that is of interest to them to keep them engaged.
The key with Facebook, or any marketing, is to create enough credibility and trust that your friends/connections/followers care what you have to say.
So what's the key to gaining this credibility and trust?
You have to know What's In It For Them.
The fact is everyone, both you and me, only really care about content that is helpful to us.
- Does it solve a problem?
- Does it entertain us?
- Does it give us helpful information?
We are looking for benefits! That's what will get our attention and then make us act.
So your content must communicate a benefit and then offer a "call to action" to get your friend/follower/visitor to do something. If your content doesn't do that then it probably is not working for you.
So how do you get someone to act on Facebook... or in any online location?
Well of course that depends on where they are in the Sales Cycle.
If they are early in the Sales Cycle your job is to create credibility and trust so they will continue to pay attention.
If they are in the very late stages of the Sales Cycle perhaps all you need to do is "ask for the order."
On Facebook you can assume they are early in the Sales Cycle. Even if they aren't, that's what you should assume. Outright selling on Facebook will only jeopardize your credibility. So it's always best to assume they are not ready to buy anything.
So your content on Facebook should be helpful and gentle. Show them you want to help them by giving them good information, or entertaining them, or perhaps educating them. Of course that's hard to do in a short post, so the key is to always provide a link to where they can get more information. That link should lead them to your website where you have all the content they need to move themselves through the Sales Cycle.
If they click on the link, that qualifies them as someone who may be interested in your solution. Plus this link will be trackable on your website using your Google Analytics.
But be sure to only take them to pages that are specifically related to the content you created on Facebook. No baiting and switching. Give them what they want. Give them what your content and link implied. If you don't you will quickly lose credibility and trust and they will be gone... probably forever.
Remember, the old saying. "You only have one chance to make a good first impression."
This first impression is critical. Because online, people can leave in seconds and they won't forget that you mislead them. They may even tell others about their experience. So be very gentle and helpful at this stage of the Sales Cycle.
The Bottom Line
Yes you must create content to make your online marketing work. Google likes to see a site with fresh content coming frequently. That's also an important part of your Search Engine Optimization.
But even if you manage to get someone to come to your website from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, or some other online "touchpoint," you must then convert them into a customer by providing the information they need to make a decision. That's where understanding your Sales Cycle is critical to making your online marketing work.
So how do you move people through your Sales Cycle? Why with your Sales Funnel of course.