Content marketing is one of the top five most used lead generation tactics, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report. It is a great way to build a relationship with your customer by offering them something valuable in exchange for subscription (to your newsletter, etc). It is a way to convert attention into interest, so that when they actually need your services, you, and not your competitor, will be the first thing on their mind. Here are five steps from a recent MarketingSherpa webinar to make the most of content marketing:
1. Map your existing content across the funnel
You’re relationship with your customer should involve moving in microsteps toward a final commitment. Each time they answer “yes” to the next offer, they are moving along the funnel to the ultimate goal. When you’re mapping your content, the goal is to simplify and sequence your content to continuously nudge prospects along your funnel.
2. Craft a biographical sketch of your ideal customer
Often, a message that seems clear to you can be confusing to your customer. As a marketer, you have to learn to see your offerings through the eyes of your customers. Try to imagine who your ideal customer is, and then get into his/her head. Think about their needs. Content must be relevant, important, and urgent.
3. Identify content distribution channels in which you have the greatest potential influence
Once you have created content, you need to effectively get it in front of the right people at the right time. One can measure the potential influence of a channel with three criterion/factors: Reach (how many people you’re influencing), capacity (to what depth are you influencing each person), and intensity (to what degree can each person you’ve influenced enact change).
4. Connect Decisions
Create a clear connection from the relational, to the transactional, to the contractual commitments that make up your funnel. Marketing only exists where choice exists, and a marketer’s job is to influence choice. Think about how you are going to influence someone to take the next step.
5. Optimize your message at the transactional and then contractual transitions in your funnel
Once you have the connection, you’ve got to get the message right. The value proposition is key.
To learn more about effective content marketing, watch the full web clinic by Marketing Experiments.