Making a compelling case for content marketing is something most of us in the business are aware of. And something we have to do, some more than others. Take a simple case of a site visitor looking for information about “demand generation”. After the ads, the top hits are Hubspot and Wordstream.
And it’s no secret why the posts rank at the top of the page. Chances are the two sites have enough content written on the topic that a search will bring them up. We also know that organic search results do so much better in lead generation than a paid ad and by ranking high the two sites have a potential customer.
At a basic level, content marketing can be divided into content strategy and content development.
Content strategy is a key element of driving growth when it is regarded as an asset to the business. This means that a business that is committed to content marketing should consider managing, adapting, optimizing, and scaling the content. Having an integrated and coordinated strategic approach to content can maximize costs, resources and most importantly, effort.
Content creation is that next critical part of a content marketing plan. It takes the form of both words and design. A visual experience that originates from a clearly crafted message makes the content more for the lack of a better term “consumable” for the user. Keep in mind that content can be repurposed into different formats because not everyone consumes content in the same manner. All important considerations that tie back to the strategy of how you speak to your audience.
What Makes for Successful Content?
We say this often, but sometimes do not practice it: Live in the shoes of your user (website visitor). What this means is it’s best to move content closer to the customer so that the experience is an enjoyable one.
The question content marketing teams must ask often is what is the customer experience? Because content teams are aligned with certain sections of the marketing channels, there’s often not one centralized resource for coordinating the experience across channels.
Think of a situation where different content efforts are in place in an organization:
- Demand generation
From the customer’s perspective, is it difficult to navigate and move from one type of content to the next? Is there an intuitive flow? How do you lead the visitor’s experience to be useful and informative?
This is where content strategy becomes critical. Instead of only tying the customer journey to the product lifecycle, try some different strategies:
- Customize and personalize content to allow for new markets and varying personas
- Test one-off content pieces so you don’t tie resources
- If something is not working, be prepared to scale back even if it means disrupting the content engine.
Content marketing is a long game. You’ll need to find your balance of short-term goals and longer-term investments.