Every piece of content you create as a content marketer must pass through one key filter: what action am I hoping to encourage when a prospect consumes this content?
The more precisely and specifically your answer to that question, the more likely your content is to succeed. If your answer is something like, “to raise awareness of our brand,” that’s fine, but it’s really not content marketing, or not content marketing to its fullest extent. It’s brand building.
And though brand building certainly has its place in our toolkits, our goal as content marketers has to be more closely tied to generating revenue.
And that means creating content not only for that moment when brand awareness is being established or strengthened, but also for the many other decision points that occur as a prospect makes her way through her buying process.
That means that some content we create may be designed as the last piece of the puzzle and some may be the first thing we hope a prospect will accept as they’re getting to know us.
Aside from having to be of great value to the prospect, and having to help establish our own expertise and value on some level, these content elements have to have something else in common: a push, however subtle, encouraging clients to take the next step.
What that step is will, of course, depend on what the previous step was. But it typically needs to be gradual and needs to make sense from the prospect’s point of view – their buying journey – not your sales cycle.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some examples of content that encourages action.