Every form of marketing has some pillars that are important for sustaining the marketing strategy. The same applies to content marketing.
About 65% of the most successful businesses have well-documented content marketing strategies. These businesses understand the need to have all the pillars penned down so that they can use them to their advantage.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
On the contrary, only 14% of businesses with a documented content marketing strategy were least successful. This goes to show that a documented strategy can increase your chances of success.
To help you learn about the pillars of a strong content marketing funnel, I have with me, Joe Lazauskas. He’s the Head of Marketing at Contently and is here to share his expertise on the matter.
Now, let’s take a look at how the pillars of content marketing can help you create a solid content marketing funnel.
1. Figure Out Your Target Audience
It is crucial to understand your target audience to know who you’re writing for. This is the reason why it’s one of the most important pillars of content marketing. You must ask yourself who your potential customer is and what sort of content they would find useful.
You need to create a buyer persona for your ideal customer based on their interests, demographics, and location. To create a buyer persona, you can interview your customers and your sales teams, evaluate your web analytics reports, etc.
Based on these target personas, you can create content that can help your target customers solve their problems. If you fail to understand your target audience, the content you create won’t resonate with them, so it will be less successful.
2. Establish Your Goals
Yet another important pillar of your content marketing strategy is setting your goals. These goals will help give direction to your content marketing strategy so that you can guide consumers through the funnel.
Your goals will also help you figure out what, exactly, you need to do in order to reach them.
While setting your goals, you should also keep in mind that they should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Some of the potential goals that you may have are:
- Create brand awareness for your company or increasing it
- Increase website traffic by X% through content marketing
- Generate X number of leads for your brand
- Reach sales of $X
- Increase your conversion rate by X%
Image via Hunt Executive Search
3. Map Content to Sales Funnel
Your ultimate goal should be to guide your prospects through the sales funnel to reach the end and convert. For this, you need to map your sales funnel content and ensure that it meets their needs at every stage of the sales funnel.
The content needs to be tailored to appeal to consumers at each stage of the content marketing funnel.
For instance, a prospect who’s in the awareness stage will look for content that is helpful and informative, such as blog posts. However, someone in the consideration stage will look for something more concrete, such as case studies.
The key here is to provide helpful content to your prospects at every stage of the content marketing funnel to ensure that they continue to move through it.
4. Design Standards
You should also create some design standards for your content. These design standards will help guide your designers when they create visual content. All of your content needs to reflect your brand’s values and tone. And the only way to ensure that all teams follow it is by having a design guide.
The design guide should include the fonts that should be used, the color combinations, and logo related details. This consists of the dimensions, image quality, type of videos, and even the font size.
Having a consistent voice and tone can help you keep your brand values intact. Additionally, it ensures that the brand recognition improves due to consistency.
5. Content Channels
The content channels through which you choose to promote your content matter just as much as your content itself. The channels help you reach your target audience, and it is only through them that you can get engagement on it.
The main channel that you need to consider is your website. It is the main location where you can distribute your content to your audience.
At the same time, it’s an owned channel, so you get to control everything on it. The same applies to your mailing list, through which you can reach your subscribers.
Social media is yet another channel that you should consider for promoting your content. Not only can you freely post your content on it, but you can even boost your reach through paid promotions.
However, make sure that the social media platforms you choose are the ones where your target audience is the most active.
Lastly, you can guest post on other websites and increase the reach of your content. You’ll need to reach out to other webmasters from your niche or complementary niches for guest posting. This gives you access to their audience as well.
It’s important that you understand the pillars of content marketing funnels. They will help you improve the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns.
Finding your target audience, figuring out your goals, and mapping your content to the sales funnel are some of the pillars of content marketing funnels.
It is also critical to have a set design plan in hand so that all of your teams are on the same page when they are creating and posting content. This helps your brand maintain a consistent tone.
Lastly, the channels through which you promote your content are also important. Choose the ones where your audience is the most active.
Are there any other pillars of content marketing funnels that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.