Guarantee higher conversion rates by establishing rock solid foundations for your content marketing
Have you ever wondered why content marketing is so hyped up these days? After all, you’ve tried your hand at blogging and seen little return on investment. Could it be that content marketing is simply overrated?
If you’ve seen limited success when it comes to content marketing, you’re one of many. The cold, dark truth is that the majority of businesses fail at content marketing, and the reason is simple: they don’t understand the foundations of content marketing.
Before you get to creating content for your business, consider the following:
- 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared each day
- 1.8 billion images are uploaded each day
- 500 million tweets are tweeted each day
- 700 million Snapchats are sent per day
While these may seem like little more than a testament to the prevalence of social media, what these numbers mean for you is that you’re going to have to approach content marketing with a solid strategy. Blindly posting content will make you little more than a number in these growing statistics.
Here are a few quick wins for your content marketing strategy to help you keep building up leads and increasing conversions.
Know Your Target Audience
Knowing who you’re marketing to is the most essential aspect of content marketing. But how can you create buyer personas that are accurate representations of your clientele? Try these tips:
- Interview your existing and/or prospective customers
- Interview your sales team
- Use outbound surveys
- Mine in-house data
- Check your analytics
- Monitor social media
- Do keyword research
All of these actions can help you gain a deeper insight as to who your customers are and how you can reach them with personalized content.
Understand the Buyer’s Journey
Funneling contacts through the buyer’s journey means answering a series of questions in the order in which customers are likely to ask them. Here’s an example of how you can guide contacts into conversion.
- What is your brand all about? This is the awareness stage. At this point, your contact will want to read catchy blog posts, infographics and maybe even whitepapers to learn what your company stands for.
- How can you help solve an existing problem? Here, you’ll need to use evidence and powers of persuasion to convince your lead that you can resolve an issue for them. Case studies, product webinars and guides are all great ways to do this.
- Can I get first-hand experience? The final stage of the buyer’s journey comes when your lead is ready to give your company a shot — if you can push them that extra step toward committing. Offer free trials, live demos and user guides, giving them a taste of your business before they take that final step toward becoming a customer.
You’ll need to create content for each step of the buyer’s journey.
According to the most recent State of Content Marketing report by Wyzowl, 53 percent of content marketers don’t measure ROI. If you don’t measure your return on investment, you’ll have no idea whether your content marketing plan is working. To start, you’ll need to use a handful of different types of metrics:
- Consumption: views, bounce rate, and time spent on each page
- Sharing: likes, retweets, pins, +1s, etc.
- Lead generation: subscriptions, form submissions and conversion rates
Make It Actionable
While some businesses prefer to only create content that entertains, others praise actionable content as the best and truest way to generate leads. There’s nothing wrong with simply trying to entertain and engage your audience, and in some instances, this is the best way to increase brand awareness. But without including clear calls-to-action in a good segment of your content, you could miss out on the opportunity to transform contacts into leads.
Content marketing can be the most important aspect of your inbound marketing plan. Regularly published content that guides readers through the buyer’s journey, engages with them personally, and leads them to a clear call-to-action can continue to grow your business as time goes on. When done poorly, however, you can end up with solitary spikes in content views followed by little more than a handful of ‘likes,’ if you’re lucky.
How do you use content to generate leads? What works for you and what doesn’t? Let us know in the comments!