Content to Sales: The 4 Essential Pillars of Content Marketing

By Frank Strong

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Everyone is doing content marketing these days. Some 80% of respondents say they are doing content marketing according to 2017 survey data.

Yet I worry about some of the efforts I’ve seen or heard about. This is because they are missing some of the essential pillars you must have to grow the program and demonstrate the benefit to the business.

These essential pillars are a combination of process and vehicle. You can also think about these in stages of content marketing maturity. However, I’d caution, you never done with any given stage. Improvement is a continuous process.

Those four engines are as follows:

Pillar 1: Not you. Not your product. The audience.

To build an audience you have to get visitors to your content hub. To do this you have to focus on your audience needs, not what you want to tell them.

One of the best examples of this comes from marketing automation vendors. Many of them realized that CMOs have struggled to find digital talent.

It’s pretty hard to sell a product to a target market that doesn’t have the human capital to manage automation software. Consequently, the smart vendors started focusing on tips for talent management and acquisition.

Think about the concerns of your target market, list them, and then try to categorize them into overarching themes for editorial focus.

Tips for audience development:

  • Execute consistently. Whether you publish once a month, twice a week or every day, do it consistently. Study after study demonstrates that consistency one of the most important aspects of content marketing.
  • Analyze yet experiment. Studying the data to understand what’s bringing people to a hub, and what keeps them there, in order to replicate the motion is a good idea. But analytics are also like looking in the rear-view mirror, so you should continuously test hunches. If you’re publishing five times a week, you can easily find space for experimentation.

Pillar 2: Provide a mechanism for repeat visitors

This the top deficiency I see in B2B content marketing programs – they don’t give the audience a reason and mechanism to come back. They spend all this time, effort and budget to get them there…and then don’t invite them back!

If you look at your web analytics, chances are most businesses, many of those visitors are new rather than returning. That means people visit your content hub once and leave – and you let them if you don’t a mechanism to subscribe.

Businesses spend a ton of money on gated content and registration pages all to get an email address. Research shows the average B2B company spends $150 to acquire a single email address.

It is grossly negligent to spend resources producing content and attracting visitors without including a means to subscribe – to the blog, to the newsletter, to something! (Here’s an absolutely brilliant presentation on the value of an audience to a business and context for Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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