It may be no news to you that big brands like Motorola, Apple, and Microsoft have used – and are still using – content marketing to generate more leads and boost sales.
Also, the fact that content marketing helps businesses increase their conversion rates significantly may have become a cliché to you.
But wait, did you know that content marketing (yes, the same strategy that worked for the likes of Apple and Microsoft) isn’t working for many other businesses and brands, despite the huge funds they’re spending on their campaigns?
You ask why? Well, I’ll tell you the reason…
You see, no strategy – no matter how brilliant it is – will work if the rules guiding it are not followed. It’s the same for content marketing.
So, whether you’re aiming for lead generation, increased brand awareness, increased sales, or some other goal with your content marketing campaign, you must play by the rules – if you really want to achieve your desired goals.
In this post, I’ll be sharing with you 11 golden rules of content marketing. For you to succeed like Apple and Microsoft, you must follow these rules strictly. If you break any of them, well…
Now, let’s discuss the rules one by one:
1. Offer value
If your content is of no relevance to your readers or prospects, then your campaign will yield no results.
In a brief sentence, content marketing can be defined as “the exchange of valuable content for prospects’ trust and loyalty.” What this means is that the only currency you have in hand (to trade with) is value. And when you don’t have this currency, you simply can’t exchange it for something else (trust in this case).
So, your content must be valuable. It must answer provocative questions your prospects have been asking, and it must solve common problems they’ve been battling with.
If your content falls short of these, you won’t get your desired results.
2. Do not sell
With content marketing, you’re trying to build a level of trust among customers. You’re trying to prove to them that you’re the expert in your line of business. Only by offering relevant content – free – can you quickly achieve these.
You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot by sounding overly promotional. If you do, your prospects will activate their “scam detectors” and flee – into the waiting hands of your anxious competitors. (I’m sure you hate that.)
Promotional content abound all over the internet. You’ll find so many glorifying adjectives on the “about us” and “our services” pages of most websites. And attractive ads are sprinkled everywhere.
Well, before now, all these promotional tactics used to attract customers. But because most customers have been burned after falling for these tactics, they’re now more careful than ever. So, the moment they see anything like ads, sales pitches, seemingly-fake testimonials, or promotional pieces, they hit the “close” button immediately.
Now, let me tell you something. You may find it hard to believe, but it’s true:
When you offer relevant content that answers your prospects’ questions and solves their problems, they’ll buy whatever products and services you offer.
Now, running a content marketing campaign doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote your products or services at all. You should, but minimally.
Content marketing experts recommend a 9:1 value-to-promotion ratio. Stick with that, and your prospects will respond positively to the promotional part.
3. Your content must be well written
The magnitude of the results of your content marketing campaign hinges largely on how well structured your content pieces are. So, you must ensure that your content is well-crafted, detailed, and free of grammatical errors.
Readers will get pissed if your blog posts are laden with unpardonable typos and obvious punctuation blunders. Your subscribers will never read past the first three pages of your free ebook if its structure and formatting looks amateurish.
To get the most from your content, you must create stellar pieces. In fact, companies like Microsoft and Apple have in-house copywriters whose job is to craft content that gets read and shared. You may not be able to afford that for now, but you can hire a freelance writer to help you if you’re not a good writer yourself or you don’t have time to write.
Remember, content marketing isn’t about text alone. It includes videos, podcasts, etc. So, just as your text must be well written, your videos or podcasts must be well packaged. If necessary, hire the right professionals to help you.
4. You must be factual
Nobody likes to be fooled. So, avoid offering misleading information – whether deliberately or mistakenly. You must always offer factual content.
Always conduct research to confirm your facts and statistics before sharing them. This will help you avoid an error that can ruin your business or brand quickly.
Always be honest with your facts, even when you think disclosing some of them won’t help your business. The truth is, prospects will respect you for your honesty, and they’ll reward you by doing business with you.
5. Offer content that is related to your business
For instance, being a freelance writer and content marketing strategist, I run this blog, on which I share content marketing strategies and tactics. You can see that the content I publish is closely related to the services I offer.
Similarly, for a dentist, offering blog posts, videos, podcasts, free ebooks, and presentations on dental health would be the most appropriate content marketing strategy. With that, he can easily position himself as an expert and attract more patients.
It simply won’t work if you’re a website developer and you’re running a blog on freelance writing or making money online – with the sole aim of attracting clients. How would you pass word across that you’re an expert web developer when you’re offering content about freelance writing? You’ll surely be mistaken for a freelance writer.
So, always offer content that is about your line of business. This way, you can easily prove your expertise to prospects and convince them to do business with you.
6. Show proof and results
Now, most prospects are no longer impressed with theory-only content. What they want are practical guides to solving their problems.
Even, merely offering practical guides won’t suffice. You must show them proof that your methods are really working. This is where case studies come into the whole picture.
So, you must publish case studies, presentations, and videos that show how your business has helped customers in the past. This will prove to your prospects that you’ve really mastered your business.
7. Be organized
Having an editorial calendar is very important, but sticking with it is even more important.
You must have a regular schedule for publishing your content. It may be once, twice, thrice, or more frequently on a weekly or monthly basis. But stick with it – strictly.
When your campaign operates by a fixed schedule, your prospects and customers will know when to expect new stuff from you. And in anticipation, they’ll set aside some time to really digest your content. (But this will only happen if they know you publish only at certain times.)
If you publish content haphazardly, you’ll retain less prospects and customers.
8. Don’t choke your prospects
Even your best food will trouble you if you take it in excess amounts. It’s the same for quality content. Though your content may perfectly suit the taste of your prospects, bombarding them with lots of it may be counterproductive.
Personally, I hate it when emails from a blogger start to get too frequent. And for this reason, I’ve unsubscribed from many mailing lists in the past. I don’t like it when someone tries to stuff my throat with more than I can swallow. I’m sure you don’t. And I’m sure your prospects don’t, too.
That your subscribers or prospects are always engaging with your content and giving you encouraging feedback shouldn’t incite you to start bombarding them with content. If you do, you’ll get them pissed, and they’ll stop following you. So, don’t ever mess with their loyalty to you.
9. Always allow for 2-way communication
One of the advantages of content marketing is that it creates an avenue for effective correspondence between you and your prospects. (Of course, no one can engage with ads or pieces of blatantly promotional content.)
So, you must maximize this advantage by actually opening communication channels with your prospects.
Encourage comments on your blog posts, conduct polls, use social media effectively, and welcome suggestions, recommendations, and ideas from your prospects. This way, you’re telling them that they matter a lot to your business and that you’ll like keep a long-term relationship with them.
10. Always add CTAs
Content marketing, of itself, isn’t an end. Rather, it’s a means to an end. It is the most important part of your lead generation machine because it attracts and convinces prospects. But, remember that your goal is beyond attracting or convincing prospects; your goal is to convert them.
Now, the truth is, content marketing won’t help you achieve that goal. (Conversion, I mean.) A clear and concise call-to-action (CTA) will make that happen – or almost happen.
After prospects have been successfully attracted and convinced, they need to be told what to do next. This is where the CTA comes in. You use it to prompt your prospects to take a particular action (subscribe, download, etc.).
CTAs help to push prospects further down the sales funnel. Without them, you’ll lose your prospects – even after successfully attracting and getting them convinced. (Painful isn’t it?)
So, add CTAs at strategic points within your content, to prevent your prospects from “evaporating.”
11. Always analyze
After rolling out your content marketing campaign, you must keep quantifying your individual strategies as well as the results you’re getting from each. This way, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t.
Are your videos attracting more prospects than your free ebooks? Is your blog more effective in attracting clients? Or are you getting most of your customers through social media?
Only by analyzing your campaign can you find answers to crucial questions like these. Plus, you’ll know which strategies to ditch and which ones to focus more on.
To get the desired results from your content marketing campaign, follow these 11 rules strictly. Don’t disobey even just one, as this may turn things against you. I wish you all the best.
Do you disagree with any part of this post? Or do you know of any additional rules? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
How To Start Cinema Business In Nigeria
How to Invest in Cinema Business
This article will provide the needed and necessary information on how to start up a cinema business in Nigeria. It is necessary because cinema provides a means of comfort to all people of different class.
Definition Of A Cinema
A cinema is simply defined as a place of relaxation. It is a place where movies or films. This movies displayed are for entertainment purposes and you are charged for each movie seen. Cinemas have improved the businesses of people as you cannot see a movie without having at least popcorn or an Ice Cream in your hands.
This article will therefore talk on you can start up a cinema business and be successful with it.
- You Must Conduct Personal Research
You should know that you are starting a business you know nothing about so you should not think of making money immediately. You need to meet people that have been in the business for long and are successful. You also need to meet with experts in event planning, studio recording and decorators as there they are the ones to tell you where the right place to set up your business, the cost and the design. These people can help you set up your cinema outfit.
- Make A Tour Around
This is simply visiting other established cinemas. From the visit you will make, you will be able to know how a cinema operates, the risks involved and how to avoid them.
- Get Products Authorization Or Franchise
After setting up your cinema business, it should be noted that it is not compulsory to sell the products of other people. You will benefit a lot from it on the long run.
- You Must Be Competent and Qualified
In order to run a successful cinema business it is important to be trained. This training can be done in business schools as you will learn how to manage tickets sold out for movies and cinematography.
- Reach out To Movie Dealers And Distributors
It is of high importance to get in contact with the people that deal on movies; most importantly the most sought after and highly anticipated ones. This will make your cinema spot attractive as you have what the people are looking for Admission form.
- Space And Arena
Nigeria is a place that when establishing a business you must have a large expanse of land or a big space. In the cinema business, you need to have space big enough to house your equipment’s and tools.
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- Get Good Cinema Facilities And Equipment
The look and decoration of your cinema will determine if customers will come. Therefore it is important to have the latest gadgets and equipment to keep your business growing.
- Always Set In An Income Alternative
This simply means that you are not to fully depend on the income made from cinema as it can fail you at any time. Therefore it is important to have a second choice of income. This can be in form of having a little restaurant, selling popcorns etc.
- Get A Good Advertisement Avenue
It is important and necessary to let people know about what you are doing. You can get to make people know about your cinema business by advertising. Advertisement can be done through newspaper, fliers, television, radio and the internet.
Hindrances To A Good Cinema Business
- Insufficient Funds
A good cinema business needs adequate funds to operate without problems.
- Negative Attitude And Mentality
Having a negative mindset is not the best thing as you begin to doubt yourself. As it is said “what you confess is what you possess” therefore be positive and always believe in yourself.
- Economic Problem
As it was earlier discussed, your location determines the growth of your business. If it is situated in a region where diseases are rampant or have continuous security challenges you are bound to lose customers.
- Moral Behaviors
As a seasoned business person you are, it is important to guard against extra moral behaviors like drinking, smoking, sex acts etc. Your establishment can be brought down by government authorities it they get to discover things like this are happening in your business.
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- Lack of Commitment
Generally speaking now, it is very important to put God first in everything we do. Your business is bound to fail if God is not involved.
The article above has been able to show you the step on how to successfully establish a cinema business this is a summary of everything discussed.
- You must conduct personal research.
- Make a tour around.
- Get products authorization or franchise.
- You must be competent and qualified
- Reach out to movie dealers and distributors.
- Space and arena.
- Get good cinema facilities and equipment.
- Always set in an income alternative.
- Get a good advertisement avenue.
How to Build Powerful Customer Service In Business Enterprise
6 Ways to Improve Customer Service in the Workplace
The desire to have a good relationship with your clients cannot be overemphasized. As it is known, without clients there is no business. Indeed, your customers are constantly right; believe it or not. A business cannot be established or grow when customers or clients are unhappy. In order for your business to grow your customers must be happy. That is why this article is written to provide an explanation on the seven sensible approaches through which you can have an amiable relationship with your customers and clients
Client Retention And Business Growth
There’s one factor we need to recognize about the consumer and this is the idea of consumer retention. This is of high significance in nearly all business ventures. It revolves across the provision of excessive best services and the upkeep of exact relationship along with your clients and consumers.
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In other words, if you want to continue keeping clients, then your commodity and service must be attractive and exceptional and there must be an amazing relationship among you and your consumers. This is the communication flow which must not be damaged. Customers and clients in addition to staff and top level managers must be aware of the whole things that are happening because it is important.
While you work hand in hand with the rules and regulation of client retention in commercial enterprise, you are beating the competitors within the business; out of your competitors and making sure that there is a non-stop flow of capital in your business for the growth of your business enterprise. That is because after you lose your customers, your competitors make profits. So, how do you keep a good customer relationship along with your clients and consumers?
How To Keep A Good Client Relationship With Your Clients And Consumers
Apart from providing high quality goods and services and attractive in precise conversation together with your clients, does it mean there are no other methods to build an extended-lasting relationship with your clients? Don’t be amazed, there are. We have numerous methods and exact aspects you need to have a long–lasting business-client relationship. I am hoping you gain from them and start moving up to your enterprising dreams.
- Understand Your Customer First
You cannot build a functional relationship with someone you do not know or understand. If you must offer a customer the best of goods and services, you must know who the person is first. You need to know a few things about the custom like where they come from, the kind of work they do, what they like and what they dislike, what they feel about your business and how they can also contribute to making your business great. It is high time you started addressing your customer with sweet names instead of just calling them “customer”. If you know them by name, it will be easier to be a bit cordial with them in your business transactions. Customers like to be addressed by name. They love it.
Having an idea of the marital status of your customers is also important. Also, ask about the welfare of their spouse and send them greeting cards. Also, ask about their state of health. That will prove to them that you love them and that you care about them, and not just after getting their money.
- Have In Memory Their Normal Requests And Specifications
Every customer is peculiar in his or her own way. Also two customers cannot be identical nor have equal type of need because everybody does not like the same thing. Take into consideration, imagine that the next time your consumer walks in, rather than asking the customer what he/she wants, you simply say, “Madam or sir, can I get you your normal?”
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This tells the consumer that you recognize his/her specific and regular requests. If the client orders for something special do well to offer him or her exactly what is needed and on time. That is a super way of growing top consumer relationship in your business.
- Offer Freebies From Time To Time
It is necessary to once in a while provide some freebies. This is an excellent way of attracting both new and already existing customers to patronize your business. It symbolizes care and love even though it is an oblique request for more customers into your business. You could constantly give out freebies which include gifts, run promos sales and provide bonanzas. Additionally, you could provide quality discounts and surprises to your dedicated customers.
- Leverage On Consumer Criticisms
You can take your business to your desired level by means of leveraging on the customer grievance and feedbacks. You ought to get hold of this in a proper way as they speak exactly what the customer thinks and what they think about your product. Never turn down the complaint whether they are good or bad feedbacks.
Devise a way of improving upon your services anytime you get such from your clients. It is an incredible chance for you to realize where your business is lacking and the way to improve on it.
Taking the advice of your customers as a priority is a way of showing that you care for them and their desires. Your clients can be more than glad to recognize that their feedbacks were accurately noted.
- Never Allow Preferential Treatments
It is highly offensive to offer preferential treatments at the place of work. It will make the customers think that they are not as good as every other customer. To reduce negative complaint from your customers, it is recommended by no means to engage in any form of preferential treatment or favoritism amongst customers that one is preferred above the other for any reason.
Such treatment is far against the norms of business to select out a consumer and favor such mainly in the presence of others who were there before him or her. It is far stressful; in preference to doing that, look out for a way of entertaining your customers as they wait to take their turns. Put up a TV set somewhere in the business premises and offer sufficient seats in which your customers can sit down as they are waiting for their turn.
- Respond Quickly and Don’t Forget To Say Thank You
It should be known that it may not be possible to send an immediate response to every electronic mail and phone call or text messages you obtain from the consumer. It is encouraged, however, that you attend to such as quickly as possible. You could usually give immediate computerized replies pending the real solutions
It does not matter the condition you are in; try as much as possible to make sure that the responses are quick and at the right time. Usually say thank you at the close of each transaction. It shows that you care about your consumer.
How To Start a Gemstone Business in Nigeria
The Basic Principles to a Successful Gemstone Business in Nigeria
Several questions arises from doing gemstone business because a lot of people are new to this business (just entering the market) while some others are just reading about it for the first time.
It is a known fact that one of the best sectors for business is the mineral sector and it has been identified that Nigeria is blessed with lots of mineral resources and about 35 mineral deposits have been discovered in the nation. Nigeria is a country blessed with unique kinds of diamonds such as topaz sapphire with a large market out there demanding for these minerals.
What is Gemstone and its Physical Properties
A gemstone is a kind of attractive mineral but after being polished and cut is traditionally used to make jewelry or other adornments.
Some physical properties of Gemstone which distinguishes the mineral include its lustre, although most of them are tough. Rarity is another attribute that brings value.
Stone according to this is valued dependent on not the amount available but also from what is called the 4C which is interpreted as Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight and Colour.
Colour: Color is an important element for gemstones as there is no stone without color. If the color of a stone varies from this variety either being darker or lighter, more vibrant or less, it becomes less precious the stone will be. Colour generally consist of three dimensions: hue, tone, and saturation.
Hue is the belief of color noticed like yellow, red or blue.
Tone defines the degree of darkness or lightness of an item.
Saturation defines the level of purity of a colour.
Cut: This is the design or shape of a stone in addition to the accuracy of the proportions of the stone and complete. The cut reveals a gem’s beauty.
Gemstones are usually cut into shapes. Furthermore, they are fashioned or are sometimes carved into different designs. In the Cut property of Gemstones, there are two other sub-properties namely Proportion and End, respectively.
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Proportions involves appeal and the equilibrium of the design. End identifies the detail of this workmanship. A cut will demonstrate the optical properties of a stone. While all other variables are even in terms of (colour, clarity, and carat weight), a more better-cut gem will increasingly be valuable.
How To Begin a Gemstone Business
Possessing a broad assortment of diamonds is vital. Mostly when having a target on diamonds or jewelry, you should be be able to purchase gemstone beads and carve one off designer beads which are in hot demand. One of the ways to build a long-lasting confidence in the heart of your buyers would be to get a huge choice of gemstones. Through the means of a gem testing lab like the GIA, where you will be able to test these diamonds and include a certificate. It will make your buyers to make decisions even as they build trust in your business.
Strategize On Methods of Targeting and Attracting Buyers
When starting out, necessary precautions needs to be taken but the first step to take when starting the business to attract buyers is start for pleasure, majorly as a hobby and also note that you can avoid mistakes only if the precautions are adhered to. Try out your ideas for beginning. Although there’s a need to do some market research too but ensure that your goods are much better than what others are offering.
Try to Build That Trust
One thing about Gemstone business, is that it needs lots of trust and confidence from both the parties (seller and the buyer). When you are enthusiastic about the business, your clients will have confidence to buy from you.
Invest Your Time and Money
You also have to give it your all, invest your time to the business. In this business, the most important thing to do is to invest large quantity of money. Gemstones are costly, and sapphires and the diamonds are the most of all stones.
Have an Escort Especially One Who Knows the Market while Purchasing
It is advised that while trying to source for the product, that you visit the market with someone who knows the market well, especially someone who knows the in-and-out of Gemstone business so that your trade will be worth your cash. You will also find several stores offering the products online and off the streets. For drop-shipping, the shipping expenses will be added. In all these, always try to check up first with someone who has knowledge of the business.
Make A Choice Of What Sort Of Gemstones You Would Like To Market
Before buying a gemstones, you need to decide what sort of gems that you would like to market. Decide if you will establish the market of genstones in retail marketplace or at wholesale. There will be a need to use a cutter to cut the stone if you would like to make the stones in various forms and quality to the market, putting more money into your pockets by selling cut gemstones.
Make More Money Selling Cut Gemstones
By improving the marketplace and making more money, one thing which you would do is to buy a machinery and you probably would have to employ a gemstone cutter the capital you will require will probably be greater. Be assertive that you buy exactly what you would need.
In situations where cut stones will be sold by you, it’s compulsory that you get a gemstone cutter. The cutting of this product can add to the cost and increase to several thousands of dollars.
According to experts, in cutting stones such as diamonds and sapphires in respect to gemstones you would have to pay great rapt attention. This obviously means that the purchase price of the jewelry or the diamond is dependent upon how it’s cut. Which is the main reason why having good knowledge of cutting gemstones is significant to your success in the business.
Strategize and Re-strategize on Your Sales Options
After all been said, you need to identify buyers or potential buyers who may be interested. You may be able to sell your items on the internet or also off the streets. Major investors can be your customers especially for those who like to collect precious things You’ll have the ability to cater for their needs by identifying your target clients. You would need to survey the market for more opportunities in the gemstone business. Produce the quality, quantity of the gemstones in addition to the cost for affordable to everyone. You have the opportunity to promote your business to more clients by promoting your products online. With that, you can have the opportunity to make even more money.
In the Nigerian marketplace, gemstones are very precious but the current market is saturated and will take up as much volume of the product without having any effect on the purchase price against supply. The higher the quantity available, the better your bargaining power.
The price of gemstones can increase by 10 percent to 15 percent once the item is cut.
At this juncture, you must be aware that gemstone export has been a recurring event and just a few people are profiting from it due to lack of information.
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