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Today’s audience of potential customers is better informed than any other generation. They also have the power to shop and compare easily and almost effortlessly. The internet, social media, and apps have forced us to think differently and invent new strategies for marketing. It’s time to think about how we can keep customers returning and compete with overseas competition and internet sales powerhouses like Amazon and Overstock. More importantly, we need to build brands that people connect to personally and emotionally.

While you may have a content marketing strategy, you may need to increase the power of your efforts or shift to meet the changes of 2019 buyers. Before we dive into our tips to improve your content marketing, make sure you know your numbers and how your current content marketing is performing. What works and what doesn’t isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so understanding what is working now can give you something to build from while knowing what isn’t working gives you a target for more immediate attention.

Here are six ideas that can boost the effectiveness of your content:

1. Let Your Customer Get to Know You

Many business owners want their products or services to be in the spotlight, but today’s customers want to buy from people they know. So, if your “About Us” doesn’t tell the story of who started your business, it needs to. If you work for a publicly owned business or a business with an anonymous owner, let customers get to know the team that makes it work.

Customers want stories they can connect to. And people connect to people, not companies. They want to know that Sandy from marketing has five parakeets that wear mittens. These details will keep customers engaged and make your brand more memorable.

2. Get to Know Your Customer

Devote some space to allow your customers to share their stories. This lets them know you’re invested in them as people in addition to their sales potential. If a customer Tweets about your business, respond. Let customers add to your FAQ page and respond to one another. We often forget that a potential customer is going to trust another customer’s opinion on your product more than they will trust your expertise (even if you know more about it).

3. Seamlessness and Tailoring are Essential

Offer marketing and email options that are tailored to your customers’ interests. Let them choose between topics for their emails. The more interested your customers are in the content you create, the more they’ll think about your company and brand, and more likely they will be to buy, again.

You should also make your mobile site match your desktop site’s buttons, menus, and layout. Customers want consistency when they switch from one mode to the other.

4. Small Steps Make a Big Impact

Some companies can make sweeping marketing moves and gain thousands of followers. Others get lucky with viral content. But most do not. Instead of focusing on acquiring 1,000 followers or 500 likes, try increasing your number in smaller increments over shorter periods of time. It can be easier to target a smaller group that can lead to a larger audience rather than trying to focus on pleasing everyone on the internet all at once.

5. A/B Testing is Invaluable

When it comes to your ads, A/B testing can help you pinpoint your audience and zero-in on an effective marketing strategy. One often overlooked A/B test, and one many business owners cringe at, is re-evaluating your business name or domain name.

When you’re first developing your business, you can test multiple domain names and choose which one gets more traffic and makes more sales. Register both domain names, but keep your layout the same to ensure that the domain name is the differentiating factor, then launch both.

6. Get Local and Give Back

The Buy Local movement is an honorable cause. Don’t let the momentum of this movement pass your business by without hopping on board. When you’re writing blog posts or posting to social media, address a local audience in addition to your national audience. Connect to the roots of your city and your city will love you back.

While you’re at it, give back. If you started with a mission to make lives better, consider how you can expand that mission into donations to local charities or foundations. You have the opportunity to make a difference, connect to customers through a worthy cause, and connect more closely to your brand. Donations aren’t just good for the community, they’re also good for business.

You can’t let bad content affect the success of your business. If your content marketing strategy hasn’t been updated recently, it’s time to evaluate what you can change and improve to increase your following and sales.

Breathe new life into your content by creating engaging pieces that customers want to read and take some ownership of. Follow your gut and the results of your A/B marketing tests and make adjustments slowly after allowing enough time to truly judge the effectiveness of your new content campaign.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash