If you have a website, that’s a lot of competition and noise to rise above. Bestselling author, online marketing consultant and speaker Frank Viola says the key is striking a balance between solid content marketing strategies and innovative tactics. Viola asserts three basic tactics elevate the profile of an Internet asset.
1. Add dynamic content to your website.
This article assumes you already have some kind of online website. But even if you’re getting traffic to your site, most business owners want more.
The quickest and easiest way to do that according to Viola is by converting your site to a blog or adding a blog area to the home page---where you’re consistently creating new content.
“Search is still the primary driver of web site traffic. Most of the search engine algorithms out there will rank sites higher that have fresh, relevant and dynamic content that attracts eyes,” said Viola. “Written content is good but updated images, graphics or video are even better when it comes to search engine rankings.”
The trick here is consistency. This tactic requires commitment---it could take months or years to build a steady stream of traffic, but that’s true for anything worth doing.
2. Engage first, sell later.
Millions of websites out there have a singular focus to try and convert visitors into customers. According to Viola, those sales-focused sites have it backwards.
The truth is those sites have low conversion rates and if they do somehow make a sale, it’s unlikely to generate repeat business because there’s been no relationship established. Viola says the key to standing out is by shifting your focus from grabbing a quick transaction to building a long-term relationship.
“You’d be stunned by the number of entrepreneurs I consult who fall into the old marketing trap of selling their products' features without understanding the wants and needs of customers first. Online it’s critically important to build a relationship with potential customers by first giving them free content that they deem valuable. If the free content blows them away, they’ll be much more likely to trial a paid sample,” he said.
According to Viola, for this tactic to work, you have to “wow” visitors. That means not just giving them a free e-book in exchange for their email address, instead give them a three-hour audio course with a free seven-day trial of your service or a coaching session.
3. Pick a fight.
Viola suggests that beyond providing helpful, relevant content to visitors and potential customers, generate some content for your site that bucks conventional wisdom and then share your contrarian content with vocal opposition.
“Very few things cut through messaging clutter like controversy, but it’s important that you support your controversial position with facts, ensure your position is relevant to your business and strive to disagree without being disagreeable and never get personal. Those components are critical to the successful execution of this tactic,” said Viola.
An example of this in practice would be an auto-responder service that generates a provocative article touting the death or ineffectiveness of social media, while espousing the supremacy of email marketing. Posting a link to that kind of an article across social media channels is likely to drive reaction and traffic to the article.
“Ironically, staunch opposition tends to spread a message much more effectively than ardent supporters,” he said.
While there’s no panacea to online domination, the savvy entrepreneur can boost their chances to standout by applying solid content marketing tactics to their online activities.