Back in April, Rand Fishkin, with is mustache of glory, did a great Whiteboard Friday piece on misconceptions in content marketing (embedded below). What he talks about gets right to the heart of content marketing problems: many people, including very large companies, approach content marketing as a strategy for people to view content and then hop over to purchase your brand’s product or service. Moz’s Whiteboard Friday goes a bit more in-depth about how to track those conversions accurately, however there are a few tips I want to discuss when creating a content marketing strategy.
When editing your content, the first thing you should ask yourself is, “Does this content add any value?” Your content should be more than just a sales pitch. It should be actual content that will benefit the customer and associate value with your company or brand if they find it on your, blog, website, or social channels.
The Content Wheel
The majority of your customers will have several touches with your company or brand before converting through content, so it’s important to add value for the customer with each piece of content. At Right Intel, we picture content creation as an ongoing wheel.
The wheel is based on a company producing relevant and valuable content and then promoting that content. With each piece produced, you begin to grow your brand introductions as great content will create more follows, leading to more brand interactions. It’s likely a customer will cycle the wheel a number of times before they come out of the wheel as a converted customer. The goal after your conversion should be advocacy in which your new customers start promoting your content as advocates. Ultimately, for the wheel to work, you need to keep your content up-to-date, relevant to your prospective customer, and, most importantly, constant in your publishing.
Content Written For the Customer Journey
The second point is to understand what content to produce. It’s crucial to have a framework in place to measure your customers’ journeys (See ideas on Performance Frameworks). To make sure that your content is producing both authority as well as getting to a point where the person consuming your content will consider converting, you need to create your content to focus on that same journey. As you increase the amount of content you push to your perspective customers you can naturally push them through a sales funnel with each touch.
“The Content Wheel” can keep your content strategy in perspective. Measuring the amount of times a customer circles the wheel will ultimately help you understand and forecast your content marketing strategy. Keep pushing valuable and consistent content to gain influence in your industry. Ultimately you will have the goal to increase customer interactions that push the customer through your sales funnel to conversion and advocacy.