How do you start Content Marketing for your business?
Have you ever got frustrated not finding information on the internet you’re searching for? I guess you do.
So what did you do? May be used some other keywords or sentence to find the information or close the process altogether.
Whichever road you followed, the same thing happens to most of us, and we end up being frustrated and consumed poor quality information on the internet.
Now, what about the feelings when you finally found the information on the topic that you were looking for? Obviously, you become happy and end up trusting the provider, right!
The two scenery mentioned above is similar to your customers. They are looking for information but end up consuming mediocre information that is readily available on the internet. Here, it's the perfect void of information where you can be a provider and become a trustable, authoritative, known business brand in your industry.
Believe it or not, people trust information from a reputed business like yours than any other third party providers. Once your information becomes a valuable asset to your readers, they trust you and turn into a loyal customer and promoter of your brand.
Once you decide to help your clients with the required information, then only the term “Content Marketing” comes into the picture. It is a long term strategic approach to provide information to your audience based on relevance, time and stages of the buyer journey to drive profitable customer actions.
The content can take various formats based on user interest, the medium of consuming and stages in the buyer’s journey. Text format was the first and foremost, but advancing technologies carry forwarded appealing formats such as image, videos, animation in the present time.
The benefits are immense. It’s the most cost affecting marketing tactics in digital as well as tradition advertising world. The return from the marketing campaigns can be divided into two parts, quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative is the one which can be measured while qualitative can’t be measured in numbers.
Though we can measure certain metrics like page views, video views, click-through rates in the real-time, but we can’t measure the actual impact it does in the sales.
For example, we can measure the sales if it comes directly from blog page’s sign up forms, but we can’t measure the sell if someone bought the products with a reference who once read the blog post from your website.
So, the actual impact is always bigger than what can be measured in numbers. If you’re curious till now and want to know more, stay tuned, I’m going to discuss step by step approach to content marketing for your brand.
It’s a long term approach. Unlike social media or Google ads, the result is not instantaneous, but its effects last longer. It’s possible to acquire new client from a single blog post after 4-5 years of its published, but other marketing tactics won’t provide that. The secret behind the success is the formation of solid goals based on your business and customer needs.
Your customers have lots of pain points in their life, and your products or services can offer solutions to them. With content marketing, you push the person’s pain points, agitate the pain and provide a suitable solution to their problem.
Today’s market is buyer-driven, which means a customer can choose whatever they like from multiple options. They research a lot before deciding to buy anything. They just want the best at a given price which is the reason that the best-reviewed product on Amazon sells multiple times. They need high-quality information to decide what best for themselves.
Unlike tradition marketing, it’s an inbound tactic. It means the customer comes to the brand in search of a solution to their problem, whereas in traditional outbound marketing businesses needed to reach customers via different channels. Owing to the fact that customer approach businesses in-search of solutions, makes it ideal to attract sales qualified leads. All you have to do is to supply quality relevance information at the right time and right place.
Your decision to not supply quality information is already harming your business but staying in the same state can further damage your reputation as a quality brand. This is the best time to become a bridge between the customers and information where you become the helper solving the customer problems.
Let’s dig down how do you start content marketing for your business?
The paramount aspect to consider is the goals that you aim to accomplish. Whether you want to nurture existing customers or acquire new for the latest products, deciding the goals help measure performance and ways of improving the current efforts.
Keep in mind, it’s a part of the overall marketing of the business, so plan the ways that it complements others not to substitute. It should help to reach business goals as a whole.
In the beginning, it’s okay to not focus completely perfecting the goal. As you continue the efforts you’ll get enough idea to make necessary changes.
Once you make goals, it’s time to decide how much you want to spend on it. It’s advisable to fix budget based on your goals and resources available at your hand.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the main factors in getting ROI (Return on Investment) from content marketing. However, SEO takes a considerable amount of time to show the result on the SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page). So, it’s recommended to supplement SEO with social media and Google ads for faster results.
Take consideration of these factors along with content creation, while deciding your budget.
The strategy will be based on the pain points of the customers. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can solve their problem. However, it’s not easy to know about audience readily. You need to adopt different ways of gathering data from your customers.
Social media sites such as Quora, Reddit, Medium offers interfaces where people ask and discuss various topics. Facebook groups, forums are also interactive ways to know about audience needs. You can call previous customers or conduct a survey to better understand them.
Once you come across the idea of different pain points of audience, it’s time to formulate a strategy that works best for them. Your strategy should involve the content delivery methods, different ways of promotion, offers, discount and various touchpoints such as social media and email marketing.
As it says “Content is the king”, so it is. Content creation takes a lot of time and effort, and deciding what format of content your audience consume, and where is paramount. Your content can take the form of text, graphics, animation and videos.
The rise of video content is indeed skyrocketing, but it doesn’t mean that people started to relinquish text-based information. In fact, text-based information is quicker to consume based on reading speed, whereas video format consumes more time.
Considering various factors in mind, choose a format that can be a single type or mixture of multiple. It’s best to start with the text. It enhances SEO ranking and suitable to convert to other formats as required.
Now it’s time to decide whether you want to outsource content creation or want to create in house. Both ways have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, outsourcing content is cost-effective than in-house creation, where you need to hire content writer, graphic designer and marketer separately.
All your audiences are not in the same stage of the buyer journey. Some might have recently discovered your brand, whereas others might be in the final stage of buying the product or services. So, it’ll blunder to forward the same information to everyone.
The people who have recently found your business must be interested in knowing more about their problems, solutions and the company. Whereas, people in the final decision stage would be interested in products, discounts, sales, average order.
The audience follows a buyer journey from knowing about the problem to the final purchase. This journey is divided into three parts, namely awareness, consideration and decision stage. To get a better return on your efforts it’s mandatory to deliver relevant content to the right people at the right time in their buying journey. This process is called content mapping.
For example, people in the awareness stage would require blog post, articles, infographics, whereas in consideration stage eBooks, newsletter, and long-form articles with tailored keywords would be beneficial. In the decision stage, where the audience decides to convert into customer require something persuasive like customer testimonials, case studies, special offers to complete their buying cycle.
Lead generation is the method of acquiring contact information from the audience that will be used to communicate further. Here, it’s the email address that being exchange in return of something from the business. The audience may provide an email address to download an eBook or subscribe to your newsletter or wanted to get regular updates from the company.
Whatever the reason, the email address is the contact point to your audience that would be used to convert them into valuable customers. Do remember, sometimes people enter fake id, which can be rectified using double verification of email.
The quality lead comes with quality content. Your audience would be willing to offer their contact information only when they find your information valuable. If you fail to provide high-quality information, chances are they would switch over to other sites for information.
Wow, you got their email address! Now what?
Now is the time to nurture your leads. Nurturing the lead means providing relevant information from time to time via email.
Once the audience exchange email address, it shows that they are quite interested in your solution and brand. It’s only the time that is separating your audience to become customers and, you can use this time to qualify them for sales by providing information whenever they required.
Whenever an audience gets proper unbiased information, they start to trust, which becomes the foundation for creating successful relationships with customers.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
The final stage of the buyer journey is the conversion of an audience to customers. In many organizations, products or services are complex, which need human interaction to sale. It’s where the sales team comes into the picture.
The leads which are ready to buy are called Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). These leads are handed over to the sales team for further interaction via call or in-person.
Boom! You’ve finally made the sale.
Content marketing is a long terms approach which not only cost-effective but helps in creating a long-lasting relationship with the customers. Content creation is the main concern of many organizations in this marketing, but once you create quality content, it’ll provide you, loyal customers, for long years to come.
A good practice of this marketing is to combine it with other digital marketing aspects such as social media and search engine marketing for yielding better results.
If you’re finding hard times preparing all this together, we can help you.
Maybe it's planning, strategising or creating; our team at BrandStell are ready to help you provide a seamless experience to your audience with all content marketing services.