Content marketing is on every marketer’s list these days. We all know that brands need to deliver good quality content at the right times and in the right places in order to broaden their reach and increase brand profile. But content marketing can also work as a sales tool, making it an invaluable asset to any business.
The process for creating – and increasing – revenue via content marketing is actually very straightforward. It’s all about obtaining that most important of things: data. But before we look at how to clinch that coveted list of email addresses, let’s make sure the basics are being addressed.
Who Are You Talking To?
After doing this, you’ll have a far better understanding of the type of content that you’ll need to create in order to attract, educate or convert your audience (depending on where they are in the funnel). Bear in mind that it is common to have multiple different buying personas.
Create A Content Calendar
Once you’ve identified what types of content will appeal to your audiences, you need to make absolutely sure that this is what you deliver. Set up a content calendar that maps out what you want to talk about, where, and when – and stick to it religiously. A good calendar includes content that addresses each issue and key message for each of your buying personas every month. Be aware of other things happening in the world – check awareness days, public holidays, events and so on – and join in conversations where it’s appropriate.
Amplify Your Content
Simply publishing a blog article is only half the battle; you need to use social media to ensure that it is seen. The beauty of social media advertising is that you can pinpoint the exact audience that your content is shown to. If you know your audience (which you will do, having created your buyer personas), you can be sure that your content is being served to them in a timely manner.
At this point, the focus of your content marketing should switch to nurturing your leads. You’ve hooked them in – now it’s time to grow that relationship and, ultimately, to sell to them. The key to all this is still entrenched in your buyer personas, because it’s all about delivering useful and interesting content.
These are some of the best ways of capturing interest:
E-books can deliver revenue in themselves – PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that by 2018, revenue from e-book sales will hit $8.7billion. If you’re able to charge a purchase fee then go for it, otherwise hosting on your site and asking for email addresses to send it to is a perfectly acceptable option. The beauty of e-books is that you’ll already have the bare bones of it via blogs (assuming you have been producing content for a while).
If for example, you plan to deliver one blog a month on a particular theme, by the end of the year you’ll have 12 chapters to your name which are ready to be built on and put into book format.
Another easy-to-achieve format is white papers and guides. White papers have been hanging around marketing strategies for decades for one simple reason: they work. By all means, call it something sexier than a white paper, but the basics remain the same – this is a document that addresses a particular issue in detail and provides real, valuable insight and advice to the reader. Again, you can deliver your white paper in exchange for an email address, giving you access to that all-important data.
Case studies can often be overlooked in a content marketing strategy, but they can be invaluable. Research consistently shows that consumers factor in third-party endorsements when making buying decisions, so don’t leave your success stories untold.
One final thought is to consider your conversion page – and this is important for all elements of content marketing. Whatever you do, don’t send your readers to your homepage; instead, send them to a relevant page that includes a call to action – be that an email sign-up, social media interaction or purchase.
By encouraging your audience to give you their data, you allow yourself the opportunity to provide them with more content that can tell them about other useful events or information and build brand trust. Once you’ve got that crucial data, customers can go into your sales funnel, and it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to converting them.