Three Content Strategies That Will Launch Your Results
Content should educate, entertain and when possible, tell a story. People love hearing true accounts of real people, trials and tribulations, and fascinating stories. After more than 70,000 years of human history, stories remain a constant within every. Regardless how far flung or diverse, storytelling flourishes throughout history.
Modern storytelling is a digital experience. Most companies know they need to produce online content on a consistent basis. Regular content production has many benefits, for example it helps increase website traffic and search engine authority, and it also makes it easier for prospects to find you and begin the process of building a relationship.
There are four main purposes of producing high-quality, consistent content:
- Search Engine Optimization of strategic terms
- Audience building (Social followers and List)
- Audience Engagement
- Move leads through sales funnel
Another benefit to consistently producing content is that content accumulates. A well written blog post or white paper can produce traffic and leads for years after they are written. Think of each piece of content you produce as an additional asset of the business that increases its value, if ever so slightly.
Yet, content creation can be a challenge experienced by most companies. Often companies and marketing professionals struggle with creating content because they have too narrow of a definition of content that can be valuable and produce results. A narrow perspective on the goal and use of content makes it much more difficult to be prolific.
To make the process even harder, leaders often reject content when it is not specifically about their product of service. They often don’t see the purpose because they misunderstand the broader value of content.
Well done content has a the ability to impact businesses in a way beyond just making a sale; it helps readers connect with your brand on a more personal basis. Even in our technology infused world, there is still a deep desire to work with people we know and like. Faceless corporations may win business but they never win hearts.
The need to expand our thinking about content leads us to categorize content into three unique buckets: relevant, semi-relevant and non-relevant content. The three categories help executive teams understand the nature of each piece and what they can expect from its performance. Content enlightens readers on your brand promise, builds trust, and showcases your company as a true expert.
Relevant content is directly associated with the company’s brand promise. It relates to the goods or services provided and is closely associated to moving the sales process forward.
Semi-relevant content is more general in nature and may provide insight of something happening within the technology industry, a trend or news.
Non-relevant content may not directly have anything to do with your company’s core business, but is of interest to your target audience. It may address a fear the audience has or promote the business of a partner, or perhaps it supports an important event hosted by your favorite charity.
A Content Strategy Example: Rise & Shine*
Rise & Shine is a local gourmet breakfast delivery service. They specialize in catering gourmet and homemade breakfast items for in-home gatherings, school functions, and corporate meetings. While many people are familiar with the local bakeries and coffee shops, not as many people are aware of the niche service Rise & Shine provide.
As a result, Rise & Shine adopted inbound marketing to make it easier for potential customers to come across their services in online searches. Rise & Shine developed a content strategy that uses relevant, semi-relevant, and non-relevant content. Each piece of content they create is designed to appeal to a different stage of the buyer’s journey as well as a specific persona.
This example focuses on content one of Rise & Shine’s personas, Hostess Heather will find appealing. Hostess Heather is a stay at home mother with disposable income and a passion for hosting gatherings of all kinds. The following are examples of content Rise & Shine could incorporate into their content strategy to capture Hostess Heather’s interest:
Relevant Content: The Hostess’s Playbook for Hosting a Scrumptious Brunch
Why this works: This content is relevant because it relates to the core of Rise & Shine’s business. It also appeals to one of Rise & Shine’s primary personas, the hostess. Lastly, the content clearly highlights the niche catering service Rise & Shine offers: gourmet breakfast items.
Semi-Relevant Content: Tips for Creating a Beautiful & Unique Tablescape
Why this works: This content is semi-relevant because it doesn’t directly relate to the core of Rise & Shine’s business but is very appealing to Hostess Heather. As someone with a passion for hosting, Hostess Heather is always eager to discover the latest trends in styling a table or centerpiece. Even though the content doesn’t sell Rise & Shine’s services, it builds a relationship with Hostess Heather and keeps her interested in returning to the site for more helpful tips.
Non-Relevant Content: Behind the Scenes: Catering for the Royal Wedding’s Evening Reception
Why this works: This content is non-relevant because it doesn’t relate to the core of Rise & Shine’s business in the least, but is still of interest to Hostess Heather. This content piece is very timely and discusses a massively publicized event in the industry. If this Rise & Shine article indexed in search engines and received backlinks from reputable sources, it would substantially boost the Rise & Shine website overall in terms of authority, relevance, and rank, making it easier for all other Rise & Shine blogs and content to be discovered online.*Rise & Shine is a fictitious company Can-Do Ideas uses to demonstrate the process of inbound marketing.
Don’t be afraid to inject personality into your content. Stories about your team and their families can be especially powerful if well written and authentic. Personality in marketing helps form personal relationships with customers. Those relationships allow your marketing team to garner more satisfaction from working in the business. When things go wrong – as they sometimes will – a foundation of a personal relationship helps both sides work toward a mutual solution rather than parting ways.
A careful balance of the three content categories, combined with a deep understanding of the types and purpose, is the gateway to a successful content marketing program. Each kind of content has a place in the marketing mix if you’re not too afraid to implement them.