The godfather of modern marketing, Seth Godin, warns us that people know when they are being marketed to. He guides all marketers with this timeless statement, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as ”a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Great content is the main act of any website. The show’s front act can be great, but the main act is what people paid the tickets for. Great design, big promotions, and catchy gimmicks are all front acts. They can lure people in, but without good content, people will not stay.
Content Marketing Fulfills What Marketing Campaigns Need
All marketing campaigns are driven towards conversion. It aims to turn mere onlookers into patrons, from subscriptions to engagements, and eventually, purchases. But these conversions only happen if your content can add value to audiences lives through responding to their search intent. What is your target market looking for, and is your content providing solutions to fill those needs?
Search engine optimisation – or SEO – is a good gauge if our content can do this. It works towards optimising a website so every factor works together to help that website rank high on the SERPs (search engine results pages). SERP ranking factors bowl over at around 200 or more factors, but at the core, it is good content that delivers most of what different search engines look for.
These SERP results recognise best practices done in marketing campaigns, refine goals set by marketers for every campaign, and helps marketers produce relevant campaigns consistently.
Marketing campaigns and content marketing need to complement and not compete with each other to be able to drive better towards success.
How Content Marketing Helps Make Marketing Strategies Successful
Understand the Content Marketing Sales Funnel
The sales funnel the buyer’s decision-making journey, from ToFu (Tip of the Funnel) to MoFu (Middle of the Funnel), and finally to BoFu (Bottom of the Funnel).
ToFu is all about awareness. In this phase, you are establishing brand awareness and hopefully connect with your target market. Content marketing is like outreach, so it sits at the top of the sales funnel. In this level, you do not see ROI yet, but you can use several tools to measure the effectivity of your content, like click-through rates, bounce rates, social sharing, dwell time, and the like.
MoFu is all about evaluation. In this level, your leads are filtered and you will be able to identify in greater detail who are the ones deeply interested with what you put out. Content marketing is still churning in this level, in greater capacity. Since you already made that initial connection, you can now communicate in greater detail who you are and what you do. Hopefully, you can convince them enough for conversion to happen. Marketers use content marketing here to give more information regarding your brand, your product or your services.
BoFu is targeted towards purchase. Even at this level, content marketing continues to produce as you focus all communication into closing or making a sale, either through a subscription purchase or a physical purchase of your product or service.
Aside from connecting, converting and closing, marketers also want a healthy cycle produced through retention. That means customers keep coming back, and even bringing in referrals or contributing to lead generation, whether directly or indirectly. When customers are happy, they continue to go through this funnel repeatedly, with every marketing campaign you put out there. Their behaviour around your website or business will also generate more leads going through the sales funnel.
That is why good content marketing is not a one-time, big-time event. You need to produce high-quality content throughout the sales funnel consistently, not just for one campaign, but as a norm for your website.
Educate with your content
77% of B2B (business-to-business) marketers use content marketing. B2B marketing is the marketing of products to businesses or organisations for use in goods production, general business operations, or for resale to consumers.
The use of informational blogs, white papers, quizzes or trivia is now very popular as most B2B content marketers use these kinds of content to nurture leads, continue to build brand awareness and audience trust.
It strengthens a company’s inbound marketing strategies when they attract more leads through content that they produce themselves. It pays to produce content that is relevant, authoritative and educates its audience, thus adding value to their lives even further.
Make Use of Personalised Marketing Messages
It’s a plus factor if companies can make their customers feel special through personalised messaging strategies. They can make use of automation technology that allows them to create ads that can change dynamically based on the searcher. That is why advertisers should shift from bombarding audiences with content. Instead, they need to use content strategically. “Less is more” can be a reality if every communication or content is released sensibly with timely precision and strategically.
Personalisation can boost your marketing strategies far beyond your expectations, like customised opt-in ads and relatable promotion. When you use personalisation effectively, you can create niches in your target market based on how they interact with your brand and speak to them accordingly. For instance, if a particular niche in your audience has found a specific product very useful for them, then take the cue and customise opt-in ads and other promotions to increase their demand for their product and maybe offer other variations or additional features of that product. Do not try to ram a different product or service all-together, say a product that’s not doing well, if you know it is not what they are interested in.
Data-driven segmentation allows you even to customise your messages and get it in front of the right people more efficiently.
For instance, Amazon sends personalised email content based on data customers have given them. You do not get a generically-addressed message with a generic message. You get an email with your first name, and product recommendations based on your purchase history.
Consider Your Content as Data
It’s not about how many blogs and other material you can produce prolifically, but about the quality of the content you create.
If you can engage your audiences well, that means you have a good content marketing strategy, which in turn improves your marketing strategies.
If you can extend the life of your content and spin it successfully from the first stage of the sales funnel down to the last, then that’s a high-quality content that adds value to your campaign even more.
You need to measure how your content is doing and check the analytics. It’s not about what you have to say but all about the consumers. Are they getting what you say? Do they even need what you are saying? If your content is not doing well in analytics, then change it up with no delay and cater it to the search intent of your audience.
You need to meticulously monitor, track, and watch the data concerning your content so you can change it or refine it if need be for better conversions continuously. Check customer traffic as well—where customers are “coming from” and “going.” Are you one in the line of that traffic or not?
Continually study your audience—what are their preferences, interests, and purchasing behaviour. If you are able to know this data with precision, you can strategically create content that helps them along in your sales funnel.
Add value to their lives, and they’ll add value to your business.
Keep Your Content Fresh and Updated
When you routinely publish fresh content, it gives your website good index ratings in search engines and affects the SERP ranking of the website. Having good SERP ratings improves your marketing campaign even more. It increases your credibility a great deal. So check your content regularly. If you have any dated content, update the information as needed. For instance, if you did extensive research on a particular topic, you can extend the life of that content. Change resources that are from past years to resource data from the current year. Check any list you came up with and if it’s no longer applicable, adjust your data accordingly. Change images and videos too if you can find related content that’s more current.
You may even invest in producing original images and videos instead of using stock content that may be used by other websites repeatedly. You will find a lot of photo-editing apps and even video editing software for beginners out there that you can choose from to produce original photos and videos, so you can elevate the quality of content you are creating.
Content should not be an afterthought. Marketing strategies should actually revolve around the content and make it the core highlight of the campaign. Good content is the key for this to happen. You can get found online because of good content marketing. You can connect to your desired audience and begin to build trust with content marketing. You can communicate consistently, educating your audience regarding their queries, giving them valuable solutions, through great content. You can adequately nurture your subscribers and customers and sustain, even increase conversions, through great content.
If content is king, then make content marketing a priority in your marketing campaign and see your website continually flourish beyond your expectations.
Founder of SEO-Guru
John is an opera singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. However, digital marketing has always been his forte. He is the founder of SEO-Guru and the managing director of Tech Hacker. John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.