Creating content that gets you new business

group at work at table with a bullentin board with post-it notes

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic has caused a lot of our fellow marketing and public relations comrades to pivot from their planned strategies and tactics. In fact, what we’ve been seeing is an increased interest in remote marketing, even if it’s as simple as amping up digital efforts that may already be in place.

As Jon points out in his post linked above, a lot of this involves refining and refreshing your digital marketing building blocks, including revisiting and updating your personas, cleaning your online house, and importantly, building the right content approach, which is what we’ll cover in this post—creating content that converts.

A whopping 96% of Americans rely on internet research to inform big purchasing decisions. The way consumers shop today differs vastly from even just 10 years ago. They are no longer swayed by overt, aggressive sales and advertising tactics; instead, today’s buyers (both B2B and B2C) prefer to do the research and decide for themselves which vendor they want to go with.

All of this discussion points to the fact that it’s not enough to just come up with good content anymore. For your PR, marketing and communications strategies to be effective, you have to make sure that each piece of content you produce has a purpose, and ideally, that its purpose ties back to your business goals.

Currently, 70% of marketers say they lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. For those of you in that camp working through a content strategy, here are some tips for creating an effective one.

Plan

The three main questions to consider here are what are the content’s purpose, format and topic? If the purpose is to generate leads, then you probably want an offer, or gated piece of content. The format of the offer could be a whitepaper, case study or template – anything really that you think will drive demand.  In determining the topic of the content, you’ll want to focus on who you’re trying to reach, and what content will be the most helpful for them.

Produce

When producing content, always focus on mapping your content to your personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey. Your customers are busy people, so make it easy for them to consume your content by keeping it short. Keep in mind the majority of your content should be educational versus promotional. At Hodges, we like to follow the 80/20 rule of keeping 80% of the content educational and 20% promotional.

Distribute

Often, we spend so much time producing a piece of content that when it’s finally ready, there’s a strong temptation to get it up and out quickly. But it’s important to tap the brakes. You should spend as much time on content promotion as you do with creating the piece of content itself.. The idea is to maximize the shelf life of the content and leverage it via different distribution channels, whether that’s through social media, marketing emails or your blog. (For tips on setting up a social ad campaign on a shoestring budget, check out our blog post.)

Analyze

What you analyze will depend on the format of the content and your business goals. Some metrics to consider when analyzing the efficacy of your content are number of visits, leads generatedsocial proof, shareability and inbound links. You also could look at things like content performance by topic or by format.

Repeat

Then it starts all over. It’s important to keep up with planning your content to make sure you’re always feeding the content machine.

It can be daunting at first, trying to map out a strategy and process for your content and getting buy-in from the rest of your organization, but taking these steps will get you to the point where every piece of content you send out will have a purpose—whether that’s clicking through to your website, downloading a whitepaper or filling out a lead gen form. And all of that is tied, of course, to your bottom line.

Paulyn Ocampo

Since joining THP in 2008, Paulyn has helped execute strategic plans for clients like AMF Bowling Centers, Allianz, Tridium, Silgan and The Peterson Companies. A Norfolk native, she earned her undergraduate degree in mass communications, with a concentration in public relations from VCU.

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