Search Engine Optimization Statistics Infographic

SEO statistics infographic

Is all that work optimizing your site for search engines really worth it? Will publishing quality content help? Check out these amazing stats about organic traffic and you’ll see the answer to both questions is a resounding YES!

WaterCopy SEO Statistics Infographic

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you need help producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.  Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT A BLOG PLANNER/WRITER

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How to make sure your content achieves your goals

Introduction

Is your content achieving your goals?content marketing tactics

Last week we looked at how important goals are to strategic content marketing.  And we saw how the goals for your content change through the sales funnel.  Now you need to develop content that will achieve those goals.

This week we look at the types of content -tactics – that will support and encourage your prospects in their journey through your sales funnel.

For you see, the tactics you use to deliver your content will change, along with your goals, through the sales funnel:

  • At the top of the funnel your content needs to build AWARENESS
  • In the middle of the funnel, content must enable EVALUATION
  • At the bottom of the funnel, your content needs to CONVERT

Section 1: Tactics at the top of the funnel

At the top of the funnel you are striving to build awareness.  Awareness of your brand and your products.  Awareness that your solution will solve your prospects’ problem.  You may even need to make your prospects aware that they have a problem, a problem you can solve!

At the top of the funnel you provide quality information that informs your audience.  Content should be engaging and informative not full of hype.

There are many tactics that are effective at the top of the funnel.

Blogs are imperative for top-of-funnel content publishing.  Provide relevant and timely information about problems in the industry and available solutions. And provide the information consistently.  Decide on a schedule and stick to it.

When you post a blog you then post social media updates with links back to your blog and website.

Problem/solution whitepapers are an excellent tactic at the top of the funnel.  (More detail about white papers through the sales funnel here).  And whitepapers are a great call to action.  By downloading the white paper, they are showing an interest.  Ready to be drawn further into your sales funnel.

Infographics can provide information in an entertaining and easy to digest format.  And by requiring an email address to download, they become a powerful call to action.

Newsletters are an excellent channel to build and maintain relationships.  Keep the content 80% information and education and 20% about your company.  How you work, how you interact with your community, your employees.

Provide primary research on trends in your industry.  Conduct and report on surveys of your customers about their pain points, issues with current solutions, emerging trends.

Regardless of the tactic used, always provide value.  The top of the funnel is about building awareness.  Establishing trust. And that only comes through quality content provided consistently.

Section 2: Tactics in the middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel your prospects are evaluating your solution.  Making comparisons.  Showing some interest but keeping a distance.content marketing tactics

Therefore, in the middle of the funnel, your tactics should provide information that will assist them in their evaluation of your solution.

For you, the middle of the funnel is all about lead magnets.  Lead magnets that compel your prospects to take action.

What is a lead magnet?  A lead magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange to their contact information.

In the middle of the funnel the best tactics include:

Educational resources including case studies, free reports, eBooks, and white papers.  Numbered-list white papers are very effective in the middle of the funnel.  They provide information in an easy-to-read and skim-able format.

Useful resources can be even more powerful than educational resources as lead magnets.  Checklists, templates, tool kits, resource lists all provide that chunk of value that compels your prospect to give you their contact information.

A quiz or survey on a relevant industry topic can entice readers to divulge contact details as well as provide valuable information for blogs and articles.

Webinars and events are an opportunity to provide valuable content while gathering contact information.

In the middle of the funnel your tactics must continue to provide valuable information.  Information your prospects are willing to trade their contact details for.  Lead magnets that change prospects into leads.

Section 3: Content at the bottom of the funnel

At the bottom of the funnel you are striving to convert your leads into customers.  Here you need to provide specific details about your solution.  Enough detail to convince your lead that your solution will in fact solve their problem.

At the bottom of the funnel effective tactics include:

Showing how your solution works with a demo/free trial.

Providing specific, technical information in a backgrounder white paper.  Give your leads all the information they need to convince themselves that your solution will solve their problem.

Using customer success stories to demonstrate how your solution worked for a specific customer.  These stories are closer to testimonials than case studies.  The point is to demonstrate your solution and your services.

Conclusion

You can now see that the tactics you use change as your goals change through the sales funnel.  It is also clear that mapping your content to your buyers’ journey is critical for a good return-on-investment for your content:

  • At the top of the funnel publish content that builds AWARENESS of your brand, your solution.
  • In the middle of the funnel provide information that encourages EVALUATION of your solution.
  • At the bottom, tactics must CONVERT leads into customers.

Next week, we check out how to measure how well your tactics are working through metrics.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

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A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

content marketing plan

Introduction

Content is King!

Aren’t you sick of hearing that?  Unfortunately, it’s true…

If you want to generate leads and build thought leadership, you need to publish content.  But without a strategic content marketing plan, it could be difficult to reach your goals.

A robust content marketing strategy, on the other hand, shifts the focus of your content agenda.  It becomes a smart, coordinated approach rather than a mad dash.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.

The water industry sales funnel can be divided into three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Evaluation
  • Conversion

At each stage, you can nurture your prospects along by providing valuable content about the problem they are trying to solve.  And information about how your product, process, or service will solve that problem.

With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

So, let’s get started!

Just do it:       A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

Start the process with a brainstorming session.  In general, people involved in the planning process support the plan’s implementation, Include as many of the team as possible.  Top management to technical experts.  The sales team and the design team.

Step 1:          Goals through the sales funnel

The goals for your content marketing must be consistent with your company’s desired business outcomes.  You need to be able to document which business outcome you want to impact through your content creation.

Remember, content marketing builds trust.  Your company builds trust over time by providing quality information.  Make your content marketing count by defining goals that will impact the desired business outcomes.

In next week’s post, we will take a deep dive into:

  • how to establish goals for content marketing, and
  • how they change through the sales funnel.

Step 2:          Your audience through the sales funnel

In B2B marketing, the sales funnel is long and many people are involved in the decision-making process.  To target your content to the right audience, you will need to identify the key personas in each stage of the sales funnel.  Your content can then be crafted to provide value to each of them.content marketing plan

You also need to understand that your audience is not static or inflexible.  Changes in the market can alter your prospects’ attitudes:

  • Has there been a major weather event (i.e. flood, drought, storms)?
  • Has there been a major change in the regulatory framework?
  • Is a certain sector heading into ‘boom’ conditions?

Be sure to review your personas regularly to reflect these types of changes.

Step 3:          Content through the sales funnel

Now that you understand who your target audience is, as a person, you can start thinking about how to take it to the next level and forge a connection with them. Start a one-on-one conversation.

One way to approach this is to create a story around the desirable qualities and unique value proposition that only your business can provide.

These are your big ideas.  They become the themes in your content calendar.  A calendar that documents the purpose of all your content.  You then break done the big ideas into content-sized chunks.

In a later post in this series, we will look in greater detail at which content types work best at each stage in the sales funnel.

Step 4:          Metrics through the sales funnel

There’s a saying in marketing: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”.  content marketing planIf you want to be able to quantify the return on investment (ROI) in a content marketing campaign, you must be able to measure the response.

It is important to tie the metrics to the goals and objectives of your content marketing strategy.   You must also make sure that systems are in place to track the chosen metric.  Develop procedures to make sure all metrics are monitored and both positive and negative results addressed.

In the final post in this series we will align metrics to your goals and content as they change through the sales funnel.

Step 5:          Plan review through the sales funnel

Your strategic content marketing strategy is a living document.  You need to be reviewing the plan regularly to ensure it remains relevant.  Within the plan itself, specify review periods for all sections of the plan.  Review periods will be different for each section of the plan:

  • Goals – 5-yearly
  • Content Calendar – annually
  • Audience – annually and/or event-based
  • Metrics – quarterly

Give it power             Document your strategic content marketing plan

You pulled together a lot of information, going through this process. Now document it!  You will generate a powerful statement about your intentions.  About how content marketing will achieve your desired business outcomes.

A documented strategy helps you gain support from the executive team.  A plan keeps content producers strategically aligned.

Conclusion

Content is here to stay.  If your company wants to stay on the top pages of Google, it is going to have to use content marketing.  And effective content marketing is only possible with strategic planning.

Go through the process.  Document it.  Implement it.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

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Can an educated sales team close more deals?

white papers educate

Introduction

If your sales team doesn’t understand all the features and benefits of your product, you could be leaving money on the table.  Products in the water industry use complex technologies to solve challenging problems

Does your sales team truly understand all the features and benefits of your innovative, earth-shaking, new product?  Maybe not as well as they could.

How can you get them up to speed in time for product launch?  A white paper can do that job.

“A white paper?”, you ask.  Indeed, the water industry publishes white papers for all sorts of reasons.  White papers can:

  • generate leads
  • influence a selection committee
  • redefine a market space through your solution.
  • build authority, credibility, and thought leadership
  • keep up with competitors who have white papers.

Another powerful use is education.  You can educate potential customers, channel partners, and the media.  But most importantly, your own sales force.  They are at the forefront of your marketing strategy – the face of your brand, literally.

Read on to discover how white papers educate your sales force, which can lead to increased conversions.

White papers educate your workforce

The best type of white paper to use to educate will depend on the sales team’s technical sophistication.  Are they trained sales and marketing people?  Or are they qualified engineers?  Credentialed scientists maybe?  A mix of all?  Let’s think about the three main types of white papers and see how they can help educate your sales team.

  1. A problem/solution white paper helps your team understand an industry-wide problem. It then explores the technology in the market that provides a solution.  The white paper then describes and  explains your ‘new’ technological solution.
  2. A numbered list white paper could be used to itemize the features and benefits that you want the sales team to focus on.
  3. A technical backgrounder could be used to provide the team with all the technical features that prove the benefits. Visuals, like graphs and charts, could illustrate the proof.

Then again, you could also mix it up.  Combine two types to come up with something even better.

For educating the sales force, a problem solution combined with a numbered list could be magic.  The problem sections would give the team the information they need to understand the problem and your customers’ pain points.  The solution section would fully define the technology behind your product – the solution.  A numbered list could list and define all the features and benefits in an easy to read and remember format.

Depending on your product and your sales team, a technical backgrounder could also be mixed up with a numbered list.  The background section would provide in-depth technical details about your product.  The numbered list section would list statistics and specifications that the sales team then highlights with customers.

Conclusion

Whatever type of white paper you choose, just be sure not to leave money on the table.  Educate your sales force so they can sell all the benefits of your product.

White papers are a valuable tactic in a content marketing strategy.  Professionally developed and actively promoted white papers can generate leads, build thought leadership and, importantly, educate.

 

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this free special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT

 

 

 

 

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How can white papers help the water industry?

content marketing goals

Introduction

Are you losing prospects in the long water industry sales funnel?  Do they enter the funnel confidently but then get lost among the treatment options?  White papers help!  White papers have the power to lure prospects into your funnel.  Lure them in and keep them engaged right through to conversion.

White papers helpBut what kind of white paper?  When?

By understanding the sales funnel and how decisions are made when the problem is complex and the solution expensive, the right type of white paper can be chosen for each point in the funnel.

Top of the funnel – generate leads

B2B customers need time and information to make decisions.  And decisions in the water industry are about complex problems that require expensive solutions.

At the top of the sales funnel, the object is to get the attention of potential customers.  Generate leads.

A problem/solution white paper is very effective at generating leads.  First you define the problem your prospects are trying to solve.  You provide quality information about the solutions already in the marketplace.  You then introduce the new type of solution your company provides.

The idea is to provide information upon which a buyer can base a business case – never use the hard sales pitch at the top of the funnel.  Never mention specific products in a problem/solution white paper.

A problem solution white paper is used:

  • To generate leads at the top of the funnel.
  • To educate salespeople and channel partners.
  • To educate analysts, bloggers, and journalists.
  • To redefine a market space.
  • To build mind share.

Middle zone – maintain interest and information flow, build competitive advantage

The middle of the water industry sales funnel can be excruciatingly long.  You must maintain interest without exerting pressure.  Do it by providing controversial, educational, and possibly even entertaining information in a numbered list format.

A numbered list white paper might be a set of tips, points, questions, or answers about an issue.  They tend to provide quick summaries in an easy to read format.

People love numbered lists because:

  • They are easy to scan.
  • You always know where you are.
  • They are an easy read.
  • The structure is clear.
  • You’ve been reading them for years.

Numbered list white papers are relatively quick to produce since they tend to present highlights rather than deep analysis.  The points presented can almost be random with the numbering system holding them together.

A numbered list is especially powerful:

  • To get attention with provocative views
  • To help prospects along that area already in the funnel
  • To cast doubt on your competitors.

A numbered list keeps the information flowing into the middle of the sales funnel.  At its best, a numbered list white paper encourages discussion by introducing sometimes controversial ideas about the problem or about solutions currently available.

Bottom of the funnel – pulling in the sale

At the bottom of the funnel you want to pull in the sale.  A technical backgrounder white paper provides detailed technical information about the features and benefits of your product, process, or service.

A backgrounder has a tight focus on one offering from one vendor.  This type of white paper is also referred to as an evaluator’s guide or a product briefing.  It tends to do one of the following:

  • Explains key features, functions and benefits in more detail than a brochure or data sheet.
  • Explains new, unfamiliar or misunderstood technology to a technical audience.
  • Supports a product launch by explaining the product in technically detailed terms.

A backgrounder-style white paper is powerful in the late stages of a buying decision. It can help the buyer or buying committee make a final decision.  The white paper needs to provide specific details of how the features of your product, process, or service will benefit the buyer.  And how those features will solve their problem.

At this point features are as important as benefits, sometimes even more important.  The buyer needs to know that your product/process/service will solve their problem.

Post Sale – maintain interest and relationships by re-purposing white paper content

After the sale, your content can help build stronger customer relationships. Relationships that can lead to future sales.  After publishing an effective white paper, the content can and should be used to feed other channels.

To establish thought leadership, you must provide new and engaging content continually.  Search engines like Google assess content as well as keywords.  And white papers are expensive. Re-purposing their content makes good business sense.

Each section of a numbered list could become a post on your blog.  They could each be re-reworked into an article in your newsletter. Both the blog post and the article should contain a link to the full white paper on your website.

A problem/solution white paper could be presented at a conference with a PowerPoint slide show.  Several white papers could be tied together and published as an e-book.

Conclusion

White papers can engage and educate your prospects all the way through the sales funnel. They make an excellent call to action in a strategic content marketing campaign.  Prospects who download the white paper are expressing an interest in the solutions offered.  Be sure to collect information when they do.  Then follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT

 

 

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Welcome to Water Copy

It’s always been about water…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with water.  Swim lessons in the rain in Seattle.  Body surfing off California till our lips turned blue.  Tubing down rivers in Arizona.  Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

That fascination with water has stayed with my all my life.  In my professional life water – quality, quantity, management, and use – is what has captivated me.

And in my professional life I have been well served by my love of reading and writing.  I love to research a topic and find the compelling idea at its core.  And then to prove that compelling idea in simple and concise language.

I love how words can transform complex scientific and technical concepts into stories that engage your prospects.  How stories can persuade, compel, empower

Okay. So, it’s always been about water and words…

I am now a freelance content writer with a focus on industrial water management and use.  I understand the science behind your wastewater treatment technology.  Better yet I understand your prospects and clients.  I understand the challenges they face in managing water and wastewater.  I know their pain points: supply, treatment, compliance.

I can help you communicate your value to your prospects and clients in effective ways.  I can help you build thought leadership in integrated wastewater management.

So, how do you persuade prospects to visit your website, connect with you, to contact you? You need to engage them both emotionally and rationally.  Find the emotionally compelling idea that will spark their interest.  Then prove to them that your solution will solve their problem.

How do you build thought leadership in your niche?  By providing compelling content on a consistent basis.  Allow me to help you with effective content assets: white papers, case studies and newsletters.

WHITE PAPERS

Extensively researched and effectively written, I write whitepapers that nurture leads through the lengthy sales funnel for wastewater treatment plants.  White papers vary in length, style, and investment.   We work together to address information needs at different points in the sales funnel.  We develop a white paper strategy that will pull in leads and nurture them into clients.

CASE STUDIES

I write case studies that tell your success stories.  Given access to the happy customer I craft a story that testifies to your brand. Your solution. These success stories are testimonials to your solutions as well as to what it’s like to work with your company.

NEWSLETTERS

Together we develop a newsletter strategy that streamlines the process.  That makes generating a newsletter that people want to read a piece of cake.  Newsletters chock full of meaningful content.  But that also show your personal side.  Your employees, Your impact on the industry and the community.

Let’s work together and create content that will generate leads, and build your brand. No one else researches the problems you solve like I do.  And I will work with you until you are satisfied with the final product.

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