Are You Winning at Content Marketing?

winning_contentHaving a content strategy isn’t the same as having a successful content strategy. Almost every B2B and B2C business offers some kind of content to its prospects, but not all of them are seeing a worthwhile return on their investments. Whether you take time away from other work to write your content yourself, hire an independent contractor as your content creator or entrust your content strategy to a full-service marketing firm, content costs. Here’s how to get your money’s worth.

Hire by Talent, not Price

People are better readers than they are writers; when they visit your site, they spot the problems immediately. When they see them, they bounce. Every misspelling, misuse and mistake undermines your site’s authority, and that’s crushing to your SEO strategy. To speak with authority, you have to speak clearly. As in any industry, you can always find cheaper work, but the poor quality shows. You’ll pay more for a writer whose native language is English, but the extra investment pays off by making you more trustworthy to your readers. A content writer who gives your brand a clear, recognizable voice is a bargain.

Unify Your Content

Your typical prospects interact with you in multiple ways, especially in today’s information-rich climate. They might read a tweet with a link to your blog post, click that link, follow a link in your blog to a landing page, alt-tab to a new window to check out some articles and possibly download a white paper or two. Only then do they click through the landing page. If any of these channels seem out of tune with the others, that discordant note can be enough to interrupt a prospect’s flow through your marketing and sales pipeline.

Unified content has underlying common threads holding it together into a cohesive whole. Your Twitter followers click on that link and go to a blog that expands on the idea they thought was click-worthy in the first place. By finding more of what they like at the blog post, they’re willing to dig deeper and do some research, where they run across authoritative articles, ebooks and papers published under your company’s logo. Everything fits together and leads logically to a buying decision.

Document Your Strategy

Content’s often difficult to quantify. Your return on other investments is measurable, but how do you monitor how much impact your latest blog post has on buying decisions? Attribution is a key component of understanding where your customers come from, and correctly attributing leads starts with a documented strategy. Define your customer personas, outline what you expect each content channel to accomplish and measure how people use your content indirectly through bounce rates and time-on-page stats. A full-service integrated marketing company does the strategizing and documenting for you, but that isn’t a fire-and-forget choice either. You’re still a key component of the strategy and guide important branding decisions.

Address All Your Customer Personas

Unless your niche is extremely narrow, you have more than one ideal customer. Your content should speak to each of them. Knowing what those theoretical customers want helps you deliver what your actual leads and future customers most want to see, so don’t leave any of them out of your content strategy. As you grow, you can expand on this segmentation and address whole content streams toward your target customer personas, especially as part of a marketing automation system. With automation, you take this idea to its logical conclusion and deliver customized content. It’s as close as you can get to being all things to all prospects.

Contact us today at 855.867.3224 to start producing quality content that brings results.

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