Why Is A Content Strategy Important?
Digital content can somewhat go under the radar. However, put quite simply, without it, no companies would make money & others wouldn’t exist. Content represents the voice of your brand & holds the key to growth & survival. Through a content strategy, we all grow organisations using website content on one digital platform or another. If you're aiming to generate bundles of sustainable, long-term traffic without actually dipping into your funds, I’d always recommend content marketing.
"Last year, the demand for creative written content increased by 83%"
It’s simple really, if you create engaging & rich creative content strategy that’s tailored to your target audience & buyer persona’s needs. Not only will you rank higher than other brands on search engines like Google through the benefits of SEO, but you'll also build an unbreakable rapport with your audience. To align with the correct track when distributing good content, you’ll need an intricate content strategy from the start. There’s no point in creating content that has no effect on sales.
I guess the analogy is. What’s the point of rehearsing a drama production if nobody is going to show up to your opening night? Content marketing can be used for an abundance of reasons and it’s time we started to have respect for that. Primarily, businesses use content to generate leads, establish credibility, enhance brand awareness and ultimately, to gain new clients. But the burning question remains. How do social media content & website design turn rich engagement into a rich cashflow?
“At the end of the day, although content is king, engagement is queen and the lady rules the house”
Through marketing platforms like HubSpot, you have the ideal platform to build content AROUND your product, event or campaign, all built into one centralised ‘Hub’. You can create good content to generate strong sales from the rest of your inbound marketing efforts. Some may overlap with the inbound marketing strategy you are already plotting to generate traffic, whereas others will be totally new. If you see an influx of website traffic but you’re unsure how to transform visitors into potential customers, understanding the conversion funnel is your starting point.
Divided into three stages (awareness, consideration & decision) the top of the funnel is when a potential customer notices your brand design but they still need answers & insight. This is where stage two comes in. The middle phase is the consideration stage, where the buyer defines their problem & researches options to solve it. Then comes the decision where the buyer chooses their solution. You’ll need to educate the customer, switching the perspective to what it would be like if they became their customer.
Enticing campaigns include anything from inbound consultations, coupons, pricing & marketing quotes. Once the conversion funnel is understood, it’s easier for you to adjust your content strategy accordingly to drive sales through the benefits of SEO. Journey maps are an equally fantastic resource, taking you through a buying process further than the conversion funnel. Once you've switched your mindset to your customers, you’re able to do this effectively, adjusting your content based on their viewpoints through a marketing funnel.
Track leads and conversions
One of the main reasons why your content strategy isn’t quite relevant will have everything to do with your tracking of business analytics like leads & conversations. When the majority of the customer journey is over the internet, it’s easy to track behaviours. 67% of consumers will turn to Google whilst in the search engine marketing research stage, where as 53% of B2B buyers turn to media in their assessment of various tools & technologies. 66% of smartphone users turn to their devices to advertise on Facebook or look up something they saw in a TV. When it's time for social media advertisement, promote diverse leads & put it to the test. Social media is the perfect place to start because you’ve got so many platforms to experiment with. Use paid promotions to target tailored audiences. Begin with a hypothesis. What type of content strategy will trigger the highest conversations? Each campaign is different so you’ll need to adjust your social marketing around your business model & industry. Remember, we’re focusing on relevancy of what your buyer persona enjoys. Base the customer's journey around this and only this.
Now that you’ve ascertained what your audience likes, dislikes & engages with, you can now develop a buyer persona to improve conversion rates. Similar to a customer map, a buyer persona offers far more detail. It's a semi-fictional representation of your typical customer based on demographics, psychographics & statistical data, you’ll be able to base a content strategy around a product, event or campaign.
Consider industry, price point & buying process. Other strategies around your buyer persona includes infographics, blogging, case studies and video content. The best type of content include personal journeys and stories. Be brave with your approach, separate yourself from your competition by (oddly) not even focusing on your competition. Being yourself and representing what your brand is all about is key.
Keep up with the latest news and trends
To remain relevant, you’ll need to keep your finger on the metaphorical content trigger, ready to pounce with any ‘reactional’ content. On every digital platform, prepare for every key date within the marketing calendar year, no matter how silly 'national dog day' may seem, you'll thank me for it. You need to understand what’s happening nationally, globally & locally within your industry. Don't miss a beat. Analyse your competition. Did someone beat you to something? Who are they? What did they do well? Are they link building? Subscribe to competitor’s industry newsletters to see how they are thriving.
Use content to get access to your buyer personas
Blog posts aren’t great for selling products. People reading them aren’t in the mindset of someone who is purchasing something. Social media & YouTube are the same. The strategy is to use your content on other channels to get attention (traffic) & place this traffic onto an email list. However, selling a storyline with bundles of personality can 'soft sell' your product/event/brand with subtle references. This formula is crucial to any post.
Selling through social media involves posting, tweeting, liking & consistency. Creating a visually impactful storyboard and brand voice that your audience can engage with is imperative to the success of any brand. Where does the sales come in? Following, following following. Think about it, you're more likely to find a customer knocking on your social media window at 1am, asking for more information on a product if you have 5000 followers than if you have 500 right? This is an opportunity to build rapport with a customer & create word of mouth about customer service. Plus, if you reach the golden 10,000 mark on Instagram (for example) features such as 'swipe up' activate, allowing you to link to your website offers and create more revenue. Some media sites such as Facebook even allow you to integrate your email list with your profile, allowing followers to sign up to the social networking site. Through reaching certain checkpoints by building your following, once desperate hopes of transforming a window shopper into a shopaholic increase through the law of averages.
I love blogging, I’ve seen how powerful it can be and because I’m so passionate about my business, the words seem to effortlessly fly off my keyboard onto the screen. Providing you're mindful of your angle and you've considered what it actually is that you want your readers to think/feel, words should effortlessly fly off your finger tips onto the page. Don't be afraid to be thought provoking and emotional with your content. Remember, your job is to inform, entertain and engage. The best part is, blog posts often act to a call to action. This is where your 'lead magnet' like offer can boost the growth of your email list.
Monitor Trends & Reflect in Content
Monitoring trends is a great idea. Being first to share your news to social media listeners will pay off in terms of following and engagement. How do you keep up to date without hiding in a bush/losing your sanity? Twitter is the best answer (it is so flexible that you’re always in control)
If you’re not familiar with webinars, let me give you a quick brief. It’s essentially a video conference. Your audience can join the call, set a time & perform a live presentation. Typically, the whole point is to teach your audience about an idea or topic. Capturing their attention from 40 mins to 2 hours is something that relies on engaging content. To begin, you’ll need to create introductory slides that attract viewers. Whilst you may have super fans on the webinar, there will also be some people whom you should introduce yourself to. This reinforces that you are leading the call. They should be listening to you. Then, you should move into the core content (the meat of the presentation).
One of the reasons your content might not bring you any sales is because it doesn't tie into what you’re selling. For example, you could sell homeware & publish content like “5 ways to build a spring home” Readers will naturally be drawn to a topic like that. Does that subject teach them anything about buying homeware? No. It’s simply an aspirational & informative piece. A voice of authority & something you can easily create yourself. If you create a post reviewing your own product, readers will assume it's biased. Instead, you’ll need to find bloggers, freelance writers & journalists who are willing to review your services. Build a list of potential sites & writers who might review your product. Expect lots of rejection. Ultimately, one person WILL make the difference eventually.
With HubSpot, everything from this blog is available to be utilised from one space. You can create and nurture leads, monitor contacts, optimise content & create blogs. Viewing the progression of your marketing campaigns is what makes HubSpot the best marketing platform out there currently. (especially for Inbound Marketing) It simply takes your customer on a journey of awareness, consideration and decision, with enough relevant information for them to make an educated decision on whether an event or product is right for them.
So, there you have it; the reasons why content is the most effective marketing tool you have at your disposal, provided it is used to generate traffic, convert sales, leverage conversion funnels & ultimately, create customer journeys. Once you establish what brings you success throughout the seasons, you'll see a significant impact on statistics. The best part? You can start this process whenever you want.