Good content marketing is like a succulent apple pie. You start with the best ingredients on the inside and give it a tantalizing visual appeal on the outside. Done right, when it’s consumed, your customer is satisfied and ready to come back for more.
Using that metaphor, Heather Timmerman and Sara Gomach Peck from Acumium cooked up an insightful presentation Wednesday on the value of developing and sharing quality content as a key part of your business’s marketing strategy.
“To us, content is social,” Heather said. “If you don’t have good content, you don’t have a very interesting social media presence.”
Heather and Sara walked us through the key steps of Content Marketing:
- Content Ideation
- Content Creation
- Content Promotion
The most important thing, Heather said, is that your content is valuable, is of high quality and inspires or offers solutions to your target audience. Yet only 32% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
Understanding your target audience is key, they said: Be sure to identify your customers’ demographics (gender, age, geography, etc.), motivators (price, service, expertise), barriers to entry, and “pain points” (what are their frustrations with your company or product and what would motivate them to choose a competitor?).
And, importantly, you must know, from your customer’s point of view, “What’s In It For Me (WIFM).”
Then, create content that meets the needs of your customer, using blog posts, infographics, e-books and white papers. Concentrate on content that can be reused and repurposed frequently and shared across many channels.
For example, Acumium created a 60-point E-commerce Website Checklist that can be downloaded. But each of those 60 points can be segregated out and posted individually as a piece of content on various social media platforms.
Using the Customer Journey Funnel (Awareness, Consideration, Intent and Loyalty), analyze specifically how your content is meeting the needs of your customers at each stage and identify – and fill – any gaps.
Once you’ve reached the loyalty stage with your customers, encourage them to write reviews, email them, and provide them with additional valuable content such as offers and special promotions to keep them coming back.
Creating content can be challenging, and getting started is really the hardest part, Heather said. “But it’s worth your time and effort to get going.”
In addition to organic content, Heather and Sara identified advantages and goals for each of several ad types:
- Facebook Fan Page Ads: Grow your page following to show influence, build brand awareness, and remarket to fans who visit your website.
- LinkedIn Ads: Generate leads, drive referral traffic, create learning opportunities and build brand awareness.
- Pinterest Ads: Drive referral traffic, generate click-throughs and build brand awareness.
- Facebook Canvas Ads: Create a fun, interactive ad experience with a combination of content: text, image, video, graphics. Tell a unique brand story.
For each, they said: Be Creative! Experiment!
In summary, they said:
- Create buyer personas
- Understand the customer journey
- Map out the Content Gap Analysis
- Create content for customer journey phases
- Repurpose Content: 1 blog, 10 social posts
- Promote social with ad types
It may seem intimidating at first but the key is to approach it one step at a time.
“Start,” Heather said, “by getting the right stakeholders in the room and go through the exercise.”
Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) Editor, writer, social media strategist, website developer, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com, Bill@smbmad.org.
Photos by Paulius Musteikis:
Here are Heather and Sara’s PowerPoint slides: