As part of a digital strategy of inbound marketing (which attracts the prospect to itself through the relevance of its communication and its content offer on the web), content marketing is based on long-term results. As content usually has a long life span, it is a good investment for companies
CONTENT MARKETING GENERATES ON AVERAGE 3X MORE LEADS THAN ADVERTISING POSITIONING. 78% of Chief Marketing Officers see it as the future of web marketing!
Anticipate your future customers' questions
According to the 2017 State of Inbound Marketing report, one-third of salespeople note that it's getting harder and harder to get a response from their prospects. With a content marketing strategy (and worked SEO), it's the opposite. It's your company, through attractive content, that will answer the questions of your targets.
To get there, you will have to ask yourself several questions:
Who is my potential customer? What are the problems they face? What questions do they have?
Where do they look for information? On which search engine, which social media? With which keywords?
What is his level of maturity?
How can we help him to move forward in his thinking... and in the customer journey?
The buying journey at the heart of the editorial strategy
Your content strategy must answer the different questions your prospect is asking, regardless of his profile and maturity. Whether they are in the discovery, consideration or decision phase, they must be able to find information on your website that will allow them to move forward in their thinking.
If your content answers your audience's questions in a relevant way, a relationship of trust will be established. This relationship can then be strengthened through lead nurturing and lead to conversion. This is known as the principle of consistency.
The lifespan of a piece of content can be several years, which is why, according to Demand Metric, content marketing can cost up to 62% less than traditional marketing tools... while bringing in nearly three times as many leads!
3 STEPS TO AN EFFECTIVE CONTENT STRATEGY
Creating content requires a real strategy, with a course to follow. A content strategy is a long-term process.
Results and mistakes can take several months to show up. A good methodology will avoid unpleasant surprises.
You will have to go through several steps:
DEFINITION OF TARGETS & OBJECTIVES
SETTING UP A CONTENT CREATION PROCESS
According to your target, you must define your main objectives on the long term: customer engagement, loyalty, improvement of the bounce rate, optimization of natural referencing and choice of keywords...
The definition of SMART objectives will allow you to precisely quantify the expected results.
You can then decide on an action plan. What if you made a retroplanning to have a chronological vision of your content strategy?
Whatever your objectives, two data should always remain at the center of your editorial strategy: the buyer personas corresponding to your targets and their buyer journey. You need to know who you are addressing in order to offer them relevant content, and help them gain maturity by producing content that corresponds to the different stages of their customer journey.
The first essential step is to audit your existing content, on the web or elsewhere (sales proposals, brochures, etc.). Some of it may need to be updated, while others may need to be expanded, enriched or adapted to other media, such as an infographic or a video, for example.
If some of them don't meet all your current quality criteria, why not replace them? Then think about your target audience's expectations in terms of content. What might they want to read after consulting an initial article on a given topic? What text would be worth exploring in a second article?
As one topic leads to another, the editorial strategy can be mapped using a mindmap. This will allow you to visualize how content flows from one to the other, and which ones could be proposed to an identified reader according to his customer journey
You will then have to plan and produce the different contents identified as relevant for your personas. We strongly recommend that you formalize an editorial plan shared by all the actors involved in the content creation process. No need for complex tools, a simple Excel document will do the trick. Don't forget to specify which persona and which phase of the buyer journey each content corresponds to.
To reach your objectives and attract new customers, your editorial strategy will have to be established according to your target's behavior and objectives. You will favor the social networks frequented by your audience and frequently publish editorial content and/or video on the web. You will also have to regularly monitor the news of your sector and propose relevant content.
How to choose the right types of content?
A Nielsen study shows how important content authors are to consumers. In 83% of the cases, the words of experts influence purchase decisions significantly more than the online opinions of users.
There are 3 main types of content on the web:
Specialized content, which includes study reports, press articles, specialized blog posts, etc. This is the content that is usually used for a B2B target.
Branded content, which includes content produced by a brand for professionals or the general public: buying guides, articles, infographics, etc.
User Generated Content (UGC) which gathers content created by the general public or users around a product or service: customer reviews, photos shared on social media, podcasts, video testimonials...