The Importance of Content Marketing: Mapping Out Integrated Campaigns
Content is at the core of any great integrated digital marketing strategy. Whether you are producing content in the form of articles, videos, templates, or webinars content is the fuel on the fire.
Your content is only as good as your promotion strategy. When we talk about the importance ofcontent marketing and the impact it can have on your business it’s key to examine it’s value within this lens.
With the saturation of content available online it’s more important than ever to provide immediate value to prospects and build a relationship with them. The best way to do this is by creating high quality content that offers them something of value from the get-go. If you go straight for the sale or get overly promotional you will likely see a drop in conversion. You need to build up that relationship and connection that prospects have with your brand. With an influx of information available, prospects are constantly researching online and the reality is that if you aren’t willing to answer their questions and provide them guidance, your competitors will.
Below we’re sharing the value content marketing can bring to your business when properly integrated across all key digital marketing channels.
Social Advertising: Feed Your Campaigns
At Power Digital, the content and social advertising teams work closely together to figure out what content will best support and feed our campaigns. With the right content you can lower your cost of driving cold traffic by offering users engaging content. From there, depending on the type of content they engage with you can further segment them by their interests. If you have various products and services you want to make sure you are speaking to the prospect and to their pain points. You can then lead them through a funnel designed to serve them the most relevant content you have on the topic.
Once you’ve identified their pain points you can better build that relationship. If you know your prospect has a specific problem you can start to lead them down the path of solving that problem by educating them on potential solutions. Of course depending on your business the nature of the problem can vary from deciding which shoes to buy to deciding which home to purchase. Understanding the nature of the buying process and sales cycle is key to creating content that will truly provide value and position you as a resource in their eyes. For newer brands and when speaking with prospects that are new to your brand this nurturing is especially important.
Another key way to leverage content within social advertising is with email captures on interactive content such as quizzes. We’ve seen a great deal of success when using online quizzes to draw users in and obtain their email. Conversion rates will vary depending on your brand recognition and offer. If you are able to get their email you can also obtain all of their responses to the quiz. This is incredibly powerful as you can:
- Retarget all users that have seen the quiz
- Retarget users who completed the quiz and took the offer
- When retargeting these users you can further segment the list depending on their answers to the questions
Knowing this, the questions you ask on the quiz are extremely powerful. Think about the one thing you would love to know about your prospect. If you’re a realtor one key piece of information is whether the user is looking to to buy or sell as home. With this information you can now being speaking to their desires and anticipate questions they may have.
Support The Buyer’s Journey
When creating content we always consider the buyer’s journey and where users are at in the purchasing cycle. Generally, we’re able to classify prospects into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
The first stage, awareness, is used to describe users that are aware they have a problem but are not sure what the next steps are. Sometimes this stage is also about making the prospect aware that they have a problem at all. During this stage resources should be entirely non-promotional and educational. This is you chance to build yourself up as a resource and help prospects understand what the solution to the problem may be. By being a great resources you can better segment and understand users based on the content they are engaging with.
During the consideration phase users are evaluating the best solutions available. They are likely doing a lot of comparing to decide which product or service is right for them. At this point you should be prepared to answer all the questions they may have as they dive into the details of your offering. It’s important to remember that while you want to showcase the products and solutions you offer you also want to be a resource and provide value and not get too promotional. You are still building the relationship and should be wary of going for the hard sell too soon. You must make more deposits than withdrawals during this stage.
The final stage, decision, as you may have guessed, is when prospects are making their final decision on what solution is best for them. During this stage it is your job to provide them with all the information they need to make a sound decision. If the person doing the majority of the researching is not the key decision maker you can help provide them with the information they need to push it through. If your product or service requires an intensive onboarding and education process laying these timelines and key tips for success can help reduce the prospect’s uncertainty.
Throughout all of these stages the key to success is having enough content. Not every prospect will take the same path to conversion. You need to be prepared to nurture prospects with a vast array of pain points. Funnels require a significant amount of optimization and testing which means you need to have a bank of content to pull from as you look to increase conversion rates.
Build Strong And Optimized Email Campaigns
One of the highest converting channels email marketing is huge asset to both Ecommerce and B2B companies. As with the other channels we’ve discussed, email is a great place to build up that relationship with prospects and offer them valuable content. Email is a direct line and great place to sell but without giving your prospects enough resources you will fall flat. Similar to social, email is great place to segment users. Once you’ve identified which of your products or services a prospect is interested in you can cater your messaging and content to them. Email is a quintessential part of the buyer’s journey and nothing provides a more direct path to move users through the funnel than email.
SEO Through Topic Modeling
Over the years Google has continued to adapt its algorithm to provide better results for users. Recently they have placed more and more emphasis on content as their algorithm has evolved to the point where it can essentially read content. Leveraging Rank Brain, an artificial intelligence program used to process search queries, Google has advanced and reset the bar for page one results.
With this program in place, topic modeling has becoming increasingly important. No longer can you optimize around one singular keyword- you must look at the keyword holistically as you place an emphasis on semantic search. When examining the results on page one of Google it’s no coincidence that the pages that rank have a large amount of written content on them. This is because all of this content gives more context to Google and allows the content to be more topically relevant.
One way we’ve been working to better integrate our content into our overall SEO strategy is to create clusters of content around topics. This essentially means that we look to optimize content within a larger group while creating a strong internal linking strategy. We link to each post within the cluster and then link up to more transactional pages. With this strategy we can not only create great content but also work to build up the rankings of key pages.
Let’s say for example, you sell home thermostats. You have a main page on your site where you target transactional keywords such as, “wifi thermostat” or “nest thermostat.” In your cluster you could build out topics around the following informational queries:
- How to Install a Thermostat
- How to Replace a Thermostat
- How to Test a Thermostat
- How Much is a Thermostat
- How to Program a Thermostat
While some of these queries may seem simple to you they are popularly searched queries that offer you a chance to introduce your brand to new users at a low cost. Secondly, these articles can provide a major boost to your thermostat page as you deploy your internal linking. We’ve found that Google responds better to clusters of content on the same topic than a variety of topics. Of course you can create cluster around various products, we would recommend doing so, however make sure you have enough content in each cluster and you don’t spread your content too thin.
Be A Thought Leader
While this is nothing new, it’s important to remember that content is a great way to stand out amongst the crowd. But not in the way you may think. It’s not about being promotional or salesly- it’s about being a true resource to your prospects. You shouldn’t be afraid to give away your “secret sauce.” If you withhold all of your truly valuable information you won’t be able to build up the type of relationship you need to convert prospects. The only way to build up a strong relationship with prospects is to give away some of your best resources in a smart and efficient manner.
Of course we wouldn’t suggest giving out a bunch of amazing content unless you are prepared to nurture these top of funnel leads. Part of the process of bringing users through the buyer’s journey is gettings users to make a series of micro-commitments.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Content Marketing Campaigns
A key element to remember when looking at the value and importance of content marketing is your promotion strategy. Without a strong promotion strategy all of the content you produce will fall flat. When you create an integrated digital strategy your investment in content can pay off tenfold. We see the most success when clients are willing publish 10-15 articles per month. That being said, do what you can and be strategic about leveraging each piece of content you produce.