While I’ve been in New York this week for the B2B Content2Conversion conference, I’ve been reflecting on some of the most common issues I see with companies trying to leverage content for increasing leads and sales.
Many companies new to content marketing miss important steps and without checklists or processes, content marketing contribution to leads and sales can be unimpressive.
Of course, not all content needs to “sell” in terms of inquiries or transactions, but for content designed with lead generation in mind, there should be some accountability or you won’t have anything to count.
While deciding the creative on your next infographic, the viral hook of your next video or which awesome thought leaders will be in your next ebook, step back for a second and consider these basic and often overlooked considerations for aligning content with marketing objectives.
1. What’s the primary brand objective for this content? How will successful discovery and consumption of this information move the reader along in the sales funnel?
2. Who is the audience? What problem does this content help them solve? How does this content help them break free of the status quo?
3. What will be used as the hero? How will readers seem themselves in the content and how will it empathize with their situation and goals?
4. What is the unique selling proposition in the content? What’s different or more valuable than others? How is that story being told?
5. What’s the primary offer? Secondary offer? What other actions are available to support all interest levels?
6. After the reader takes action (share, subscribe, register, download, inquiry), what happens next? How will you nurture communications for the reader to become a buyer, a customer and a referral to others?
Many companies getting into the content marketing game do not have the presence of mind to focus on producing content that aligns with the buyer journey. The experience of creating content is so new, the focus is often on quantity, vs. meaningful information that contributes to moving prospects along the sales cycle.
This is why you often hear things like, “We started blogging, creating videos and white papers, but we’re not getting any leads.”
Content Marketing means creating content and media around a certain topic for a particular audience that will inspire action. What many companies are doing is simply creating “more” content and calling it content marketing. That’s where the disconnect lies.
Are there other fundamental questions about content marketing planning that should be included in this list? How are you solving the disconnect between content quantity and content accountability?