So many of us are deep in the content marketing race right now. We are working ourselves and our teams to the bone in an attempt to create more content, more words and more stuff to attract our target markets. We're creating and publishing and promoting…but to what end?
What is all of this content you're creating supposed to do? If you don't know, the strategy from your content goals may be missing.
Below are the six main objectives to push for when creating new content assets.
1. Brand Awareness
I know the phrase "brand awareness" feels a little soft to be hailed as a reason for putting money toward something. But for many companies, this is where their content marketing goals or objectives begin. And it is a worthy goal.
Content designed for brand awareness helps businesses to build initial brand recognition, to grow top of mind and to establish their brand's voice in the marketplace. It's the long-tail strategy of earning attention over time and showing people what you have to offer.
Content designed for brand awareness may be regular blog posts, long-form articles or even social media updates. They're little nuggets for your audience to consistently find and snack on.
2. Lead Nurturing
When you use content to aid with lead nurturing you're giving your target audience valuable content now with the goal of earning their business later. We understand that today's buying cycle is different than it used to be. That a customer may not reach out to speak to a sales person or the larger company until they have already been woo'd by the brand though some other channel.
By offering valuable content early on in the process, content that helps identify how your product or service understands their need, you are able to trade the information for something far greater to you – an email address, a real name, an occupation, etc.
You trade it for the data (and permission) you need to market to this person in the future and get them into your buying funnel.
Content designed for lead nurturing can include signing someone up for a demo or leading them to a landing page where they'll have to enter personal information to download an ebook or other resource.
3. Sales Nurturing
Content designed for sales nurturing is content used to close the deal. It is content your sales team can quickly send to a potential prospect to help show the unique value you have to offer and get the conversion.
If you aren't sure what content your sales team could use to aid their efforts – ask them. Talk to them about the common barriers they face, the questions they're answering and the fears they have to alleviate before a customer is ready to convert.
Ask them what they're selling and how they're selling it. By arming them with this information you make the sale easier to close for your internal team and build confidence in the customer at the same time.
Content aimed at sales nurturing may be a series of case studies that show the results you've driven, a video that shows product uses or even an expertly-crafted infographic to help visualize why you're better than others in the market.
4. Customer Service
Content aimed at helping with customer service is meant to create value or reinforce a customer's decision after the sale is already complete. The more you can continue to woo your customers, to anticipate their questions and to answer them before they ask, the more you goodwill you will earn and the more likely it is you'll retain those customers down the road.
This could include content around advanced uses, videos to address problem solving or even a really good FAQ that properly identifies their pain points and provides a solution.
5. Customer Retention
We know that it's cheaper to keep a current customer than to go out and find a new one. So it's important for businesses and marketers to develop content that is designed to build customer retention and loyalty. So we can keep the customers already have instead of always being on the hunt for new ones. Let's keep those wandering eyes in check!
Content that is designed around customer retention is meant to keep them engaged, to keep them informed on how to get the most out of your product and to build pride in their association with you.
Content to consider when striving for retention? Webinars or even company meet-ups or events to build evangelism and spur continued engagement and top of mind.
6. Brand Building
Should every piece of content you create also be helping you to build your brand? Of course. But some content is designed to get noticed, to get attention and to spur that awareness just a little bit more than others.
It's bigger content pieces or perhaps more controversialcontent pieces (if that works with your brand). Content designed for brand building is equal parts shareable and relatable.
Whether content marketing is something already ingrained into your organization or you're wondering why it's the talk of the time, the objectives outlined above will help you see value from the content you're creating. It's not enough to be pushing out words on a screen. Content should be strategic and aimed at a specific use-case.
Do your content marketing goals match the ones above?