Sara is a marketing manager who recently started an inbound marketing initiative for her company. She implemented HubSpot, developed a content marketing plan, and hired some content developers. As they got up to speed and began producing some very compelling pieces, Sara began to see certain similarities in them. In fact, she noticed her growing content library falling into five categories. Sara is wise, and her content marketing program will thrive.
What she identified early on is something that many content marketers don’t figure out until much later: that each piece of content serves a specific purpose, and, by extension, that developing materials more or less at random, with no defined objective, is very ineffective. In order for your marketing efforts to deliver the results you’re after, you have to understand how your prospects think and create five different inbound marketing content types designed with different goals in mind.
Attract attention. First, you have to create pieces that get a prospect’s attention. Flashy, colorful, funny, provocative… whatever you know from your research will appeal to your target personas. You can’t turn prospects into customers if they won’t commit some time to checking out your offerings. Oh, and of course, it is important to include the keywords your prospects would be looking for in order to be found by search engines.
Establish authority. They’re listening—but possibly only briefly. You need to prove that you are an expert in your field if you want your audience to stay attentive. Thought leadership pieces and testimonials are two types of content that help with that.
Foster a sense of community. At this point, you want your prospects to take their eyes off you, look around, and realize that they are among other like-minded individuals. It feels good to be “in the same boat” with others. Customer success stories are one great way to establish that feeling within your prospects.
Promote action. You want your target audience to be comfortable, but not complacent. Getting them to take action is, of course, the goal. Pieces that stress the benefits and ROI of your offerings and/or the risks of not implementing them are appropriate here.
Provide post-purchase reassurance. It would be easy to assume that once a prospect has become a customer, your job is done. However, if you did, you would be wrong. It’s often said that the purpose of the car commercials you see on TV isn’t as much to get you to purchase that expensive automobile as it is to make you feel good about the fact that you did. The same concept applies to any product or service. It also serves the purpose of keeping your company top of mind and increasing the odds of a repeat purchase.
So, if you find yourself and your marketing team banging out great content but without any real forethought on what the purpose of a piece is, you may want to reassess to be sure you’re covering all your bases sufficiently. Need an expert opinion from an experienced content marketing agency on how well you’re addressing the five key content types? We’re here to help.