Marketing | Create Targeted Content to Build Your Brand

High quality information helps customers solve real problems, make tough decisions, and act quickly and decisively in a complex world. When that information is carefully targeted it becomes a powerful way to build your business and help it grow.

Why? Targeted content adds substance to marketing, sales and public relations efforts. It provides high-value information to prospects and customers, distinguishes your company from competitors and improves brand recognition.

Targeted content drives traffic to your website. Companies that provide quality information online achieve higher search engine rankings and are more likely to appear on the first page of search engine results.

These companies achieve greater brand recognition, credibility, expert status, and the flexibility to package and repackage content to suit specific customers, prospects or venues. If your customers come through word-of-mouth referrals, quality content reinforces credibility and confirms your value to prospects.

If sharing what you know is an effective, affordable way to build your business, where should you start? Let's focus on five popular B2B content models.

Briefly, these are:
  • Best practices, which capture the optimum way to perform specific tasks or implement processes in order to improve outcomes.
  • Case studies, which use a structured story-telling approach to illustrate how a particular product or service solved a real-world problem.
  • Executive summaries, which range from one-page abstracts to more complete summaries of strategic efforts, complex studies, white papers or emerging trends.
  • Success stories, which share brief but complete snapshots of your products or services solving a problem in a customer environment.
  • White papers, which are versatile think pieces used to explore and analyze topics in some depth.

Targeted content, both in print and online, can significantly affect your "findability" factor. (See The F-Factor | How Online Content Helps Customers Find You.)

Let's look at a specific example, where we developed a small package of carefully crafted success stories and tipsheets for a client. These materials were produced in print to serve as handouts during the client's frequent speaking engagements. As PDF files, examples can be emailed to prospects and new customers to demonstrate his ability to produce tangible results. We took one additional step, and posted some materials online.

The results were startling. A variety of search terms now produces first page links to him, his materials and the company website. In many cases, he's the first link on page one. In others, he dominates the first page with multiple links.

This is significant, because up to 70% of online searchers click at least one of the non-sponsored links displayed on the first page.

Will this new findability improve his bottom line? Time will tell. For now, targeted content has given his business and brand a real boost, because the first step in building both is to help potential customers find you.

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