You create content, you put it out across your different channels – be it email, social media, your business blog, or an educational E-book – but it’s not driving your KPIs as much as you’d like.
What can you do? Well here are 5 tips to help you create a content marketing strategy that will drive your KPIs, engagement, and allow you to attract, engage, and delight prospects.
1. Align Your Content Strategy with your Business Goals.
What’s the first thing that you think of when you start creating content? Do you think about certain KPIs that might look good on paper (Vanity Metrics)? Or do you think of how to drive traffic to your website and through to your sales team? Well, first and foremost you should look to align your content with your business goals. For example, if your business wants to grow the amount of traffic driven to the sales team, your content strategy should take that into account.
What are the best strategies to help you align your content strategy with your businesses goals?
Well, firstly, if you are trying to drive traffic there are several factors to consider. Is your content SEO optimized? If it’s not, then google and other search engines will struggle to index your content pages and your posts.
Does your business rely on Facebook purchases and your engagement isn’t what you want? The first thing that needs to be checked out here is that you are taking advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Facebook’s algorithm boosts pages that take advantage of all of its advertising and organic posting features. The same applies for Instagram, which uses Facebook’s inbuilt ads manager.
Are you struggling to get leads in for your sales team? The best advice we can give you here at Evolution Digital is remember your Buyer’s journey and the Buyer Persona’s. If you can align your marketing and business goals, you’ll start to see the improvements in the returns on your marketing spend.
2. Keep your buyer persona in mind.
What is a buyer persona? It’s a semi-fictional, idealised representation of prospects you want to attract.
In the example above, you can see that Amelia is a working mother between the ages of 25-34. She has a tough job that requires a lot of confidence. She uses various social media platforms and prefers to communicate through email or by phone.
So, how do you take advantage of these? First of all, I would recommend that you think about how Amelia consumes content. For the sake of ease, we can assume that she takes public transport for her commute, so targeting ads, blogs and social media towards Amelia would be effective at three different times of day, early in the morning, at lunchtime and on the commute home in the evening.
Now, what type of content should be targeted at Amelia? We discuss this next.
3. Align your content with the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is exactly what it sounds like.
The awareness phase is when the prospect realises that they have a problem or a pain and are searching for a solution to this problem or pain. In this stage, you want to plan to use informative content that will educate the prospect, start meaningful conversations and show authority and thought leadership in your field.
Say you produce shoes that you want to market to people, men and women, who spend all day on their feet. What type of content would you put out at the awareness stage? Going back to Amelia, she wants a comfy pair of shoes, even though she doesn’t spend all day on her feet. She finds your shoes on social media, but all she finds are aesthetic product photos. While she finds these interesting, she also finds no answers or solutions to the problem of her sore feet.
In this stage, I would suggest the use of educational blog posts, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media marketing. But make sure to keep these informative posts interesting and engaging, nothing turns off a viewer or reader faster than boring content!
In the Consideration stage, your prospective buyer has created a long list of possible solutions to their problem, they have come across a list of companies that provide what they are looking for. Looking back at the example of shoes and Amelia, she is actively looking at your content, she has found several of your blogs using search engines and social media. She is getting closer to dropping down the funnel, but she can’t find other content about your product.
At this stage it is advisable to continue with educational blogging and starting to look at retargeting, remarketing and the inclusion of more personality into the brands social media presence. I would also recommend the curation of User Generated Content (UGC). This involves using review sites like review.io trustpilot and others.
Finally, we have to look at the decision stage. When the prospect has reached the decision stage, they are likely to turn into customers or clients. They have formed a shortlist based on the content that they have found regarding you and your competitors. Again, going back to the shoes example. Amelia has narrowed it down to your shoes and a pair of New Balances. When she goes looking for new balance she sees thousands of reviews, she sees people posting photos of the shoes and she sees her favourite influencer posting about her shoes.
Here we want to move past the informative posting. At this point, the prospect has seen all the information that they want to take in. Now it is about convincing them that your product is the best. Here we want to look at the psychology of the selling and how humans buy.
To start with, I would recommend looking for marketing with influencers or micro-influencers. People are more likely to buy from people they trust, and smaller influencers in particular seem more trustworthy to people. Again, this stage is all about UGC curation. You want to see photos from people who have purchased your product, you want to see more reviews of your product and you want to gather this all together in a place where people can see it. Recommended channels would be a Facebook fan group, where your customers can post photos, questions, reviews, and stories. Within this group prospects in all stages of the journey can come and see what your fans and customers have to say about your product and brand.
4. Repurposing Content
Content at its heart has several purposes. When you or your writer or designer creates a bit of content for a specific channel it seems that its place in the marketing cycle is done. However, material can be reused and repurposed for many purposes, different channels and different strategies.
This blog is aimed at educating people who visit it. However, it can serve another purpose. Depending on the stage of the funnel, or the buyers journey the content can be repurposed. Snippets can be taken out of the blog for brand awareness campaigns across different channels using carousels, stories, reels, or highlights. It could also be repurposed for remarketing campaigns, sections can be taken for email marketing aimed at those who have visited the site to grab attention and bring them back to the site. The content could also be repurposed for use as a script for short videos to be posted across various channels.
Another example would be the use of video. When a video is created the content that it contains is extremely valuable and shareable. Videos can be cut up and spread around, and short, snappy videos are a fantastic tool for marketing, they tend to draw audiences attention, and videos around 2.30-3 minutes tend to have the best retention.
Video content can also be repurposed into written posting, and be great kicking off points for campaigns.
5. Make sure that you’re not relying on ‘Vanity Metrics’
Vanity metrics are the numbers that look good on paper. Likes, subscribers, trial users, and pageviews look absolutely amazing, but they aren’t true measurements of marketing success.
If you’re reporting to your boss that your Facebook post got 7,000 likes which is up by 1000% on last years figures, it will look great, but this isn’t measuring the leads generated, the conversions completed or the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
When you concentrate on vanity metrics, it means that other more important KPIs might be slipping through the cracks, and if they are falling the possibility of missing it and not being able to correct their paths is quite high.
Remember, vanity metrics look pretty. But the other metrics, the ugly metrics, are the engine room that needs constant tending to. Keeping an eye on vanity metrics can give good insight into brand awareness and reach, but you need to measure the number that might not look as impressive to keep your marketing effort in check.
Content Marketing with Evolution Digital
If you want to learn more about integrating an amazing content marketing strategy for your business, get in touch with our expert content marketing team here at Evolution Digital.