So you just started creating content and thought, “Ok, I’m good.” Not really.
Anyone can just create content. It’s what kind of content you’re creating that counts.
So many questions arise when you start really pushing yourself on the quality of the content you create. Questions like:
- Who is my audience?
- What problem am I solving for these people?
- Am I clearly communicating a solution?
- Is this content optimized for being found on organic search?
- Is there a clear call to action within my content that’s relevant and useful to my reader?
I could just keep listing questions. There are, like, a million different questions content thought leaders have told us to consider.
But you can’t possibly answer all these.
So let’s go about it another way.
The content funnel.
There are three components of a content creation funnel, not dissimilar to a sales funnel:
1. Awareness (Your Leads)
Content that lets your target audience know you exist.
2. Consideration (Your Prospects)
Content that builds trust between your prospects and your brand.
3. Conversion (Your Customers)
Content that retains your customers and keeps them coming back.
Let’s tackle each one with a couple examples, shall we?
This is the first problem:
How to get people to become aware of your product or service.
There is no quick fix anymore. Well, I guess you could blow through a pile of cash like DraftKings or FanDuel did. But those are outliers, and hey, you’re a smarter marketer than that.
Types of Content for Awareness
This content should be attention grabbing. Consider the audience at this stage: #RealTalk — They don’t know you and they don’t care about you. You have no choice but to make sure your stuff grabs attention.
The classic example is Dollar Shave Club.
Videos will create more awareness for your brand than about any other type of content. Videos get more engagement. The commitment from your audience is low. And you can repurpose that content across social channels.
Like videos, the effort from your audience to view an infographic is low. If you don’t have the budget to create a video, consider an infographic instead. When you consider the attention-grabbing potential of an infographic that can be shared and promoted across social channels, there’s a lot of value for your brand and your reader.
Here’s a solid example from Fresh Perspective (dog-themed, natch).
Easily Digestible Content
If infographics are too much, you can simplify it. Use images. Use humor. Use images and humor together. The meme is not dead, despite its omnipotence. But if you find the right image and the right humor for the right, targeted audience, you have easily digestible content that isn’t as expensive or as time-intensive as a video or infographic.
Still the backbone of a sound content marketing strategy. A blog fuels your social presence, your newsletters, your ideas, and your search relevance.
At a minimum, creating a blog post is the most basic and essential component of a marketing strategy that wants to build awareness for its brand. We do it.
Instead of bringing an audience to you, go to the audience.
Guest blog on industry sites where your potential customers are. We do it.
If you need blog post ideas, newsjack. We do it. It’s another unique way to capitalize and piggyback on a hot topic or trend within your industry. If there’s a current event that you have a comment on, share it. Blog about it.
So you’ve captured someone’s attention. How do you capture their trust? How do you stay top of mind? The consideration phase of content creation is critical.
This content should answer the common questions and pain points felt by your potential prospects.
In addition, prospects are learning more about your brand. Does your company blog regularly? Are you responsive on social media? Do you listen? All of these answers are going to be answered, one way or another, in your consideration content.
Types of Content for Consideration
Does your product work? Does it actually solve what it purports to solve? Case studies are a fantastic way to showcase real-world problems and your company’s answer to those problems. We do it.
Sometimes a blog post isn’t enough for those in the consideration phase. Creating robust e-books about common problems not only helps your prospects, it legitimizes your brand and your expertise.
One company absolutely crushes the e-book game: HubSpot. They sprinkle them in emails, newsletters, blog posts, landing pages, everywhere.
Fact Sheets / White Papers
Data is often the best way to differentiate your product from another’s. Fact sheets and whitepapers provide detailed, data-driven information that legitimize your product or service in another way: through numbers.
Prospects are in your CRM. You have their email. If you’re not reaching out to them via email, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Keeping prospective customers apprised of product updates, new data and insight within your industry strengthens the relationship between a brand and its customer.
If you can get prospects who are active on social media to follow your brand, that’s huge. Social media is a cost-effective way to stay top of mind with prospective customers.
We follow lots of brands that we haven’t bought from or used. But should we have a need, the only way we’ll be reminded of that brand is from an update or a tweet. Seeing a brand promote interesting content relevant to our industry goes a long way in establishing trust and creating the perception that this is a brand that keeps us entertained or informed.
If someone is considering you, be helpful. Webinars are an excellent tool for personalizing and humanizing your brand. We use webinars to give interested prospects a peek under the hood to see how BlogMutt works.
When prospects attend our webinars, we not only want them to walk away with a better sense of what BlogMutt does, but also we want to give prospects a sense of who we are and that we’re here to help.
Conversion content is content that retains your customers once they’ve bought or subscribed to your product or service. This is content that should reinforce a customer’s decision to go with your company and brand.
Types of Content for Conversion
Just because they’re a customer now, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do webinars anymore. Customer-centric webinars engage your users and reinforce the notion that your company wants to help and support customer needs. We do it.
We’ve found that the first three months for customers at BlogMutt is a critical period to their love (or hate) of our service. So we make a huge push to onboard our customers with helpful tips and tricks for the best BlogMutt experience.
We want to put our customers in the best position to succeed, so that they can put our writers in the best position to succeed, and everyone’s happy.
We send out a customer-specific newsletter on a monthly basis. There are new updates and improvements with our service that we want to continue to educate our customers on (as well as plenty new blog posts to read), and a newsletter is an easy way to do that.
People learn in different ways. Some like to read, others like to watch. We want to supplement any help that we give our customers with a video.
Using videos is yet another way to personalize your brand. When you give your customers different ways to get information about your product or service, you’re making their lives easier and better. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?