Table of Contents:
- The “Big Five” Subjects to Tackle in Your Content Marketing Strategy in 2024
Has a piece of your content ever flopped? Chances are it wasn’t because of the medium, the algorithm, the execution, the writer, etc. Instead, it most likely was a result of poor topic selection. In our latest podcast, we spoke with inbound marketer, author, speaker and content marketing expert Marcus Sheridan about the best way to optimize content marketing. His piece of advice to create truly valuable pieces that break through the Context Saturation Index (CSI) and generate traffic for years to come revolves around topic selection that audiences truly care about. No matter the industry, here are the “Big Five” subjects to tackle in your content marketing strategy in 2024.
As buyers ourselves, we know that price is a key influence in buying decisions. When searching for products and services, this is one of the initial factors that people seek out: how much does this cost? Typically this is followed by price comparisons. This is where many businesses drop the ball. At a time when 56% of retail businesses say inflation has given them the ability to raise prices beyond what’s required to offset higher costs, it’s easy to understand why buyers may be on the defensive and why it’s even more important to explain costs to them. Providing price explanations and breakdowns builds trust with your audience and “teaches them how to shop, how to buy and how to research,” Sheridan says.
Examples of how to incorporate cost into your content marketing strategy:
- Be open with your audience on price increases and the careful thought that goes into making such decisions. Our client Greenwell Farms did this with a sincere and educational blog post titled, “Why Kona Coffee Prices Rise,” penned by their Tour and Retail Store Manager, Matt Carter. The blog begins with the acknowledgement of price changes for their specialty 100% Kona Coffee, including the fact that they struggled over a year with “production costs, hidden costs, market conditions, current and future threats and new pandemic-related consumption habits.” Carter then recognizes the feelings that current loyal customers may have when it comes to price adjustments, such as frustration, and lets them know he’ll explain cost breakdowns and why Kona Coffee is valuable in the following paragraphs.
- Provide a pricing guide that people can measure costs against when looking for a specific service. This can be great for SEO and even if your business is not ultimately selected at that moment, it draws traffic to your website and provides value that people are sure to remember in the future. For example, in January of 2020, our marketing agency created a guide to “Crafting Your Healthcare Marketing Budget,” which included the average percent of budget that healthcare companies spend on their marketing, how much is spent on top-ranking marketing mediums and detailed insights into hospital marketing budgets, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws.
What are the problems, worries or fears associated with purchasing your product or service? This question is one that we often have as buyers and shy away from as sellers. Sheridan recalls that during his time in the fiberglass pool industry, he heard this question for years and danced around the answer until he and his business partner, Jason, decided to address it in an article titled, “Top 4 Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions.” Why weren’t any of his competitors answering this question? “It comes down to a psychological issue that almost all businesses struggle with, and that’s the concept of addressing the elephant in the room… As a business, you have a choice: You can allow the consumer to discover your elephant(s) themselves and in turn lose trust in you. Or the minute they walk in the front door (or the virtual front door), you can say, “Here’s our elephant. Do you have a problem with it?”
Here are some examples of “addressing the elephant” or problems with your industry, product or service to incorporate in your content marketing strategy:
- Our client Dr. Kerry Burnight, whose website we developed, is on a mission to make older better. As part of that mission, she combats fear-driven, anti-aging hysteria with a practical, science-driven approach to living a great life all the way to the end. Her social media strategy, which has garnered her a large-scale following on Instagram and TikTok, promotes healthy aging without shying away from or sugar coating all aspects of the process. Instead, she addresses common problems people face as they get older, such as emotional, physical and psychological issues and neurological disorders. Her videos discussing Alzheimers, Dementia, unexpected diagnoses, isolation and more guide people on compassionate communication with loved ones, understanding what they’re going through and how to better assist ourselves and our aging parents as we grow older.
- In 2020 as the world was navigating life during the pandemic, we interviewed Bixby Land Company CEO and President Aaron Hill for a Q&A style blog that allowed him to directly address changes in the real estate market and how Bixby was handling them. Shared with its stakeholders, topics in the article included what strategy Bixby had in place to deal with the market disruption, how Bixby was supporting its internal team and tenants, what changes were to come in Bixby’s Office and Industrial Acquisition strategies and potential investment opportunities. By addressing these problem issues and topics by the company lead, Bixby was able to continue to build trust with its current and future stakeholders, acknowledge the difficult time and set the precedent for how they would move forward together.
Just how important are reviews to buyers? According to a March 2023 Survey of 8,153 US consumers ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, 95% said they read reviews at least sometimes, 98% said they consider reviews as being an “essential resource” when making purchase decisions and 45% said they won’t purchase a product if there are no reviews available. Clearly an integral part of the buyer’s journey and a running theme in this blog, buyers are savvy and can detect dishonesty quite easily. They would rather see 15 reviews that bring your business to an average 4.3 stars than 4 reviews that bring your business to a 5 star average. It’s not just about the number of reviews you have, but the number of quality reviews that are clearly written by people who have purchased your product or service, or worked with your company in some way. This is good to keep in mind when you get that less-than-perfect review. It all balances the playing field!
Examples of review-based material in your content marketing strategy:
- One of our client Harcourts Milestone Advisors’ key business differentiators is that they offer home sales and home buying services through a Harcourts Auction, not just traditional real estate. To better explain the process of selling a home through a Harcourts Auction, we conducted an interview between Erin, a client who sold her home through auction, and Ron Hoefer, her real estate agent. Information from that interview was carefully compiled into a case study on the Harcourts Milestone Advisors website that detailed why selling through auction was the right choice for Erin and her family.
- With their location on the Big Island of Hawaii, a premier tourist destination, our client Greenwell Farms receives weekly reviews for their farm tours on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews and Yelp. The Orange Label team manages these reviews to address customer feedback, the majority of which is positive, and taps into these reviews to inform social content, inspire blog posts and create user-generated content (UGC). In addition, their website provides the opportunity for customers to leave and browse through customer reviews for their 100% Kona Coffee, Hawaiian treats and merchandise.
There are a variety of factors buyers consider when making a buying decision and comparison if definitely one of them. Think about how Apple positions their product pages. Knowing that they offer similar products, they allow buyers to compare different devices side by side, such as an iPhone Pro versus an iPhone Pro Max. This makes comparing devices simple and provides the tools buyers need to make the right decision for them. Tapping into comparison as part of your content strategy can look like comparing your own products or services and direct/indirect competitors. You want to consider what problems they are encountering that will lead them to your product or service.
Here are some examples on how to create content about comparisons in your marketing strategy.
- A passionate advocate for patient’s health, Dr. Elisabeth Potter is an expert in DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction and Cosmetic DIEP Flap Breast Augmentation. To spread awareness of Dr. Potter’s mission to educate women and offer them the best surgical techniques available for breast reconstruction, we created a blog post comparing the types of natural breast reconstruction options available. As a follow-up, case studies were released detailing patient’s experience with various types of natural and cosmetic breast reconstruction in order for patients to feel less alone in their journeys and identify what may be the best route for them.
- With a recent Gartner study finding that 33% of buyers would prefer a seller-free sales experience and an increase in AI tools, we’ve seen a rise in user-focused tools such as Chatbots on websites. One way to indirectly assist buyers in the awareness and consideration stage is through quizzes and surveys to find out exactly what they’re looking for and which product/service is right for them. Knowing this, we created an interactive quiz-style blog for Southland Credit Union that helped current and future Members answer the question, “Which Visa credit card is right for you?”
Best restaurants near me, best gifts for dad, best Boba places, best marketing agencies in Orange County… think of all the ways you search for what you’re looking for. Thinking like a buyer, the word “best” is a go-to for quick searches and in-depth brand research alike. One tactic that Sheridan provides to drive website traffic with this keyword is to compose a “Best Of” article that mentions the top competitors and companies in your field. (This article should, of course, be based on facts and not opinion to truly resonate). His reasoning? Customers will find your competitors, directly addressing this topic can open the door for them to find you and provide a higher chance of winning their business by being transparent, helpful and knowledgeable from the start.
- For one of our real estate clients in the Orange County area, we tapped into location keywords to lead people to their website and highlight the “best” places to go in the Orange County area. Topics included dedicated posts on the best coffee shops, sushi restaurants, brunch spots, parks, hikes and more in the Orange County area. This strategy simultaneously brought people to the site, boosted their presence for the location and “best” keyword, attracted future residents and highlighted what’s great about living in the region.
- Outside of creating your own “best of” lists, it’s great to be featured on other’s “best of” lists. When our client Del Monte Shopping Center placed in Monterey County Weekly’s 2023 “Best Of” Series, we created a social post and graphic that showcased the categories that the shopping center and its vendors won in, including the Best Shopping District/Center, Best New Restaurant of 2023, Best Mediterranean Restaurant and Best Hangout for Teens.
- Creating a blog or series of social posts of the Best Practices on a particular topic in your industry is another great way to showcase your company’s expertise and tap into the “best” keyword. If you’re looking for an example, this blog post is one of them!
When it comes to the “Big Five,” you can even tackle cost, problems, reviews, comparisons and best practices all in one series. This year, our client Greenwell Farms started a video series, posted in short-form video clips on social media and full videos on YouTube/their website, with their CEO. The series, known as “Coffee with Tom Greenwell,” gives its audience a chance to see a personal side of the farm and hear answers related to costs, problems, reviews, comparisons and best practices from the CEO himself. Adding to the personal touch, videos are filmed in various locations throughout the farm. Will you be tapping into the “Big Five” in your content marketing strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our content marketing services.