A few weeks ago the Budding Culture crew hosted the local edition of Inbound Marketing Week, a worldwide event designed to share knowledge, experience and best practices around Inbound Marketing, or as we like to call it, marketing when the customer is in control.
The evening turned out to be a great opportunity to mix it up with clients, customers and other folks in the community who share our enthusiasm for Inbound or simply wanted to learn more. The feature presentation from the evening was 8 Steps to Driving Content Marketing Success – A detailed approach on how to transform your marketing team into an effective content marketing machine.
In summary those steps are –
(1) Think Like A Media Company
In some ways, digital marketing is about cutting out the middle man. Your company is communicating directly with prospects on websites, blogs, social media. The first most fundamental mind-shift is “Think like a media company.” Start by asking yourself questions like “What would Oprah do?” or “How can your company create meaningful conversation?”
(2) Prioritize Inbound Marketing Tactics
Outbound Marketing is activities where you reach out to prospects, often paying a premium to do so. In short, these are traditional, media-led marketing activities. Inbound marketing tactics are designed to make your business seekable online. It’s about customers seeking you out. Inbound Marketing includes tactics such as SEO, blogging and premium content such as videos and ebooks. Building integrated programs around Inbound Marketing is the first step to using content as a a powerful marketing tool.
(3) Own, Don’t Rent Your Marketing
When we talk about ‘renting’ your marketing, where talking about paid media activities, social media platforms, paid online advertising etc. These are all worthwhile tactics, but once they are done, they are done. At the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of the media.
‘Owning’ your marketing are things such as your website, blog and premium content like ebooks, videos, how-to guides etc. This content lives on and continues to play a role in driving traffic to your website as long as the content is live. For example, according to HubSpot, 70% of business leads via a blog are said to come in via older articles.
(4) Know Your Buyer Personas
To create powerful content you need to know who you are creating content for. Buyer Personas are summary documents based on real buyers who influence or make decisions. They’re a key tool for creating content that speaks to prospect needs. A strong buyer persona can help you create the ideal content to –
- Attract website visitors;
- Turn prospects to leads;
- Turn those leads into customers.
(5) Treat the Purchase Funnel like a Content Funnel
Another key to content marketing success is an old familiar marketing tool, the purchase funnel –
- Awareness ➞ How can content create awareness of our brand?
- Interest ➞ What sort of content is ideal for building interest in our offerings?
- Decision ➞ How can we use marketing content to help buyers along in their purchase decision?
- Action ➞ How can content insure we have a customer for life?
Content plays a role in every stage of the funnel. The purchase funnel is a great roadmap for determining what sort of content you ought to create.
(6) Build a Crack Team of Content Creators
Content can come from anywhere in your organization. Company veterans who know your culture and way of doing things. For example, loan officers or customer service people who have frontline experience dealing with customers sometimes have great stories to share. Sourcing your content from across your organization insures a steady supply.
(7) Set up a Style Bank and Content Bank
Ongoing, you’ll need to source a steady supply of content that can be used as needed. One day you may be drowning in content, the next you are looking for that next blog post, ebook or video idea. Banking content so it can be used on a moments notice is key when building a strong content marketing program. Also, a style bank of design templates and ideas will help keep your content looking fresh. Schedule regular meetings with your content team to share ideas and keep everyone inspired.
(8) Utilize a Marketing Automation Platform
Marketing automation platforms (software) are designed to help you effectively market across multiple digital channels. They integrate email marketing, social media posting, landing page management, blogging etc. and automate repetitive tasks. Marketing automation platforms also insure content marketing initiatives have methodology, process and concrete goals behind them. They allow you to track and monitor metrics that are meaningful, such as –
- Web traffic;
- Social media engagement;
- Conversions on content that requires users to respond.
These are just 8 key steps to begin creating killer marketing content. Check out our LIBRARY OF FREE RESOURCES for more useful tips and tricks.