Content is where the rubber meets the road in today’s business world. If you have successful content marketing, then you will succeed in influencing the choices of others, which is really what inbound marketing is all about anyway.
However, not all content marketing works effectively because marketers lose sight of the basics when they become too focused on the sale. That’s like running a marathon before you’ve mastered the mile lap. You will fail and probably hurt yourself without building up to the marathon first.
Successful content marketing requires a series of the right decisions made at the right times, just like running a marathon demands you master smaller distances first. To run your content marketing marathon, let’s review seven key tips for effective content marketing.
1. Simplify your content
Your customers may, at some point, need a technical description of your widget or access to the hundreds of research articles proving your success, but most of the time, they just want simple, easy to find and easy to read content. See your content through the eyes of your client and figure out what they need to know, not just what you think they need to know.
2. Sequence your content
By sequencing your content to guide your clients through a series of relational interactions, you avoid two key content marketing mistakes: moving clients too quickly to the top of your marketing funnel or getting stuck in a series of horizontal moves at the bottom of the funnel. Each piece of content should move a client from one decision to the next until they reach the final, contractual decision at the top of your funnel.
3. Create an ideal client biography
Who is your ideal client? What do they need from you? What influences them to make decisions? You are the experts in your customers and need to leverage what you know to serve them. Use your research and insights into your ideal clients to determine what motivates and influences them to make decisions.
4. Connect your content marketing to your ideal client’s needs
Creating the biography is the first step. Secondly, you must connect your content to those needs. Your content marketing should reflect a dynamic awareness of what your clients need when they need it and then deliver.
5. Discover influential content distribution networks
The first four steps help you develop the right content in the right sequence. To make your content marketing the most effective, you next have to distribute it along the most influential channels available. According to Marketing Experiments powered by MECLABS, this means considering the reach, intensity and capacity of each distribution channel available to you and choosing the channels with the greatest influence in those areas.
6. Connect your content to decisions
Marketing takes place when clients have a choice to make. Effective content marketing influences those choices. Including appropriate content when your clients make decisions about signing up for a newsletter or requesting a demo, for example, can help influence their decisions. MECLABS suggests providing this content for free since it is the influence you want, not just the capture of information.
7. Get the message right for each transition the client makes
You need to optimize your messages at each stage of decision-making your client will make in order to get the series of small yeses and commitments leading up to the big, contractual commitment. The content should clearly state its purpose, what the client can get from it and why the client should say yes at this stage for the content to be successful.
Your marketing marathon needs to end with you on your feet, holding the medal high in the air, not crumpled over at the halfway point with a pulled muscle. Get your content marketing working for you by following these seven tips for effective content marketing.