If you are doing any kind of content marketing – whether via guest blogging, social media, video, podcasting – anything where you place your content online and bring people back to your own blog, website, and email newsletter – then I have some very important advice for you.
My name is Yaro Starak I have written a blog since 2005 and made my living with online content since 2007.
My main source of income is a simple process:
I publish content to my blog, which connects me with new people
Some of those people join my newsletter
I sell my training products via both the blog and the newsletter
There are obviously a lot of nuts and bolts to this process, too much to cover in this one article, but let’s get started.
When Things Get Crowded You Need To Get Specific
As you are probably well aware, the internet has become incredibly crowded.
You have more competition within your own industry, but on top of this, you have competition just to attract attention.
With social media, news, videos, podcasts and apps all clambering for attention, making sure your emails and blog posts are read is half the battle.
How do you deal with a crowded marketplace?
You get REALLY specific.
To get specific with a blog and newsletter you look at each individual piece of content you produce as a piece of targeted content tailored to a sub-segment of your audience.
For example, I teach people how to make money with a blog. I can write an article that is about traffic. In that article, I have a newsletter opt-in form for a specific resource, like a free report, about how to get traffic.
In that newsletter, I have a sequence of emails set up that focus only on traffic. In that sequence of emails, I promote a product I have that is all about traffic.
I could even go more specific…
I might have an article about how to get traffic specifically from just the social picture sharing site Pinterest. I then have a newsletter and a product offer about it too.
I could even go more specific than that…
I could focus on traffic from Pinterest specifically for people who own online stores that sell clothing to a pregnant woman.
Now that might be taking things too far, but it illustrates my point.
Someone who sells products to a pregnant woman who wants more traffic and likes using pictures is going to pay attention to my advice. They are highly targeted readers and thus they choose to ignore other things and focus on my content.
Bear in mind the subscriber numbers tend to get smaller and smaller as you do this. As you target a more and more specific sub-segment of your audience, the fewer people there are who have that interest.
That’s ok, it’s meant to work that way. You’re on the path to earning a higher return from fewer people.
Segment With Your Language
You might be thinking segmenting online content for your audience all the way down to the specific article and creating all these different newsletters is a lot of work.
It can be.
It’s important to note that segmenting online content is a pre-selection process.
A person demonstrates initial interest by engaging in whatever marketing materials you release. All you are doing is saying “Hey, I noticed you liked this, do you want more?”.
The key is tailoring the communication – the language you use.
You probably already have a newsletter that you send to all your subscribers. Like most people, you send out news about the products you sell, helpful information and updates from your industry.
The problem with this is your newsletter is made up of people with a range of different backgrounds and aspirations. The closer you can tailor the language you use to factor in these distinctions, the higher the level of engagement you will have with your audience.
Rather than spend time creating one big newsletter you send to everyone, why not create a series of smaller, segmented sequences of content, each tailored to the key needs of your audience.
This can end up being much less work because you don’t have to always find something that will be of interest to everyone (there is no such thing!). You can set up each email sequence and then send people through the appropriate process as they express interest in different subjects.
This is the difference between being a generalist who might be “entertaining”, and tailoring your information to what your audience really wants, solutions to their specific problems, which they are prepared to pay money to solve.
Tailored Content Leads To More Sales
It’s doesn’t take great insight to see that through tailored communication you increase sales.
For most products, there is an education gap between what the prospect feels, that agitation at having a problem, and demonstrating how you offer will make that feeling go away.
Content marketing is how you sell online. You know that by now. Content that makes sales is about educating prospects as a pre-selling process – not just as a source entertainment. You are not sending newsletters just because someone said it is a good idea. You have a strategy.
It all begins with a little bit of tailoring…
You can start by looking at your current customer base and identifying the big segments.
You should be able to see two-to-three key problem focused segments within your current online information already, which could be transformed into “tunnels” of segmented online content you take people down.
This might be as simple as adding a more specific newsletter to your most popular articles on your website, followed by a specific product offer.
Find your most popular article or piece of content. What is it about? Can you add a sequence of information directly related to that article delivered via email?
You are not guessing. You are looking at what people already come to you for, and then giving them more specific content about that.
You can start this with just one article and one newsletter and see if that helps increase sales.