Boost web traffic and revenues with these essentials tips.
Why is it that the most successful businesses also have great content marketing strategies? As Amanda Michel, head of social media for The Guardian, said in a 2014 report, “A lot of the institutions that are doing well are marketing themselves well.”
It’s time to face the facts:
86 percent of business-to-consumer marketers use inbound marketing
Adopting an inbound marketing strategy can double the rate of your website conversions
Convinced of the unparalleled value of content marketing? We’re glad to hear it! Then it’s time to learn the mantra of successful content marketers: Plan, Create, Adapt, Promote and Recycle. Go on. Say it out loud. No one will judge you.
Don’t go just posting random content now that you’ve decided to use content marketing as part of your inbound marketing strategy. First, you have to do your homework:
- Create detailed buyer personas.
- Consider not only content topics that your buyers might be interested in, but the format of said content as well. This means doing some market research and getting inside the heads of your consumers. Business-to-business buyers tend to value research reports and studies over other forms of content. Individual consumers, on the other hand, may prefer blog posts, infographics and white papers.
- Track your metrics. Update buyer personas and your content marketing strategy regularly.
The next step is to create content for every step of the buyer journey. If you’re unfamiliar with the buyer journey, it’s not a magical quest to return the one ring to rule them all back to the fires from whence it came, but something even more awesome — the transition from a lead into a consumer.
The stages of the buyer journey are as follows:
Each stage calls for unique content tailored to meet the needs, concerns and interests of consumers in that stage. Focusing on content for the awareness stage, but neglecting the needs of consumers in the evaluation stage could cause your potential buyers to go elsewhere to satisfy their piqued interest.
Content for the awareness stage should maintain a focus on promoting your brand. Write blogs, articles and whitepapers, and publish educational infographics. Make your consumer painfully aware of the giant hole in their heart that can only be filled with your product or service. (Okay, we’re joking, but only sort of.)
Content for the evaluation stage focuses on convincing the buyer that your brand is superior to other brands offering the same or similar product. Publish case studies, webinars and informative videos.
Content for the purchase stage should push your buyer through to that finish line. Offer free trials, instructional guides and live demonstrations.
There is absolutely no reason your content idea should only be delivered in one form. A blog with a few statistics can easily be transformed into an infographic, which can turn into a short animated video. Record a podcast on the same topic, make a PowerPoint presentation and write an e-book. Don’t waste your valuable time generating topic ideas for one deliverable alone.
Adapting your content also means ensuring that content is accessible from as many devices as possible. If your website looks great on a PC, but is inaccessible from a mobile phone, you’re about to be almost as outdated as print. Adapt your content to mobiles, tablets and e-readers to ensure you’re never inaccessible.
It’s time to get social media savvy. Know which channels can best reach your target audience. If you’re using social media, is your target audience a Tweeter? How about the Pinterest type? On what avenue of the World Wide Web are they most likely to lurk in search of entertainment or solutions to problems? Do your research to learn about which social networks to use, and which type of content is most popular on each. Then, generate a plan for each network to avoid using the same old stuff on all of them.
Overcome your hang-up about recycling old content. The best content marketers do it all the time. Some topics never really die and can be of perpetual interest to consumers. If you published an infographic six months ago, share it again. A blog post from last year about your industry’s possible future might still have relevance today.
These five tricks are the essentials of any good content marketing strategy. By balancing each of these steps, you can not only generate content that snags your audience, but also convert more leads into buyers without breaking a sweat.
So don’t be shy. Say it with us: Plan, Create, Adapt, Promote and Recycle.