Why Online Businesses Need Content Marketing

Imagine this scenario – you wander through a bookstore and find a novel with a very appealing cover and title. It looks like it’s going to be a great read. However, inside all the pages are blank. There is no story. This is not a lesson in “judging a book by its cover” but instead a reminder that without strong content, your online business will falter. In other words, you could have a great service or product but unless you engage and expand your customer base through strong content your business with wither on the vine. The following is a list of important reasons why online businesses need strong content marketing.

Customers Want the 411

You might have occasionally gotten lost in a “YouTube maze” clicking through random videos but when a potential customer goes in search of the specific product or service they are looking for valuable information. That information can be provided through well written content articles with catchy headlines. Be concise and give them the “bullet points” of what they are searching for. By providing valuable information to consumers, you can become considered an industry expert with the content you create and people will start seeking out your website for updates and tips.

Customers Want Quality

First impressions matter, whether you’re at a dinner party or developing an online business. If a customer stops by your website and is greeted with a poorly written article, then chances are they won’t be coming back. Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing quality over quantity. There is no reason why you can’t have both; it just might take a bit more effort to find.

Customers Like to be Targeted

Everything and anything can be Googled. No matter what the search, chances are there will be several websites that pop up in response to a user’s question. The goal for your website is to take advantage of these niche searches by providing targeted content. If you have a product for women, determine if it’s suitable for “busy moms,” “hard working professionals,” or “singles searching for love?” Maybe it’s for all three categories. That just means you’ll need specific content geared to all those groups.

Customers Like to Matter

Content should not only serve to provide information but also to engage the reader. Whenever possible you should leave room for comments. This is how you get online discussions going and pull in even more customers. Everyone likes to share their opinions online. Even if you receive negative comments, take the time to consider the comment and the way in which you can “fix” the problem. Perhaps the customer had a poor experience with your services – take the time to respond, apologize and offer a solution. Your customers will appreciate the open communication. Providing a personal touch gives customers a sense of security which will bring them back to purchase again.

Customers are always Searching

As mentioned above, potential customers are always on the prowl for those goods or services they need in that moment. Just as you need to create engaging content for them to read, you also have to create content that the search engines will pick up on. This will improve your search engine rankings which will place your website at the top page of any search. If you’re not familiar with how to achieve these goals then seek out experienced content management consultants to help build up your online presence.

Tips provided by Corporation Centre’s You Inc.

What is User Experience?

What do IBM, Amazon and McAfee have in common? They’re all brands that have improved profitability and minimized support costs by investing in their website UX.

UX stands for “user experience” and it’s a vital term to know if you want your own site to be successful.

For more on this concept and how it can be applied to your business website, take a look at the following infographic.

UX 101: What is User Experience?UX 101: What is User Experience? via homestead

Accepting Donations to Fund Your Website

Not all editorial or citizen journalism Web sites are supported by advertising. Some causes prefer to be free of the editorial constraints that paid advertising brings. If you’re depending on reader donations to fund your Web site, working smarter can net you more money.

Tools to Receive Website Donations

There are myriad tools available to make it easier for your readers and site visitors to contribute to your cause. Web payment companies, like Paypal and Wepay, offer donation buttons with the code already embeded, so you can easily place them on your site to offer a secure way for readers to donate.

Ways to increase your Website Donations

Just throwing together a Web site and hoping for the best is not likely to be effective in raising money for your cause or Web venture. Instead, follow these tips to increase your Web site donations:

1.Use social media. If you haven’t tied your Web site to Facebook or Twitter or one of the more than 400 other social media sites, you need to do so immediately. Even if you only have time to create a Facebook page, do it. Promoting your site to a small number of “friends” via Facebook can expand your reach exponentially when those friends share your message with their friends and their friends’ friends.

2.Set up a blog. Blogging is another good way to communicate with the Internet community and let people know why your cause is important and why they should contribute their hard-earned money. It also makes you seem more human and less like another impersonal Web site looking for a donation.

3.Create a mailing list from comments and newsletter subscribers. If you produce a weekly or monthly newsletter for your readers, you can use the email addresses they use to sign-up to create a mailing list for soliciting donations. You can also use the email addresses from those who comment on your Web site to solicit additional donations. However, make sure to use address verification software to minimize returned mail and wasted postage.

4.Be active. Like any other Web site, you’ll attract more attention and rank better with search engines if you add new content regularly, respond to comments and share relevant information with friends on your social media sites.

5. Pay attention to timing. According to Wepay, Web sites reap much more money in donations during the work week (particularly Tuesday through Thursday) as opposed to the weekends. They further maintain that solicitations sent out during lunch time, from noon to 1:00 p.m., are the most effective.

Funding your Web site with reader donations is a good way to avoid having your message diluted by inappropriate advertising. However, like any enterprise, raising funds for your site requires dedication, regular maintenance and efficient work habits in order to be effective.