Any business can use content marketing in each stage of the sales cycle to attract, engage and sell. This is content marketing done right.
To use content marketing effectively, your organization needs to deliver the right content at each stage of the sales cycle—from attraction through awareness to purchase. Although it might seem complicated, approaching content marketing this way simplifies the process.
1. Attract Customers
At the beginning of the sales process, content marketing should focus on your audience’s top concerns. Writing about their challenges and questions gives your organization the best chance of engaging with them. Content at the awareness stage should inform the user, be educational, and offer how-to advice. The best content for this stage includes articles, posts, e-books, newsletters, and videos.
2. Reinforce Brand Awareness
Content marketing should offer a mix of helpful information and marketing in the consideration stage. It should educate the reader about what to look for and how that addresses their needs. Content should lean toward what your organization offers. The best content for this stage includes checklists, case studies, how-to articles, and videos.
3. Close the Sale
Content marketing is essential when a prospective customer is close to buying. At this stage, your organization can focus on sales while you continue to drive home why you’re the best option rather than just how great your products or services are. The main message here should be your organization’s expertise, knowledge, and the differentiating advantages of your products and services. The best content for this stage includes customer testimonials, case studies, buyer’s guides, product videos, and research reports.
Content marketing development can feel like a massive task, but it doesn’t have to be. An optimal content marketing campaign should be manageable, sustainable, and identify the following:
- Audience. To create content marketing for a particular audience, one must understand their preferences and challenges.
- Formats. The correct format corresponds with what stage of the sales cycle you’re creating content and what formats will best help you showcase value.
- Distribution. Start where your audience might be, and choose formats that make sense for the media you’re considering.
- Schedule. It’s easy to create a content marketing plan that’s overly ambitious. Once target readers and formats are clear, it’s time to create a short-term plan for a realistic number of content pieces.
No matter what trade you’re in, publishing content is crucial to putting your business in front of your target audience. But it is not about writing the most. If you want your content marketing to work, think of quality over quantity.
What is considered ‘good content’ will continue to evolve year after year— the way users search for, and digest content is constantly changing. Likewise, marketing and communication trends also change, and so must our content creation tactics. Still, good content is engaging, original, intentional, and answers questions.
Content marketing makes it easy for your target audience to find your business. One way this occurs is by using search engine optimization. So, start by focusing on identifying keywords and delivering on your promise.
Keywords are at the core of your SEO effort. They are the terms a prospect types into a search engine when looking for an organization, product, or service. You’ll attract more traffic by including the right keywords in your content. The best keywords are plain, specific, and relevant.
Search Engine Optimization has evolved so that search success depends partly on how well your content does what it says it will do. Search engines review content copy, evaluate its relevance, and decide whether it delivers on what the headline promises. Because of the importance search engines place on the copy, using keywords throughout your content is essential but delivering on your content marketing’s promises is critical.