Curious about content marketing? Wanna learn a few tips? Welcome to content marketing 101.
Although blog posts, social posts, and website pages are essential aspects of content marketing, there’s actually much more to creating a successful content marketing campaign.
So if you’re involved in digital marketing (or plan on being), you’ll need to develop a solid understanding of just exactly what’s involved in creating a successful content marketing strategy.
Keep reading, we’ll go over a few essential tips when it comes to content marketing.
Understanding Sales Funnels
Essentially, a sales funnel is used to describe a buyer’s journey throughout the decision-making process. It has three key phases, which are the awareness stage, the evaluation stage, and the final purchase phase.
For anyone involved in either sales or marketing, knowing and understanding how a sales funnel works is crucial because it will help them understand what their potential customers like and don’t like.
In some respects, content marketing is considered as outreach, which would place it at the top of the sales funnel, in the awareness stage. In other words, creating and publishing content is generally used to help build awareness, not make sales.
Regardless, all content strategists need to always be thinking of their campaigns as having 3 distinct stages:
- Awareness – attracting new customers, building trust, etc.
- Consideration – helping potential customers understand their options, convincing them to buy
- Purchase – final stage that includes making a sale and converting prospects into customers
Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to consider a fourth stage of content marketing as the “delight” or retention phase, where you’ll work to establish brand loyalty and keep your customers coming back for more.
Because it is the inital stage of content marketing, the awareness phase is often considered as the most important. That’s because this is where people get to know your brand. It’s where you’ll work to build trust.
However, a good content marketer will understand how to engage customers throughout every step of the journey to, ideally, keep them cycling through the funnel over and over again.
Content Needs To Be Engaging To Be King
All successful content marketing strategies have one thing in common; they need to be engaging to their audience according to every step of the buyer’s journey.
Therefore, you’ll need to learn how to twist, or spin your content to make it effective at accommodating the needs of your potential buyers, at every step of their decision making process.
In turn, this allows your customers to use that information to move naturally towards the next step of their decision making process, which is essentially, the next stage of your sales funnel.
Another major key to a good content marketing 101 strategy is your analytics, which allows you to monitor, track, and report on your content’s numbers. These statistics are needed in order to help you continuously fine-tune your strategy, always working toward better conversion rates.
It might seem tedious, but continuously testing and tracking how well you’re doing is the only way to get an accurate idea of your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and interests.
Let’s go over a few of the questions that you should always be asking yourself when creating a marketing plan:
- What can be done to improve and refine my content?
- Which social channels are performing the best?
- Are there any tools or apps that can be used to improve my content?
- Is your content relevant and informative to your audience?
- Does your content provide value?
Make A Plan And Stick To It!
Having an actual plan written down, either in a word document or on a calendar is vital to any successful content marketing strategy.
Therefore, just as traditional publications use an editorial calendar, content marketers should always have a clearly outline content calendar to help them through their marketing strategy over a given timeframe.
I recommend using a calendar, which makes it easier to mark out times and dates where you can base your content on prominent events like holidays or major events.
Finally, you should also use your content calendar to not only plan out what to post, but where you’ll post it.
Remember that content marketing 101 isn’t just about blogging or posting on social media, it’s about marketing your content everywhere. Therefore, you’ll want to use any and all platforms or services that will allow you to build through outreach, including guest posting and setting time aside for a bit of PR.
Always consider all distribution channels that might vibe well with your sales funnel, strategy, and timeline.
Keep It Fresh!
Old content, new content, it doesn’t matter. As long as it’s performing well. But the important thing is to always keep a fresh mindset, continuously refine, and don’t be scared to go back and re-purpose old content.
Need help building a content strategy for your small business or company? Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d love to help you grow!