As a digital marketing agency, we are often asked by business owners if content truly has the power to generate new business opportunities. The answer is yes! The secret is having a goal-oriented content marketing strategy.
First, it is important to answer the common question of what is content marketing? Content marketing is a strategic approach to leverage your marketing materials to generate new leads, attract more prospects, and convert actual customers.
When you follow a deliberate approach to strategize and create content, you increase the effectiveness of the content that you present to your target audience.
What Forms of Content Should You Use in Content Marketing?
The content that you emphasize in the content marketing strategy will depend on your industry, target audience, B2B or B2C approach, and other factors.
The key is understanding which pieces of content will convey the value of your product or service to your audience. Consider these fundamental elements of content marketing:
- Website content such as your homepage, landing pages, product or service pages, and blogs. (Depending on your target audience and budget, you may also consider videos, infographics, eBooks, case studies, and client testimonials as part of your content marketing strategy.)
- Social media content on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Email in the form of email campaigns and newsletters.
Moving beyond digital content, you can also leverage your content through traditional methods such as collateral, flyers, brochures, physical books, printouts, and other forms of physical media.
Where Does Content Fit in Your Marketing Approach?
Creating quality content is essential. However, the content cannot stand alone on an island to be effective. Content marketing is incomplete unless it fits within a strategy to reach your audience and compel them to take action.
The strategy is mapping the buyer’s journey to understand which pieces of content will reach your audience with the right message at the right time.
-- Awareness: At this stage of the buyer’s journey, your audience is just becoming aware of a problem. They are not sure what product or solution they need, but they are searching for potential options. You need to strategize content that reaches this segment of your audience to make an introduction and bring them into the fold.
-- Consideration: Now your audience is considering their options to solve their problem, which they have put a name to. You want to serve them with content that provides more information about the value of your product or solution to help them solve the problem. This will help the individual become a decision-maker.
-- Decision: Your audience is close to deciding whether to use your product or solution to solve their problem, but they want to make sure they are making the best decision. You need to provide hard data and statistics in the form of reassuring blogs, testimonials, case studies, or other content that compels your audience to take the action you are seeking.
Identify Your Best CTAs and Channels for Distribution
At this point, you should have a firm understanding that a comprehensive content marketing strategy is more than just content. You should also understand that content marketing is founded in the practice of appreciating the journey that prospects and customers take when deciding to make a purchase.
You also know that you should have a goal in mind of advancing your target audience through the buyer’s journey to make a decision. Now, how are you going to reach your goal?
1. Your Call to Action. The Call to Action (CTA) is the action you are asking your audience to take after engaging with your content. You must get this right for the audience to take action.
If you are talking to a prospect at the Awareness stage, you do not want to include a CTA asking your candidate to download an eBook with technical information about your product or service. That would be an instant turn off too early in the buyer’s journey. Instead, you would want to close the blog with a low-barrier CTA asking the prospect to join your mailing list, get a coupon, or share the post on social media.
Conversely, if you are talking to a prospect at the Decision phase, you would want to move the reader to an eBook to get more technical information about your product or service. Or, include a CTA to download a case study on current clients who have successfully used your offering.
2. Your Distribution Channel. The other essential element to reach your goal is knowing which distribution channels provide the best results — some experts have even gone so far to say that “if content is king, distribution is queen.” You cannot get your audience to take action if they are unaware that you exist or cannot find your content. Distribute. Distribute. Distribute.
It is important to research where your audience is so that you find the right balance of distributing your content through your website, social media, email, trade publications, or other sources relative to your industry.
You might also find that a significant portion of your audience is offline and you need to invest in traditional print materials to distribute at trade shows, events, or business meetings.
Use the Buyer’s Journey to Be Goal-Driven
When you map the buyer’s journey of your target audience, you will have the clarity to strategize content for each stage of Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Following the map will help you stay focused on investing in the best content that delivers the right message at the right time to your audience. This process will also help you identify areas where your company can invest in content that will advance prospects and customers through the buyer’s journey.
-- Awareness: If you are challenged to get your name in front of your target audience, then you can strategize content such as blogs, social media, or email to create more awareness of your company, product, or service. Try using CTAs to get them to subscribe to learn more about you.
-- Consideration: Perhaps your audience continually phases out at the Consideration stage because you are not clearly conveying the value of your product or service. A series of blogs, an eBook, or other content could be valuable to identify how your offering addresses the key pain points experienced by your audience. Try using CTAs that encourage them to learn more such as an ebook or whitepaper.
-- Decision: If your team is challenged to close the deal of advancing your prospect to a decision of using your product or service, you need to invest in data-driven content that captures the results of using your company to solve your audience’s problem. Include CTAs that are relevant for a customer that’s ready to buy (product/service pages and contact).
How Does Marketing Refresh Help Businesses Execute a Content Marketing Strategy?
Marketing Refresh helps business owners understand the value of content marketing to fuel their business. We then collaborate to create a content marketing strategy that gives us a roadmap to (a) produce content that advances your target customer through the buyer’s journey and (b) distribute the content to reach your audience.
My role as a copywriter for Marketing Refresh is to execute the content marketing strategy by writing compelling copy that causes your audience to take action such as buying a product, joining your email list, requesting a demo of your service, or completing a form.
When your audience is compelled to take action, that’s when you see the power of strategic content marketing. Reach out to our team today to learn how we can work together to develop a content marketing strategy that creates new business opportunities for your company.