A strong content marketing strategy is crucial to online success for your small business. While there are hundreds of reasons you should invest in this marketing medium, here are four ways content marketing drives results for small businesses.
1. Top of Funnel. If you’re not in sales, there’s a good chance you have no idea what we’re talking about. Well, it’s a relatively new way of thinking about content and is part of the whole new content marketing era that we are in, currently. “Top of funnel” describes how potential customers (a.k.a. leads) come into your pipeline (a.k.a. the path that potential customers take — in this case digitally) to find you and your product or service. This is where customers first meet you and form first impressions — think brand awareness. To ensure these impressions are good ones, certain types of content work better than others. Two examples (of many) include blogs and podcasts. The top of funnel is also where you can elevate overall awareness of the type of service or product you are selling. These pieces of content are not gated (no email sign up required) — and they are free, original and informative.
2. Middle of Funnel. Um, is this going to be a sales blog, you’re asking? No. But — and here’s the punchline — your content should be a selling machine. A machine that’s wooing your customers — either gently or boldly into a relationship where they trust you enough to give you their hard earned money. If you’re not thinking about content as a way to drive conversion, than you are wasting your time and your customer’s time. Period. In this part of the funnel, you are basically asking for their number, or — as it is in 2016 — their email address. It’s all about the Call to Action, baby… working in tandem with a powerful lead magnet. This is how you start the conversation — and the slow dancing.
3. Bottom of Funnel. Yes, now you see how serious we are about The Funnel! Whether it’s in the form of fireworks or a flickering candle, the content you deliver in this part of the pipeline (funnel) should be in exchange for The Ask. In other words, this is where you convert your hard working content into shiny dollars and then more shiny dollars. Here, content ranges from reports to ebooks to the magic formula you’ve been referencing in your other pieces of content.
4. For those of you reading who just don’t want to deal with things like pipeline, leads and funnels — at least not without another cup of coffee — then here’s the fourth reason why you should think about content: because without it, you’re irrelevant. And being irrelevant is cold, lonely and resolutely sad.
As you can see, a great content marketing plan is key to your online success. Want to learn more about how content marketing can drive online success for you business? We would love to help, reach out today!