Where Is Your Next Customer?

Human Resources And CrmYour next customer is looking for a solution to a problem right now. Steptap is the way you can show that customer how to solve their problem, with your product.

Your Customers are Searching Right Now

In the vast reaches of cyber world, there is a significant number of people who need your product or service this very second. (Unless, of course, you are Chevron or Starbucks in which case there are probably millions.)

How can you capture this golden slice of the pie? Let’s start with their search bar query. It probably contains the phrases “how do I,” or “how to.”

If you sell digital scrapbooking software, your next customer is probably typing something like: “how do I turn my pictures into a photo book,” or “how to make a digital scrapbook.” These are folks that have never heard of you. They are not yet loyal to a digital scrapbooking provider or scrapbooking product.

If you are an estate planning attorney, your next client may be typing: “how do I write a living will” or “how do I get a healthcare power of attorney.” They aren’t looking for you, necessarily – they just want to solve a problem or fill a need.

You Can Be the Solution

At this moment, the solution is their number one priority. If not, they would be doing something else. The only way a searcher can become your next customer is if you solve their problem. This is most easily done with Steptap.

Steptap creates concise, search engined optimized step-based instructions that can be published everywhere with just a couple clicks. Steptap is a social content marketing platform that helps you present your products as the solution that people are looking for, even when they don’t know who you are.

Here is an example of a steplist that shows how to create an entire nail makeover from a single sample from a Jamberry party – very handy for DIY nail artists:

This is the type of how-to any Pinterest user would be proud to pin and post to all their key sites. We have seen remarkable interest from Pinterest users wanting to add how-to content to their pins so that customers have a better way to create wonderful projects from the images they see on Pinterest.

Steptap helps you create and embed engaging how-to content that shows your prospects how to use your products for a solution they need right now.
Visit http://steptap.com right now to create your own free account.

How To Embed Marketing Content With Steptap

One of the key advantages of using the Steptap platform to market your business with engaging how-to content is the embed tool.

steptap-embed-codeEach steplist includes a customized share page that provides a unique share image, links to the big five social media sites, custom URLs, a QR code, and an embed code.

The embed code for each steplist can be used to incorporate a branded steplist in a company blog, on-site page or even on a community blog that aims to share your how-to with a related community.

Using the embed code is easy, simply follow these steps:

  1. Create a steplist at Steptap.com
  2. Visit the steplist page by clicking on the title of the steplist in your MySteplists page of your free account.
  3. Click the Share tool at the top of the page, on the right.
  4. Copy the unique embed code from the embed code field.
  5. Paste the embed code into your blog. Be sure to use the HTML insert window when you do this; the code is formatted for HTML.
  6. Adjust for width and height by changing the width and height numbers in the embed code to format for the size of your page.
  7. Done!

At the end of this process, you will have an embeded steplist on your page that looks a lot like the example below.

The advantages to using Steptap to create and embed your how-to include the ability to manage your content from a single location. No matter how many places you share your how-to, embed, or link, you will always have centralized control over the content so updates and additions are always easy to deal with.

Here is our embed example:

You can see this steplist live in the Steptap site here: How to unpack and inspect a new NOMAD handheld x-ray.

Steptap helps you create and embed engaging how-to content that shows your prospects how to use your products for a solution they want to solve right now.
Visit http://steptap.com to create your own free account right now.

Content Marketing For Business In Three Parts

Content Torn Paper ConceptBusiness content marketing is reaching the upper limits of buzz these days. Everyone is talking about it with the sudden realization that while content is king, it needs to have a purpose within a business marketing strategy or it really isn’t much more than a waste of time.

CMOs, in particular, are beginning to look at content with renewed scrutiny; costs are increasing but ROI is diminishing. The promise of “post it and they will come” is losing ground to the need for Customer Engagement; the art of connecting to customers with content they are proactively looking for.

SEO, once the darling of web-based marketing, is taking a hit from search engine updates like Penguin, and “experts” are scrambling while businesses crumble.

A well-crafted content marketing strategy focuses on attracting new customers, converting their interest into a sale, and validating their decision with positive reinforcement. These are the basics that break down into an avalanche of options that require careful consideration when assembling the right mix of content for your specific kind of business.

An Introduction to Effective Content Marketing

This is the introduction to a three-part analysis on building an effective content marketing strategy.

I will cover three key areas of content marketing:

  1. Content Marketing Objectives: The areas you need to know that content marketing can affect, and how.
  2. Content Marketing Categories: The primary categories of online marketing content and why you should cover all three.
  3. Content Marketing Types: A comprehensive list of the types of content you can choose from to round out your content marketing campaign complete with a few tips on how to make them more effective.

Content marketing is a critical business facet; there is no question about it. 90% of businesses use content marketing, but the question is whether they are using it effectively to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message. It gets complicated, quick.

Understanding the basics will give you a leg up in your strategy building efforts, and will help you improve your bottom line with tangible benefits that can be included in your next quarterly review.

Steptap creates engaging how-to content that shows prospects how to use your products for a solution they want to solve right now.
Visit http://steptap.com to create your own free account right now.

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot With Steptap Product How-Tos

Product How-Tos Attract Prospects Ready to Commit

Here is a tale of two customers. For the sake of example, let’s pick a cool product; a personal drone. Naturally, both shoppers consult the internet for information.

Customer A visits a site with reviews of drones. Following that, she reads some blog entries from current drone owners.

Customer B types the following into a search bar: “How do I shoot videos with a drone and watch them on my phone in realtime?” Man making online shopping purchase on laptop with credit card

Who Is Ready to Buy?

Steptap creates product how-tos that show prospects how to use your products. These product instructions attract customers who are ready to purchase.

Target Every Stage of the Buying Cycle

Smart content strategies include pieces designed for every stage of the buying cycle. Does your plan include product how-tos that target prospects ready to commit?

Create Quality Content And Forget About Google Algorithms

Focus On Your Customer First

If your business regularly publishes helpful, relevant content, you will please the search engine Gods. More importantly, you will please your customers and attract new ones.

steptap-blog-quality-content-dogYou Can’t Fool Your Prospects

If you “write for the algorithm” – keyword stuffing, doorway pages and, heaven forbid, invisible text – your prospects will see right through it. They will realize in a split second that you’re kissing up to the search engines and couldn’t care less about them.

Legitimate Search Terms, Quality Content

Steptap product instructions help your customers use, assemble, install, or enjoy your products. They contain natural search phrases: “how to install a pop-up sprinkler head” or “how to set up a wireless router.” Add your product name and show your prospects that your company is the go-to for useful information that solves their problem.

Give Them Product How-tos Where They Are Searching

We publish to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, your business blog and anywhere else your online prospects hang out.

Strategically placed product how-tos are a natural SEO winner. But you don’t care about that – because you focus on your customer, not the algorithm.

Top Ten Reasons To Publish Product How-Tos

Are You Using Product How-Tos to Increase Sales?

Hello visitors! Today’s post is short and to-the-point, just like Steptap product how-tos. I have listed the most compelling reasons for using product instructions as part of your overall content marketing strategy.

steptap-blog-tiny-steplist

1. Prospects seeking product instructions are further up the purchase funnel
2. How-tos are an inexpensive way to market online
3. It shows customers that your product solves a problem
4. People love to share and re-post useful how-tos
5. It improves your search rankings
6. It provides additional entry points to your online store
7. It allows you to leverage your existing educational content
8. It tells prospects that you care about their needs
9. How-tos attract unexpected customers
10. Steptap can create and publish search engine optimized product how-tos to multiple platforms

I could write an entire post on each of these – and will do so eventually. If you have successfully used product how-tos in your marketing, please comment on this post and tell me about it.

If You Don’t Teach Them, Your Competitors Will

steptap-blog-nomadWho is teaching your customers?

Check out “The Marketer’s Challenge: How To Teach Customers New Behaviours” from Ian Gordon of the Ivey Business Journal.

New products are proliferating, and research shows that the most successful among them have clearly benefited from customers’ ease in learning the benefits and applications of those products quickly, in finding out how the devices actually work, and in sharing their knowledge with friends.”

Let’s break this down:

  1. Show customers product benefits – benefits speak to a customer need, and solve a problem most customers are researching when they find content that leads to a purchase.
  2. Quickly teach customers how your products work – customers are searching the Internet for solutions and need to solve them “now”. Content that takes too long to ingest or that doesn’t get to the point gets skipped over for more concise solutions.
  3. Make it easy for customers to share their knowledge with friends – helping your customers solve problems compels sharing, and when your solutions are on a sharing platform, it helps get your message out to more people who are looking for them.

The Steptap platform hits all of these key marketing factors head on. We create step-based how-tos, publish them when your product launches, and make sharing irresistible.

Don’t Leave Purchase Outcomes to Chance

“By not effectively teaching customers, manufacturers are letting them learn on their own, at their own pace and with uncertain learning – and purchase – outcomes.” –The Marketer’s Challenge: How To Teach Customers New Behaviours

Let Steptap teach prospects how to use and enjoy your products with custom instructions tailored to your customer. Start a free account right now, or upgrade to a Premium account for just a little bit more and brand your message with your own logo, colors, links and tags.

Online Marketing SEO: Your Content Still Has Legs

Man Holding A Stack Of Money And A ComputerLeverage All That Good Stuff You Already Have

CMOs: Are you using those user’s manuals, FAQs, product how-to videos, webinars, infographics, diagrams, blog posts, email campaigns, and white papers to improve your search engine rankings and drive new sales by engaging your customers with useable content?

Your Existing Custom Content Has Untapped ROI Potential

Most companies have existing content that helps customer learn how to use or enjoy the products or services they sell. This mountain of content represents an often untapped treasure trove of useful, engaging content that improves the customer experience but is often buried in the depths of lost PDFs, user manuals, and outdated customer updates.

Steptap represents an opportunity to leverage your existing content as part of your online content marketing and SEO strategy.

Business marketers can easily turn existing content into useful how-to information that satisfies consumer searches for solutions. Savvy businesses are using Steptap to produce how-to instructions in two basic formats:

Direct Instructions: if you have a product that requires instructions, Steptap is a great platform to develop, maintain, and distribute instructions that your customers need to use your product. For instance, instructions on how to program a new garage door remote.

Instructions that are created and posted in Steptap can be shared and distributed in a wide variety of social and online platforms. And while this sometimes represents a challenge for management and future edits, Steptap offers the ability of central management and control, so that no matter how far and wide your instructions have been shared, there is only one place to make updates to ensure everything is current.

Indirect Instructions: if you have a product that is used to perform a secondary task (such as using a shovel to dig a hole), describe how to “dig the hole” to help your customers learn more about how your widget can be used.  This is a great opportunity to pitch your product as the solution to a customer need: “How do I dig a hole?”

Customers are always seeking answers to project-based questions; “How do I create a podcast?”, “How do I make chocolate chip cookies?”, “How do I fix a broken sprinkler head?”

These kinds of customer questions can be answered with expert step-by-step instructions and links to the products or services that can make them possible.

How-to content is one of the most effective kinds of marketing content because it gets you in front of customers with your solution when they are looking for it. Many of the answers to customer questions are already created in your product manuals and user guides, but are locked up out of reach of your potential customers.

“Search engines love quality content, and creating it is
the most effective SEO tactic.”ascend2.com/Benchmark Summary Report

You’ve done the heavy lifting – the content has been created.  And it probably wasn’t cheap. Take advantage of what you already have by turning into useful content in a hot new social sharing platform; Steptap.

Time and Money: Save Both

“It would be great if a repurposing strategy could help people move beyond SEO. If you’re doing a really good job on your site and online in general – if you’re answering questions that people are genuinely asking – you’re positioning yourself to stand out in search. And repurposing content into different formats to supply the answers in a way that will best engage different users just increases your chances of success.” –brafton.com/Repurposing Your Content

Steptap provides the perfect platform for businesses to create, share, and manage useful content that customers are looking for.

Starting on Steptap is free. Business users can pay just a little to upgrade to a Premium or Corporate account that enables additional branding and SEO options for each “steplist”. Steplists are posted live to the web and become available to share, index and post wherever your customers are looking.

Visit http://steptap.com today and start your free account. Have a look around and see the many ways we can help you teach customers how to use and enjoy your products.

Sell Solutions, Not Products

No Strings Attached

The philosophy of “selling a solution” is a popular content marketing strategy topic – for good reason. The value in educational content is that it offers your prospects a solution before even mentioning your product. Who doesn’t appreciate concise “no-strings-attached” instructions?

steptap-blog-wash-car

Sell Solutions, Not Products

Say I am researching auto detailing products and you sell them. What is my first objective? Cleaning my car. If you teach me the best techniques for at-home car detailing, I will sing your praises every time I climb into my sweet ride.

It is also likely that I will share my new tips with my fellow car lovers, both on- and off-line. I may even order your waxes, polishes, tire cleaners and microfiber cloths without ever seeing a traditional advertisement. Nice.

Discover the Value of Product How-Tos

Surprisingly, many companies have yet to discover the value of well-crafted product instructions. At Steptap, we create optimized product how-tos as part of your content marketing strategy – both B2B and B2C. See steptap.com to get started.

A Relationship Is A Beautiful Thing

picture of happy woman kissing computer monitorTeach Your Customers First

“The smart consumer will opt to buy from the company that’s educated him on the issue and presented him with multiple solutions. That company’s selflessness has built trust — and its ability to teach him has bought his loyalty in the future.” http://www.businessinsider.com

Building trust with face-to face customer service is a luxury unavailable to online sellers. Building trust digitally is a whole different ball game.

You’ve got to draw the prospect to your website and start a dialogue with him or her. The conversation blossoms into a relationship and it’s that trusting relationship that wins the customer’s business.

Instructional Content Establishes a Relationship

Teaching your customers to use your products more effectively strengthens the relationship. Steptap creates and publishes compelling, how-to content that connects with your customers.

Acquisition Through Instruction:

Provide custom content that educates
Start a dialogue
Create a relationship
Convert

Visit steptap.com to get started.