I decided to share with you some tips on how to build a strong Content Marketing Strategy. There are many things to take into consideration when you start a CMS (Content Marketing Strategy), so that I will split the article into three parts: one about how to create a Call-to-Action that will increase your conversion rates, one about how to use video content in your Content Marketing Strategy, and another one that will show you some content writing secrets.
First of all, let’s find out what Content Marketing and Content Marketing strategy mean, what are the benefits of a Content Marketing Strategy, what should contain a CMS and then we should learn how to build a CTA that will boost your conversion rates.
Take your time, read carefully and take some notes if you need. If you can’t do it, our article is here and you can turn back to him whenever you need.
Introduction to the Content Marketing Strategy World
Over the past years, content has evolved. It’s no surprise that these days people want to get the information faster. They have no time to analyze your website to decide if you are the one they will read or not. People did this years ago, but now they have to be caught by something interesting that you can offer to them. Even if you sell something, or you have an informative website – it contains information about different things, or you have a blog where you write and tell them about you and your everyday little stories, you have to take into consideration planning a smart content strategy for 2017.
We will talk about Content Marketing Strategy and how it could help you. Besides, I will tell you how to use content – written or video – in order to convert more people and to make serious improvements to your ROI – in the other two parts of the article.
Let me start with explaining what is Content Marketing. Because this article will be split up into three parts, the Part I is an introduction to what Content Marketing and Content Marketing Strategy mean. You’ll find out how you should write a Call-to-Action message and what copy secrets are behind this little trick called CTA.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a marketing approach focused on creating valuable content, relevant and consistent for the reader – the audience you have to attract and convert it into a customer or permanent reader or, like a marketer would say, you have to convert the simple person, the future customer, into a brand advocate. Your website is your brand, whatever you decide to sell.
Every good thing you start to build has a strategy. If you want to build something strong and lasting, you must think about a strategy to be implemented. Likewise, Content and Content Marketing should work with a strategy behind.
The difference between Content Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
The Content Marketing Strategy is your “why”. Why am I doing this? What is the purpose? Who are the ones that will be helped by you? What are the benefits of your brands? What can your brand do for the consumers different from the competition?
What is Content Strategy?
I bet you ask yourself why we need to talk about this again. Well, let me tell you that Content Strategy is different from the Content Marketing Strategy.
Content Strategy refers to digging deeper into the creation and publication. If Content Marketing Strategy focuses on the entire procedure of implementing content as a part of the marketing process, Content Strategy aims to work on the creation process.
The benefits of Content Marketing Strategy
1 – Content drives results from SEO;
2 – Content drives purchases;
3 – Shareable content creates awareness for your brand;
4 – User generated content drives purchase;
5 – Content and diversity of platforms drive purchase;
6 – Syndicated content also drives purchase.
What a Content Marketing Strategy contains?
1 – Your Business Case;
2 – Your Business Plan;
3 – Your Audience Personas and Content Maps;
4 – Your Brand Story;
5 – Your Channel Plan.
These 5 points should be reached by your Content Marketing Strategy. It appears to be simple, but let see what each of them means.
Business Case – for innovating with content marketing
You need a Business Case in order to communicate why do you want to create content. What your reasons are? How the risks look like and how your vision of success will look like?
Business Plan – for content marketing
Here you will put the goals you have for your content program, you will put there the unique value to be provided through content, and details of your business model. You must put the obstacles you will face in your journey, but also the opportunities you may have.
Audience Personas and Content Maps
This is about the target and the specific people that will read or buy from you. After you decide who is your target, you will create engaging and valuable content for them. You must write or create video content relevant for your audience to keep the closer to you and to your brand. Give the people what they want and they will stick with you.
Every brand has a story behind and that story should be communicated using different ways from the competition. You should be unique even when you tell your brand story. The way you carry your message should be different from the competition and you should tell in your story how you see your business evolving once you have shared these information with the audience.
In your channel plan should be found the platforms where you want to share your brand story, the processes and the goals for each one. Besides, your channel plan is the perfect step to establish how you will connect the brand with the platforms to create a united and strong brand conversation.
5 Seven Characteristics of a Great Content Marketing Strategy
As you could have seen by now, content marketing drives businesses and makes money. Content Marketing services are a part of the entire Marketing Strategy and a way to make money. When is about content, people look for information, education or a solution for their problems. If you want for your content to be strong and successful, it must accomplish two important things:
a) Speak your message directly to what your customers need and want if there is content like data sheets, white paper, web page or any official document;
b) Through your content you must underline every stage of the customer journey.
But how you can create content to accomplish these two features?
1 – Know your audience
This is not a thing very special because you know that you have to create content for the target you established. But there are so many people that do not consider this an important part of the marketing process. And they are wrong. Not knowing your target is the first big mistake you can make in a business.
Imagine that you are trying to sell a juicy hamburger to a vegan. Imagine that you build a strong business on luxury cars, but you are trying to sell them to the simple people with a lower income. It’s obviously that you won’t sell anything. It’s not enough to have a good business idea if you don’t follow the marketing process properly. Hence, not knowing your target will lead your business to fall down.
You just cannot create something and wait to see if you will have or not customers. You cannot simply guess if you chose your target well.
After the targeting process, write for your reader so that he or she will understand the information provided by you.
Imagine that you talk to one of your readers. Imagine that you have him or her in front of you. This is a simple trick to focus more on your reader when you write. Keep in mind who is your target and the content will be written more simple, therefore a part of your content marketing strategy will be successfully implemented.
2 – Which type of content do you write depending on buying cycle?
First of all, let’s see what are steps of a buying cycle:
So, where are you? For what step of these ones you create content?
3 – Use customer-centric examples in your content
There is about storytelling: instead of simply describing your products and services, you should tell a story about the benefits. Your audience will be more responsive to an information presented in this manner. Besides, real-world examples will convince your readers and then they will turn into customers. They will be converted. You must be their friend and you must show them why they should buy, rather than telling them to buy. People evolved and they don’t want anymore to tell them to buy, but to show them why should they buy from you. How can you do that?
a) practice summaries or reviews from other customers: you know that if someone buys something, they will tell their friends about that product. These summaries or reviews are strong for a future customer;
b) case studies or case scenarios;
c) customer success stories;
d) solution briefs.
4 – Meaningful images
It is not something new that people are more responsive to images and graphics than to written content. But this is not a thing that should make you stop using and creating written content.
Your website should contain images and graphics to explain to your readers exactly what you wanted to say in your written content. There are moments when readers need more than an article full of good words: they need pictures and images that can explain them better the information.
Your images should be relevant. Images, photos, videos (about them will talk a little bit later in another post, so stay tuned) are a part of the content marketing strategy. In fact, content means all, so you don’t want to fail your content marketing strategy by not using meaningful images.
5 – Use a call-to-action
Your main goal, when you strat to create content on your website is to move your prospects down on the sales funnel and convert them into BUYERS.
In order to accomplish this, you need to create a CTA that is more than “Contact us”. People react better if you tell them that you will offer them something free, for example. But maybe you don’t have too much money to give them something big- there are cases when bloggers are in the beginning phase of their ascent – so that there are options for them too: a PDF with info related to what you offer on the blog would be great.
Could you tell me more about this Call-to-Action thing? You would ask me if we probably were face to face. Yes, I will.
How to run a content marketing strategy? Use a CALL TO ACTION
A. The magic trial: or, in other words, the free trial that you offer them. Let’s say that you are an online Local SEO Toolkit like GeoRanker. Your CTA in, this case, is the Free Demo or the Free Plan.
If your prospects click your website and open it, then a bouncy popup appears on the screen with the message “Buy this” or “Buy that now!”, you maybe will convert some of them, and I said maybe, or you will make them leave and never come back. This method of “Buy now” works after you offered them a FREE TRIAL. A Free Trial gives them the opportunity to get familiar with what can you offer. After a prospect sees what about with your product, there are much more possibilities to convert him into a buyer.
Tips&Tricks: Use A/B testing to see what will work for you: a 14 days free trial period or a 30 days free trial period.
B. CTA’s benefits: CTA will work hand in hand with a series of benefits that should be known by your prospects. In other words, what your free PDF, ebook, or trial will offer me?
This is the way a buyer/prospect thinks when he enters your website: So, what can you do for me? or Ok, a free trial, and it helps me with what? For your business is content marketing, but for your future buyer? Be wise and work on more on your content marketing strategy.
As you can see, if you access the “Blog” section on Quicksprout, you’ll notice in the right corner of the page a box like this above where you find out what are your benefits if you attend the free course. The free course here is the CTA and the “Double your traffic part” is what I call “future buyer’s benefits”. You must choose a color that will be noticed by the readers. My advice is to choose a color that will be noticed and will fit with the other colors on your website. Let’s not forget about the visual impact!
C. Now means now: let’s imagine that I am a reader and I want to make some changes in my daily program and I want to choose a sport that will not drag me into the gym because I hate going to the gym. I am a lucky person and I have a colleague in my office that is a runner and he advised me to choose the most beautiful and healthy sport ever (at least for me): running.
He told me things about the equipment and other things related to running, but I will want to read as much as I can about this. So I will search on Google. I will type “running programs” on Google and the first thing appears on the first page is “Get your program now”. So I click on the button, then I have to complete the form with my email and name, I hit the “Download now” button and the PDF is instantly delivered to my email. That was fast and me, as a possible customer, I am happy with that. Don’t let your customers wait. You’ll lose them.
Another example is HubSpot. I will search on Hubspot for CTA examples and a pop-up appears in the right corner of the screen:
So I clicked on “Download Now” and I get a form to complete:
And the eBook was sent to my email instantly.
D. Make me curious: There are emotions like surprise trust, fun, and satisfaction that evoke curiosity to your possible customers and readers. There is not about luck or “maybe it will work”. Giving to your readers information about what you want to provide to them. but not with more details will make them curious and they will hit the CTA button and you have much more chances to convert them this way than to convert them giving them all the details from start.
Note: Don’t evoke your users’ curiosity by promising them things you can’t give to them. Be sincere when you tell them you will give them something or when you assure them that their business will grow.
E. Make it worse than it really is and then offer the solution: sounds a little bit mean, but is not. You have to get into the consumer’s psychology to understand how the consumer thinks. If the things look almost fine, they won’t rush with te actions. Don’t be afraid, is not like you lie to them. In fact, this is a benefit for them and you help them faster.
Take into consideration that is mandatory to use some copywriting tips:
- Identify the pain a customer could have;
- Agitate the problem a little bit;
- Come with the solution.
- Identifying the pain will help you understand the customer then you will be able to find a solution that will work for your client. Hence, you gain trust and the client will return back to you.
- Agitate the problem means to make your client anxious about the pain his business could have. Agitating or urging the problem will let the customer know that you have the solution and you could help him.There is an example of agitating the problem technique, explained better by Robert Stover: 8 Instant Formulas for Writing Problem > Solution Leads. Yo could find here Content Marketing Strategy tips ad you could use them to improve your conversion rates. This is your goal, no?
- Coming with the solution will make you “that man that helped me solve m problem faster than anyone else!”. Because we both know that this is the thing you want to hear from your customers. If you just identified the problem, doesn’t mean that you finished your job. Now you have to be very carefully because you have to provide the best solution that fits your customer’s problem.
Everything worked well. You identified the problem, you agitated it, and in the end you came up with a solution. But your customer didn’t buy right that moment. So you have to use the Follow-Up technique. A follow-up email campaign will convert on lead generation.
F. The customer wants to belong to something. Help him!: Human beings want to belong to something: even if we speak about the fancy popular group in the highschool, or about the “X” brand group. You will see these groups built up around automotive brands, gadgets (phones, laptops, tabs, or anything related to audio-video equipment), or clothes. People do this unconscious. They tend to buy that because many people have already bought it. They tend to wear this because “Did you see how many women have already bought it? It must be something cool!”.
My words describe the “following the crowd” effect, and this is te reality. Use it and improve your business.
I found something interesting information about the “Following the Crowd” effect on Neil Patel’s website. Check it and learn more.
Here are some examples of CTAs based o “following the crowd” effect that you should use in your content marketing strategy:
G. Cliffhanger is the key to convert them: cliffhanger works like a climax in scriptwriting. I studied scriptwriting in Faculty, so that I could tell you more about how important is to use a cliffhanger. But I would use an entire article for this. For the moment, I will tell you that cliffhanger is a way to give to your readers information about a specific topic, but not all of it.
There are two examples of cliffhangers:
H. Offer them a bonus: people react to bonuses and gifts. They don’t resist to something free that is given to them or something that is half price. So let’s give them what they want.
That’s all. This is the first part of the “how to run a content marketing strategy” article where I explained to you why you need a CTA (Call – to -Action). It’s very important to have a CTA on your website if you want to increase your conversion rates. As you saw, people react to bonuses, they want to see how can your product help them – if they buy a service or a product from you, it will help them to improve their business? – and the most important thing: can they test your service? Can they see, before they will pay for your service or product, if this is really something they want?
There are several reasons why you need to improve your content marketing strategy and a Call-to-Action would help you so much if you create the perfect CTA. That’s why I started my “how to” article with CTA tips. The second part of this article will be about how to use video content marketing in your content marketing strategy and the third part of the article will be about the written content marketing.
After you read and understand these three articles you will be able to create and build a really good content marketing strategy and your conversion rates will boost. Don’t expect to happen over the night because you know how these things work: you need time, patience and the wisdom to invest in the right things that can help you.