We often talk about content strategy as a way to increase our search engine exposure. Since people love content, search engines do, too. Therefore, we must create content that people like.
We often think of content strategy as putting together ideas and then writing a bunch of blog posts. Unfortunately, that’s only one leg of a three-legged content strategy. To be effective, it must contain all three legs as each fulfills a specific role in the conversion process.
Informational content is what we most often think of in regards to our content marketing strategies. This is the content that we post on our blogs, offering free advice, instructions, tools and other valuable insights that our audience would want to read. It’s designed to showcase your expertise–to demonstrate to your readers that you are an expert in your area and are someone they should trust if they every need your products or services.
Informational content is for the long-play in customer acquisition. You won’t achieve a high rate of immediate conversions, but when the time comes, the sales process will be shorter, because you’ve already established trust with those visitors.
We often forget about our sales content when it comes to content strategy, but it’s just as important. It does no good to brand yourself as an authority on your blog if visitors find your sales presentation less than effective.
There have been many books and blogs written on the topic of writing great sales copy. They all have valuable information, but it all comes down to making the potential customer feel confident that you’re the solution to their problem.
This is done by addressing the visitor’s needs, focusing on benefits over features and selling the “sizzle.” If your visitors ultimately don’t find your sales content persuasive, all the work you’ve done building yourself up as an authority will be wasted.
The third leg of content strategy is the promotional aspect. This is where social postings and promoting your informational content comes into play. But what is more valuable than having a content strategy is having an engagement strategy.
Self promotion only goes so far. Yes, you have to post links to your content onto your streams, and you are allowed to toot your own horn a bit. But it can’t always just be all about you. Only a small percentage of your social posting can be self promotional. The bulk of it must be active engagement with your audience.
The number one job on social channels is building relationships. Not trying to convince people to use your products or services, or touting your expertise, but simply talking to your audience. This is where they truly get a feel for who you are. The more familiar they are with you the more apt they will be to become a customer down the road.
All three of these areas are an important part of an effective content strategy. Each of them focuses on the customer in a different area of the conversion process. When all three are in place, you will see more readers move from one part of the process to the next. However, if there is a missing piece in that process, this will limit the overall effectiveness of your content strategy.