How Can Content Marketing Help Bring in More Leads and Sales?
Content marketing is important for creating an engaged audience.
In fact, approximately 72 percent of marketers state that content marketing increases engagement and leads.
But, it’s also difficult to sustain a strong content marketing strategy. About 65 percent of marketers find it challenging to produce engaging content and about 62 percent of marketers don’t know how to measure the ROI of their campaigns.
Brain Tracey, a Canadian-American motivational speaker and author, once said “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.”
These wise words should form the foundation of your content marketing plan.
Approaching content marketing this way will help you produce the engaging content your audience craves so that you can get the best ROI from your campaigns.
Here are some tips that can help you create solution-based content for your content marketing strategy.
Understand Your Content Marketing Funnel
Buzz Sumo defines a content marketing funnel as “a system that introduces new leads to your business through different types of content.” The funnel has three stages:
- Brand Awareness
- Relationship Building
You need to Understand Your Content Marketing Funnel.
Each stage of the funnel has a different objective and, therefore, requires a different type of content.
A successful content marketing funnel is created by understanding who your target audience is and what they need to know. Start by developing a detailed buyer persona and then use that persona to understand what your ideal customer needs at each stage of the funnel.
Stage One: Brand Awareness
The brand awareness stage focuses on customers who don’t know anything about your brand. Blog articles tend to work best at this stage because they offer answers to your target audience’s pressing questions and provide support for search engine optimization (SEO).
How-to videos and infographics also work well for increasing brand awareness. A great content marketing example for illustrating this point is the WordStream infographic below. This infographic got thousands of social shares thus increasing the brand’s visibility and ultimately leading to qualified leads.
What Made This Infographic Great?
- Highly detailed
- Provided valuable information the target audience needed
- Easy to understand
Stage Two: Relationship Building
People at this stage of your content marketing funnel already know about your brand and have either subscribed to your email list or follow you on social media. Your aim at this stage is to connect with your audience and build relationships that encourage customer loyalty and satisfaction.
You want to convert the people who have been benefitting from the free content on your website into paying customers. A lead magnet is useful at this stage to reel the customer in and give you an email address that you can use for email marketing. Examples of lead magnets include whitepapers, eBooks or case studies.
Email marketing allows you to nurture the relationship with this new lead. Ultimately, this lead begins to trust your brand even more and is likely to enter the final stage of the funnel.
Stage Three: Conversion
At this stage, you provide highly personalized content for your lead. Demos, trials, exclusive webinars or exclusive discounts are the best type of content for this stage of the content marketing funnel.
You would have learnt a lot about each customer during the relationship-building stage. Use this knowledge to create the right type of content for converting this potential customer into a paying customer.
Create a Monthly Content Calendar
The brand awareness stage of the content marketing funnel is often the most difficult. It requires consistency and promotion to get your content in front of the right people. There’s nothing easy about that.
The solution? A monthly content calendar.
This calendar helps you create a detailed plan about the type of content you’ll produce, the topics each content piece will be related to and when each piece will be posted. It represents the content for your marketing plan.
The best way to come up with content ideas is to listen to your audience by:
- Paying attention to their comments on your social media posts
- Looking at the questions they as on platforms like Quora
- Getting feedback from existing customers about your product or service
You can then use the insight you’ve gleaned to create a theme for each month. That theme would guide the content you produce.
For instance, let’s say that you own an online clothing boutique that provides clothes for plus-sized women. Comments on some pictures you’ve posted of your clothing indicate that these women don’t feel confident enough to style themselves well for a date.
Your content marketing calendar could look something like this.
Note: This is just a draft of what a content calendar could look like for this brand. In reality, it would be far more detailed and include more post ideas.
Plus Size Glam That Makes a Man Say “Damn!”
|Week 1||Article from fashion expert on how to mix and match pieces||Instagram live interview with female plus-sized entrepreneur||Instagram post of one of our top three styles for a first date|
|Week 2||From drab to fab video of a makeover||Article on the right accessories for a date||Instagram image carousel of our top five selling date inspired styles for plus-sized women|
|Week 3||Video of a live date and commentators reactions||Live video with a stay-at-home mom who’s trying to get back onto the dating scene||Article on the top three summer fashion trends that’ll wow any guy|
|Week 4||Live interview with a psychologist on the thought process behind effective styling||Article on the benefits of self-confidence in the dating world (include exclusive offer to a 5% discount on selected clothing)||How To Style Yourself to Awesome video|
Pay Attention to Industry Leaders
Another way to get content ideas is to follow thought leaders in your industry. Look at what they post and determine whether you have fresh perspectives to add.
Comment on their posts to show that their content matters to you and you have interesting thoughts to share. These comments could spark meaningful collaborations that bring further exposure to your brand.
Content marketing can help you bring in more leads and sales if you focus on content that helps customers either solve a problem or achieve a goal. It’s all about adding value in a way that helps you build relationships.
Start by understanding your brand’s content marketing calendar. You can then use this calendar to help you develop a monthly content calendar that speaks specifically to your audience’s needs. Finally, learn from the thought leaders in your industry and engage with their content. Who knows, you may be able to create a meaningful collaboration.