Content Marketing: How to Develop Magnetic Content That Attracts More Customers
Posted on April 27,2019 at 2:00 PM
Conventional marketing techniques like SEO and PPC have always been an important aspect of digital marketing. However, they all revolve around a single prominent thing without which all these techniques will crash.
That is content.
Content marketing has been used way before the internet was born. Earlier it was used to create advertisements for billboards, television sets, and flyers.
When the internet took the world by storm, various marketing agencies and experts jumped on the bandwagon and created it as a new hotspot for marketing.
Thus, digital marketing came into existence.
However, content marketing has always remained in the core of all types of marketing and is the cardinal and the most primary aspect that a company must use in order to:
- Reach their target audience
- Promote their products and services
- Grow their sphere of customer reach
- Improve their brand awareness
- Boost their search result page ranking
- Gather customers insight
- Create an online presence
Using content marketing along with different marketing strategies a company can achieve all these points easily.
However, developing content that catches the eye of a user in the first attempt is not an easy feat to achieve. A lot of time has to be devoted to research and analyze the market and develop a robust content marketing technique.
Firstly, not everybody can develop highly engaging content. It requires a whole team to develop content that people likes. You’ll need people who are expert in graphic designing, videography, content writing, and social media managing.
Secondly, even if you create out of the box content, people won’t even care to go through it until they are not interested. You must know your target audience inside out and create buyers personas in order to develop content for the right audience.
Without even knowing you may be even developing incorrect and irrelevant content for people who don’t even care.
So if you really want to become a content marketing expert then keep reading and learn how to develop golden content that people will pick from search engine filled with literal garbage.
But first, let’s understand the basics of content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In simple terms to gain success through content marketing, you must develop relevant and engaging content on a regular basis that attracts the customers towards a particular thing.
That’s it. Eureka.
But as we discussed above it is not that simple.
You must post new content regularly on a long-term basis. Also, the content should poke the emotional points of the customers so that they connect with your business.
The idea is to provide relevant and useful information about your product/services instead of pitching them to your customers. Content marketing also lets you show your customers that you actually care about them.
A successful content marketing technique will not only help the business to drive a single sale but will also develop a strong relationship with its customers.
This relationship will help you to contact them instantly and help you to influence their purchase decisions. They will also prefer your products more than that of your competitors.
Look, content generation is an art. It requires a content creator to target the emotional points of a person and at the same time need appropriate storytelling.
The flow of the content keeps the reader fixated on it and helps him to skim through the content quickly. By incorporating soothing narration a content creator can easily keep the readers engaged.
By following a streamlined content generation approach and using an effective content marketing strategy, it becomes relatively easy to reach and influence the decisions of customers.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy:
Before going through a content marketing strategy let us again focus on the aim of content marketing.
Content marketing is the way to influence the decisions of a person by promoting your solutions in the form of highly-engaging and relevant content.
However, there is no specific technique or strategy that can be said to be effective for content marketing. It all depends on the sector of the business and the number of resources it can spend on marketing.
A content marketing strategy should outline the key business and its customer’s needs. Nevertheless, content marketing follows a common flow that can be seen in all the content marketing strategies of many giant organizations and business.
This flow has been tried and tested by many and acts as a base using which content can be created according to the customers.
The flow is to:
1) Target the pain points of the customers.
2) Use appropriate content to describe the problem.
3) Promote services as a solution to the problem.
The content creator must research about the problems that the target audience is facing and redirect his attention to its solutions through alluring content.
Attracting the audience towards your business is the primary goal to grow it. There are many ways to do it. Posting post on social media, sending newsletter via e-mails, conducting voting polls, the ways are as varied as fish in the sea.
By using other marketing techniques like search engine optimization, pay per click advertisement, etc. content in different plain and multimedia formats can be promoted.
Again the format for the content to be used is as vast as the sea. Based on your capability, the buyer’s persona and resources that you can spend, select the most appropriate content format that can target the correct audience.
Different content formats are suitable for influencing the decisions of the audience differently. While some act as a good call to action content, some are perfect in attracting the customers in the initial stage.
Every piece of content that you will develop will be handy in different stages of the content marketing funnel.
Content Marketing Funnel:
A content marketing funnel is a visual representation of all the stages that a person will go through in order to make a purchase by skimming through different content types.
All the stages require different formats of content, or in other words, we can say that each piece of content has a different purpose. While some pieces of content create attention for business in front of the customers, others may tempt customers to go through a CTA process.
By understanding the audience in depth, a user can create content for different stages of their journey towards buying a product.
A map of content can be generated that will drive customers through different stages. Hence, the process of creating content for different stages is called content mapping.
The best way to understand content marketing funnel is through the AIDA model. It comprises of four stages:
To effectively use the AIDA model a content marketer will need to prepare content for all these stages. We’ll discuss in detail about all the stages, but before that let’s understand the need for a content marketing funnel.
People often don’t buy a service/product on their first attempt. Very few people go straight from discovery to buying.
Majority of the people will see a product once, and buy it after they see a retargeted ad after a few months. They take a lot of time to make a purchase.
While 75 percent of the online people are searching for information only 2 percent of them are ready to buy an article or service. The content mapping helps a marketer to influence the decisions of the customers and tempt them to think that they really require the product that he is selling.
The content marketing funnel helps a business to retarget the customers with different pieces of content and make a sale at the end of the funnel. This funnel also helps the business to build brand awareness and create online engagement.
Now we know the purpose of the content marketing funnel we can go through each stage in detail. Later we’ll go through an example in order to understand the procedure correctly.
The first thing to be clear about is the audience that you are trying to target. In the whole process of the content marketing funnel, this should be at the top of your mind.
Based on your market niche and need of the customers, you’ll need to create a buyer’s personas and develop content that can attract them towards your products/services.
Gaining the attention of the customers is clearly the most difficult task. You’ll need to generate content that your audience group is most likely to search. Create content accordingly and optimize them with keywords to gain better SERP ranking.
Also, make sure to make your content compatible with the intent of the search (intent wala blog yaha par link karna hai) in order to reach a wider audience.
Remember, the first step has to be taken by the customers to make sure that they don’t lose interest over time. PPC advertisement can help in reaching the audience quickly, but try to use PPC and SEO collectively to gain better results.
Also, embed your landing page with quizzes, polls, or some other technique to gather information from them. Make sure to collect their e-mail id in order to retarget them in later stages.
With their information in your hand, you can now re-target customers through e-mail marketing. This time also, you’ll have to make sure to develop content that can keep the customer engaged and feed their curiosity to learn more.
The prime motive in this stage is to build the trust of your business/ brand with the customers. Lure the customers with free e-books and pdf’s to make sure that they are committed towards your business.
Create social media pages in order to reach a wider audience. There are many social media platforms for you to choose to reach the correct audience.
You may also promote your products in this stage and show how your product or services is better than that of your customers.
Your expertise in this field will help you the most at this stage. Show your knowledge in the content and maintain consistent contact with the customers to build their faith in your business.
Once your customers have faith in you, you’ll need to feed their desire with more product/service related content. Maintaining the interest of the customers is the key to make sure that the reader starts thinking about using your product/service.
Start with something basic. Give them some discounts or give some articles for free if possible. Do it at a large scale in order to reach a wider audience.
Conducting polls, quizzes, or online games is also a good option to make your customers feel included. Once they start taking part in your activities, you can divert them to the action phase.
The action phase is the final phase of the whole content marketing funnel. All the above phases focus on tipping the customer to the edge and tempting him to buy your products or services.
Depending on the product you are selling you can either include the CTA phase in all of your content in all of the stages or wait for the perfect moment in order to present your products to the customers.
However, the final action link should be simple to make sure that the customers don’t hesitate to take the final leap.
Offering reassurance to the customers in terms of a money return policy can also tip the balance to your favor if you think that they might worry about investing their money in your products or services.
Example of a Content Marketing Funnel: Bob’s Story
Consider an imaginary person named Bob.
Bob wants to sell comics online. He has his own shop and has already made arrangements regarding the purchase of comic books from a dealer.
The dealer has agreed to sell his comics for let’s say ₹8. Bob did some calculations and came to the conclusion that after including other costs like transport, each comic will cost him ₹10. He plans to sell a comic for ₹20.
After analyzing the market Bob created two buyers personas:
• Kids of the age group 12 to 16 years who want to read comics.
• Collectors of different ages who want comics in mint condition.
To start his journey to find a customer he started working with gaining the attention of the audience.
Bob starts by developing content, that people related to his buyer’s personas are most likely to search. For both of his buyer’s personas he created separate blog posts:
For kids, he created blog posts regarding superheroes, like top 10 strongest superheroes in Marvel universe.
For collectors, he created blog and articles regarding quality maintenance of the comic books, like how to prevent termites to attack the books for a long time.
He optimizes content with keywords, includes intent modifiers to reach the correct audience (idhar bhi intent wala blog link karna hai), and makes the content compatible with mobile in order to reach a wider audience.
Online searchers find his content on the search engines and go through his content on his website.
Bob at the end of each blog post asks his readers to follow his pages on social media platforms and ask them to be a part of a large comic community. Readers find a message like:
“Hey, I see that you reached the end of the post. Want to learn more about comics. Sign up on my Facebook page and YouTube channel to be a part of a large comic community.”
People find this interesting and start following him on his social media pages.
Bob start seeing progress on his social media platforms. He consistently remains in contact with his audience and interacts with them on a daily basis.
This increases the interest of his followers in his content and they start trusting him.
Bob wants to expand his reach and decide to start an online quiz contest regarding comic book characters on his social media pages.
He promises to deliver a limited edition comic book of worth ₹1,000 to the highest scorer in the quiz. Bob asked one of his friends who is an expert in pay per click advertisement to expand the reach of his contest through advertisements.
To let his audience enter the contest, he asks them to enter their personal detail like name, phone number, e-mail id, and their location. He in return of the ₹1,000 comic book as price and cost of advertisement, say another ₹1,000, gets a much more valuable asset in the form of his customer's information.
Also, with a large audience participating in his contest, he now has a good amount of followers on his social media pages.
With playing in such contests and games, the followers of Bob now feel like a part of his community. Bob in return gains their trust.
Bob now have personal information about his audience. He can use their demographics in order to develop personalized content for each of his community member.
He now has their e-mail id and other contact details. He starts by sending them free comic e-books and pdf’s on their e-mail id for free.
He creates a newsletter about development in a comic’s storyline and shares his views on what can happen next. He also keeps posting new videos on YouTube and posts blogs and memes on Facebook to keep his audience engaged.
Bob’s audience trusts him and his insight about comics. Bob now start to use his trust in order to entice them towards buying comics from him.
Bob now delivers the final blow. He now starts to send his followers exclusive deals in order to tempt them to buy comics from him.
Using re-targeting and PPC advertisement Bob tries to influence the decisions of his community members to make sales. As his audience now trusts him, they start to buy from him.
However, Bob doesn’t stop here. He asks his customers to rate and review his services on different platforms to improve his brand awareness.
This also intensifies and boosts his image in front of a new audience that is searching for comic books online.
The rating and review will also let Bob learn ways in which he can improve his services.
End of Bob’s Story:
This is an irony, as there is no end in Bob's story or content marketing.
Using content marketing funnel, Bob was able to achieve the following points:
- He was able to increase followers on his social media platforms.
- He was able to improve his brand awareness.
- He was able to develop trust in his customers about his business.
- He was able to influence the purchasing decisions of his customers.
- Most importantly, he was able to drive sales and gain profit.
But the story of Bob doesn’t end here. He continues to influence the decisions of more customers and drive more sales again and again. But this time, he’ll already have a strong relationship with his audience and can thus invest more resources to improve his revenue.
At the beginning of this blog, we cleared one thing. “Content marketing is a long-term process”. The more you invest resources on it, the better it will perform for you.
Content marketing is not only a typical marketing technique. It is an art that can only be honed with practice.
Even if PPC, SEO, or other marketing techniques don’t work for you, content marketing will always help you to grow if you focus on entertaining your customers with content instead of forcing them.
You need to influence instead of persuading them. You need to engage them instead of forcing.
That is the main goal of content marketing.