Content Marketing is extremely important when it comes to promoting your company, product, and/or service, and it’s something that definitely should be apart of your marketing strategy. Whether you’re a marketing agency that does SEO, or a local business, content marketing is vital in order to capture your audience. In this guide we will be diving into everything that you need to know to get started with content marketing in order to drive more revenue towards your business.
The first thing I want to point out is that your content marketing strategy should not be primarily based on soft metrics such as “facebook shares” or “views”, but primarily on revenue. Your content strategy should be producing you more revenue, and you need to figure out the costs behind it in order to properly track how your current strategy is working.
Content Marketing Fundamentals
So what exactly is content marketing, and why should I be doing it? Content Marketing is a hybrid of both content and advertising, in which you basically give value to your prospect in the form of an informational blog post, video, or podcast, and then have some advertising around it.
If you’ve ever read a newspaper or magazine, you’d find that these publications provide content that people read, and around that content you find many ads. However most of that has changed due to digital marketing, because now both content and ads have blended together.
What we see a lot of the time in advertising in newspapers is that the content is written by the journalists in order to capture an audience, and the ads are created by another party.. You see there are two different parties involved in this process, but in content marketing you have the control to create both the content and the advertising. And because you have both mediums under your control, you simply need to create content that attracts an audience, and then have ads around it relating to your products and services.
Whether you’re a startup, software company, local business, medium business, or corporation, the fundamentals are the same. Many software companies such as Buffer use a very strong content marketing strategy to attract an audience that they eventually sell to.
These are the 3 basic steps to content marketing:
- Produce high quality content (most important)
- Attract an audience
- Promote your products and services around your content
If you get anything from this guide, it should be that you need to produce high quality content that users are interested in. Content marketing does not work if you don’t produce good content, because no readers are going to read uninformative articles that are not important to them. Imagine if you were reading an article online and it happened to be complete garbage, you would find yourself clicking out right away, and this is exactly what happens if you try to push low-quality content through your content channels.
After your audience has been exposed to content, you have captured their attention. Now you can start to have your audience exposed to your advertising. If you’ve ever been to Times Square, you’ll notice that you’ll see ads everywhere, and that’s simply because an audience has gathered together and has their attentions fixed upon their surroundings. Or whenever you watch a movie in theaters, you’ll see many trailers before the movie starts and that’s because there is a whole audience there that has gathered due to the content (the movie), and now that everyone has grouped together around that content, you can push ads in order to expose them to your products. As you can see that everything is built upon the foundation of creating high quality content that is going to help build your audience and drive more traffic, however it is still a little bit more complicated than that when it comes time to execute on a strategy which I will be going into more detail further on in this series.
You have to get in the mindset of thinking yourself as a media company, in which you need to capture the attention of the market segment you’re targeting. Basically you need to create media (videos, blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, etc.) that is going to attract the attention of the people you want to target that you know will be interested in your products or services. In order to attract the attention of the people you want to target, you’ll need to understand everything about the person you are targeting. This means getting in the heads of your audience, and you do this by creating a Customer Profile Map.
Building the Customer Profile Map
Building your customer profile is vital when it comes to your content marketing strategy, because we are going to use this to target a specific audience, and get inside their heads. Down below there is a download link for the Customer Profile Map Template that you can use to fill out the people you’re trying to target. You can fill out the Customer Profile Map several times in order to tailor your content towards multiple types of people that will be interested in your content. Filling out this profile map allows you to make engaging content that can make people that are cold to your business to become engaged with your business through your content. Here are the sections that you will be filling out in the Customer Profile Map, and some guidelines into how you should be filling them out.
General Demographics:This section is where you fill out the demographic information for the person you are targeting. This would include their income, level of education and all of the little details that is going to help with mapping out the demographic you’re going after.
Media Sources:Basically what does your target customer consume on a daily basis in terms of information? This is where you fill out the types of blogs they read, conferences they would attend, the podcasts they would listen to.
Goals & Values:What are the goals that your ideal customer has for themselves? Get in the heads of your audience, and imagine the goals that most of them have in common, and the values they share.
Challenges & Pain Points:This section is the most important section in which you figure out the challenges and pain points your prospect has, and then build content that is going to help them. This includes making blog posts that can supply them with relevant information, or give them enticing offers that would help relieve an issue they have. And then once you have their attention, you can basically start advertising to them with your own products that they would be interested in.
Sales Barriers:This is another very important section when filling out the Customer Profile Map in which you put things that would put off your target audience to buy your products and services. With this information you can tailor your content and offers to address those objections when you’re advertising to them so more of your audience converts into a paying customer.
What Exactly You’re Going to Need To Create Content
There are a few things you are going to need in order to create good content. Here are some of the things you’re going to need in order to get started:
- Screen Recording Software (Recommended: OBS)
- Photo Editing Software (Photoshop, GIMP)
- Webinar Software
- Video Camera (iPhone, or any smartphone if you’re starting out)
- Microphone (Recommended: Blue Yeti Microphone)
- Email Marketing Campaign Software (InfusionSoft, Active Campaign)
- Content Management System (Recommended: WordPress)
These are a few things that are going to help you get started in creating content for your business. If you don’t have the money right away to buy expensive cameras, or microphones, you can use your smartphone as an alternative if you have one, or you can simply start with blogging.
The Content Marketing Funnel
We will be going into greater depth within the next few videos when it comes to these stages of the funnel.
Down below you’re going to see a very simply sequence of a marketing funnel that we are going to use as our base process for our content strategy.
Awareness:This part of the funnel is the first stage in which you are basically using your content to have someone become aware of your business. This is where you’re basically talking to a cold prospect, and you give them value in exchange for their attention. This is where you make them aware of a problem, or a solution to a problem they already have. Such as having content that gives them answers on a certain topic they were researching.
Evaluation:This is the next stage of the content marketing funnel where you basically have content that is tailored towards your audience that already knows who you are, and is not a complete cold prospect. This is where you start having them start looking for solutions for a problem they have.
Conversion:The last stage of the content marketing funnel is the conversion phase in which you have your prospect buys your product or service and becomes a paying customer. This stage again requires a whole new set of other content that is going to move them from the evaluation to the conversion phase.
In the next part of this series we are going to dig into how we are exactly going to get a cold prospect and turn them into a paying customer.