Many content types contribute to a comprehensive content marketing strategy. The timing of delivery for each piece is as important to your success as selecting the right tactics.
The following is an overview of the typical flow of content in a content marketing strategy, along with insights on how each piece helps you reach your objectives.
The Process Begins
The majority of complex buying processes for consumers and businesses begin with a search, and in particular, a Google search. That is why search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search are so critical to digital marketing.
When a user searches by phrase or question, the initial expectation is results that offer information or answers to the general problem or query. The first page of search results often features a number of blog posts and articles.
As you look to engage the target market with your content, the first objective is to earn clicks by providing quality, relevant articles. Each piece should respond to the particular query you anticipate from the users conducting the search.
Transition to More Depth
If you provide quality information that helps the user gain more perspective on his or her problem, you earn the trust and credibility to guide the next step. A common call-to-action on your initial piece invites the user to consume more in-depth content, such as a longer blog article, whitepaper, case study, eBook or video.
In some cases, it’s a good idea to ask for an email or phone number in exchange for the content download. A contact method sets up your sales team to step in when the time comes.
Guide Toward a Solution
After prospects have consumed more involving pieces, you want to guide them toward a product landing page. Your initial content helped with the educational phase of the buyer’s journey. Next it’s time to recommend your solution as the fix to the need or problem.
The product landing page is your space to present the compelling benefits of your solution. Demonstration videos, testimonials, and other supporting elements contribute to the sales effort.
Companies also typically use automation to track a buyer’s progress through the journey. As the buyer moves toward a purchase, the sales team normally steps in to close the deal.
Consumers and business buyers rarely make a large purchase the first time they get to a product landing page. In fact, it’s common for buyers to compare the benefits of a few solutions.
Thus, it is important to stay engaged with prospects. Email is a common platform to send follow-up messages and insights to keep your brand in front of them.
Your content flow is vital to the success of a content marketing plan. Design your strategy with the buyer’s journey in mind. Present the right content at the right time to establish yourself as an ally. A genuine, honest effort to aid in the problem-solving journey of your targeted users helps you earn both trust and business.
As buyers progress through the journey, track the response to your content. Learn whether buyers exit consistently at the same point in the process. Evaluate changes to your content flow or formats when needed.