What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the ongoing process of creating informative, exciting and entertaining digital content to answer your audience’s specific questions. The goal of content marketing is to introduce new users to your brand in a helpful manner and to engage your current followers. Successful content marketing balances promotion, awareness and information to stay top-of-mind and earn your audience’s trust.
What is the goal of content marketing and why is it important? Learn from Freddy and Gill as they discuss some of the critical reasons brands use content marketing and why our clients enlist Oneupweb for help.
Content Marketing Examples Using the Sales Funnel
One crucial technique for effective content marketing is identifying where a piece of content fits in the sales funnel or customer journey. Is the topic top-of-funnel, or does the subject imply that the reader is already interested in a product or service? Be sure to write the content with this in mind and create different content to cover the entire funnel.
Using our inbound marketing funnel as a framework, the Oneupweb team put together these content marketing examples for each part of the customer journey.
Step 1: The Awareness Stage
During this first stage of the customer journey, the user knows they have a problem and are looking to solve it, but they aren’t sure where to start. To Google they go! (Or to another search engine, but primarily Google.) Will they find your company’s content in top search results, or will your competitor catch their attention instead?
Addressing your customers’ most significant problems with search-optimized content is the best way to start top-of-funnel content marketing.
Try this exercise: Do a Google search for a simple problem you know many of your customers solved with your product or service. For example, if you provide consulting for mobile workforces, you might search “how to manage mobile devices for a large team.” Do you come up in the search results? If not, do you have an existing piece of content that could be updated to answer the query better?
Tailor content to meet users’ needs at this specific part of the sales funnel. Content marketing examples for the awareness stage:
- How-to guides
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Step 2: The Evaluation Stage
Time to help prospective customers evaluate their options. Content marketing for the evaluation stage is about showcasing your differentiators. Content should explain what your products and services do and what makes them a better choice than the alternative.
In addition to SEO-focused content, this stage may involve content such as email newsletters sent to a list of leads. It could also include paid media campaigns with custom landing pages. Work all digital marketing channels with a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy!
Content marketing examples for the evaluation stage:
- Product-specific and service content
- Service and product pages
- Case studies
- Demos and samples
- Comparison charts
Even though customers may almost be ready to buy during this stage, focus on helping them decide – not over-eagerly selling to them:
“No matter what media you choose, the key to results with content marketing is having something interesting or important to say, not just something to sell,” said Susan Greene, copywriter. “Well-written, purposeful content will showcase your company’s expertise and elevate its image in your customer’s mind.”
Step 3: The Purchase Stage
Great news – your content has made consumers aware of your brand, and they’ve learned why you’re a good fit to solve their problems. Now it’s time to purchase, right?
Not so fast. The consumer’s attention up to this point doesn’t guarantee a sale.
Think about potential issues preventing your prospective consumers from purchasing. Here are some of the most common barriers to conversion your customers might far, plus one way to remove that barrier and seal the deal:
Price – It all comes down to dollars and cents. If users consistently drop off at this point in the customer journey, consider using remarketing campaigns offering coupons or discounts. Don’t be afraid to use on-site surveys to learn more about pricing concerns; always compare your pricing levels against competitors.
Timing – Customers may not need your product or service right now, even if they will in the future. Stay in front of your customers with email drips campaigns that keep your brand top-of-mind, so they choose you when the time is right.
Information – They’re ready to buy…but they have one question! Offer ways for customers to get in touch and put your team in a position to answer questions quickly. Provide up-to-date contact information, links to additional resources or automated chat functionality to get customers the information they need to feel confident in their decision.
Content marketing examples for the purchase stage:
- Live demos
- Limited-time special offers
- Free trials
What Is Data-Driven Content Marketing?
When most people think of content, they think of videos, graphics, pictures and blogs. Because these things are all creative outputs, it’s easy to believe that content marketing is purely artistic. Data-driven content marketing, though, relies heavily on analytics to track efforts and ensure that your content marketing efforts are productive. Data is collected to determine who has been consuming your content and then used to inform future actions. Finding out who your content is for will make it easier to provide the content they want.
Is Content Marketing Worth it?
Content marketing is time-intensive and takes plenty of brainpower. Trust us; content marketing is worth it. It can help you carve out a spot in the hearts and minds of consumers in ways traditional marketing just can’t. By establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert, you can connect with customers on a deeper level than you could if you were only trying to sell products.
Regarding content marketing, pros and cons lists don’t apply. There are a few cons, such as the time and creativity it takes to make good content. The pros of brand awareness improved SEO and building your brand’s authority far outweigh any of these downsides.
It’s important to remember that you’ll need to evaluate all aspects of your business to make sure you craft the right content strategy. That’s why many business owners don’t tackle content creation without help.
Using Content Marketing to Move People
There are many ways to set up a successful content marketing strategy for your brand. Here’s how we recommend getting organized:
- Identify your customer profile.
- Determine how much time your team can dedicate to content marketing.
- Get answers to content marketing FAQs.
- Make a list of known questions and problems of prospective customers.
- Do keyword research to see how customers are searching for solutions.
- Consider using a custom content marketing calendar.
- What is a content marketing calendar, you ask? It’s the perfect way to unify channels and keep pace with content promotion. Check out Oneupweb’s robust content calendar product, Condario.
Content is King: Get Royally Good Help Creating It
Finally, consider enlisting some support to create the ultimate content marketing strategy. The experts at Oneupweb will listen to your goals and spotlight your brand. Reach out to us here or call (231) 922-9977 to start the conversation.