Everyone’s doing content marketing. But is it working?
When I say “working”, I mean does it help reach business goals. Because if it’s not, then what’s the point?
So to help marketers get value from their efforts, here’s a simple content marketing strategy framework for any business. Let’s get into it.
A Three-Stage Content Marketing Framework
Here’s a three-stage content marketing framework you can use to deliver on business goals:
- Create a Blog
- Create Downloadable Content
- Launch an Email Marketing Program
With this framework in mind, let’s go into what you’ll need at each step. I’ll also discuss how each stage delivers on specific business goals.
Developing Your Blog – Top of Funnel
A blog drives site traffic and keeps valuable visitors returning. But there’s a lot that goes into a successful blog.
Before you even begin writing, think about your ideal customer. What are their needs? Translate these needs into blog topics. From a business perspective, this gets potential customers in the door.
But here’s where your blog can go south:
After putting in the time to create valuable content, no one comes to read. But here’s a few solutions:
- Optimize your blog for search engines. SEO is a must these days. And there are plenty of tools you can use to optimize posts. You’ll want to do this because search traffic is high value. Searchers are looking for solutions. Make sure your blog provides the answer.
- Share your content across social networks. There are plenty of social networks your audience visits. Develop a follower base and share your content. And don’t be afraid to share the same content multiple times.
- Post content to online publishing platforms. These platforms are perfect for spreading your blog posts. Users will find your content, read it, and if it’s valuable, check out your site.
What blogging translates to is brand awareness. Because at this point in our content marketing framework, potential customers are at the top of the funnel.
Make sure your hitting brand awareness goals using techniques like SEO and social promotion. When users see your site in search and across their social feeds, your gaining visibility.
As your traffic builds, new visitors will turn into returning visitors. And this brings us to the next stage in our content marketing framework.
Creating Downloadable Content – Nurturing Your Visitors
Downloadable content is stage two in the framework. Where visitors turn into leads. It’s the setup for a direct communication line.
But here’s a common question:
Why not skip stage one and just offer downloadable content?
Because a blog develops a rapport with your visitors. It’s about knowledge sharing with no commitment. Once visitors are familiar with your blog, they’ll be open to download.
And this is important. Because downloading content is a two-way street. You’re asking visitors to share their information in exchange for resources, giving you access to communicate.
There’s another reason for using a blog: It guides your downloadable content topics.
With your blog, feel out which topics visitors would want to download. First, see which posts generate pageviews, high time on page, and low bounce rates. Then create downloadable content based on your popular blog posts.
So what is downloadable content? Here are a few examples:
- Checklists – short audit checklists your customers can always consult.
- Industry reports – Looking at the state of your industry, new trends, stats, etc.
- Case studies – A feature on one of your customers. You can use case studies to highlight how your product or service helped a customer overcome a common problem your customer
- Ebooks – A detailed and lengthy piece of content. Like a blog.
Now that you have downloadable content, formalize the process. Do this by creating landing pages. This is where you’ll capture lead information.
Your downloadable content is what generates demand. Because when you create valuable content, like an industry report, or case study, your visitors see the value of your products or services.
This is the fuel you’ll use when communicating with your leads through email marketing. Your downloadable content builds desire, now it’s time to give your leads what they want.
Email Marketing – Converting Leads into Customers
Where at the final stage in the content marketing framework. Email marketing. When leads turn into customers.
Based on your lead data – e.g. who the lead is and what the download, you can tailor content and product pitching to their interests.
Here’s an example. You’re a CRM SaaS business. You offer a range of packages depending on company size. In stage two of the content marketing framework, you learn one of your leads is an SMB Sales Director. With this data, you can send content for senior management readers, and pitch products designed to meet their needs. This brings me to my next point on segmentation.
Segmenting your leads is important. Because not all of your visitors are in the same boat. So you have to tailor your email reach and optimize for conversions.
It’s going to take the time to optimize your email marketing strategy. There’s a lot of testing and refinement you’ll need to plan for. You’ll also want to consider your unique business when deciding how often to send emails, and how to segment your lists and content. But once you’re at this stage, you’re at the cusp of reaching the final frontier business goal – sales.
This is the final business goal the content marketing framework delivers on. Which when it comes down to it, is your baseline goal. All other business objectives are a means to this end.
A Three Step Content Marketing Framework for Any Business
This is a basic framework for any content marketing strategy. Content marketing encompasses a lot of activities. But you can keep it simple and use this three step process to deliver on business goals.
What did you think of this content marketing framework? Make sure to join the conversation in our comments below.