Content marketing is not as complex and complicated as we make it be. You don’t have to be an Einstein to be successful. Einstein himself said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
So, let’s talk about a simple content marketing strategy!
Many marketers and sales professionals still struggle with the concept of modern marketing. They struggle with social media profiles, improving their reputation currency, and using content to develop an audience. So the by-product of all of these actions is more sales and higher value sales.
Do We Agree On The Definition of Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute states, “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – to drive profitable customer action.” My experience in marketing leadership roles with IKEA, SAP, Cognizant, and many award-winning agencies validates CMI’s definition is spot on!
Research Backs Up The Impact Of A Content Marketing Strategy
Much research suggests that a robust content marketing strategy leads to more business.
- More sales quotas are reached when using social media. Using relevant content, social media pros are 6x more likely to make quota than those who do not use social media. This research suggests all sales organizations need to use content and social selling immediately! Source: KiteDesk, The Ultimate Sales Guide To Crushing Your Quota
- Content helps you break through to decision-makers. 90% of B2B decision-makers never answer a cold call. This statistic indicates the content is the key to opening the relationship door! Source: LinkedIn, How Leading Sales Pros Use LinkedIn For Social Selling
- Content influences decisions. 65% of buyers (and an overwhelming 82% of senior executives) say the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their purchase decision. So, if I am a sales leader, I would focus on an efficient content strategy for a competitive edge. Source: The Knowledge Tree
All of this research indicates that a messaging strategy will help create the competitive edge for your organization – and deliver sales!
10 Ways To Simplify Your Content Marketing
1. Build your content marketing foundation so you have a sustainable platform to amplify your story. Start your content plan by writing down your strategy. 68% of marketers do not have a written plan, reports the Content Marketing Institute. Develop a foundational approach to your content creation and distribution to inspire your audience to do what you want them to do. Most of all, build a foundation by adding value. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 Content Trends
2. Model your target audience after your current audience to focus your efforts on ‘look-alikes’ vs. ‘look-aways.’ Develop target audience profiles – i.e., personas – with public-facing information on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google. This digital due diligence enables modeling your content after your current readers and customers. This approach will help deepen more relationships and close more sales. When it comes to what your audience wants, 97% want you to improve your content quality by including benchmarking data. Source: Demand Gen Report
3. Build a content supply chain to efficiently create custom messaging and deliver valuable knowledge to your readers. Architect your content to be easy-to-read, real-time, and relevant to today’s conversation. Focusing on this step-by-step plan creates a well-oiled supply chain. This production approach to your storytelling ensures clear thinking creates the right message – enabling connection with the right audience on the right channel at the right time. With 32% of companies reporting they do not have the talent to pull off an effective content marketing strategy, you may have to invest in new infrastructure or hire a consultant. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2015 Content Trends
4. Be a storyteller to help your audience remember your value proposition. Chip and Dan Heath say 5% of an audience remembers a presentation based on statistics – while 63% remember the storytelling. We are all trying to sell something or convince someone. Developing analogies and telling stories helps to make your point! Source: Chip & Dan Heath, 23 Facts about Buyers and Purchasing
5. Properly position your value proposition to help your readers know what they should do and why they should do it after reading your messaging. Developing awareness, association, and consideration of your expertise and offer takes time. Presenting a call to action is not always about the direct response like selling Miracle Mops on QVC. Plan to develop 7-10 different ways to communicate your story on several different channels and always provide a way to get to the next stop on the customer’s buying journey.
6. You ought to be in pictures since your readers are visual content consumers. A picture tells a thousand words. There is no better way to tell your story than by using custom-made graphics to support your relevant point. KissMetrics reports appropriate visuals to drive 94% more views than content without visuals. So, make sure to use pictures, graphics, and videos in each of your go-to-market social media channels. Source: KissMetrics, 6 Types of Visual Content You Need To Use In Your Marketing Campaigns
7. Embrace your influencers – since they have your target audience’s attention. 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth, while 47% use blogs to influence their decisions. Marketers also report there is a 3-to-1 ROI for using influencers. So, it appears that investing in influencer outreach will pay out handsomely for you! Source: AdWeek, Why Influencer Marketing Is The New Content King
8. Focus on your form factor since Google and native reader behavior requires it. Article titles, keywords, hashtags, subtitles, tags, and other form factors help readers find you. If no one can find your content – did you ever write it? No! Looking for proof? Tweets with hashtags get 16% more retweets than those without. Source: Kim Garst, 20 Quick & Easy Ways To Get More Twitter Retweets
9. Stay in touch with your touchpoints since it’s easier to be where your customers are vs. getting them to come to you. Think through how to connect with the right audience on the right channel at the right time with the right message. With B2B marketers using an average of 13 ways to communicate with content, you have to use the best mix of touch points to tell the best story to tell on the best channel. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 B2B Content Trends
10. Plan to make a measurable difference to help you understand if you are successful with your content marketing strategy. You can’t succeed unless you measure it – so set measurable goals and then measure how you performed against those objectives. Once you determine how you performed, optimize your plan and do more of the right ‘stuff’ and less of the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t work.
Do you have a few more simple tips for planning and activating your content? If so, please share below. Or, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Einstein also said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough. By creating a simple content marketing strategy, you can begin to explain your value proposition to your customers simply – Ka-Ching!
NOTE: This post was originally published on January 24th, 2016 and was updated on January 21, 2021.