What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach where content (blogs, videos, podcasts, social media posts) is used to spread awareness about your brand or product in an extremely subtle manner and then driving the audience towards making a purchase.
How is content marketing different from other types of marketing?
There is a lot of confusion regarding what content marketing as a strategy covers and what it doesn’t. Content marketing is an extremely broad term and covers a majority of the marketing space.
But to be specific about the strategy, typically content marketing doesn’t involve a push form of communication but involves pulling the audience towards your platform/product.
To simplify this further, when we use content marketing as a strategy we do not directly sell the product but in turn we subtly sell the benefits of the product or advantages of the product in a particular category, creating awareness about the product and then artfully driving them to the consideration phase and then towards a purchase.
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How is a successful content funnel designed?
A successful content funnel moves people from awareness about the product to purchasing the product and then to a satisfied customer of your business. The process is multi-stage.
A Forrester study shows that a person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. To justify this, think about your own purchasing behaviour. Unless it’s a standardised product that is being purchased, we start the process by searching online, talking to friends about the product, reading reviews and a blog post or two before arriving at a final purchase decision.
Hence, a smart content marketing strategy involves generating a series of content that can be consumed at different stages of a purchase behaviour to build awareness and trust about the product which can lead to a final purchase.
So divide your funnel into 3 parts:
- Awareness – Focus on awareness & website traffic
- Consideration – Focus on education & trust
- Conversion – Focus on product-specific content
The first stage is where you need to capture the audience’s attention. The idea is to display content that will add value to the product research that they are doing. The content should be strategized at answering general questions or solving a problem.
Eg. For a beauty brand that we were promoting, we started out by generating content like:
a. Do parabens cause cancer?
b. Is pollution ruining your skin? Here’s what you should do.
In this stage, the focus is to educate the brand about your products and to build trust in your brand. The content should be strategized around about the product/reviews/ testimonials, etc.
Eg. For the same beauty brand, we then started communicating regarding:
a. Product Benefits – How can our anti-pollution moisturizer shield your skin from the harmful effects of pollution
b. Customer Reviews & Testimonials – Promote reviews received from various sources.
Note – Video Testimonials in our case worked amazingly since people could see that regular people (not influencers or actors) were also seeing benefits from the products and were experiencing quick results.
By this stage, the user is well aware of your product, brand, philosophies and is completely in sync with it.
Just a subtle nudge is required to pull them from the fence towards making a purchase and experiencing the product.
This nudge can be in the form of:
a. Personalized communication – stressing on their pain point
b. An offer to make them try our product
These three steps can form the basis of a strong content marketing strategy. While the examples shared may require modification from one product category to another, but the premise will always remain the same.
Having said this, creating a successful content marketing funnel is not easy. It takes knowledge and patience to pull this off. If you focus on the right audience and their requirements, you can create a content machine that will be highly beneficial for your business.
To get a personalized content strategy for your business feel free to contact us by replying in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org