If you haven’t heard the saying “Content is King” then you’re not hanging out in the digital sphere. Every industry article touches on content marketing in some form or fashion. It’s the buzzword of the day. Whether the topic is SEO, Social, Mobile or Email – all have their foundation in content. And that’s how it should be.
Absent outstanding, compelling and relevant content you won’t:
– Maximize search capabilities
– Attract the ideal or new audience to your digital channels
– Ultimately convert consumers into customers
Content IS King. There’s nothing truer. But I’d argue content is more than king – its
Content (when done correctly) spawns business which in turn creates revenue. Currency. And in business what do we do with currency? We count it. We measure it. And, then often reinvest to make all the more. So too must we measure our digital currency – content, that is. There’s no reason not to measure content performance. With the availability of numerous analytic tools – many of which are free – there’s no excuse for not taking stock.
For social media, Likes and Followers are measurements where most businesses place a great deal of importance. But those provide nothing more than an activity metric. Audience activity without audience engagement won’t result in business growth. And that’s the whole point of a digital investment. Growing your business.
Measure digital currency not by activity metrics alone but by engagement metrics. Activity is a small component of the big picture. Engagement with your content. Now that’s what it’s all about. Are social channel visitors converting to website visitors advancing further through the sales funnel? Do site visitors engage with content that leads to further content consumption on your site which ultimately converts that visitor into a customer?
I recently attended a digital marketing summit where the keynote speaker outlined the measurements that truly matter, and I couldn’t agree more because all propel bottom line growth. When looking at content performance your business should measure:
3) Brand Lift
4) Sales Lift & ROI
Because the consumer’s in charge today like never before, content for digital properties should not only align with business objectives but should also respect the customer’s guidance. Marketers no longer drive the buyer’s experience – the buyer drives their own. Content should always take into consideration where the audience is at in the cycle.
There’s as many taxonomies for the sales cycle as there are firms that come up with them but the main principles never change. Whether B2B or B2C people will first:
In order for your business to be discovered you must first attract. Online attraction materializes as a result of not just good but outstanding, magnetic content. Develop information flow based on what would attract a new customer to your business. Content should be based on the buyer’s desires, needs and interests as it relates to your product or service. Language used has to be personable, relatable and relevant. Don’t focus so much on what you want to communicate but more so on what the audience wants to receive.
Customer’s pain points should be the focus,
Not the company’s pitch.
Each piece of content must have a goal. And the goal has to be rooted in where the customer’s at in the sales cycle – the buyer’s journey. Content creation that’s approached with goals in mind –those of your audience, not your company – always derive the best performance.
At the first stage of discovery you’ll need to engage with them before they’re attracted enough to return engage with you. As a company you need to invest in your current and prospective buyer – learn their pain points. The approach to wooing the customer has to recognize the changing dynamic of who’s in charge of the buyer’s journey. Them, not you.
A great way to learn what those desires, needs and interests are is through an audit of your company social channels. What social content today attracts the most attention, comments and shares? Listen to those who’re engaging with your brand – leverage what you learn with new content creation. Begin with listening but don’t overlook the importance of participating. If a visitor’s taken the time to engage with a comment or share – show them you care by engaging back. There should never be a comment that doesn’t elicit a response – participate in the conversation. You’ll learn all the more and hopefully get others to engage in the conversation as well. Don’t just push market, one way (the old-fashioned, outdated marketing method). Social is a two way conversation – do your part.
If you’re only getting likes from posts and no comments then reach out and ask for feedback. Post a survey. Encourage readers to engage on a deeper level. If there’s no interaction with published posts then reconsider whether you’re on the correct social channel or re-evaluate the content that’s being published. Perhaps your content isn’t engaging enough or your buyer’s on a completely different channel than what you’re focusing on.
The most successful social content is that which is personal – written by humans not in a robotic, textbook format. Marketers who don’t know how to inject the personal touch shouldn’t touch your content. Stay away from textbook content — unless of course, your audience relates more to that form of writing.
One method of person-ability is offering a glimpse into the company, more than your product or service alone – share what your company’s all about and the people who make it happen. People buy from people.
Content should not be solely educational but also slanted as entertainment from time to time. Have a sense of humor. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. That’ll make you all the more human and increase the value of your currency. And, get creative with your brand –
In order for content to translate into currency there must be an ongoing initiative of content creation, not just a one-time effort. Your audience will never consume 100% of your content because there’s just too much out there to consume. But what they do consume should be:
Engaging, Create Advocacy, Increase Brand Lift, Sales & ROI
Content’s purpose is to generate leads – i.e. currency. Is your content generating leads that effectively improve bottom line performance for your business?
Let us know your thoughts!