Content is everywhere and people love content for various reasons. Whether it’s for entertainment, learning a new skill, or trying to solve a problem, there is content available online to fulfill every need.In marketing, especially on digital platforms, content plays a powerful role not just in driving traffic to a website or making it rank (SEO) on Google but also increase sales. If done right, and strategically, content marketing can strongly influence consumers to make that purchase or dial that number.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing which offers informative, useful, and valuable material to a specific target audience (mostly potential customers). The goal is to keep potential clients engaged until they move further into the sales funnel.
Surprisingly though, some businesses still think that content marketing is merely publishing content on their website. But that’s just the first step. You need marketing and search engine optimization efforts to get your content seen by your target audience.
Adding relevant and highly searched keywords in your content will increase the chances of your content getting found on Google Search. Keep in mind though that inserting too much keyword in your content can harm your website’s performance.
Google is smart enough to detect if a page’s content is structured to manipulate rankings (too much optimization), which may cause your website to get banned from search results or lose any initial rankings.
On a user perspective, a content that’s written for search engines is also a big no-no. Too much SEO on content will make it sound robotic and lose touch of your brand’s personality. You want to maintain that balance between SEO and not losing your brand voice. Don’t ever be scared of getting creative with your content.
Today, content marketing is not limited to long form blogs like in the past. eBooks, social media posts, graphics, and videos/vlogs also count as forms of content marketing.
How Content Marketing Drives Sales
Your content, depending on how good its quality, will determine how much sales you can get out of it. The content that you put out will more or less be a part of one’s customer journey.
Customer journey describes the interaction between your customer with your business or organization. It includes all customer interactions across all channels, devices, and touchpoints throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. Customer journey describes more what a customer does during each stage of the customer lifecycle rather than what the customer feels.
To start the customer journey, the customer wants to buy your product or service to address a need or problem. To create content on how to address your potential customers’ need, you have to know their Pain Points. Pain points describe a specific problem your potential customer is experiencing. It can be range from:
- Financial (i.e. a product is too expensive)
- Productivity (i.e. using a product wastes so much of your time)
- Process (i.e. you want something that will make your work flow more efficient)
- Support (i.e. you don’t get feedback from the seller as fast as they should)
How-to or guide blogs are a good go-to content to publish to address pain points. This does not directly affect your sales but the content can give you an air of authoritativeness which can earn your potential customer’s trust and eventually their money.
After knowing what they need, your potential customers will choose the best option in the market for what product or service that they are looking for. This phase of the customer journey is called the Targeting Research Phase.
Comparison Blogs or Carousel posts with ‘Top 10’ or ‘Best’ works best with this phase as content of this type address the potential customer’s problem on a deeper scale how your products can solve his/her problem. This type of content, unlike the contents addressing pain points, can directly affect your sales this time so quality matters on these types of content.
The last phase of the customer journey is called Buying Decision phase. This is where your potential customer will decide to whether get your products and services or not. Testimonial posts like Instagram reposts and a vlog review from an influencer are good examples of this type of content as this help convince your potential customer to get your product or service.
For this phase, never forget to add call to action (CTA) in your content as this instructs potential customers on what to do next. CTAs are likely expected by potential customers so always have them in your content. This is critical into converting your content into sales.
How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
There are many ways to develop a content marketing strategy. Here are the general guidelines on how you can develop one:
- Set a Goal
Knowing what your goals are will help you determine what is the best marketing strategy to employ. Do you want more traffic in your content to get your product or service noticed? Do you want to expand your reach? These are few of the many questions often asked in setting a goal for a content marketing strategy.
- Understand User Intent and Behavior
Identify who your target audience are. It’s best to know and understand user intent and user behavior. User intent identifies what a user expects to see when typing their search terms. User behavior is defined by the actions taken by the visitor when he or she is on your website. By understand both, you can strategize what type of content they’ll likely interact with and what type of relevant keyword that needs to be optimized when you publish your content.
- Run Content Audit
It’s best to archive your previous content so that you can do a review or audit on them. Through this audit, you can see what you have done right and what can be done better with your content.
- Determine the Types of Content You Want to Create
After understanding your users and running a content audit, it’s time to decide what type of content do you want to publish. Make sure that the content is also aligned with the goal that you have set in your content marketing strategy.
Sometimes, the type of CTA that you want to include in your content will determine what type of content you will publish. For example, to support Spotify’s promotion of their Premium service, they made sure to highlight their CTA, which is “Go Premium. Be Happy.”, on their homepage with the “Get Spotify Premium” button under the CTA. This will like lead to someone clicking to see how Spotify Premium to eventually subscribing to the service.
Spotify’s Home Screen (http://www.spotify.com/ph)
- Publish and Manage Your Content
It’s time to publish! Choose the time when you’ll strategically post your content. Observe and understand the insights of your content once it’s published.
Important Content Marketing Tools
There are various tools that you can use to better your optimization of relevant keywords into your content as well as analyzing how your content is doing.
Ahrefs is used to analyze a website’s link profile and SEO health. It is also used to research relevant keywords on Google, YouTube, and Amazon. You can also use Ahrefs to find content on a given topic that has performed very well in terms social shares.
The Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that you can use via your Google Ads account that aids in analyzing how your chosen keywords are performing. The data that you can gather from the Planner can help you in your decision-making in what keywords to choose in the future.
When planned strategically, the content that you publish can lead to sales. You need to know how to shape and build your content to get the most possible sales out of your content. So let’s get that content created and get those sales!
“3 Reasons a Call to Action is Important” by PPC Marketing https://www.vizion.com/blog/3-reasons-call-action-important/
“39 Call-to-Action Examples You Can’t Help But Click” by Brittany Leaning https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/call-to-action-examples
“Ahrefs: The Definitive Guide” https://backlinko.com/ahrefs-guide
“The Conversion Copywriting Guide” by Crazy Egg https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/guides/conversion-copywriting/#:~:text=Conversion%20copywriting%20is%20specific.,to%20achieve%20that%20single%20action.&text=All%20those%20pieces%20come%20together,to%20get%20people%20to%20act.%E2%80%9D
“Customer Journey: How a Holistic Strategy Drives Profitable Business Growth” by Steven MacDonalad https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-journey/
“Here’s how content marketing works” by Alexander Santo https://www.brafton.com/blog/content-marketing/heres-how-content-marketing-works-in-2019/#:~:text=Content%20marketing%20works%20by%20offering,further%20along%20the%20sales%20funnel.
“How SEO And Content Marketing Work Together to Fuel Your Online Success” by Karen Sharma https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/07/03/how-seo-and-content-marketing-work-together-to-fuel-your-online-success/#5c5f1d3216bf
“How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide” by Justin McGill https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing-plan
“How to Use Google Keyword Planner in 2020” by Brian Dean https://backlinko.com/google-keyword-planner
“How tracking user behavior on your websit can improve customer experience” by Hotjar team https://www.hotjar.com/blog/user-behavior/
“Pain Points: A Guide to Finding & Solving Your Customer’s Problems” by Dan Shewan https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/28/pain-points#:~:text=A%20pain%20point%20is%20a,as%20your%20prospective%20customers%20themselves.
“What is User Intent?” https://blog.marketmuse.com/what-is-user-intent/