The importance of creating and distributing content has been widely discussed on the blog site. The aim is to create a content engine or a content factory process to provide the right content in the right format at the right time. But it’s extremely important to understand that the content you take the time and effort to produce has a meaning attached to it. We’re not talking about producing content for content’s sake or regurgitating someone else’s (who probably has reworked the original content anyway).
Creating great content isn’t easy, there’s so much content already out there that we have to rise above the noise and ensure our content successfully achieves its objectives. This means having an understanding of what our audience want and need, the type of content we have to produce, who we’re aiming it at (personas) and what we want people to do when they’ve digested the message (the Call To Action). We also want to ensure we squeeze the most out of every piece of content we create to effectively manage our budget.
The rule of 5
Always plan upfront and reuse any content you produce at least 5 different ways (the rule of 5). Great content can differentiate your offering from the competition; help you gain credibility in the marketplace and position you as the Go To source in your sector.
In order to do this you need to answer the questions that your audience is asking at each stage of their buying journey in a format that suits them, therefore we need to consider creating content for each stage of that journey:
Awareness stage: Ebooks, video, curated content, enewsletters, whitepapers, infographics, blogs and podcasts. Generally content that is either provocative in order to stimulate an action or educational to answer questions or provide relevant, helpful information.
Consideration stage: Testimonials, demo videos, video interviews, competitive comparisons, datasheets, case studies, endorsements. At this stage people are looking to mitigate against any risk and searching for reasons to validate a decision.
Decision stage: Enewsletters and content to reinforce value, loyalty programmes, exclusive content, special offers and upgrades. This is the most commonly forgotten market segment, we tend to capture the sale and move on but we’ve already invested time and effort to win these customers, they know and like what we do and this provides an opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell.
Another important factor to consider is how our audience would like to receive this content and the type of devices they use to read, browse, view and download content.
So how do you find this out? A good place to start is your web analytics, this will tell you the number/percentage of visitors who come to your site via a mobile device or tablet. Analytics will also show popular blog posts and web pages (or not as the case may be), if you already offer downloadable material make sure this is tracked. If you have video on YouTube you can access the stats, same with slideshare for any slide decks etc.
You can survey your customers and prospects and ask their preferences or you can just experiment to see what works best for you.
This is where having an understanding of your buyer personas will help along with implementing an editorial calendar.
Key tip: According to Google, websites with videos are 50 times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page.
For a more detailed explanation of how to get more from your marketing activities, read the ebook: 6 Stages To Inbound Marketing Success.
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