Your story is the catalyst for your 2022 business strategy. It has the power to establish a new market, captivate investors, attract and retain top talent, change the status quo and even advocate for social justice.
But it’s hard to command attention if no one knows or cares about who you are. And it’s a long journey from awareness to trust, the place from which you can influence action. The superhero in your marketing communications plan? Content.
You need a lot of different types of content, created with different intentions, so you can communicate across all stages of the buyer’s journey. And we’re not just talking about owned content—this includes earned and paid media. It’s all content.
Great content campaigns help companies attract specific audiences and build trust, which is how a following becomes a community.
This is where – and how – sales and marketing align. So before you launch your next campaign (or content series), ask these questions:
#1: What’s the top business goal? Push PR aspirations aside and figure out what you’re actually trying to accomplish. Sometimes this requires companies to take a hard look at what they need vs. what they want. Knowing “the why” will help guide the overarching strategy and the story you want to tell (and who should hear it).
#2: What is your channel strategy? Behind every blog post, content download, graphic, animation or video there should be a strategy based on your target audiences. Focus drives attention. We recommend choosing one thought leadership “content hub” where you create new, quality content frequently. It could be a blog, podcast, or even a newsletter like this one. And then you amplify that content on other channels (if it makes sense).
#3: How is this content helpful? Our CEO Beth Monaghan says, “Content is the doorway through which your audience walks. Without it, people walk right past.” Are you talking at your people, or with them? Your content should make them feel smarter, more secure, or at the very least, entertain them. It could also be a rallying cry to join together around a mutual goal.
#4: How can we uplevel this content? Take your evergreen content up a notch. Add a relevant news hook. Weave in data or real proof points to support your POV. Switch up the visual format. Bring outside voices in.
#5: What CTA should we include? It isn’t always a hard push for actions like signing up for a demo or starting a chat with a sales rep; it’s about inviting your audience in and inspiring them to stick around long enough to want to know more about you. The best way to do this is to produce content that leads with expertise yet shows your authenticity. Over time, this instills brand trust.
When the campaign is over, don’t just move on to the next one. Look at what worked and what didn’t. Monitor, analyze, test, and retarget. And if it didn’t meet your short-term KPIs (share of voice, website traffic, etc.), don’t lose sight of the big picture. Creating a memorable brand experience can be a slow build and success certainly shouldn’t hinge on a few content pieces. Patience and performance data collection are key.
Learn more about our approach to content marketing by completing the form to the right or by reaching out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura is the vice president of marketing at Inkhouse.