Content Marketing is a long-term strategy. But who said this is a bad thing? – WAU
Content Marketing is a way to engage with your target audience and grow your network of customers and potential customers by creating relevant and valuable content, attracting, involving and generating value for people in order to create a positive perception of your brand and thus generate more business.
(This is the first audio of this content, in which we cover the basics of Content Marketing)
Audio 2: Overview of a content strategy
Audio 3: Planning: main channels for your strategy
Audio 4: Execution and Measurement of your strategy
That Digital Marketing is no longer a market trend to become an indispensable investment in most companies you already know, right? Anyone who wants to remain relevant to their customers today needs to have online visibility.
Therefore, the point today is no longer the need to be on the internet, but how to put yourself on it to gain public attention and stand out in the midst of the competition, which is already there.
You need to adopt the best and most modern customer acquisition strategies, being the main element of an Inbound Marketing strategy. One of the main ones is Content Marketing, which is used and recommended by the greatest specialists in the world.
If you are new to Content Marketing or have not mastered this strategy completely, we have prepared this definitive guide for you to learn everything you need to know to become an expert in this methodology as well.
What is Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a way to engage your target audience and grow your network of customers and potential customers by creating relevant and valuable content. You attract, involve and generate value for people in order to create a positive perception of your brand and, thus, generate more business.
Well, that’s the definition we use here at Websites Are Us. It is even the definition that we present to our customers to explain the concept.
But, to make it even clearer in your mind, I’m going to unravel it and explain it in detail now:
“Content Marketing is a way to engage with your target audience and grow your network of customers and potential customers …”
First, you need to understand that the time when we were obliged to passively watch TV commercials is gone. Today, the public has more power than ever to choose the content they want to consume and how to respond to it. And you have the power and the knowledge to produce exactly the content that your audience wants.
“… By creating relevant and valuable content…”
Traditional professionals find it difficult to stop talking about their products and focus on the public’s desire, which is really useful content for them. Good content is not focused on selling, but on bringing some benefit to those who read it, like solving a problem, clarifying a doubt or teaching something. The sale is just a consequence of that process.
“… Attracts, engages and creates value for people…”
The content you create is not only useful, but it sends the right message to the right audience at the time they need it most! You exceed expectations by providing content so incredible that your audience will want to share it with others.
“… In order to create a positive perception of your brand and thus generate more business.”
This is the coolest part! As you helped your audience when they needed it, the audience has a positive outlook on your brand. And people are more likely to do business with brands they know and like than with unknown brands.
The ultimate goal of marketing is this: always bring positive results to the company! And with Content Marketing, that goal can be achieved.
How? I’ll explain it better now.
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The Inbound methodology
Inbound Marketing is the main Digital Marketing strategy today. And within it is Content Marketing. In this topic we will show how the principles of Inbound make all the difference in the content strategy.
To talk about the benefits and importance of Content Marketing, it is essential to understand what the Inbound methodology is first.
Inbound Marketing is any marketing strategy that seeks to capture people’s interest in a non-invasive or interruptive way.
Unlike aggressive advertisements that throw ads in people’s faces when they’re not ready, its goal is to attract the audience subtly.
You let him come to your company in his time and give him permission to get your message across. That’s why Inbound is also called attraction marketing.
To achieve this, Inbound is based on four pillars:
- To attract: through relevant content, inbound attracts visitors interested in the business;
- To convert: here, the aim is to turn visitors into leads, bringing them closer to your business and turning them into potential sales;
- Sell: Is your lead interested in the product or service that your company offers? This is the time to show that your solution is the best and close the sale;
- Enchant: the relationship between your company and your customer does not end after purchase. Inbound preaches a lasting relationship, in which you offer all the necessary support, in addition to enchanting the customer with interesting materials and competent service.
Basically, what you need to know is that to do Content Marketing is to follow the Inbound methodology.
That is, it is to attract your audience in order to gain their trust and gain loyal followers for your brand. But there are several other benefits of Content Marketing for your business, as I will explain now.
We have a specific guide on Inbound Marketing that you can download here.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Why Use Content Marketing? In this topic we will show the main advantages of the strategy for your company to achieve business goals.
To give you an idea of the importance of Content Marketing, 73% of London companies already adopt this methodology in its customer acquisition strategy and 61.8% of those that do not yet use it intend to adopt it soon.
These are data from the 2018 edition of Content Trends, the largest survey on Content Marketing in the country. You can download the full survey report here.
As the numbers show, the absolute majority of companies in London have already seen the benefits of this methodology.
But why are these companies betting on that?
Well, the reasons are many and very interesting for your business! In addition to generating value for your persona, Content Marketing:
Increase your website traffic
According to Content Trends 2018, 86.7% of people use Google to get information. That is, your website is the main gateway for new customers and Google is the way to it.
Producing relevant content is the best way to get your site on the first page of Google, where he will always be found by his audience, and leave that door inviting for him to enter.
Proof of this is that companies that use Content Marketing have, on average, 2.2 times more visits to their sites. And, if you produce more than 13 content per month, that number rises to 4.2 times!
Generates brand awareness
The production of content helps more people to recognize your brand and know the products and / or services that your company offers.
As I explained, people are more likely to buy brands that they are familiar with and that they like.
A regular reader of your blog, for example, will prefer your brand when they need to buy a product or service. After all, he already knows you and you have helped him several times with your content.
Increases brand engagement
While the 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 relationship with a more selective audience.
By producing quality content, you increase people’s interactions with your brand, creating that engagement.
The result of this is evangelisers who recommend and even defend it.
Educates the market
Often, your target audience does not understand well the market in which you are inserted, what the products offered by your company are for, etc.
In that case, don’t give up! Produce content that answers customer questions and teaches them everything they need to know to make the purchase decision for themselves.
If your content is really quality, you will break objections and increase customer satisfaction, as they will come to purchase with full awareness of your product and how to use it.
I bet you’re thinking: but Peçanha, doesn’t every company want to generate sales?
Of course yes! However, this is not always the ultimate goal of the Content Marketing process.
Increasing the number of sales, in this case, means focus your content production to guide leads through the purchase process and prepare them for decision making.
But these are just a few examples of goals. The important thing is that you identify yours to direct your planning correctly.
Boosts lead generation
Okay, you already have visitors on your site. But without information about them, you won’t be able to send the right content to turn them into opportunities and put them in contact with a seller.
That is why generating leads is the main goal of 64.7% of London companies! And some of them are already getting 3.2 times more leads doing Content Marketing.
And the best: with a solid strategy, which will continue to bring long-term results, generating traffic and leads even if you don’t produce content regularly.
Lifetime-value (LTV) is the total amount that a customer spends on your company as a whole. For example: if your customers buy an average product of R $ 50.00 twice, your LTV is R $ 100.00.
Every business owner knows that it is cheaper to sell again to a current customer than to bring in a new customer. So, using a content strategy for this purpose is a good move because it keeps the customer engaged with your company.
You can use various types of post-sale content, such as exclusive customer newsletters, to offer new products or discounts at your store.
Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost
CAC, Cost of Customer Acquisition, is a metric that points out the value you invest in the areas of Marketing and Sales to get a new customer.
If winning a new customer is cheap, the revenue generated by it covers the expenses created so far and still makes a profit. Therefore, the objective of any company is that its CAC is as low as possible.
But why am I explaining this? Because most companies still maintain a large commercial team focused on prospecting and injecting money into paid media to get new customers.
These actions do work, but they also result in a high CAC. Even because people and advertising are not cheap, do you agree?
With a Content Marketing strategy you reduce the CAC providing materials that solve customer doubts at the time of purchase and equipping your sales team with ebooks, webinars and other content that can slow down the sales process.
You can still use Content Marketing to train your Sales team, improve the conversion of your leads, build authority in the market, etc., just to name a few benefits.
(If you clicked to start listening here, you already know what Content Marketing is and other basic concepts)
Content strategy plan
One of the aspects most neglected by those who do Content Marketing is that it must be based on an organized and structured strategy to generate results. Now understand what is needed for a successful strategy.
Putting a corporate blog on the air and writing a post when it hits the wall is not Content Marketing! Far from it, in fact.
Content Marketing, in general, is a work in three stages: planning, execution and measurement. And that is what I am going to teach you to do now.
Content strategy planning
Content marketing goes far beyond writing. In fact, that is the smallest part. Before that, it is necessary to define objectives, strategies to be used and which metrics to evaluate. Understand how to make a consistent plan to get good results!
Planning is everything that comes before you actually start creating content: choosing themes, language, keywords.
It is the moment when you make clear the results you want to achieve with your Content Marketing strategy, the path you will take to get there and how you will measure your progress.
Producing content without planning is like taking a car trip without a GPS – you can even have fun on the way (especially if you have a big car), but you will probably end up lost in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire.
That’s why, in the planning stage, we define all the steps of the company’s Content Marketing strategy, starting with the persona.
Goal setting and KPIs
A clear objective helps your team to understand which metrics should be followed and what actions should be taken to improve results. Every strategy must pursue a goal that brings real benefits to the business!
I have listed above some of the benefits of Content Marketing for your company that can be used as goals:
- Generate brand awareness;
- Increase engagement with the brand;
- Educate the market;
- Generate sales;
- Decrease the cost per sale;
- Increase lifetime-value.
These examples cover a large part of the cases we see on a daily basis. Then assess what results you need to achieve at the moment of your business and what goal will help you get there faster.
Defined objective, the next step in planning your Content Marketing strategy is to define your KPIs, the key performance indicators.
It is essential that this definition is well done because there are two types of people who do not know if their campaigns are performing well: those who do not track enough metrics and those who look at too many metrics. And both generate the same type of problem!
In the first case, if you are not measuring any results, you are walking blindly, not knowing if the path you are following is the correct one.
In the second case, to follow any and all available metrics is to have an enormous amount of data, but no relevant information.
The concept of KPIs are the most important metrics for determining the success of your strategy.
Some characteristics of a good KPI are:
- Be important: when choosing the metrics to be used as KPI, it is crucial that they have an impact on achieving the goal. Choosing a “vanity” metric or just because it performs better is dangerous;
- Be simple to understand: a KPI cannot be an extremely complicated index. It must be easy to understand so that it can be shared clearly with the whole team;
- Be easily measurable: in order to be placed in context and associated with an objective, it is necessary to be measured in a simple way. A KPI for the number of e-mail subscribers, for example, is easily measured and linked to a goal of 10% growth per month;
- Being able to lead to positive action: this is the most important point. If the analysis of your KPIs does not bring attitudes to improve the company’s position in relation to its objectives, you have chosen the wrong KPIs.
Defining KPIs is the next step after choosing goals, because they are directly related. Next, we’ll show you an objective and what KPIs can be observed to track success:
- Brand awareness: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, YouTube video views, website visits;
- Brand engagement: sharing on social networks, number of pages visited on the site, low bounce rate, comments on posts;
- Market education: number of pages visited on the site, subscribers to your newsletter and subscribers to the RSS feed;
- Lead generation: conversions on landing pages, growth of the contact base;
- Sales generation: number of sales, sales / leads;
- Cost per sale: time spent making a sale, number of sales, CAC (customer acquisition cost);
- Lifetime-value: contract time for each client.
And so on.
So look at your goal and reflect: what metrics are going to show me that I’m on the right track to meet my goal, being the only metrics I can’t help but monitor?
Definition of Personas
One of the pillars of Content Marketing is that you don’t want to attract anyone to your website. You want the right person, the one who really has the profile to become a customer.
That is why all planning must be based on knowledge about your persona, seeking to help you in all your pains and lead you through the sales funnel.
The concept of persona is totally different from that of the target audience. While the target audience is based on the description of a demographic group you are looking to reach, the persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal client.
Semi-fictional because the process of creating personas goes through in-depth interviews with your best customers, in an attempt to identify common traits between them and that should be repeated in future customers.
I’ll give you an example to make it clearer, okay?
Let’s assume that the target audience for a particular brand of shampoo can be described as women between 20 and 30 years old, who work and study and don’t have time to go to the beauty salon to take care of their hair.
But that information doesn’t say much about customer preferences, how they think or act.
So this brand interviewed some of its most loyal customers and drew a profile composed of the characteristics that best describe its ideal customer.
The result of this is the persona Joana, a young university student of 25 years who works part-time as a private teacher, likes to go out on weekends to dance, cherishes the health of her pocket looking to save money and reads beauty blogs looking for tips practices that you can replicate on your own.
As the persona is more detailed, it allows for more accurate actions, how to produce perfect content to help women like Joana.
In addition, knowing your persona is essential to map your ideal customer’s shopping journey, the step by step he takes from the moment he finds you to the time he makes the decision to actually buy.
If you still don’t have your persona documented, I recommend you download this ebook and start right now:
And of course you can produce content that makes your persona move faster from one step to the next. I will talk about that now.
Sales and Content funnel: how to fit into your strategy
The sales funnel has been used for a long time by marketers because it is a simple way to illustrate the sales process, from the first contact with the public until the moment when the sale takes place.
Just as a funnel is capable of receiving a lot of volume at the top, but in the end, it lets in little matter; the sales funnel demonstrates that, of the many people who reach you, only a portion will go through the entire process and actually become a customer.
This representation is extremely important to classify where a potential customer is in the conversion and what efforts are needed to take him to the next step until he reaches the purchase decision.
Traditionally, much of the sales process is done by the sales team. However, we can use Content Marketing to make this process even more efficient today, shortening the sales cycle!
One of the bases of Content Marketing is to generate relevant content that interests your audience, promoting interactions and engagement with your brand, right? But, working with Content Marketing is essentially a strategic job.
So, if we want to use the content to optimize the sales process, we have to think about content that helps in the progress of each of the stages of the funnel.
Top of funnel content
The top of the funnel is the learning and discovery stage.
The public here is still not looking for solutions to any problems. Often, he doesn’t even know that there is a problem to be solved and is just looking for information.
Therefore, the objective of the top of the funnel is to attract attention to the discovery of the problem and take the public into the sales process.
Take into account that the reader does not yet have a relationship with your brand and understands little about your service. For this reason, your content should have little or no consumption barriers and should never be advertising.
Create interesting content that will make him return to your blog frequently and become familiar with your brand. This can help bring the visitor into the funnel, leading them, in the future, to close a deal with your company.
Some examples of content that can be produced for the top of the funnel are blog posts, videos, podcasts and informative ebooks, as complete guides on a certain subject.
Content for the middle of the funnel
The middle of the funnel is the stage of recognition and consideration.
People here have already discovered that they have a need and are looking for ways to solve their problems. For this reason, it is already possible to create a greater barrier to the consumption of content, such as a form with more fields, which will transform an interested party into a lead.
The content of the middle of the funnel is also different from the top of the funnel. Blog posts and multimedia content remain a good option, but they should have a greater focus on solutions than on reporting.
Because they are a great way to get qualified leads, ebooks and whitepapers are crucial in the middle of the funnel.
Webinars, in addition to helping to resolve leads’ doubts, are also a powerful way to position yourself as a great expert in your area of expertise, placing your solution in t