What are the Benefits of having a Content Marketing Strategy?
At first, Content Marketing was the defiant, punk cousin to traditional advertising. She was the rebel who refused to play by the rules just to be different. She was a little dangerous, very unpredictable, and you had a hard time tracking her movements.
As technology evolved, content marketing methods are actually:
- Easily executed
- Beneficial for brand building
Inbound Content Marketing has become the norm. Inbound methods are now time-tested with proven results, and those results are phenomenal. In fact, when paired with paid advertising it works even better. Today, if you have the budget or bandwidth, your campaigns should rollout with an inbound content marketing strategy component.
What is Content Marketing?
You may have heard the term – Inbound Marketing or Content Marketing and thought “what?”. But it turns out, you know what it is…
I’m sure you have had a problem you needed to solve. And you’ve asked Alexa, Siri or Google a question about it. You probably got a few results in your search. But one website offered a quick and free solution. You're impressed. So impressed, in fact, that you sign-up for a free guide or newsletter and decide to follow them.
The website's free answer made your life easier. Although, you may not be ready to buy anything from the company yet... you want to keep hearing from them.
That’s it! That’s the beginning stages of a Content Marketing Campaign!
There are a few other parts, such as keeping in touch, tracking and turning the prospect into a client. If you are interested in more details about Content Marketing read on!
5-step Content Marketing Strategy Guide
1. Use a Software Platform.
Use inbound tracking software, such as HubSpot or SharpSpring.
You want to choose a solution that has metrics for individual campaign parts and the campaign as a whole. This helps you learn what successfully attracts your prospects through campaigns.
The key is once a person submits their email on a form, you can see every action they previously took.
- Your sales team should look to see what the prospect is interested in, before they talk to them.
- Your marketing team should review all the data acquired from tracking. Then keep refining the content to improve metrics for each stage of the campaign.
If your company or organization uses the data, the costs of the software will be worth it.2. Identify your Prospects
Ask yourself what types of people buy your products or services. Also consider who your team has an easier time servicing and interacting with.
If you can get very specific with the details, it will be easier to create content that appeals to them.
When creating prospect profiles or buyer personas, we start with these three questions:
- What is their problem?
- How can the product or service help them?
- What do they hope to gain or come away with?
The great thing about these questions is, it can be applied to any product or service. Here are two examples:
Example #1 - Kitchen Showroom in a Home Center
- Problem - Outdated Kitchen
- Service - Design of Kitchen, as well as cabinets, countertop and other hardware.
- Hope to Gain - a new functional kitchen
Who are you selling to?
- Homeowners who have an outdated kitchen.
- Small contractors who install kitchens for their clients.
Example #2 - Economic Development Department
- Problem - Main Street has open storefronts.
- Service - Microenterprise loans and classes.
- Hope to Gain - More dining and shopping options for residents.
Who are you selling to?
- Solopreneurs interested in opening a café, restaurant, or brewery.
- Solopreneurs interested in opening a store, shop or boutique.
The next step is to create a steady stream of content that lures your prospects. We found it helpful to craft content that:
- Solves a problem
- Tells a story
- Motivates an action
- Inspires change or growth
From one content theme you can create a blog, a video or two, several social posts and ads.
The reason you want your content in a few formats is everyone learns differently. Some people prefer video, or they may want to read an answer in a blog. Or they could be intrigued by a social post, because they identify with the problem or are interested in the solution.4. Capture their Contact Information
For Content Marketing to work, your prospect needs to give you their email address. Once you have their email, you can send them personalized content. And you can track what they looked at on your website pages.
As they download more information, you can ask more questions about them. The content should keep getting more relevant to their needs.
How do you get them to enter their email? You can hold a webinar, create a guide or eBook or other resource they will find helpful. The key is to make it worth it for them to give away their email address. Everyone knows they will be getting more information sent to them. So you want the "offer" to be worth trading their information for.
It important to note, your prospect isn't ready to buy yet. They need to learn more about your company or organization and the products and services offered.5. Keep in Touch
This sounds silly, but this is the part of Content Marketing that usually gets forgotten. In order for your Marketing Strategy to work, you need to keep in touch with your prospects.
The software helps your team send personalized emails to your prospects. Your team writes the emails. The software sends emails based on what the prospect clicks on or what information they give you.
The ultimate goal is for them to buy your product or service. Either through a click to an online store, setting an appointment or asking for a consult.
Inbound or Content Marketing Strategy Summary
As you can see, Content Marketing isn't mysterious. It does take planning, consistency and effort.
Have your team follow these five steps...
- Use a Software Platform
- Identify Prospects
- Create Content
- Capture their Information
- Keep in Touch
... and your company or organization will see a measurable ROI from your campaigns.
Want to learn more? Click here for our free eBook - Creating Magnetic Content. It is written especially for Home Improvement Businesses, but any industry professional can find the information valuable.