Only You Can Prevent Random Acts of Digital Marketing
There’s a tendency in digital marketing to just get something out there. You need a presence, and now is always better than later, right? Not necessarily. Your impending linguistic deluge will hold a lot more value if there’s a strategy to it. One-off blog posts — one-off anything, really — isn’t a strategy, they’re a hope and a prayer and a sure-fire way to waste money without getting the results you were anticipating.
Random acts of digital marketing can sap your strength and burn out your brain (not to mention your bottom line) in record time. Getting yourself a blueprint before ideating your heart out is the best way to help support potential buyers along their “buyer’s journey,” generating more rewards with far less stress.
The Danger of Relying on One-Off Content
When you call a sales and marketing meeting and your team starts shouting out ideas, you start twitching in excitement at all the possibilities. “Let’s have a sale!” “We need to revamp the website.” “I have a great idea for an Instagram contest!” There are gems in that pile of ideas, but those gems aren’t connected, and that makes it very hard for them to shine. If you’ve been trying everything you can think of to ratchet up brand visibility and expand sales, and nothing is working, it’s probably because that “everything” is the marketing equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting — throw some concepts on a canvas and see what shapes they make.
All that’s not to say that one-off content doesn’t have any place in digital marketing. It does. A light-hearted puff piece on the legacy of an industry icon or an infographic illustrating a fascinating how-to are fun ways to engage readers and infuse your news feed with a little frivolity, but this type of content should be the exception, not the rule.
How Strategy Sells
A tactic is not a strategy. Make that your mantra. Having an idea is very much not the same thing as having a plan; the first might get you through the week, but the second will shape your future. In content marketing, you can build themes that make your content more interesting and relatable. Define your theme, and you focus your efforts on the right topics and types of content. It’s more effort on the front end, but in exchange, you’re rapidly empowering both your potential and existing customers with every email, social media post, ebook, and blog.
Creating Content With a Purpose
Write to fill the entire funnel. From your topic to your call to action, each slice of your content pie has to be born of intent and made to fulfill a specific objective.
- Awareness: Top-of-funnel content that introduces a product or service, fills readers in on your brand mission or highlights a pain point your business is ready to solve. This may be your first impression or the first direct connection; either way, tone, context and packaging all matter.
- Consideration: Content in the middle of the content gets readers to start thinking about your brand as the solution.
- Decision: As customers approach the bottom of the funnel, content gets tighter, more focused and more concentrated on conversion. This is where we get customers to act. They’ve been educated, they’re familiar with what you’re selling and now it’s time to reel them in.
Not sure if your content is what it should be? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a content plan in place?
- Do I know why I posted this?
- Which of the three stages of the funnel does this piece support?
- Why should anyone care?
- Am I relying on hope and crossed fingers, or am I confident in my content because there’s a clear-cut method to my madness?
So, stop thinking piecemeal. Scrap the idea of “writing a blog” and reframe content creation as a comprehensive strategy. That’s how growth marketing funnels package content: one easily understandable strategy that is infinitely more powerful as a unit than if you try to leverage separate pieces. If your content doesn’t have a reason to exist — both now and six months from now — it’s probably not worth the pixels you used to display it.