Create a 6 Step Content Marketing Strategy

You know your some of your prospects are interested and some of them are going to buy some day. The problem is knowing WHICH ones are interested and WHEN they are interested.  Content marketing helps to identify which prospective customers are interested RIGHT NOW, so your sales people know who to call and how to prioritize their day.

The best content marketing is a strategic marketing approach similar to a sales cycle. People hate being sold to and today's prospective customers want to be in the drivers seat by researching products and services on the web and educating themselves before they ever talk to a salesman. Focusing on educating your clients is what content marketing is all about.

If you focus on creating and posting relevant and valuable content consistently to a defined audience; You will attract and retain new clients through a series of positive and profitable customer actions.

Imagine that content marketing is a way to communicate with your prospective customers without selling. Content marketing educates them and encourages them to seek you out as they become more and more interested.

Inbound marketing and content marketing is how forward looking companies market to their audiences' these days.  It is less expensive and more effective than traditional marketing because your sales people are only talking to prospects who are educated and interested in your products and services. Some surveys show that only 23% of a sales persons time is actually spent selling. Calling a list or emailing a list of people who don't know anything about your company or your services annoys your prospects and grinds down your sale people.

Many marketing departments are refocusing their efforts to include a ramped-up version of content marketing because it increases the quality of the leads and increases the amount of leads that convert into sales; which increases your capacity to sell more in the same amount of time with the same amount of people. 

By educating your customers using content marketing your not only educate them, but as they learn more about your products and services they trust you more; at some point this trust will be translated into sales for your company and ongoing customer loyalty.

So when you are developing your content marketing strategy, keep the following in mind:

1. Know Your Audience

Your goal should be to give them information that will help to solve their problems. Research your own case studies of past customers and use that information to market to your future customers.

What are their goals, industries, and shopping preferences, and how do they most enjoy learning? Are they only aware of their problem and seeking a solution? Do they already have a solution in mind and are researching providers? Which stage of the buying cycle are they in? 

Focus on the “why” for these answers. What really gets them going? Interview current customers. See If you notice any patterns. Understanding their common needs is the key to a powerful content strategy.

2. Educate don't Promote

Education is essential to building trust with your prospects. 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content. Educate your audience about what they want to know. Save the self-promotion for later in the sales cycle. 

Read your own customer reviews and the reviews left by your competitors customers. There is a plethora of information regarding the problems and solutions your customers are seeking online. This knowledge demonstrates you know what they are talking about and establishes credibility with their audience.

Also, try to make your content so interesting that your audience will want to share it with their friends. It’s a great way to turn your prospective customers into advocates and fans for your company.

3. Choose a Topic That Matters to your Audience

Decide on which problems and solutions to write about using the tips below.

Sales and Support FAQ’s

are an insightful resource for topics and titles. Look at your competitor websites and association websites in your industry who have already attempted to solve common problems.

Internet Forums and Facebook Groups
are an excellent way to see what people are talking about or having trouble with. 

Do a keyword search on Google or Bing:
Search on topics that you would want to to rank high in the search results for when it comes to organic optimization. Make sure to repeat the topic of your title throughout your content.

Industry News Sites and Associations:
Where do people in your line of work get their news about ongoing trends or transactions? This is a great place to find fresh topics to discuss.

4. Be Consistent Constantly

Bruce Springsteen once said: “Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”

Post your content consistently with a calendar for content creation. The quality and consistency of your content is what builds trust.

Content marketing is not only a great way to establish trust and authority with your audience, but you will also be rewarded with better organic search rankings. Over time, you will become an industry thought leader for people looking for answers in your field. 

5. Analyze Your Results and Optimize

You will continue to cut out certain content and include additional content depending on what is delivering results and what is not.

One of the most effective ways to analyze who is visiting your website, clicking on your emails and viewing your pdf's is to use a marketing automation platform as part of your content marketing strategy.

6. Marketing Automation Extends the Capacity of Your Team

Sale more with less people than ever before!

Marketing automation platforms like SharpSpring, Hubspot and Marketo allow you to track which content campaigns are generating the most leads and which may need to be reworked or abandoned.

With the advancement of technology in the last two decade, marketers have had to evolve to keep up with changes where: Every business had to have a website, then every business had to have a social media presence, and then all the websites needed to have a special format so they would display well on mobile phones. Now marketing automation has become the latest way to stay ahead of the competition. It is expected to be a $6.5 billion industry by 2022.

Marketing automation and content marketing gives you the option to gate some of your most enticing content behind forms. This allows you to learn which prospects are the most interested in what you are selling by viewing your visitors behavior through tracking codes.

You can then automate segmented email campaigns to target the visitors based on the information they provided to you in the form and any actions they took on your site based on which content they viewed.