Content marketing is a reliable and effective way to reach your customers. When working within the Inbound methodology, it works as a very effective attraction and conversion tool.
What is content marketing?
Contrary to what many believe, “content marketing” is not a new term or a cliché of marketers. Content marketing has been almost for more than 100 years in magazines and newspapers.
However, today far from using it as part of another advertising strategy, brands have dedicated themselves to producing increasingly specialized content to reach a specific audience consistently without losing the focus of marketing.
This article, for example, is a piece of content encompassed in a broader strategic framework, which allows us to know who of our audience is interested in implementing a content marketing strategy. Then deliver other more sensitive content to help them consider us as the alternative to implement this strategy in your business effectively.
What is the difference between publicity and Content Marketing?
I must clarify that I am not against conventional advertising. There is nothing wrong with PR or using traditional marketing tactics. We have made Allbound strategies combining traditional tactics with Inbound methods. But today, consumers are in complete control of what, how and when they consume information, and ads hardly influence them.
Why should we do content marketing?
As we said, users are more connected than ever. It is in the online world where they consult search engines to find answers to their needs. Your competition is already doing it, so capturing the attention of that potential consumer or retaining the one you already have is not going to be achieved by waiting.
What to do then? Formulate a content marketing strategy that includes the quality content pieces your audience needs and helps them in their daily lives. And as they find it valuable and begin to trust you, they will permit you to get context about their purchase intentions.
Therefore, if you want to visualize yourself as a company that goes out to rescue and retains its audience, you must focus on seeing yourself more as a media company that creates its audience and, at the same time, offers a product or service.
What I’m talking about is how to offer value beyond just selling a product or service. I know. Sounds good, but it takes effort. Sure, but it’s probably more efficient than spending a lot of money on advertising and getting minimal ROI. Many companies cannot afford that luxury.
How to start making a content marketing strategy?
Before getting fully into the content plan and getting a glimpse of the effectiveness of the content plan, surely you must be wondering: Will this give me results in the business? Will I get more leads? Will I generate more sales?
Well. Imagine that you sell country houses, so you place an ad to promote your new real estate project on Facebook and buy advertising space in other media (panels, newspapers, magazines, etc.).
So, as soon as you get a prospect (name and email) asking for more information through Facebook, the next thing you do is try to sell, sell AND sell until you exhaust that prospect. At Impulse, we think differently: “Stop selling and start helping.”
And, when you use content marketing within the Inbound Marketing methodology to sell, when a prospect arrives whose first and last name you hardly know, the first thing you should do is offer value through content that solves their pain or needs. The idea is that it is the same prospect who, through the interactions with the content, lets it be known that the time has come to approach it with a commercial call.
Are you still doubting? I present a brand that managed to adopt this methodology in its content marketing strategy: Discover here the success story of Paul Bocuse. As you are realizing, in content marketing, the audience comes before the product or service. You can already imagine the sales success you will have if you first build a loyal audience who loves what you do and trusts you; they will buy you anything you put in front of them.
Okay, now that you want to start implementing a content marketing strategy, let’s see the phases of a content marketing plan. According to Joe Pulizzi, considered the father of content marketing, you must implement it to be successful. These same rules are what we apply to all our clients at Impulse. Although we also add our methodology to do content marketing.
How to do content marketing?
- These are the six essential steps for a content plan.
Step 1: Identify the “main pain or what your ideal client is passionate about” and any skill where you have authority If you still don’t know what drives your customers, you need to find out. Contrary to what many companies think, when I ask them who their ideal customers are, they generally answer:
“People between 24 and 35 years of age in the A / B segment looking for healthy eating options” It would help if you went more profound than that. It would help if you discovered the “insights” that make your client lose sleep at night. Once you find it, you must define the intersection area between your client’s needs and what you can offer.
The ideal intersection is given by the content that reinforces your unique value proposition. Please get to know one of our success stories where a content marketing strategy was successfully implemented and managed to differentiate itself from the competition. Find out here about Oncosalud’sOncosalud’s approach.
Step 2: Discover what content has little or no competition on the Internet, reinforcing your most excellent skill. Please take all the content that your competitors produce, such as blog posts, Facebook posts, magazine posts, etc. and put it on the table to audit.
Your task is to find the niche where your stories make a difference. Why? With so much information struggling to gain people’s attention, you have to think if you want to get noticed. For example, we use Buzzsumo.com, a tool where you enter a topic (for example, how to make money using blogs) in the search box, and then click the “Go” button:
On the left, the most shared articles are listed, and on the right, the popularity on social networks. You can get many ideas to see if your topic is famous and which ones are getting all the attention. Another handy tool is Semrush, which offers you many possibilities of content topics that people are looking for online and keywords related to the topic you want to discuss. This way, you will consider what people are looking for as a tactic to increase your blog traffic.
Step 3: Build a solid foundation, focus on helping, helping, helping Do you want to start earning the trust of your consumers? All you have to do is take care of people. Doing this for brands is the most disruptive because many only think in the short term, selling and sending thousands of emails with the same offer over and over again. Outcome? It can cost them their reputation and trust.
What kind of content should you build to earn people’s trust?
In my experience, these should be as human, personal and relevant as possible, and also not mislead people. These are the first three steps you must take. It seems simple, but in reality, many companies, or their marketing agencies, do not pay attention to these early stages, and when they have a great idea or a story, the first thing they do is post it on social media.
Thus, they forget the fundamentals: does it solve the real need of our buyer person? Do I have the opportunity to differentiate myself and show my skills?
On the other hand, remember that it is not about going out from time to time with a content campaign. On the contrary, if you are going to start, you have to be consistent. Or do you think that a long-term relationship is built by producing sporadic conversations?
Step 4: Start with the end in mind. Define SMART goals Define your success metrics. If you are starting with content marketing, you need to find the goal to drive your entire strategy. An easy trick to do this is to look inside your sales funnel and identify the point where your sales team is struggling to achieve their goals.
Remember always to keep the following in mind: “Beyond visits and likes, the main indicator that your content strategy works depends on gradually gaining subscribers and understanding their behavior throughout their purchase cycle or buyer journey.”
Other variables of success that I recommend you measure once you have started are:
What content is seducing and getting more customers?
Are you saving acquisition costs vs. what you were doing before?
Are you making your current customers stay with you longer in business?
Step 5: Reuse and create the content that will help you achieve those goals It means developing a library of content that attracts new customers reflecting the authority and expertise of your business. Check what content you have at your disposal.
Take stock of what you already have. Most likely, you have a large arsenal of your content that you can publish on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Here are some places to start: Emails, Blogs, Videos, Audio Recordings, Photos, Interviews, Product Instructions, Community Forums. Now, categorize and organize the contents to see what you have.
Create and produce unique content that complements your content grid. [TIP] How to choose the correct title for your new content?
Pre-tests A / B: The use of numbers in titles is known to increase engagement. Your potential audience has a preference for those types of headlines.
Now that you know what you have, stop and think about what is missing, taking into account what type of content you need for each of the phases of the buying cycle (Buyer Journey) of your ideal customers. The idea is that you produce naturally adapted content to your product or service and add value to your potential customers.
Step 6: Define the format and distribution channel of your content and become obsessed with measurement. A distribution plan for content is key to being successful. Analyze: where will people be looking for the type of content you produce? Social networks, blog networks, directories, and even influencers are all options you should consider in a content distribution strategy.
Now that you have identified the format, I recommend you support your content distribution using the “Rolling Stone” of your industry, that is, influencers, to get your content to a larger audience. List the ten bloggers or websites where your “potential customers” go to find information and use those bloggers to co-create ebooks, create content for them and vice versa that will help you strengthen your content strategy.
For B2B content marketing, use the following social networks: LinkedIn (94%); Twitter (87%); Facebook (84%); YouTube (74%); Google+ (62%); SlideShare (37%) (Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs)
The 5 most effective social media platforms for delivering content and engaging audiences are: LinkedIn (82% effective); Twitter (66% effective); YouTube (64% effective); Facebook (41% effective); SlideShare (38% effective). (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing
You already know what Content Marketing is, but maybe that of the Inbound methodology is still not very clear to you. Don’tDon’t worry, I’llI’ll explain it to you.
Inbound Marketing is also called Attraction Marketing, and it is not one but different tactics to attract, engage and drive the potential customer through the purchase funnel. Prospects have to know and trust the brand. And how to achieve that? The contents are essential to ensure that the user finds you and not the other way around. Here we are not talking about interruption or being intrusive; quite the opposite.
That is why we always say that content is the heart of inbound strategies. Of course, Inbound Marketing is more than that, but now you know that content marketing is essential for Inbound. Do you want to know an extra piece of information? Many brands are failing with their content strategy simply because they don’t follow the fundamentals.
To avoid that, we have created this task guide that will help you outline a memorable content strategy that will make your ideal clients fall in love; it is 100% practical and accessible.