Sales is the lifeblood of businesses no matter how small or big you are. However, sales alone isn’t going to be the only thing that ensures your business thrives and survives. More specifically, businesses that continue to grow do a great job of investing time and money into marketing initiatives.
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses can make is to have a “sales-only” mentality and approach where they hire a ton of headcount to get as much revenue through the door as possible. What ends up suffering is the ability to retain customers and actually nurture them throughout their entire lifecycle.
For this reason, ensuring alignment within sales and marketing (including other departments such as product and customer success) are all going to yield positive results. And what’s going to make all of this happen is have amazing content that serves prospective customers as well as existing customers.
Let’s face it, content is at the heart of everything you do. It’s a part of the way we communicate and without it, your ability to truly develop meaningful relationships as well as connections with your customers wouldn’t exist.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to discuss the following:
- How to develop content that will align with your marketing funnel.
- How to create content clusters that will support SEO efforts and also make it easier for you to be found by prospective customers.
- How to leverage your content assets to nurture leads and existing customers and much more.
Why you should invest in content marketing
Having a clear content strategy is vital to any digital marketing plan and more importantly, for businesses growth. In fact, the stats speak for themselves, so let’s check them out:
- Content marketing is 3 times more efficient in terms of leads than outbound marketing.
- 60% of B2C marketers use content marketing strategies.
- 56% of businesses worldwide intend to spend more on content creation.
- 73% of businesses have a designated employee to monitor content creation.
- 72% of companies say content marketing increases leads.
- More than 80% of marketers plan to spend more on content marketing.
- 92% of marketers and businesses report content as a valuable business asset.
Planning out your content per the buyer journey
From figuring out the right topics to doing research so that you’re focused on the right SEO aspects, you’ll also want to include specifics around the buyer journey. Understanding the lifecycle stages and certain points that your potential buyers hit will help ensure you are writing content that they want to consume.
More importantly, the content you produce is going to do more than incur a ‘view’ but that you’ll be able to push people further down the funnel to becoming paid customers as well as raving fans of your product/service.
For starters, you can work off of the marketing funnel then map out content properly:
Doing so will be able to help you envision where specific content topics and types will need to go so that you are succinct with your approach. You’ll also be able to figure out which content assets are driving better engagement and based off of that make modifications to further move the needle.
Breaking out topics into clusters for amplification
Having content clusters is one thing that a ton of businesses who come to me for help want more of. It’s a tough balance between focusing on your primary and secondary keywords but then also proliferating that over into multiple topics that are similar in nature. One of the best ways you can do this is to visually lay it all out, then you can align it to the buyer journey.
As I pointed out in a previous post:
It’s often helpful to organize your blog around content clusters. Content clusters are several blog posts that deal with the same subject but from different angles. If you have a bookkeeping service as your side hustle, one of your content clusters could be doing taxes. So one blog could be “10 Tax Mistakes Small Businesses Make”, while another is “5 Deductions You Should Take on your Taxes This Year.” You can round it out with “Why You Need a Professional For Your Taxes” and “Benefits of Getting Your Taxes Done Early.”
Notice that all of these topics are first aimed to help the reader. If your blog is purely promotional and not informational, no one will want to read it. Your first step is to provide value to your reader.
Also, all of these topics have to do with taxes, which tells the search engine algorithms that if someone wants to get information about doing their taxes, they should come to you. You should have a handful of content clusters that you are focusing on that will lead potential clients to your business.
Putting content into action with automated workflows
Segmentation by behavior and personas is going to be advantageous to your business. A key place to being able to do this is leveraging lead scoring. I wrote an extensive post on how to implement your own lead scoring model, which you can check out here.
Further in a previous post, I highlighted the following re lead scoring as well:
Lead scoring is the process of assigning each lead a score based on the actions they’ve taken with your website, lead magnet, emails, and other media. The higher the score, the more likely they are to convert.
More than 68% of marketers say that lead scoring is a top revenue contributor. Lead scoring allows you to see at a glance where your best opportunities lie so you can strike while the iron’s hot and close the deal.
Lead scoring works by tracking a prospect’s behavior and measuring their engagement. For example, you might notice a marketing lead opens almost all of your emails, while another lead has never engaged with an email. The “high engager” will have a higher lead score, which indicates they’re a better opportunity than the one who’s never taken action.
Looking at lead scoring from a sales perspective, a lead that signs up for an email newsletter will have a lower score than one who looks at a pricing page. By knowing how far down your funnel a lead is, you can tailor your communication to them to maximize every message’s impact.
Measuring the effectiveness of your content assets
Knowing exactly what you want your content to do and the purpose it will serve is going to ensure that every piece you develop aligns with your goals. These goals aren’t just to satisfy marketing or sale’s objectives but the business too. Here’s an example:
Let’s say there are three possible benefits your audience could get when they read your content:
- They’ll learn an industry insider’s secrets.
- They’ll get expert advice on how to achieve their goals.
- They’ll be inspired by actionable tips to make their life (or business) better.
On the other hand, three benefits you could get when readers engage with your content are:
- More quality leads
- Greater influence with readers so you’re seen as an expert in your industry
- Increased sales through your content.
From there, you now have a simple framework to work off of to track and measure the effectiveness of your content assets.
Wrapping it up
The key to driving more traffic with your content clusters and efforts in general is to make sure that you are focused on the right goals and audience. Forget trying to make every single piece go viral. Worry more about how the micro will grow into the macro and then scale as much as possible.
This isn’t about overworking yourself to the point where you feel burnt out with producing so much content. It’s more about being clear with the purpose your content serves, then making sure that people get value from it and are willing to truly take action when you’re ready to monetize.