Content marketing no longer needs much defending. Since the early 2000’s, modern content marketing strategies have been demonstrating impressive ROI. With costs at 62% less than traditional marketing while generating 3 times as many leads, it comes as little surprise that content marketing has only increased in popularity. The result? Currently over 90% of organizations use content marketing in their marketing efforts (Demand Metric).
Content marketing has proven to be a powerful way organizations can educate their buyers, convert website traffic into leads, offer value and start conversations with prospects. But not ALL content is GOOD content. In order to ensure your content is effective you need to create a content strategy that maintains a holistic view of your content creation within the greater context of your lead generation efforts. Following the steps below will ensure the content you create is relevant, valuable, and targeted to connect with the right people, at the right time, and to convert leads into customers and brand advocates.
The first step is to establish your goals for your content and organize a schedule to keep yourself on track. Once your goals are established, asses what you will need to reach those goals. How often will you need to publish? How many contributors will you need? What content management systems (CMS) will you use to stay organized? Next, make one centralized document to contain your entire content map. A spreadsheet with separate pages for each of the following categories will help you stay organized and focused: Goals, buyer personas, future content titles and ideas, a list of thought leaders, a list of examples of your ideal content, your publishing schedule, relevent keywords.
Once your goals are set and you have established what you want to accomplish, your next step is to identify your target audience or buyer persona. If you do not already have buyer personas you can easily make them following this guide. Make sure to do specific research into the type of content your buyer personas usually seek out. You can do this by checking their social media feeds and doing research on the thought leaders they follow. Pay attention to the language and topics used in the content they usually engage with and speak to them using their language.
3. Create Relevant Content That is Valuable to Your Readers
Next step is to consistently develop content and stick to your plan. Make sure to keep the following points in mind when you put pen to paper.
- Your first goal should be to educate your prospects, the second can be to generate awareness of your brand (stay true to that order of priorities).
- Pay attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips and tricks but don’t spam your content with keywords or repetitive information.
- Vary the type of content you create. Write blogs, ebooks, infographics, videos, and whitepapers. Have a variety but focus on whatever content you see is resonating best with your audience.
- Create content for the different stages of your buyer’s journey (Awareness, consideration, decision) so no matter where your prospects are in their lifecycle, they can find answers to their questions and have valuable interactions with your company.
- Use gated content (content that requires a form submission and download) to capture your web traffics email addresses, but make sure your content offers enough value that prospects are willing to give you their personal information.
Though passive inbound traffic is great side benefit of creating content, the only way to tap into the full potential of your content is through promotion. Create email campaigns, workflows and sequences that will get your most relevant content in front of prospects that might not otherwise stumble on your website. Your content-focused emails should be short, direct, helpful, with clear links to your content and a short explanation as to why they should find the information relevant. After sharing content use call campaigns to follow up with prospects to gauge their interest, and find out in real-time what messaging is resonating. Use your prospect’s feedback to guide your next round of content creation and address their pushback head on. Segment your prospects to ensure you only send highly relevant content that will resonate with your audience.
Following the above content strategy will ensure you have varied content, targeted for your specific buyer personas at each stage of their buyer journey, that is constantly optimized and reaches your audience at the right time.
Now that you are set to build a successful content marketing strategy, keep a pulse on the strenght of your content and email marketing efforts with our quick survey below!