Content is king is a phrase you have undoubtedly heard many times, but without good content—the things you create that people read, watch or hear—you have a nicely designed website that won’t hold peoples’ attention. Or social media messaging that no one pays attention to.
But what exactly is content? There’s a misconception that ‘content’ has to be something big. Like an article or an entire web page. The best way to think of content is everything with which your audiences interact, be it seen or heard. That includes all written materials, videos, photos, podcasts, radio ads…it’s all content. And just because it’s small doesn’t disqualify it.
In fact, bite-sized content works even harder. Email subject lines, for example. When we send out our email newsletter, we send out several batches. The only thing that changes between them is the subject line. When you have space for just three or four words, you have to choose them carefully. Between two batches sent out, for example, a change in subject line raised the unique open rate by over 18%. That’s important: if our audience doesn’t click on that three-word ‘advertisement’, the whole newsletter goes unread.
Tell your story
Companies are still waking up to the fact that they need good content to drive brand preference. Every organisation has a brand story to tell. When it’s put the right way, every brand story is interesting and engaging. Inbound marketing, where you draw customers to you rather than, say, landing unsolicited in their mailbox, has brand and content at its core. Inbound tools like social media marketing, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, videos, presentations, and speaker events are powerless without great content to animate them. Whatever you do, make sure you have something interesting to say.
Now, keep in mind that people don’t read a year’s worth of Twitter posts and then devour your entire website. Most people consume content in a haphazard way. You have to hook them slowly while developing a relationship with them. That’s why it’s important to reinforce the same brand story, in the same tone, across media: their impressions of your brand, your voice, and your products and services need to be consistent.
Generate quality sales leads with content
This last point is worth expanding upon. How do you generate quality sales leads with content? It’s not difficult. All good content, whether it’s designed for the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel, brings prospects a step closer to becoming customers. And let’s not forget that great content also keeps customers sold.
To effectively market to qualified prospects, you need to get them to reveal who they are. Do this by ‘gating’ content: forcing registration to gain access. This lets you keep track of visitors and provide them with more content along the lines of what they’re interested in.
If you can offer content that contains valuable information, like a well-written eBook, an in-depth explainer video or a best practices resource, people will give you their name and email address to get it. With those two pieces of information—their contact details and the content resource they consumed—you can start to predict what visitors might want more of.
That’s what many content providers do, for example YouTube. Watch a video or two on cats playing or motorcycles racing and suddenly you’re being fed a steady diet of cat play or motorcycle race videos. You can do the same thing for your prospects, directing your most relevant content their way. That’s where analytics and marketing automation come into play.
Content really is king. You can have great web design. You can send out copious social media messages. You can have a great marketing automation system. But you need really good content to feed these tools and function the way they should.
Can we help you with content strategy or the analytics and marketing automation tools that help you reach the right audiences with the right messages at the right time? Then get in touch.
We've gathered thoughts and expertise from our top strategists to bring you this insightful publication in B2B marketing.
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