If you’re a marketer, it’s likely you’ve heard of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales strategy company. In addition to providing expertise and software for these services, HubSpot also offers an academy for training and certification courses. I recently completed the Content Marketing course and it was both informative and inspiring. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for more knowledge on how content marketing can fuel customer growth.
For this certification course, there are ten online classes. They range from Storytelling to How to Foster a Growth Market Mindset. Over my next two blog posts, I will share a few highlights. This post will focus on strategy and the next will highlight promotion and measurement.
What exactly is content marketing?
First, let’s begin by defining content marketing. According to HubSpot, content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. Ultimately, the goal is to attract and retain a defined audience and drive profitable customer action.
So in layman’s terms, it’s how you communicate with your potential customers to attract them. Then, it’s how you engage with your converted customers to keep them.
Before you craft your long-term content marketing strategy, it’s important to review your sales and marketing goals. And think SMART. Maybe you’ve seen this acronym before? SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
SMART goals are important because they clarify what you are trying to do, ask you to pre-determine success parameters and hold you accountable to a time frame.
The Buyer’s Journey + The Marketing Funnel
When crafting your long-term strategy, you should keep two things in mind. One is the Buyer’s Journey and the other is the Marketing Funnel. They go hand in hand and relate to your customer and how you should communicate with them.
BUYER’S JOURNEY MARKETING FUNNEL
The Buyer’s Journey consists of three stages: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. This journey should align with your sales and marketing funnel, which has six stages: Visit, Lead, MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead), SQL (Sales Qualified Lead), Opportunity and Customer. You should map your content creation to both the journey and the funnel to support inbound marketing tactics.
- Awareness = Visit, Lead
- Consideration = Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads
- Decision = Opportunity, Customer
So, let’s talk through this.
When potential customers are in the Awareness stage, this is the “courting” stage. Engage with them and define your positioning. Let them know who you are, what you are, what you stand for and why they should care. Blogs and social media are great platforms for this type of messaging.
When potential customers move to the Consideration stage, delineate and differentiate. Answer their questions and provide relevant product/service information. At this stage, you should also include a CTA or call to action to help move them towards the Decision stage. Custom landing pages, form fills and email marketing can help you share your CTA, track your leads and cultivate deeper engagement.
Closing the deal with a decision
The final stage is Decision. This is the time to address any concerns or problems your potential customers may have. Competitor analysis, case studies and trial downloads work best. These tactics allow you to highlight product and service attributes, while encouraging interaction with your brand.
And there you have it. A few tips and tricks for successful content marketing! I welcome your feedback and perspectives on your own content marketing efforts. Do share – we are a community!