Content marketing: It's a term we inbound marketers and HubSpot users are all too familiar with. There's a million content marketing success stories out there, from viral videos by big name brands, to lesser heard of companies breaking through the noise with impactful articles and valuable content offers.
There's obviously still a few challenges to overcome, a lack of internal resources to invest the time in creating content being the biggest, and often a lack of a clear content marketing strategy can mean that activity is too sparse and unaligned to deliver results.
The big objection
However, the biggest objection we come across is often "[Content marketing] [social media] [blogging] ...delete as appropriate... isn't relevant to my industry" It's the age old dilemma of 'how do you make accountancy/engineering/software development etc glamorous?
Making it remarkable
The solution: You don't make it glamorous, make your content relevant, useful and engaging yes, but if you're a high tech manufacturing firm or you write business software, the chances are you aren't likely to be targeting the masses - so a viral video probably isn't for you.
So how do you make remarkable content when the subject matter doesn't often lend itself to mass excitement. We gave a presentation at the TMLA marketing and leadership conference recently on this very topic, take a look at the Prezi below:
#1: Start with your buyer personas:
Use their challenges, goals and information needs to shape your content. We all know that they'll be searching for answers to problems or researching new products and ideas online, so starting with keyword optimised blog posts to get found.
#2: Keep the inbound marketing methodology and buyer journey in mind:
Remember this one? Yep, it certainly looks familiar! Now's the time to start mapping the content required for your buyer persona to move through the marketing funnel from a visitor to your blog, through to a lead, customer and advocate.
Focus on adding value and helping solve problems with the premium content you develop, rather than getting the most shares. Your buyer persona will be happy to exchange his/her contact details for a useful eBook, checklist or buyers guide which helps them do their job better, saves them time, or solves a big problem they've been having.
Use workflows to keep prospects informed and keep adding value to build trust and assurance through the convert stage - nurturing that relationship until they are ready to buy. We've found that content such as case studies, video demos, datasheets and FAQs work well here.
As you approach the point where they're ready to purchase (the close phase), now's the time to use your bottom-of-the-funnel offers such as a free trial, product demo, consultation etc.
#3: Utilise the HubSpot tools effectively
At every stage of the process, from awareness, to consideration and decision, attention to detail and following best practice is vital to get results.
In the first instance, are all your blog posts keyword optimised? Are you hosting your blog on your own domain? Are you sharing your content via relevant social channels and assigning a media budget if required to reach the right people? Do you have a call-to-action on each blog leading to a landing page with a relevant premium content offer?
Further down the buyer journey, do you have workflows in place which will move prospects through the marketing funnel, from visitors, to leads, to customers, to advocates? Are you measuring this effectively to identify leaks where prospects are becoming disengaged?
When that lead is ready to be passed to sales, are you utilising all that information you've gleaned throughout the process? If you're using HubSpot it'll all be at your sales team's aid in the prospect's contact record - use this insight to be well informed and helpful when you make contact.
#4: Your content isn't boring
Last but not least, don't underestimate the power of being an expert and trusted adviser in your industry. Sure, 5 considerations for Hot tapping in service pipelines isn't relevant for everyone, but for our client, Mirage Machines' buyer personas, this content is hugely valuable and relevant.
The right content will drive traffic, generate leads and convert those leads into sales, so don't get hung up on whether your content is boring or not, just make sure it's relevant and remarkable.