84% of people expect brands to produce content that entertains, provides solutions and produces experiences and events according to Meaningful Brands®. Insert content marketing. It involves the creation and sharing of materials – such as videos, blogs and social-media posts – that are intended to stimulate interest in a brand’s products or services by informing and/or entertaining a target audience. Content marketing fits into the account-based marketing (ABM) flywheel perfectly because it’s meant to promote a brand in a valuable, relatable, educational and/or interesting way that makes prospects want to engage.
Content marketing has been a hot word for CMOs for a few years now. Almost everywhere you look, marketers are talking about content marketing. However popular the concept, companies are still failing to fully utilize it in sales and marketing efforts. When done correctly, content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising, according to research conducted by Hubspot. When done incorrectly, content marketing can create brand inconsistency, decrease your target audience’s quality perception of your brand, create a public-relations crisis and/or add a lot of friction to your flywheel. Understanding how to use the power of content marketing will create longevity for your brand by increasing brand perception, qualified leads and revenue.
This article walks through the various content-marketing challenges that many companies face and how to overcome them. Note that these challenges and solutions can apply to all forms of content including, and not limited to, blog posts, social-media posts, video and emails that are meant to attract, engage and delight your prospects, turning more of them into customers.
Challenge 1 – Creating Content to Match Each Phase of the Flywheel
During each flywheel phase, prospects have different questions. Don’t tell your prospects what you want them to hear about your brand; instead, put yourself in their shoes. There are millions of pages of content on the internet written by well-intentioned marketers who missed the mark on capturing what their customers actually needed and instead produced mounds of “here’s everything great about our company” content. Your prospects expect you to tell them that, but that’s not what they find most important on their journey to conversion.
Solution: While planning your content, ask what questions your potential buyers have during each stage of the flywheel; this is key to keeping it spinning at top speed. The type of content that your prospects need to see in the attract phase is quite different from the content they see once they are ready to engage and then be delighted.
Quality attraction-phase content may include hints to your prospects about common pain-points that make them realize their business problems, thus leads them to the solution that is your service or product. During the delight phase, content may include emails or social-media posts that contain promotion codes or discounts to encourage customers to keep buying your products or services. The motives, questions and issues are all different depending on where they are in the flywheel.
Here are a few example prospect questions and RedRover tips when planning content based on the ABM flywheel:
Top Questions: Why should I care? Is there a solution for me?
- Make sure content is informative and educational. Prospects want to know why they should care about your company, not that they should care about your company. Bonus points if you can create informative, educational AND interesting content.
- Show prospects that there is a solution, and you’re it. Sometimes prospects aren’t even sure they fully know what their problem is; they just know something is wrong. Make sure your content helps them realize their problem and leads them to your solution.
Top Questions: Why should I buy from you? Which solution-providers should I consider?
- Make sure your clients know why they should buy from you. You already answered the question of why they should care about you, now it’s time to tell them why they should buy from you. What makes you stand out from your competition? This is the place to talk about the value and benefits of doing business with you.
- Easy-to-remember comparisons. Think about how you can display the benefits, values and features you bring to the table versus your competitors. Finding a way to plainly display these differentiators to your audience is a great idea. They may remember an infographic you made versus a long, wordy email your competitor sent.
Top Questions: Why should I stay with this company? What are my next steps?
- Don’t stop adding value. Some companies stop adding value once the initial sale is final. This adds friction into your flywheel. Remember why your customers are important, and show them that you remember because that will create life-long brand loyalty, thus creating brand advocates who refer you more business.
- Tell your customers what to do next. Do you have a great up-sell service that would further help your customer? Tell them about it. You don’t operate in their business, and they don’t operate in yours, so they likely don’t know what the next step is. Keep providing solutions for them, and they’ll thank you.
Challenge 2 – Keeping Up the Quality of Your Content
It’s easy to put quantity over quality in the content world today. With content being produced at the speed of light, marketers can feel the pressure to pump out whatever content they have on hand. This is where marketers go wrong. When content is pushed out too quickly, even big names in the publishing world make spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and tactless blunders. Snapchat, one of the largest content producers of the decade, caused tremendous backlash with an advertisement published on the platform. The ad was promoting a game, and it asked users “Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?” This question related to Chris Brown’s 2009 domestic-abuse charges to which he pleaded guilty of assaulting Rihanna. Snapchat removed the ad and issued an apology; however, the content created a stir that was difficult for the public to forget.
Solution: There are a few things marketers can do to ensure they are producing quality content for the different stages of their flywheel.
- Create an editorial calendar.
- Don’t be overly ambitious with your resources.
- Watch what your competitors are publishing.
Having an editorial calendar is key to overcoming the challenge of continually producing quality content. Quality work is a byproduct of having a plan. Producing a calendar also helps you to stay top-of-mind without making your prospects feel overwhelmed, which can cause them to drop out of the consumer journey and your ABM (account-based marketing) plans. There are several content-scheduling tools available, including HootSuite, Buffer and SproutSocial.
When you sit down to create a schedule, make sure you’re not being overly ambitious. You want to publish consistently, but remember that quality is more important than quantity. Consider your resources before you set a schedule, including your time, budget and team capacity.
Lastly, watch what your competitors are doing. Analyze which social-media posts, videos and blogs are getting the most engagement. Use those observations to produce your own, original content leveraging variables you’ve identified consumers engage with in competitors’ content.
Challenge 3 – Measuring the Content-Marketing Effort
Another widespread challenge within the content marketing world is neglecting to measure content effectiveness. Once a piece is published online, some marketers call it a day because they don’t understand how to measure content-marketing efforts within their ABM strategies. In fact, 61% of marketers want to be better about understanding key marketing metrics.
According to the 2018 On-Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, marketers ranked improving the “ability to measure and analyze their marketing efforts” as a vital priority. When you understand your important content-marketing metrics, you can also sharpen your overall ABM strategy with a lead-scoring program. Lead scoring is a process that assigns numeric value (points) to prospects based on the actions they take during their consumer journey; this process helps marketing and sales better align by allowing marketing to produce qualified leads for sales based on prospect actions that both teams agree mean something in terms of the lead’s likelihood to convert. CEOs save money because marketing and sales are operating together efficiently, and they don’t have to hire any referees.
Solution: Understand your goals and the metrics that will get you there. Some of the key-performance indicators of content marketing, depending on the format, include:
- Website traffic
- Blog or email subscribers
- Search engine ranking (content production helps online visibility)
- Average time on site
- Consumer reviews and feedback
- Online form fills (lead generation)
- Video views
- Social-media engagement (shares, likes and comments)
Measuring your content marketing allows marketers to know which content formats and efforts produce consumer engagement and ultimately conversions, which improves marketing cost-effectiveness.
Is Your Company Ready to Defeat These Common Content Production Challenges?
Whether you’re sending out email campaigns, creating long-form video, publishing live video content or writing blog posts, it’s important to produce quality, measurable content that addresses your customers’ concerns leading them to find solutions with your brand. With a dedicated content strategy, you will reach more potential customers, generate more marketing-qualified leads and create more revenue.
RedRover is here to help you understand your consumer personas and buyer journeys through in-depth research; create powerful, branded content for your company; or walk you through the implementation of a marketing automation strategy to deliver more leads to your sales team.
Contact RedRover today to turn your account-based marketing flywheel into a true business driver with valuable content marketing that engage your prospects. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 901-266-2662.