Does Content Really Create Customers? Without a Doubt!
Clients ask us all the time, “How does content create customers?” It’s a good question, and though the process for achieving that level of conversion can sometimes be complicated, the answer is also simple:
Your content helps people understand why they should choose you over any other option.
Doesn’t matter what product or service you are selling. Doesn’t matter if your ideal customer is price conscious, money is no object, or if they’re strictly focused on value — the way you’re able to effectively communicate why they should choose you is not only how content creates customers, but it also means that content is a critical part of your overall marketing strategy.
Being effective is the hardest part. It takes a clear-eyed understanding of who you are as a brand, knowing what your customers want, and consistently showing up where they’ll see you with the information they need.
And their needs are often many, depending where they are in their buying journey. It’s your job to nurture them along that pathway. Content is the vehicle. But you can’t accomplish this without meeting them where they are, first.
Meet Your Audience Where They Are In Their Buying Journey
When it comes to content that converts readers into customers, it’s crucial to meet your audience wherever they are in their buying journey and to provide value at every stage.
While broader, more general topics may be effective for some, it’s not likely to push someone to make a purchase, even if they’re ready for it.
With so much information so readily available to us, the customer journey isn’t linear. It’s…squiggly and circular and amorphic.
People starting their journey are gathering information, trying to find something that they can trust so that they know their expectations, whatever they might be, are being met.
Those people who are closer to the purchase point have already done their research and are instead working through internal objections or more specific use cases and questions.
So, by going niche with your content, you’re more likely to convert those customers and bring in more highly engaged users. But what do we mean by “niche?” Well, let’s get into it.
What We Mean When We’re Talking About Niche Content
1. “Niche” in this context just means highly specific, and your product or service doesn’t need to be super niche to create highly specific content about it.
It’s the difference between being a bakery that sells one very specific loaf of bread while publishing a blog like, “101 Interesting Ways You Can Enjoy Our Limited-Edition Marble Rye.”
What’s general can be niche, if you know what questions to answer.
2. When we tackle content strategy from an SEO perspective, the general approach is to create content that targets higher volume keywords. These are going to more often than not be your broad, top-of-funnel-type questions.
Going back to the bakery example, we’re talking about questions like, “What is marble rye bread?” or “How to bake marble rye.”
These are valid questions. There’s likely a ton of traffic related to these questions. You should answer these questions. But you should also be aware that there’s going to be a ton of competition related to these questions.
So you need a different approach to stand out.
Even a keyword that has fewer searches can be valuable if it’s highly specific to your product or is a strong indicator of that person being ready to buy. So while you should answer the above questions, you should also answer things like, “How did marble rye become the bread used in a Reuben sandwich?” or “Why did Jerry steal a marble rye on Seinfeld?”
Flex your knowledge of your product. Show some personality. Create some emotional connections. You’ll stand out!
3. While all revenue is good revenue, the ideal customer is probably someone who is well-educated and highly engaged, and niche content will help you set those traits as prerequisites for users before they even convert.
Even people who aren’t the most price conscious want to feel like they’ve made a smart purchase. People make purchasing decisions based on brands filling a need they have, but also by doing so in a way that they feel reflects what they represent in the world.
Again, if you’re this bakery owner and you’re publishing content about your experiences traveling through Europe searching for the best marble rye, or how discovering the joy of baking led you to have a completely new understanding of your family’s history, odds are that you’re going to connect with customers that choose you for something far beyond what you’re selling.
They’re choosing you because of the specific sort of authority you’re communicating through your niche content. And they’re also choosing you because they identify with what you’re saying.
What Can Publishing Niche Content Do For My Business?
Again, defining what we mean when we say “niche” content is important.
In my eyes, it means content that is highly specific, that typically answers a very particular question, addresses a distinct pain point, or speaks to a precise objection people are looking for.
The key value proposition for your business to invest in niche content is potentially two-fold:
- A higher volume of customers coming through your site — and coming through organically, I might add!
- You’ll be engaging potential customers that are more highly engaged, will spend more time on your site, will make a purchasing decision, and might become repeat customers
Expanding on point number 1, organic sales is almost always a challenge for companies, especially those that don’t already have a strong content strategy. But, by targeting highly niche topics and terms, you’re more likely to have less competition for rankings and reach those customers that are, 1) the right buyer and 2) ready to buy.
And in terms of bullet number 2, when the business tightens up financially, marketing dollars are often the first to be cut. When there’s less budget for things like paid tactics, your organic content becomes even more important to company growth and success. So by taking this strategic approach to creating niche content, many companies are able to do more with less and possibly lower barriers to purchase or time to close!
Are There Any Concerns About Publishing Niche Content?
I personally don’t think so, but we should address a few things for the sake of transparency/
What about AI and niche content?
Lately, there’s been A LOT of talk about AI-generated content, and how it’s basically going to decimate the way writers and other creators currently work.
While I do agree that AI tools will absolutely impact the way that we work, I’m not quite convinced that this technology is capable of expressing experiences, perspectives, and highly emotionally driven content — all of which are elements of niche content, my opinion — in the way that brands need and their customers want.
What about SEO and niche content?
Relatedly, and I can only speak for my own professional experiences, of course, but I believe that Formada is more hyper-focused on creating unique, specific content for services like our blogging program than other agencies typically are. This, in a word, is our niche.
We write with the user in mind instead of search engines, but that user focus is ultimately better for SEO. But what do I mean by what’s “good” for SEO? Well, people often believe that targeting the keywords that get the highest search volume is the de facto SEO strategy for getting the “right” results, but if that’s what everyone is doing (and many of them are), then that doesn’t seem like a good place to invest your marketing dollars.
The competition is much higher. So much similar content from competing brands can create confusing customer journeys. In effect, people will probably end up doing more research, or just going with a brand they already know.
To us, good SEO doesn’t just mean volume. And it also doesn’t mean forgoing user experience to favor what you think a search engine wants. We’re playing the quality over quantity game a lot of the time, and if our content brings in just one really big sale for a client, that could be more valuable than a bunch of little sales.
What about ROI and niche content?
The important thing to remember here is that publishing content, like a blog, is an entirely different tactic than a paid social or search campaign. In the latter examples, there’s a lot more data that can be reviewed in real-time, you can make quick adjustments, and, if run correctly, your campaigns can create quick conversions.
That’s great! But that’s precisely what those campaigns are designed to do.
When it comes to blogging, it’s a different mindset altogether that we need to embrace. We’re playing a long game. We’re going deeper into more highly specific subjects. And we’re building brand awareness, authority, and loyalty along the way.
Over time, at least 60 to 90 days, you’ll have enough data about what blogs are driving traffic, how much time readers are spending on your site, which spikes in traffic correlate with an increase in opportunities or sales. And then you can delve even deeper into those subjects to give the people even more of what they want. Pretty cool, right?
The best way to start taking advantage of this for your brand? By letting us do a content audit for you! We can provide you with a comprehensive overview of what your customers want and what your brand needs, and even what the competition is doing so you can stand out from the pack with a personalized content and blogging plan.