Content is at the heart and soul of any digital marketing campaign — the foundation on which your search, social, email, and paid traffic campaigns are built. Without content, Google has nothing to discover on your website, Facebook Fans have nothing to share, newsletters have no news, and paid traffic campaigns become one-dimensional sales pitches.
Content goes beyond blogging; content includes YouTube videos, product and pricing pages on e-commerce sites, social media updates, and much more. Each piece of content acts as a stepping stone on the path from lead to customer, and from customer to engaged, frequent buyer
Knowing the Dynamics of Content Marketing
At its core, the Internet is a place where people gather to discover, interact with, and share content. Whether that content is a funny cat video that gives you a much-needed laugh, an inspiring podcast about a single mom surviving cancer, or an article teaching you how to fix a leaky faucet, content is what people crave.
Engaging with valuable content is a natural, or native, experience on the Internet. People are drawn to content that teaches them something, inspires them, or makes them laugh or cry, and people share and talk about content that has provided them some form of value
With the low-cost (or no cost) of publishing platforms such as Word Press, YouTube, and iTunes, even the smallest of brands can produce content for the web. This ease of publishing, however, is a double-edged sword because the constantly changing nature of the Internet requires the rapid production of content. Although your brand stands to reap the enormous rewards associated with content publishing, doing so without a plan can lead to frustration.
People have a nearly insatiable demand for content on the Internet. According to the most conservative estimates, 300 hours of new video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. This glut of content underscores the importance of proceeding with content marketing only after you have made a plan, because you must create quality content to cut through the noise. And quality demands a plan. Without a plan, you won’t know whether the goals you set are being met. A plan helps to ensure the success of your digital marketing campaign.
Finding Your Path to Perfect Content Marketing
Although “perfect” content marketing may sound like hype, it’s actually obtainable. When you gain an understanding of the true principles of this critical discipline and content marketing’s connection to all other facets of your digital marketing mix, you can quickly see the path to content marketing perfection.
Understanding the marketing funnel
The path from stranger to buyer is often conveyed using the metaphor of a funnel. Ice-cold prospects enter the wide top of the funnel and some, you hope, exit through the much narrower bottom of the funnel as customers. Content can, and should, assist the prospect in graduating from one stage of the marketing funnel to the next.
Top of funnel content marketing
The prospects entering the top of your funnel (TOFU) are unaware of your solution and often unaware that they even have a problem that needs to be solved. As a result, you need content that people can freely access, as opposed to content that requires prospects to give you their contact information or make a purchase. After all, you have yet to prove your value to them.
At the top of the funnel, make free unrated (no password or email address required) content available that entertains, educates, or inspires.
The big goal for content you use at the middle of the funnel (MOFU) is to convert “problem aware” and “solution aware” prospects into leads. You’re looking to grow your email lists and gain more leads at this point of the funnel. At Digital Marketer, they use free content to incentivize prospects to submit their contact information (such as their email address) and opt in to receive future marketing in exchange for valuable content.