Friday, September 6, 2013

FAQ Series – How do I drive more impact with my content?

A frequently asked question I hear as a content marketing consultant is “how to I make content that will bring bigger impact?”

I have performed numerous content audits in my career, so to help address this question I wanted to highlight some of the most prevalent themes I have seen occur in these audits:

1 -  Don’t Lose Focus – As Michael Brenner said “The biggest mistake content marketers make when getting started is they create content focused on their products or services”. Content that truly helps buyers understand the problem as it relates to their (the buyers) business will drive impact. Remember:

2 – Segmentation - this is related to the first point and can be achieved in several ways:

Industry targeting - the simplest way to segment is with vertical or industry level targeting. Per this Demand Gen study 45% of buyers first seek out “articles and resources targeted to my industry”. This isn’t just a bullet from a study; I have seen this play out time and time again in my content audits. I have seen response on industry specific content triple response rates compared to general (no industry focus) content.

Pro Tip – rather than re-write content from scratch, consider re-purposing existing content and adding industry call out boxes to help tailor content to specific verticals.

Persona targeting – This is a deep topic that has many blogs fully dedicated to the topic – check out Tony Zambito’s blog for great info. That said, to highlight the concept. It is critical that we understand the user journey of our buyers, beyond that we need to know the journey of each member of the buying team. Their pain points will be different, so our messaging should be different. For example a CIO or other C levels executives might be focused on strategy, while an engineer might be very focused on the tactical execution. Different focus – different content. As noted here – I have seen this strategy drive a 200% increase in click rates.

3 – Competitive Comparisons – Many vendors are hesitant to do this, however this is exactly what IT buyers are tasking with doing. Building this asset type for it buyers is helping them do their job, while giving you the opportunity to help steer the conversation in your favor.
In most lead nurturing programs when a comparison asset is part of the mix, it will easily place in the list of top performing assets. These are asset types that generally pull very strong response rates, but they go deeper than that. In a current lead scoring and nurturing program I am involved in a comparison asset is driving the most (39%) of the MQL lead conversions.

Pro Tip – keep it honest.

Whether you are producing new content, or looking to re-purpose content pull in these 3 considerations to drive bigger impacts. Response rates all the way through to conversion rates should see improvements from these content types. 

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