Content has become the hottest marketing topic these days and for good reason: we live in the age of information.  Your potential ideal clients prefer to do their own research, on their own terms, before making a purchasing decision. By publishing content that provides the information people are looking for, you can be the one they find.  However,  this doesn’t mean that posting random updates, with no theme or purpose is all you need to do. Unfortunately, there is a proliferation of thoughtless content, that’s irrelevant to the brand posting it, has no substance, and it’s poorly written; and this practice can actually have a negative impact on your brand’s credibility.

Those of your competitors that are thriving online are producing relevant content on a regular basis, thereby building their online authority, and increasingly getting found by the right prospects. Their content shows up when you search not only for the services they provide, but also for industry information. They become a resource.

The good news -for you- is, the majority of distributors are not doing this, at all. This means, it won’t take you long to reach the top of search results once you start publishing content.  As long as it is the right content.

What makes content relevant and where can you find it?

In order to create content that your ideal clients will be interested in, you first have to answer these two questions:

1. Who are you talking to?

Most distributors have a general ideal of who their target audience is,  but few have actually spent the time in creating a detailed profile for their ideal buyer persona. This is very important because the more you know your perfect client’s challenges, objectives and aspirations, the more you can communicate the value you can provide. In a nutshell, to create content that will interest your ideal clients, you need to know what interests them. Surprisingly, their priorities, often times are not what you think they are.

Creating your ideal client profile

The first step to develop your perfect customer profile or “buyer persona”, is to take a close look at your favorite clients: what do they have in common? What are their ages, education, job responsibilities, role in the approval process, do they have kids they rush to after work, how tech savvy are they, how do they spend their free time, etc.

You also want to understand their challenges and concerns as they relate to your products and services, therefore you want to pay close attention to the questions they ask you, as well as what’s important to them in making the final decision, which again, is often not what you think.

What if you have more than one type of ideal client

Most distributor businesses have several profitable segments. If that’s your case, you want to have a written profile description for each of them. However, you don’t want to have too many segments, and end up with too many characteristics overlapping. For example, if you work with corporate event planners,  marketing coordinators, and HR managers, it is likely they’ll each have different interests and buying processes for their promotional products purchases, so it makes sense to address each of their common issues and concerns in your content. This ensures they’ll relate to your content, and see you as the expert they want to work with.

2. What information are they looking for?

Now that you know who all about your ideal client, finding the information that will appeal to them is the next step.  This is when keywords come into play. Keywords are a critical piece in online marketing, regardless of the medium.  Whether it be for ranking pages on your site or blog, videos, imagery, paid search, etc., keywords are one of the most important components when planning your content.

So put on your thinking cap and attempt to get into the mid of your ideal client who’s searching online. What are they typing in the browser? What is their intent?. Being on top of your keywords is critical to have a clear picture.

How do you find your best keywords?

There are lots of keyword research tools out there, such as the Google Keyword Planner, which is, in my opinion, the best place to start, plus it’s free. There are other services, such as SEMRush, which offers a free version. These tools help understand your market better. Among other things, they reveal what keyword phrases are getting the most traffic and what your competitors are ranking for.

Pulling it together

Once you have a list of keyword phrases identified, you basically turn each into a topic. Each of these can be addressed from different angles and shared in multiple formats. For example, in addition to writing a blog post, you can also create infographics, videos, and share industry news on the topic.

Say for example your want to target HR managers, and you have identified the keyword phrase “durable polo shirts”. Content that talks about the types of fabrics for polo shirts is an obvious one; but you can also talk about the life expectancy of uniform polo shirts; types of polos for different types of jobs, top performance polos, top economy polos, etc.

Further, knowing your customers’ profile and interests will help you find different angles to the topics. Using the same example as before, HR managers are likely to be interested in distribution methods and sizing guides; therefore articles that address those points -without mention of the shirts themselves- are also good topics.

Additionally, you will always want to find ways to mention the advantages of working with an expert such as yourself, as well as a call to action at the end.

The Point.

Knowing your customer’s questions and concerns will give you the opportunity to address them. The content you create will position your company as the expert that understands what’s important to your clients.

And there you have it! If you would like help in coming up with a strategic content plan for your promotional products business, feel free to set up a call to discuss your challenges by filling out the form provided here.

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