How to create an effective and targeted content strategy that will drive targeted prospects to your website, convert them into quality leads, and make your sales team and boss love you.
Start With Your Personas
Whether it's marketing or product development, everything you do in your business should all start with your personas. Your company's personas should be at the heart of everything you do in your inbound marketing strategy, including content.
Map It All Out: Lifecycle Stage Is Key
To make your life easier, I've created a basic inbound marketing content strategy template that you can use in developing your content strategy. This should be used as a general guide, but feel free to change and modify it based on your business. You can download the free template here.
Realize Problem or Need (Driving Visitors)
At the very top of the inbound marketing funnel your goal is to drive prospects to your website. There are many different parts to this from social, email, etc., but the one we are interested in for this discussion is blogging.
I want you to think of your blog as the fuel of your content (and marketing) engine. Blogs can be used to boost the impact of all the other marketing channels (social, SEO, email, etc). Once developed over time it will prove to be the biggest driver of traffic to your website and be one of your company's biggest digital assets.
Perform Research (Top Funnel)
In this stage content types that work effectively are e-books, webinars, research guides, reports, etc. Again, I can't stress enough how important it is to keep this non-biased, non-promotional, and focused around amazing quality content that delights and educates that person.
Establish Buying Criteria (Middle Funnel)
In this stage there are a few more styles of content that work especially well in bringing across the feeling and messages you want at this stage. These include white papers, webinars, comparison guides, detailed guides, etc.
Evaluating Vendors (Bottom Funnel)
If your inbound marketing has been done correctly it will be your best sales team member. The lead will be very interested in your solutions, have a great deal of education on the topic, and be biased toward your solution over competitors.
Once you have created an inbound marketing content map then you can start thinking about how you can incorporate SEO into the mix. Start using keyword and search tools to find the best titles and copy to include in your content to ensure it will be found by those who are searching online.
Review and Update
It's also important to consider that you should be revisiting both your personas and your content strategy map on a monthly or at the minimum quarterly basis. As new information and ideas come out, it will be important to include those into your persona profile and pivot your content accordingly.