The Backward Approach Towards Content Marketing
STEP 10: Tell me more! They’re here… at your website and interested in you offerings.
But how did you do it?!
As marketing people we are constantly trying to reach out towards customers with our messages and campaigns. In content marketing, the entire exercise seems more complicated because prospects are at various stages in their journey of discovery.
Sometimes it helps to take a look at things from the customer’s viewpoint and understand the stages involved in their slow discovery of your brand offerings.
Follow the steps backwards to understand what goes into getting your leads talking to you.
STEP 9: Let’s see what else they are talking about.
Your followers enjoy a lot of the content you create. Your posts are on target and relevant, and prospects see you as an expert in your field. They start looking at your blog or portal for other things you are covering.
Ensure your website, blog or content portal has an even mix of news, interviews, cases, infographics and marketing material. Prospects will want to judge how extensive your company knowledge and capability is before they trust you.
STEP 8: Huh! That’s my problem in a nutshell! How did they solve it?
Your content has reached your potential prospects at the right time, with the right message, and guess what… right time too! You have their interest.
Make sure you have enough content elements which cover case studies and industry examples, which provide answers to various key problems faced by your audience.
STEP 7: Hmmm… this company is into a lot of the things I need.
Your prospects have been part of your audience for a while now and have seen a variety of your content. They may have even engaged with your brand directly or indirectly.
By designing some reactive content marketing pieces you can increase engagement levels and “call out” your prospects from your suspects.
STEP 6: Oh they have a product too? Maybe later.
Prospects have seen (or received) your marketing message. But they aren’t yet ready to buy. Right message to the right person, but the wrong time. You’re 66% of the way there. We call it Lead Nurturing.
Lead nurturing is an important step in your content marketing plan, so don’t be afraid to seed a few promotional pieces once in a while. Your audience should have an idea of the business you’re in. Even if they don’t immediately need your services, there is the chance they could refer you to a friend.
STEP 5: Yeah I’ll follow them. They share good stuff.
Your content helps your prospects look good. It either keep them informed or is fun to share. It’s relevant and they like a lot of the stuff you create. They are happy to follow you.
One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is getting on your prospects radar. This is where creativity will serve you best. Prospects want to appear knowledgeable and cool at the same time, so think of ways your content can do that while staying relevant to the subject.
STEP 4: Their content covers a lot of the stuff I need to know.
You’ve hit your prospects a few times. That means your content marketing is aligned to your audience, and has been found by them more than a few times.
At this point several of your content pieces have been seen by your prospects. You’ve covered enough of the key subject they are interested in, through a variety of ways and channels. Whenever they search for information or latest news more often than not you have it.
STEP 3: Interesting stuff! Where have I heard about this company before?
Prospects have just started to come across your content here and there. Your consistent level of quality content combined with your frequency, has led them to start recollecting your brand.
Knowing the topics of interest and the key concerns of your prospects will help you find your content marketing niche. While you can create content outside and around your focus topic, be sure to cover your subject from every angle possible to increase chances of recognition.
STEP 2: Now that’s what I was looking for!
Their ‘aha’ moment arrived when your content was exactly what your prospect wanted. It either solved their immediate problem or gave them ideas on how to solve it themselves. But it was targeted and relevant.
This is where keyword and research will help you. Before creating content, be sure you know how your prospects are searching for information and what other are companies saying. You can then work towards providing a different perspective that is relevant, compelling and unique.
STEP 1: I have a problem, let’s look for some answers.
Your prospects don’t know you from Adam and couldn’t care less. They have a problem and are searching for solutions online or people who have written about similar problems.
It all starts here for you! The blank space of uncertainty when it comes to trying to find out who, where, when and how to reach your prospects.
Try visualizing your prospect personas and then go through their various issues. Around all these problem areas, look for the common subject that links them to your product. This is the starting point of your content marketing.