With today’s ever-increasing number of channels and platforms for reaching prospects, developing a solid content marketing strategy is now a vital component of any successful marketing program. A big challenge though is creating content which sufficiently engages your target audience. Great content demonstrates thought leadership, promotes brand awareness, maximizes search engine optimization, and garners you greater lead generation. Focusing on quality rather than quantity, will better position you to show your differentiating value and help you to get noticed by your prospects and customers as they search on the Internet and use social media.
What does a winning content marketing strategy look like? The following 4-step process will help you to create and deploy content which is relevant, timely, and relatable for your audience.
- Know your audience. You’ll need to identify and develop all buyer personas relevant to your prospects’ decision-making process. For most B2B decision-making committees, you’ll need to discover the pain points, motivations, interests, roles, and responsibilities of, at least, the following personas:
- Purchase Agents
- Tailor content to each audience/persona. Each persona will likely come into play at different stages of the buying process. As such, they’ll ask different questions and focus on different aspects of your content, seeking varying levels of specificity. For example, in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey, the buying committee is trying to understand the latest trends and opportunities. Later in the process, they’ll seek data sets and case studies. Make sure your content covers the scope of the journey and speaks to each audience’s questions at whatever stage they engage in the process. Developing content which speaks more about ideas than any particular product or service will promote you as a thought leader and help engender trust.
- Test your content ideas. Independent research in the form of carefully crafted prospect surveys is a great way to 1) test your content ideas, 2) to garner new insights into your prospects’ issues and perspectives, while 3) ensuring that prospects are actively aware of your offering. Create surveys that demonstrate your deep understanding of prospects’ challenges and issues. Use your questions to get prospects thinking about your unique perspectives and the types of solutions you offer. In this manner, your informed questions can absolutely serve to engage your prospective buyer, while testing your content ideas and providing insights – a win, win!
- Deploy your content. The web and social media provide a powerful set of tools for showcasing your content. Search engine optimization coupled with good content, has become the great leveler between SMB’s and larger corporations. Now, smaller companies who maximize their content marketing strategy can return top hits on relevant searches alongside their larger competitors. Doing regular keyword research will provide you with a bank of words, phrases, and concepts around which you can continually develop and adapt your content to keep up with trends in your industry.
As the volume of online information increases seemingly exponentially, creating content which is relevant, relatable, and timely is key to attracting the right audience. By developing content that is more about ideas than your products or services, you can engender trust in your prospects – the starting point of any meaningful, long-term relationship. Prospect surveys – as differentiated from traditional market-research surveys – help you understand specific pain points for the individuals within your target market, gaining you invaluable, deeper perspectives and allowing you to craft more uniquely insightful content for each of your various audiences.
Key resource for this post: the Content Marketing Institute – read more at: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com
Is content marketing a key part of your marketing mix or do you use more traditional approaches?