How to create an integrated content strategy that turns strangers into friends, friends into fans, and fans into loyal customers (without making you want to bang your head up against a wall)
Most businesses understand publishing content is a smart strategy to generate leads, nurture existing customers, and ultimately earn customer loyalty.
But even though they get that producing content is helpful, many don’t fully understand the implications of the opportunity it presents.
In his book The Content Trap, Harvard professor Bharat Anand helped put the opportunity in context:
“After all, everyone today–a business person, an educator, a politician, a student, an artist, an entrepreneur–can reach and interact with others directly. In other words, everyone is a media company today.”
Gary Vaynerchuk took the notion a step further in a 2013 blog post, noting that not only is embracing the role of media company important, it is irresponsible not to do so:
Whether you like it or not, every person is now a media company. The tools are easy, free, and everywhere. More importantly, producing content is now the baseline for all brands and companies. It literally doesn’t matter what business you’re in, what industry you operate in, if you’re not producing content, you basically don’t exist.
The promise of content marketing is backed by lots of great data to prove its benefits:
- Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads (Demand Metric)
- Business to business (B2B) marketers that use blogs get 67 percent more leads (Aberdeen)
- 47 percent of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
- Businesses utilizing content marketing report conversion rates of leads to customers nearly six times greater than those that don’t have a content marketing system. (Campaign Monitor, 2016)
- Every dollar spent on email marketing gives back $44. (Campaign Monitor, 2016)
Realizing these kinds of results doesn’t happen simply because you hit publish. The abundance of content your customers have to choose from means that what you produce has to work harder to connect with them in a meaningful way so it stands out.
You need a clear strategy that enables your content to move from invisible to being one your customers don’t want to live without.
The good news is that Arand’s research revealed the key to being effective with content boils down to one thing: connections. He notes:
Connections…are at the heart of what shapes any digitally touched business today and will for the forseeable future. Being able to recognize, leverage, and manage connections separates companies that succeed from those that fail.
In other words, your content needs to connect with your customers on a deeper level. It needs to make them feel like they belong with you. Your content should serve to advance the relationship your customers have with you.
But even though the promise of content marketing is strong, many companies struggle to realize all the benefits that come with implementing it.
They publish, and publish, and publish, and don’t always get the results they are looking for. No bueno.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You need an integrated content strategy that removes the randomness from your approach and gives you a clear roadmap for what type of content to produce, when, and where. As a result, you’ll be able to achieve your business goals as you attract, nurture, and convert your ideal customers into loyal ones.
- Copyblogger certified content marketer, Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certified, and Hubspot Content Marketing Certified
- Host of top rated business podcast, virtual summit host, Inc. columnist, written for publications such as Entrepreneur, Success, Huffington Post, Smart Blogger, and published 300+ articles and videos around the web
- Creator of eCourse The Customer Magnet: How to Build a Content Strategy that Builds Your Business
Some of My Published Articles on the Topic:
- How to accelerate your blog’s growth with a simple content strategy (Smart Blogger)
- Increase sales even with a tiny budget with this winning old-school strategy (Inc.)
- Demystifying epic content: How to actually create it, not just jabber about how important it is (Smart Blogger)
- The epic content cycle: 10 Steps to 10X content [INFOGRAPHIC](Smart Blogger)
- Amazon, Apple, and Netflix are growing with original content. Here’s how you can too–without breaking the bank (Inc.)
- How to use video to attract, nurture, and earn more loyal customers(Sonia Thompson)
- Smart lead generation: How to publish ideas that position you as the helpful expert (Sonia Thompson)
- This is how you stand out, according to a Harvard professor and Gary Vaynerchuk(Inc.)
- Smart Lead Generation: 6 Ways to make your competition irrelevant(Sonia Thompson)
- 7 Ironclad reasons to podcast (Even if you hate the sound of your own voice) (Smart Blogger)