How To Create Content That Gets the Job Done
How can content do all that exactly? That’s a valid question. Truthfully, there is some disagreement over whether content marketing actually works. (Just do a quick Google search for “content marketing doesn’t work” and you’ll see for yourself.)
One thing content marketing definitely isn’t—is magic. Just because you crafted a great piece, it doesn’t mean that it will suddenly go “viral,” millions of people will see it and thousands of those people will buy from you. That would be nice if it were the case, but unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. The internet is home to some truly great content. Phenomenal content, even! But beyond the quality of the writing, you need to be able to optimize your content for more and better conversions.
Ideally, you will be able to produce content that answers a key question or problem of your target market, whether they’re nearly ready to buy or just starting to explore options.
Write for Your Ideal Buyer, Not Just for More Pageviews
Pageviews, shares, comments, there’s nothing wrong with any of these elements. They can be signs of content success and they definitely give you a bit of a warm, fuzzy feeling when you see them increasing. But for all of that traffic, a surprisingly small number of those people actually fit your target demographic. And an even smaller group will make the choice to become a customer.
Think about the people that you want to purchase your product or service. What do they want or need? Do they even know that what you offer could be the solution they’re looking for? Do they even know that they need a solution? The blog posts you write should be helping them figure out the answers to those questions.
The Buyer’s Journey
One way of tackling this problem is to consider the three stages of the Buyer’s Journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. This describes the way in which people become aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved, research and explore possible solutions to that problem, and then ultimately make a purchase decision. Quality content writing should be guided by these three phases, and the messages and format will be different depending on which phase a buyer is in. Max Traylor writes on Content Marketer’s Blueprint about the different types of content buyers want and need at different key points. A good tip is to consider what questions you would be asking at each different stage if you were the buyer.
Create Content for Buyers of All Types
Because you can’t always know what stage your buyers will be in when they find your website or content, it’s good to have all your bases covered by creating content for any level of buyer and including prominent CTAs that can help to lead them to the next step of the Buyer’s Journey.
Not every stage in the Buyer’s Journey ends with a purchase, so not all of your content should be focused on getting the buyer to make a purchase. Sometimes people just want information and aren’t quite ready to buy. Hubspot, a leader in the inbound marketing sphere, does a fantastic job of practicing what they preach when it comes to content. They offer a wide variety of useful, quality content writing on marketing and sales-related topics, and often, their calls to action are to check out a piece of gated content to further your knowledge on the subject.
The exact content you create and the process buyers go through might differ slightly depending on the nature and organization of your business, but the basic stages of the journey will often hold true.
Quick Tip: It can help to include popups on blog posts that appear after readers reach a certain location in the page or stay on a page for a certain amount of time. Make sure to use these sparingly and wait for a generous amount of time before displaying them so that your readers don’t get annoyed.
Summing it All Up
When you start producing quality content with a plan and a purpose, you’ll find that it performs better. If you are consistently the brand that answers your buyer’s questions and provides them with the information they need to solve problems and issues, you will stand out ahead of competitors as a resource in their minds. In the end, this tactic works out for just about everybody involved. You get more loyal customers, and your customers get the answers and the solutions that they need.