The definitive guide to strategic content marketing
Do you know how to create strategic content marketing to drive more sales? The way consumers interact with brands and purchase products and services has changed irreversibly, especially with the social isolation measures imposed by COVID-19.
What was just a trend has now become a necessity for market survival. This digitalization of consumption expanded the demand for companies’ presence on the Internet.
Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy — that seeks to capture people’s attention by a non-invasive or interruptive way —, focused on engaging the target audience and growing the customer network through the creation, publication, and promotion of relevant content in digital media.
Because of this, strategic content marketing uses channels such as blogs, social networks, and email. If you don’t know what content marketing is or have not mastered this strategy completely, we prepared this definitive guide to teach you everything about this methodology. Check it out!
- What is strategic content marketing?
- What are the benefits of strategic content marketing?
- How to build a strategic content marketing?
What is strategic content marketing?
Strategic content marketing aims to subtly attract the most suitable audience to come to your company at the appropriate time and grant permission to receive a message from you. That is why an inbound strategy, which includes content marketing, is also called attraction marketing.
In the past, we were TV commercials’ passive watchers. Today, the public is powerful and can even choose what content to consume. The knowledge about your product and services is the best basis for producing content that conveys authority to your audience and guides them to solve questions or to handle desires to purchase.
With strategic content marketing, you can attract, involve, generate value for consumers, create a positive perception of your brand, and drive more sales.
Strategic content marketing is based on four pillars to achieve goals:
- attracting potential leads with relevant content;
- converting visitors into leads, bringing them closer to your business and turning them into potential buyers;
- selling your product or service when leads are interested;
- fascinating them, because the relationship between your company and your customer does not end after the purchase. It is necessary to provide adequate support and content to complement the consumption experience, such as demos and guides.
What are the benefits of strategic content marketing?
Increases your website traffic
Creating relevant content improves search engine rankings. Search sites like Google, which direct audiences to your page, become the main gateway for new customers.
Generates brand awareness
The production of relevant content helps more people to recognize your brand and know the products and services that your company offers. That increases the rate of achieving sales.
Regular readers of your blog will prefer your brand if they need a product or service because they will know that your company is trustworthy.
Builds brand engagement
While brand awareness increases the number of people who know and have a positive perception of your brand, engagement seeks to build a close and constant connection with a more selective audience. With content marketing, you increase the interactions with your brand.
Educates the market
Often, your target audience does not understand the market and what the products offered by your company are for.
With the production of relevant content, which answers customers’ questions and teaches them everything they need, you reduce objections and increase customer satisfaction, as they will purchase your products fully aware of how to use them.
Boosts lead generation
Without information about your website visitors, you will not be able to send the right content to turn them into leads and subsequently qualify them for sale.
With a strategic content marketing, it is possible to bring long-term results, generating traffic and leads even if this production is not regular.
If you focus on creating content to guide leads through the buying process and prepare them for decision-making, sales will be another positive outcome of a successful strategy.
Increases lifetime-value (LTV)
LTV is the total amount that a customer spends on your company during their experience. For example: if your customers buy four times a $ 50.00 product, your LTV is $ 200.00.
It is much cheaper to resell to a consumer than to bring a new customer to your company. Content marketing keeps this customer engaged with your brand and allows the availability of various types of after-sales content, such as newsletters, which reinforce long-term loyalty.
Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC is a metric that points out the value you invest in marketing and sales to get a new customer.
When this value is inexpensive, the revenue generated from the sale raises the cost and generates an easier profit. Therefore, the objective of any company is to get cheaper CAC.
With a strategic content marketing, you reduce CAC by providing materials that solve customers’ problems at the time of purchase and still provide content such as ebooks and webinars to facilitate the sales process.
How to build a strategic content marketing?
Content marketing is more than writing. That would be the easiest part of the strategy. Before that, it is necessary to define goals and metrics to evaluate. Check out below how to make a consistent plan to get good results.
Clear objectives help your company understand which metrics to track and what actions to take in order to improve results. Every strategy is necessary to seek an objective guiding to real benefits, such as brand awareness or increased engagement.
Defining KPIs is the next step after choosing your goals: they are directly related. If you don’t measure your results, you won’t know the next steps to follow, but if you follow all the metrics, you will have plenty of data and no relevant inputs for decision-making.
Because of this, you have to establish metrics following the SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
Determine your personas
A content marketing requirement is to qualify leads to attract who will generate value for the business. You have to create valuable content for customers with a higher inclination to purchase and engage them until they are ready to go down on the sales funnel.
While the target audience is based on the description of a demographic group, personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal clients. You can create better content for your audience if you determine it over interviews with your best clients and identifying common characteristics to be repeated in other consumers.
With the right personas, you can map your ideal customer’s journey and the steps they will have to follow from the moment they find out about your business to the time they decide to buy.
Define a content channel
The channels are chosen according to the personas’ characteristics, their most-used channels, and the stage of the funnel they are.
Blogs, for example, are the basis of a strategic content marketing because it offers many possibilities, both in types of supported content and in options to convert leads and generate more business opportunities.
Social media are the most relevant to promote the brand, engage the audience, and generate traffic to the blog.
Choose the right content for every step of the sales funnel
The use of interactive content in your strategic content marketing is a great initiative to increase your authority at the market and educate your audience. It is easier to consume on devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Some materials, such as ebooks, templates, and white papers, have even more valuable and informative content than blog posts, being a way to show your company’s authority in the segment.
Downloading rich material from landing pages is the best way to obtain valuable information from leads, and the marketers can complement the strategy breaking down the wall between the stages of the marketing funnel.
Email is the highest ROI (return on investment) channel, reinforce efforts spent in the other stages, is cheaper, and only requires suitable tools.
For each funnel’s stage, a piece of content is best indicated:
- top of the funnel: blog posts, videos, podcasts, and informative ebooks;
- middle of the funnel: ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars;
- bottom of the funnel: product-focused webinars, demos, case studies, landing pages with offers and discounts, product tests and free plans;
- post-sale: blog posts, infographics, and webinars.
Measure the results
Measuring the effectiveness of your actions is also important. It involves time and dedication, especially when you are deciding metrics.
The biggest benefit of digital marketing is the traceability of data: it’s possible to monitor KPIs, the actions of leads, and the results in real-time, to quickly change actions and avoid significant damages.
Knowing the ideal frequency to measure KPIs is important to find fitting statistical relevance. For example, you don’t need to accurate the cost of acquiring customers (CAC) daily because it tends to need more relevant facts to change.
But checking your website traffic frequently can make sense, because in a few days everything can vary and make a bigger impact on the entire sales funnel.
The ROI of content marketing is one of the most important metrics. It measures the effectiveness of the action according to the cost demanded to place it into practice.