We’ve talked in the past about using content as an essential part of an Inbound Marketing strategy. Well-developed content is how you guide leads through every stage of their buyer’s journey as well as develop a higher SEO ranking. However, all content will not work and should not for every single one of these objectives. Each piece of content must be developed to reach a specific goal.
When developing content, you must remember that there should be a goal at the end to get the reader to take an action. This action could be filling out a form, visiting your website, or downloading a piece of additional content. Each action should be designed to move your reader further along in their buyer’s journey.
Although inbound marketing’s focus is education over selling, your inbound marketing content still is a marketing tool. You should not be putting information out on your site just to put it out there. Each piece of content needs to be developed with the goal of progressing your readers during their journey.
What Goals Should My Content Accomplish?
The best way to create content that accomplishes a goal is to establish your goal before you develop your content.
Goals could include:
- Gaining an email address or phone number
- Further developing a contact’s information with company information, questions about a lead’s problems, and more
- Setting up a consultation
- Signing up for a newsletter subscription
- Visiting your website or a landing page
Each of these goals would need to reach a person at a different stage in their buyer’s journey. Because of this, a one-size-fits-all piece of content will not work for all your marketing needs.
How Do I Create Content to Accomplish a Goal?
To truly create content that accomplishes a goal, you must first answer three questions:
1. Who is Your Buyer Persona?
Any content development must begin with a buyer persona. Your company may have one buyer persona or multiple buyer personas. You need to decide who you are delivering this content to and what kind of content they will be looking for.
By developing a buyer persona and determining what questions they have and what problems they need solved, you will then be able to create content that can provide solutions and answers.
Be sure to not only develop a well-thought-out persona, but to also continually ensure your data is still correct. To create content that accomplishes an inbound marketing goal, you must always be meeting the needs of your buyer persona, so you need to ensure your persona is always up to date.
A Buyer Persona is the cornerstone for any successful Inbound Marketing strategy. Download our free Buyer Persona template to create yours!
2. Where Are They in the Sales Funnel?
Once you have determined who your persona is and what answers they are looking for, you can begin to create content that provides those solutions.
However, each piece of content cannot answer every single question your leads and customers may have. To truly create content that accomplishes a goal, you must develop it to meet the needs of your leads at each phase of the sales funnel.
A typical sales funnel will have three stages:
- Top of the Funnel: During this stage, your leads are are in the awareness stage of their journey. They are looking for education on a subject as a whole, not necessarily information on your company specifically. They are looking for a solution to their problem and they just need to know that a solution is out there.
- Middle of the Funnel: Once a lead reaches the middle of the funnel, they have found that there is a solution to their problem. Now they need content that weighs your solution against other similar solutions. They still are not ready to be sold on your product, but they do need more information as they are considering it.
- Bottom of the Funnel: As a lead reaches the bottom of the funnel, they need information specific to your company. They are bought in to your solution to their problem and now they want to know more about what it is and how they can get it.
To reach different marketing goals, you must develop content based on where your buyer persona is in the sales funnel. Some goals, like a free consultation or free evaluation, will be tailored to leads in the bottom of the funnel. To achieve this goal, your content must answer questions that specifically relate to your product as a solution to a problem.
On the other hand, if your goal is to simple gain an email address for a lead or sign a lead up for a newsletter subscription, you would be catering to a person at the top of the funnel. In that case, you would develop content that is more educational on your industry as a whole, as opposed to your product specifically.
3. What Do You Want This Content To Do?
Finally, you must circle back to the original goal for your content. This goal can be different for every piece you produce, but each piece must have a goal.
When creating the content, keep in mind your goal for this piece. For example, say you were creating content for your social media with the goal of driving traffic back to your website. You would then develop content that encouraged readers to go back to your website, using terms like “visit our page to learn more” or “view our latest blog for more information.”
Since the action you want people to take is visiting your website, you need to be sure that your content is clear on the next actionable steps a reader can take. By creating content that encourages action from your readers, you will be able to accomplish the goal you set earlier in the process.
Content is an important piece of an inbound marketing strategy. However, if your content does not serve a purpose or help gain new customers, it is not worth your time to produce.
You can solve this by ensuring you always have a goal in mind when creating content and developing this content with an action that will guide leads towards becoming customers.
The best way to keep your content organized and tracked is by using a content calendar. Download our free Content Calendar Template to get started!