Our quest for knowledge continues with this blog post which I will be relaying back information from an article I read this week about content marketing. We found this article from the website DigitalMarketer - a great source for the big concepts that exist in the online marketing world. Although this is a brief synopsis of the article I read, I am going to give you my big takeaways.
The goal of digital marketing is to share “perfect content”. Most people believe that content is equal to blogging. Although this is true, content is much more expansive than just a blog on your website. In reality, the term content has a much broader definition. And when we’re talking about “perfect content”, we’re referring specifically to delivering the right content to your prospects at exactly the right point in their customer journey.
The customer journey is outlined by your sales funnel. That is, the main stages of awareness that your prospects progress through in becoming a customer. Thinking about it this way, we can define content as anything that keeps your funnel full of your prospects at their respective stages in the customer journey.
There are 3 stages your prospects will go through in your funnel:
Each stage of the funnel calls for its own pieces of perfect content. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.
Awareness is the top of the funnel (TOFU) where your prospects will first arrive at. These prospects are both aware of a problem and aware that you have a solution to that problem. The content you should be using for this stage of the funnel can educate, entertain or inspire. Examples of TOFU content are pieces like blog posts, social posts, videos, or podcasts. Each piece has the goal of raising awareness of your offers while providing useful information.
Evaluation is the second/middle stage of the funnel (MOFU). This is where your prospects are comparison shopping your solution with your competitors’ solutions. The MOFU is a great place for you to utilize what we call lead magnets. These are pieces of content like educational resources, discounts, or a free webinar. Lead magnets convert problem and solution aware prospects into leads by using free content to incentivize them to submit their contact information. So things like white papers or reports create solution aware leads.
The 3rd and final stage of your funnel, conversion, is at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) - where a purchase occurs. Prospects here are still comparison shopping so smart BOFU content is comparison/spec sheet, free trial, or customer stories. You can also find great BOFU content ideas from Google’s suggestions.
Perfect Content is Intent-Based
Intent changes as you move prospects through the funnel so asking what the ROI is on one blog post is the wrong question - you need to ask how well you met the prospects’ intent. To come up with valuable content assets, you need to anticipate current and future needs of your prospects.
Perfect Content is Ascension-Focused
Smart content marketing anticipates intent. This means that you want to create the least amount of friction for your prospects to move through the funnel. Ascension offers like “Learn more about this” or “See our pricing options” can be embedded in your blog posts to keep your prospects moving through your funnel with as little resistance as possible.
Perfect Content is Cross-channel
You shouldn’t only share a blog post, for example, on your blog. You should be sharing it where it meets intent on any channel, like social media, where prospects are searching for and sharing your content.
Perfect Content is Avatar-based
Content assets can target a group of avatars or a single type of avatar. An example of an avatar for this blog post could be an employee trying to land a job in marketing with the information I just laid out.
This is a 10,000 ft. view of the “perfect content” for each stage of your sales funnel. Always remember, the type of content and the time you share it with your prospects in the different stages of the funnel is crucial to implementing an effective digital marketing strategy.