Let’s start with a thorough understanding of what we mean when we say content. You see, most businesses miss out on a lot of opportunities because their vision for content marketing is too small. As a result, they’re churning out content but not getting great results. And here’s why: content in and of itself isn’t what drives traffic and sales. Your content needs to be “perfect.” Now, what do we mean by that? Perfect content isn’t about you, your brand, or your objectives. It’s about delivering the right information to your prospects at exactly the right point in the customer journey.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
For instance, for the software company Freshbooks, this web page represents perfect content marketing for a prospect who needs pricing information to make an informed buying decision.
Content is any information that helps you keep the funnel full.
The big misconception is that content marketing is blogging.
While blogs are a major component of content marketing, they’re only a part of the bigger picture. In fact, in most cases, a blog is not the most lucrative form of content marketing.
But we’ll come back to that. First, let’s get clear on the six characteristics of perfect content marketing and why it’s essential that you get started.
(NOTE: At the end of this chapter, you’ll get access to a tool we use to make perfect content planning a breeze.)
Perfect Content Marketing is Full Funnel
I know this is Marketing 101 stuff but stick with me for just a second before I get into the more advanced content marketing concepts we’ll be covering. For an ice-cold prospect to become a customer, they will need to travel through three stages:
The 3 stages all prospects go through on their way to becoming a customer
1. Awareness – The prospect must first become aware that there is a problem and that YOU or your organization have a solution for it. (This is where your blog excels.)
2. Evaluation – Those who move through the Awareness Stage must now evaluate the various choices available to them, including your competitor’s solutions and, of course, take no action at all to solve the problem.
3. Conversion – Those that move through the Evaluation Stage are now at the moment of truth—purchase. At DigitalMarketer, our goal at this stage is to convert leads into frequent and high-ticket buyers.
Content Marketing Funnels
A cold prospect cannot evaluate your solution until they are first aware of the problem and your solution. And conversion is impossible until the prospect has first evaluated the possible courses of action. To move a prospect through a marketing funnel, you need to give them content specifically designed to satisfy their needs at each of the three stages.
In other words…
• content at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel TOFU, MOFU and BOFU that facilitates awareness, evaluation and conversion.
Blogs are fantastic facilitators of awareness, but they do a poor job of facilitating evaluation and conversion. And, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, evaluation and conversion are super critical to your business.
We will discuss TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU in our next blog, till then bye bye keep Reading
Best Books For Content Marketing
1. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
Author: Joe Pulizzi
Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn that publishing is the new marketing. The author is one of the world’s leading experts on content marketing. He takes you on a step-by-step process of developing content that informs and entertains. He shows how to position your company as a trusted expert in your industry, propelling your brand with increased sales.
This book helps you determine what your content niche should be to attract and retain customers, how to develop your content marketing mission statement, how to grow your audience, how to measure the performance of your content, and how to increase your content marketing budget. The book provides in-depth case studies of how John Deere, LEGO, and Coca-Cola.
2. Conversation Marketing: How to Be Relevant and Engage Your Customer by Speaking Human
Author: Kevin Lund
Why should you read this book? Did you know that each of us sees more than 5,000 marketing messages every day? Companies are trying to find new ways to cut through the noise and reach their target audience. In this book, you’ll learn why it is critical that your brand moves beyond service and price and connect with the hearts (not just the minds) of your audience.
The author discusses how today’s customers want a conversation with your brand before they act. This book will show you how to earn your audience’s attention, how to provide value at every touch point, how to tell a memorable story, how to listen (not sell) and change your tone to get better results. The author outlines the rules brands should follow to increase sales and establish a lifelong connection with their customers.
3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
Author: Ann Handley
Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll how to create content that makes your business thrive. The authors provide a guide to attracting and retaining customers with digital communication. The secret? It starts with great writing.
If you have a website, if you are on social media, you are in marketing. That means that we are all writers and publishers. In a world with click-bait headlines and Instagram feeds with gifs and videos, should you focus on writing? The author argues that our words are today’s currency. They are who we are. Our writing can make us look smart or stupid. Our writing can make us fun, competent, and trustworthy. It also has the potential to make us look boring.
In this book, you’ll learn how to write better, how to give your audience the gift of a great story, best practices for creating trustworthy content steeped in the rules of journalism, and the content tools to get the job done.
4. They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer
Author: Marcus Sheridan
Why should you read this book? In this book, you’ll learn that you should stop selling and start answering questions to get results. The author provides a revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing and how to connect with today’s digital consumer.
The author explains how the traditional sales funnel is no longer effective. Instead, brands should focus on the questions and problems that buyers have and address them honestly and as thoroughly as possible. If you want to the top of the search results, your content strategy should answer the questions that thousands of potential buyers have.
The author discussed how he turned his struggling pool company into one of the largest pool installers in the United States. This book has become a must-have resource for organizations looking for a fresh and proven approach to marketing and sales that generates more traffic, leads, and sales.