Content Marketing. It’s the new marketing essential. As a CMO, you know your long-term growth, as well as quarterly earnings, depend on capturing the minds and wallets of your customers through today’s relevant content.
But successful content marketing is about more than throwing up a few blog posts and colorful infographics. A winning content strategy is purposeful and intentional. Get ahead of your competition by including these secret ingredients.
Know your audience.
Don’t just blog – write a personal post directed to the heart of your customer. What are the secret dreams, aspirations, and longings? What are the obstacles, fears, or roadblocks to success? Address them one at a time, systematically and completely, to build his confidence in your expertise.
Never stop learning about your audience, either. Listen carefully to customer service comments and complaints. Log common objections to your service or product, and create content to overcome each one. Record social media questions and criticisms for issues you can expound on more fully on your blog. The more you know about your customers, the better you can write in their language the very message they most need to hear.
Start with the basics.
A common content marketing mistake is talking over your audience, writing blog posts too technical or advanced for the new user. A primary purpose of your content marketing strategy should be to attract new users or build the trust of those not yet part of your market. You will win the loyalty of the new customers by helping them take the very first steps. Give simple “how to’s” on using your product. Explain the philosophy of your community often, in clear and simple terms. List benefits of getting involved in your market so they understand why they should even consider it. Assume your readers have no prior training, knowledge, and experience in your field – what do they need to know?
You likely have quite a list of content possibilities right there. Outline from start to finish what all that information should look like to a reader and organize it in steps. You will probably have an entire series or category of blog posts now that will soon become some of your most valuable content. Start right there. Write it, publish it, share it, promote it, and never stop adding to it. That is your secret weapon.
Don’t hold back. Too many CMO’s want to keep the industry secrets to success close to the vest, thinking that will give them an edge over the competition, or that people will pay for all the information. In reality, generosity is rewarded with loyalty and increased sales. Be open with as much training, information, and support as you can for your audience. Don’t just say you want to see your readers succeed – give them the content information they need to be successful before they even purchase.
Brainstorm with your product development team, sales staff, and customer service team what tools your market needs. Do they need more training on how to use your product? Do they need more industry insight? Do they need reminders, ideas, community support, or examples? Give them what they need, and often. You will soon find your content saved and shared and generating new leads.
Include a call to action.
Too many content marketing strategies fall short in the most basic part: they lack a clear call to action. Every post, every category, every blog series should have a purpose. Do you want to support existing customers? Include a CTA for more information or your contact page. Is the post creating interest in your general market? End with a CTA to your white paper or ebook giving the reader more information while getting you that valuable email for follow-up. Is your post explaining the benefits of your product or service? Close with a compelling call to buy and the link for purchase.
Your market fluctuates constantly, and your customer base is rapidly changing. Successful CMO’s stay close to their content team, constantly evaluating the effectiveness of past content and planning new content that will convert. Content marketing can never become stale. The good news is that your audience will continue to ask questions and provide opportunities for compelling content.
Maybe you wish your content marketing strategy worked better for you, but you don’t have the resources to make it happen. Zen Media’s content team is here to help. Find out more today.