Content marketing plays a role in every stage of the sales funnel, from lead generation to nurturing prospects into customers and beyond. Although the focus is often on drawing new users to your website, it is equally important to promote your brand to people who are already familiar with your business in some way. This can help shape their perceptions of your company, products, and services.
Adapt Your Message to Your Target
You developed your buyer personas for a reason — to create content that resonates with your ideal customers. With a huge amount of content out there and all of it competing for attention, generic content and pieces aimed at wide audience are useless. Content with a message that speaks to target buyers, however, shows prospects what your brand has to offer them.
To be successful, you need to define the specific characteristics and motives of each of your buyer personas. You must understand the challenges they face and how your brand can solve their unique problems. Use this information to position your brand as the best solution. In addition, you need to know what type of content your audience prefers and focus on the most popular and widely-used platforms.
To find out how you can improve your content consider conducting A/B testing. This will allow you to tweak even the smallest features to maximize views and engagement. You should also use business intelligence software to monitor metrics like traffic and social shares to determine which pieces of content have been the most successful.
Offer Advice Instead of Pushing for a Sale
Presenting your brand as supportive and wanting to help is central to a successful inbound marketing strategy. It should never be obvious that you are pushing for a sale with your content — this makes for an uninteresting read, and users will seek the information elsewhere. Instead, an effective marketing strategy will seek to answer users’ questions using quality content to gradually build a relationship of trust.
This is particularly important for a B2B strategy, as 93 percent of buyers begin a purchase decision with an online search, according to Marketo. Create content containing the information users need to make an informed decision. This will enable you to start building a relationship with consumers, who will remember your brand in a favorable light for purchases both now and in the future. You may even be able to shorten sales cycles.
Build a Strong and Smart SEO Strategy
Developing a smart SEO strategy becomes a bigger marketing challenge every year, even for an SEO expert. The emphasis on quality continues to grow as Google attempts to determine search intent, rather than showing users content that contains most of the keywords they enter.
Plus, users are searching differently, often entering longer search terms. Brands take advantage of this by utilizing more long-tail keywords, which helps them receive more highly-qualified traffic. Keyword research will both uncover the best long-tail keywords to use and provide you with inspiration for content that your audience will want to read.
Engage with Prospects on Social Media
Every SEO company needs to have an active presence on at least a couple major social media sites. In addition, to effectively promote your brand, you need a clear social media strategy.
First, determine which platforms would be most worthwhile to your brand. You will waste resources if you try to maintain a regular presence on too many. Plus, it will contribute little to your marketing ROI, as you will gain few leads. Refer to your buyer personas to decide which platforms will benefit your efforts.
If you are a B2B brand, LinkedIn will likely be your top choice because it is one of the best options for networking with professionals. You should create a business page for your brand and then further develop your image by encouraging leaders in your company to create personal profile pages.
An obvious use of social media is to publish your content. Bear in mind, though, that some types of content are better suited for particular platforms than others. In addition to creating and sharing pieces from your blog, you may like to create content specifically for certain sites. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are visual sites, Twitter is best for short updates, and on Facebook and YouTube you can host your own videos.
Another way to encourage engagement is by posting content at the right time. Users are more active at certain times of the day — this differs according to the site. You can find out the times each platform receives the highest activity, but it is even better if you track the engagement of your unique audience as part of your math marketing strategy.
Finally, you can use business intelligence tools to your advantage to enhance your social media efforts. It is easy to connect business intelligence software to most social media platforms. Then, you will be able to access all the performance data from one place. This will allow you to make comparisons between statistics across platforms and make more informed decisions about how to spread your brand message.
Map Out Buyers’ Life Cycles
By understanding your buyers’ life cycles, you can turn customers into brand advocates and evangelists. They will spread the word about great experiences they had with your brand and its great products and services through reviews and other online feedback.
To reach this stage, you need to promote your brand at every step of the buying cycle. The first stage is initial Awareness, where prospects do research on a problem they have that your industry aims to fix. As they progress through the Buyer’s Journey from Awareness to Consideration and onto Decision, your brand will need to stay consistent in providing relevant and useful content tailored to these stages and buyer personas. Your business should be constantly improving your content strategy to ensure the marketing materials you are using will lead to solid relationships and long-term loyalty.
Follow this with timely delivery of content, targeted according to where the prospects are in the sales funnel. The right premium content, in-depth resources, free trials, and offers will encourage prospects to respond to calls-to-action. Ensuring a positive experience throughout is key to maintaining your brand image.
Ultimately, these efforts will to lead to improved sales conversions. To continue the relationship and push the customer to become a brand advocate or evangelist, you need to continue offering useful content. Even something as simple as a testimonial or recommendation on LinkedIn can help drive revenue growth.
Take Advantage of HubSpot
Becoming a HubSpot partner provides you with the support you need to take your business to the next level. If you are struggling in any aspect of your inbound marketing strategy, experts will be on hand to help you. HubSpot partners also receive reports proving marketing ROI, which may enable you to continue receiving the resources you need to maintain your success.
To improve organization, HubSpot CRM offers insights into lead activity and opportunities for improvements in communication with each of your prospects. By knowing what your customers want, you can achieve many of the above, as it will be easier to deliver the right content and the right time. HubSpot CRM is free, is easy to use, and keeps all your information in the same place.
Promoting your brand is key to your success. These inbound marketing best practices enable your business to start off on the right foot with new leads and offer a positive experience up until a sale, or even beyond. As every aspect of your overall strategy is related — content, SEO, social media, and math marketing — it is essential you pay attention to all these elements and neglect none of them.