If you’ve spent any time at all trying to increase your flow of qualified leads, you’ve likely realized by now that content marketing is an integral piece of that. You may be spending a lot of your time already writing blog posts, recording videos or podcasts and publishing Tweets. But in order for your content to best serve your company’s goals, you need to develop a strong strategy first.
It Starts with a Purpose
Successful content marketing is about more than just filling your website with the most relevant keywords to improve SEO (which probably won’t work), or putting together a beautiful, color-coded calendar for sharing your content.
We’re not here to argue the value of optimizing your site for search, or filling up your social calendar with relevant materials; those are both desirable results that are achieved with good content. But there are really two main purposes at the heart of a successful content strategy:
- Drawing in relevant leads for your company
- Nurturing those leads as they move along the sales pipeline
It also means more than just the written word: content includes other media, like videos and graphics. All of your various platforms are a part of your strategy, and the content you publish and promote on each should be tailored based on that platform’s strengths and your company’s specific messaging. Your content should all work in sync to communicate a clear message to your target audiences about the benefits you offer through your products and expertise.
What Are You Overlooking?
If you’ve already got your messaging down, and you’re targeting content pieces based on your personas, that’s great! But if you find your strategy still isn’t delivering the results you’re aiming for, you might be missing one of these 3 key components.
Content for every stage of the sales cycle
You might already know how important your content is for generating leads for your sales team. But those leads will need to be nurtured throughout the sales cycle, so that when it’s time for them to make a buying decision, they come to your company for a solution.
Some of your content should serve those at the beginning of the buyers’ journey – like white papers and infographics that promote thought leadership and are focused primarily on the market problems that your products and services solve. But you also need content to serve those who are further along in the decision-making process and want to learn about your company and products specifically, as well as see proof points of your value. Product brochures and how-to videos are good examples of this type of content.
Repurpose content across multiple channels
To reach your most qualified leads, you have to be prepared to meet them where they are, which might mean creating tailored content for different channels. Your strategy should include ways to both promote and repurpose every content piece you create.
If you’re writing blog posts, you might think about sharing them via personalized emails. If you’ll be at an industry event or conference, don’t just post your booth number–think about ways you can share unique content from that space, like a live video with an industry expert, on your social media channels.
Regular analysis of your existing content
If you don’t keep tabs on how your content is performing, then you won’t know how to optimize and build on your content mix moving forward. Tracking and analyzing key metrics such as conversion rates and number of downloads on a regular basis will help inform your larger content strategy. By looking at engagement metrics, you’ll gain deeper insights into topics and messages that resonate with your audience, so you know where you need to focus your content marketing efforts.
Audit Your Content Strategy
Before you go overboard trying to fill in these potential gaps, start with an audit of your current content plan. By auditing your content, you can take a deeper look at your approach to find out what’s working and what isn’t, before making major decisions about what you need to be doing. If you know that some content pieces or channels are working well for you, there’s no need to revamp everything you’re doing. Instead, you can keep building on those successes while optimizing the rest of your strategy to deliver similar results.
Not sure where to start? AAC offers complete content audits to identify strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations for you going forward. Fill out our audit request form to see how we can help you make the most of your content strategy.