How often do you crank out content to check a box, adding to the noise we’re all trying to get above? A well-oiled content marketing machine drives news leads, nurtures them and qualifies them so sales departments can prioritize their prospects, reduce their sales cycle times, and increase sales volume. If you have a content marketing machine, now’s the time to refine it so your content produces the right message to the right audience at the right time. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time, money and opportunity.
Every piece of content needs a CTA. Every. Piece. Content is about converting but, too often we, myself included, create content without a clear call to action. But, then what’s the point? While content marketing is undoubtedly about driving leads, each piece of content should be designed to nurture that lead through your sales funnel. You’re not going to propose marriage on the first date, usually, so don’t think slapping on a “contact us” to every piece of content will be effective. Instead, align content with each phase of your target audience’s buying journey with a CTA designed to lead them to the next step, deeper into the funnel.
A path to leads might look something like this; a social media banner calls people to “watch” a video; the video gets viewers to “download” a white paper; the whitepaper draws readers to “register” for a webinar; the webinar directs people to “contact me”. Each piece of content is designed to take a prospect from the top of the funnel to a qualified lead through carefully constructed messages and clear calls to action.
If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing. But if you’re not measuring the right KPIs, you’re wasting your time. A lot of content marketers are really into creating content but completely bored with measuring its success. That’s OK. But without both sides of the content marketing coin, quality content and performance data, your content marketing machine falls apart.
A good content marketing program sets clear goals on how it will contribute to the business’ strategy. But, at the very least, it knows how well it generates leads. And let’s cut to the chase and avoid the “vanity” KPIs. While you can and should measure “Likes” and share of voice, etc., what your investors and boss care about are things like; increases in web traffic, number of downloads, number of leads, number of qualified leads and conversion rates. So should you. While vanity KPIs can help you figure out what’s happening further downstream, but don’t pride yourself on increasing “Likes” if you haven’t also increased your leads.
No matter how well your content marketing machine is working, there’s always room for improvement. If you think you need more expert help, contact us to talk about how we can help your content marketing machine perform better connecting with your customers.
See what I did there?