Creating expert content that will bring sales is not an easy, but quite a real task. We tell you what techniques will help lead the user to purchase faster.
Expert content acts gently and unobtrusively
Expert content is content that engages, increases loyalty, trust in the brand, gently warms up the audience and “leads” it through the sales funnel.
Not just articles
Companies are increasingly investing in the development of brand media – corporate publications, for current and potential customers of the company.
For example, our blog brings the agency more than 90% of the traffic to the site, which is then converted into leads and sales.
But the communications with the media familiar to PR specialists are still relevant. It is better to publish expert content not only in your own blog, but also on third-party sites in order to reach a larger audience. Publications should be of high quality and relevant. If there is no content for a full-fledged publication, you can offer an expert comment to journalists.
Although articles and cases occupy a large part of the content plan of PR specialists, you can also show expertise in:
- email newsletters;
- images, infographics;
- speakers’ speeches, webinars;
- video content, including training videos;
- analytics on your topic;
- trend reviews;
- guides, instructions, checklists.
These are some of the popular formats, but far from the only ones.
Who needs expert content?
Expert content is especially useful if:
- your customer cannot touch the product before purchase — all types of services (legal, medical);
- you promote “complex” products, the impression of which develops only after a certain time has passed — technologically complex products, digital products, IT, startups;
- making a purchase decision requires the help of professionals and consulting clients before and after the sale — education, B2B goods, real estate, consulting.
Expert content shows the value of the service, inspires confidence in the company and increases customer loyalty. Before making a purchase decision, the consumer wants to make sure that they are really professionals in their field. In expert content, you can reveal the features of your product, tell what needs it covers, share instructions on how to use the product, etc.
So, you can simply say that you provide advertising services on the Internet. Or you can write a case in which you will reveal how you took into account the features of the company, helped the customer to get more profit and increased his business performance.
Shortening the customer’s path
The client’s journey can be long, and the content occupies an important place in it. You can track the effectiveness of content through real cases.
In addition, we at the agency notice a correlation between the publication of expert cases and incoming applications for these services. Of course, it might not have been the first contact with the client, but they were motivated to get to know the agency better.
When a person makes a decision about choosing a contractor to provide marketing services, he studies whether the company has relevant work experience in his field. It is important for him to make sure that they are really professionals in their field.
Expert content increases trust and loyalty to the brand and to the people in the company. This means that there is a high probability that a potential customer will choose you, and not competitors, when he needs a product or service. So, reading our cases, a potential client understands that millions of budgets can be entrusted to us: we will dispose of them as efficiently as possible, meet his expectations or even exceed the KPIs by optimizing advertising campaigns.
Through the cases, the reader sees that we look at the problem comprehensively, study different solutions to it, compare them with each other and argue for each solution. A potential client understands that success is not accidental. With our thoughtful approach, it is natural. And this happens with all the tasks that we undertake to solve.
Do’s and Don’ts: how not to scare off a potential client?
In order for expert content to arouse a desire to continue communication with the brand, we recommend following some rules.
Use appeals head-on. We do not recommend putting pressure on the audience and using time triggers, for example, “The only time to buy is now”. Expert content is calmer and gently warms up the audience.
Manipulate emotions. But only if you don’t do it unnoticed by the client. Rationality rules expert content. It affects the client’s mind, not the emotional component. High-quality objective content can independently lead a person to the idea of buying without advertising tricks.
Use complex terms. It is important to speak the same language with the audience. Show your experience, reveal the difficulty with examples. If you can’t do without terms, try to explain their meanings clearly. For example, in our articles we try to explain all the concepts that may be unfamiliar to the reader.
What should be included in the preparation of expert content:
- Objectivity. Honestly talk about all the pros and cons of a product or service. Reveal the nuances of the product, warn the audience against excessive spending and help solve their problems.
- Fact-checking. Carefully check the information, trust only reliable sources and ask for the opinions of various experts to confirm your hypotheses.
- Benefit for the reader. Create content that will respond to your audience and hits a sore point. It is worth publishing information that can be used in practice — instructions, checklists for choosing goods, ways to distinguish a quality product from a low-quality one.
- Own experience. Why does a person choose an expert and not Wikipedia? First of all, he wants to learn about personal experience and cases. Expert content should disclose competence. It is important to back it up with real examples and figures.
- Expert lead magnets. Good content sells the product itself. However, we understand that a client can “ripen” for a long time, and the call to buy a service does not work if a person has just visited your site and is not familiar with you yet. But then what to use in expert content?
Instead of aggressive sales, we usually offer to subscribe to a newsletter with useful materials, get a checklist, and get acquainted with the research. Such soft methods increase audience loyalty and increase trust. And they also do not allow you to lose contact with a potential client.
In exchange for contacts, you can offer:
- subscribe to the newsletter,
- get a checklist by email,
- ask a question to the author of the article,
- get useful materials from the conference,
- go to the page with a useful case or article,
- get a free expert consultation.
The more points of contact with a potential client, the more likely they are to choose you next time. To gain even more trust, you can offer part of the service for free. For example, we at the agency provide a free audit on SEO, mobile promotion, SMM, and contextual advertising.
You cannot shift all responsibility for expert material to an outside employee, only if you do not have an experienced specialist-writer working for you. The audience will immediately identify the material written by the copywriter under a carbon copy. In addition, such articles may contain many inaccuracies and controversial points. To make the material really expert, provide the copywriter with an invoice for work.
At our agency, the following scheme of preparation of materials has developed: we formulate a topic in the PR department, collect developments on it, ask for comments from fellow experts, then supplement the material with their comments and agree on the final version. If necessary, we make edits at all stages of the work.
Many articles and cases are written by our colleagues, and we are engaged in editing the material. We have been working towards this format for at least four years. In the beginning, people did not want to engage in content, they were completely immersed in the client’s business. To motivate them, we introduced financial rewards and bonuses. Then they put a certain number of speeches, articles and cases in the managers’ KPIs.
And then there was a turning point: people themselves began to generate content. At the same time, the amount of work on client projects has not become less. This is partly due to the desire of the specialist to get a share of fame. And here the approach of a PR specialist is very important: you need to take a back seat and let the person subscribe to the article. Even if his role in her preparation is small.
If it is not possible to attract an expert within the company, you can contact colleagues in the market. Pressfeed, a service where journalists turn to specialists for comments, will help in this. Brands can also register as journalists, collect expert opinions from specialists and include them in their materials. There is more trust in an article that accumulates the experience of different specialists. And thanks to the fact that you become the initiator of the survey, the audience perceives you as the main expert.
Remember: you make expert content for the sake of sales. Engage your audience with lead magnets. Show your competencies, but with the benefit of the reader. Carefully check all the data, collect and compare opinions from different sources. All this will help you generate high-quality expert content that will gently lead a potential customer to purchase.