If “Content is King,” then search engines are the axis of powers that put Content on the throne. Through content, you can rise through search engine rankings, drive targeted traffic to your site, nurture existing leads, and turn buyers into long-term customers and brand advocates. Yes, King Content can do all of this, but only if you know how all the parts of the Content Kingdom work together to form cohesive marketing strategies.
Here’s a quick and dirty guide to creating an effective content strategy.To begin, you’ll need:
- A detailed, well-rounded and actionable buyer persona around whom to strategize.
- We have an eBook and template to help you do it!
- A specific goal for your marketing campaign with a measurable KPI.
- A deadline by which you will measure your KPI results.
- A talented team of content producers – writers, graphic artists, webinar producers, etc.
- Social media outlets and influencers to publicize your content once it’s out there.
With that foundation in place, your content goal is to:
Have the right conversation, with the right people, at the right time.
Your buyer personas are the right people.
Their needs, wants, interests, questions – and the keywords they use to search for them – are the right conversation.
The sales cycle stages at which your prospects arrive are the right time.
Remarkable content, that which is read, loved, shared and talked about, begins with insights into your buyer personas. What do they want? Want problems do they have? What are their questions? Who are their influencers? Answers to these questions are the springboards for your content team’s creativity. What is the most entertaining or appealing or accessible way to have these conversations?
Before you choose which type of content, however, understand which stage of the sales cycle you wish to target.
Sales Cycle Stages
Awareness: These prospects have no idea you exist, but have a problem they’d like to solve and are looking for solutions.
Consideration: Hurray! Your prospects found you! Along with several other competitors (bummer). Now they’re ready to take a deeper look into what you have to offer.
Purchase: If you’ve continued to impress prospects from Awareness through Consideration, then they’re ready to buy.
Customer Success: Your existing customers want to successfully use your product, and if you give them the tools to do so, they may want to try more of your products, upgrade their products, and recommend products to their friends. Get this right and you’ll reduce churn and lower your cost of customer acquisition.
Now you’re ready to choose which type of content is most likely to appeal to your buyer persona at their sales cycle stage.
Types of Content by Sales Cycle Stage
If you noticed that the types of content for Awareness and Customer Success are awfully similar, you’re right! The only difference is that Awareness content is aimed at someone who is brand-new to your product, whereas Customer Success content is created around the information your clients need to love your product or service even more.
How Different Types of Content Work Together in a Strategy
No content should be published and left to fend for itself in the wilds of your website. Your content strategy should include a plan for different types of content to support each other, and of course, lead prospects down from the top of the sales funnel to the “BUY!” button at the bottom.
Use light, Top of Funnel content like blog posts, articles, and podcasts to introduce your more substantial offerings like eBooks and templates.
Use social media to publicize every piece of content produced. Don’t stop at your own social media outlets either – have your sales people, partners, and even your target audience’s influencers help you promote your best work.
Use email campaigns that are automated to kick off as soon as a prospect fills out the short form to download eBooks or templates. With each email, offer even more useful information and – eventually – suggest that the reader might like to see a product demo, or a use case pertinent to their industry.
Would you like to see how this looks on paper? Download our Free Social Media Planning Template and get started on content strategy now!