It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. (Charles Darwin)
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (Content Marketing Institute)
For disaster restoration contractors to increase their competitive edge, they should invest in content marketing and should have a well defined digital marketing plan to increase their market share and competitive edge for three key reasons:
- A clear digital marketing plan will enable them to gain further brand recognition;
- Increase retail B2C and B2B business; and
- Become a comprehensive resource of information for consumers and business owners able to make informed decisions about their disaster restoration needs.
Digital marketing has permanently changed the landscape of marketing and early adopters will benefit. The long-term purpose of digital marketing is to connect with consumers in a meaningful way. This can be accomplished through a comprehensive and consistent content marketing campaign promoted through social media. Business success is based on establishing relationships. Consistent content that consumers want to share builds TRUST ultimately translating into long term sales.
The Whole Purpose of Digital Marketing
People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising. (Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder)
According to Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing for the New Millennium and Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers, business success depends on your ability to gain permission to market.
Permission marketing is less costly and more effective than traditional interruption marketing.
Interruption marketing has become less effective because consumers are constantly bombarded with commercial messages. Unread junk mail and flyers end up in the garbage. Constant bombardment through television, radio, billboards, magazines, direct mail, telemarketing, and newspapers make us unconsciously filter out the message.
Conversely, potential customers pay attention to permission marketing messages because they invited us to send them. This system enables us to spend less time marketing to strangers and more time marketing to friendly prospects that look forward to hearing from us. The message becomes personal and relevant, establishing trust between client and marketer.
Prior to the popularity of blogging and social media, smart marketers used the Internet as a tool to build e-mail lists that they consistently permission marketed to. Today, social media has once again changed the landscape of marketing. Intelligent marketers still understand the importance of e-mail marketing, but have also added blogging, promoted through social media, to their marketing arsenals. Content marketing expands the reach of brands, enabling them to leverage the power of word of mouth because social media makes it so easy for consumers to share information.
Why Blogging is Such a Game-Changer
By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships with prospects early in the buying cycle (Jonathon Lister, Author and Blogging Guru)
The success of any blogging effort is based on commitment and consistency. The whole premise of blogging/content marketing/inbound marketing is to add value to the reader’s life. This is important for one key reason: it creates relationships and relationship building is a prerequisite to gaining leads which can be converted to sales.
Yes, content curation and creation will add costs to any marketing budget, but the long-term benefit should be a high ROI simply because excellent and consistent content builds TRUST and TRUST drives REVENUE.
The key is that by sharing and creating content, disaster restoration contractors will build relationships with many readers and followers. At the same time, consistency and relevancy of content will build trust in the brand which should result in sales for the restoration contractor!
The Power of Social Media
The various social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, etc. make it that much easier for individuals to share information and pass it on. This is the key to understanding social media. In the words of Jim Carroll, futurist author: “Technology is accelerating the rate of change.” To capitalize on changes in the market place, innovation needs to be a part of all companies marketing strategies.
Blogging, content curation, and content production should be part of any business strategy. Blogging is the equivalent of publishing newsletters that needed to be mailed out to a database of subscribers prior to the dominance of the Internet. It is a way to connect with customers.
Social media accelerates the ability of a business to connect and get the word out. According to social media strategist, Jay Baer, “Facebook Fan Pages are email newsletters with smaller pictures.” Consider these statistics on Facebook:
- It is the largest social media platform in the world, with nearly 2 billion users;
- 72% of FaceBook users visit once per month;
- In Canada and the United States, 152 million people access their profiles and spend an average of 21 minutes.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. For this reason, boosting excellent content is essential to reaching a larger market thereby increasing followers and potential customers.
At the same time, restoration contractors must also commit to a Twitter campaign that not only tweets content produced by their brand, but also relevant content curated from news sources and other restoration experts. Consider these statistics on Twitter:
- There are more than 645 million Twitter users in the world;
- An average of 58 million tweets are posted per day;
- There are 2.1 billion Twitter search engine queries per day.
Maximize Your Organic SEO
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. (Wendy Piersall, Google Expert)
The success equation for getting higher organic ranking listings on Google is as follows:
- Produce excellent SEO optimized content on a consistent basis that people want to share. In the words of David Meerman Scott, marketing and leadership speaker, “Think like a publisher, not a marketer.”
- Actively promote the content on social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn and respond to any comments or interaction.
- Ensure that each blog post is tweeted.
- Build a following of fans by cross promoting the content on multiple Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups to expose the content to users that are not currently following your brand.
- Build followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook not just through content posted on your corporate blog, but by researching and searching out content on news sources and other blogs.
The above steps will accomplish the objective of attracting followers, and most importantly should create significant social sharing.
Social sharing of content is important to higher search engine rankings because it will result in higher page views on your site and more time spent on your website, which should lead to higher rankings.
Committing to a Strategy
There is a strong business case for committing to a digital marketing strategy. The success of such a strategy will be built on excellent content actively shared across multiple social media channels. The long-term benefits of such a strategy are:
- Increased traffic to the website;
- Increased followers on all social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.;
- Increased social sharing of content on social media channels;
- Increased “Top Of Mind” brand awareness and the services and solutions that your restoration company offers;
- Increased organic referrals from search engines like Google;
- Increased relationships, trust, and goodwill with consumers, business owners, and others that actively read and share your content;
- Increased lead acquisition that should generate sales and revenue for your business.
Disaster restoration contractors that commit to a content marketing effort will increase their brand awareness, goodwill in their community, word of mouth, and most importantly be looked upon as an expert in their service area.
The ultimate outcome of consistently posting content and promoting it in your service area is the higher perceived level of trust that consumers have about your brand.
Trust, ultimately, leads to higher numbers of leads which translates into more sales!