The Cha-Cha-Cha of Content Marketing

One, two, cha-cha-cha!

Even if you’ve never danced the Cha Cha, it’s likely you’ve heard the familiar counting pattern before.

I’m no dancer. But I do understand one thing: if you’re dancing with a partner and you miss a step it’s likely someone falls flat on their face. Ouch.

And wouldn’t you know it? A content marketing strategy also requires a series of steps. If you miss or skip a step, your strategy also risks falling flat on its face.

Once again, ouch!

So how can you partner with customers on a dance that has them staying longer and spending more?

Let’s take a look at the cha-cha-cha of a content marketing, shall we?

The following represents the high-level fundamentals of a content marketing strategy. Know that each of these steps also has a series of steps within it, before it, and after it, but we’ll save those for another time.

For now, the goal is to make sure everyone moves on the same counts.

One, two, cha-cha-cha! Here’s a breakdown of the steps:

  1. Audience
  2. Agony
  3. Cha – Attraction
  4. Cha – Alignment
  5. Cha – Action

Step 1. Audience

If you’re going to trip the light fantastic with your content marketing strategy, you’re going to need a clear picture of who you’re trying to reach. Any decisions you make for your strategy stem from having a deep understanding of this audience.

Consider this, your approach to reaching hip-hop dancers would be very different than if trying reach ballet dancers.

Step 2. Agony

What are the pain points for this audience? What is it that’s causing them the most pain in relation to your product or service offering? Most people are unclear what the solutions to their problems are, but they are very aware of the problems themselves. You must know the problems that cause your audience the most agony. This way you can understand how to best help them and gain their attention.

Step 3. Cha – Attraction

This is where your prospect becomes aware of you. You’re using content designed to speak to the wants and challenges of your well-defined audience. The goal for this step is simple: gain your prospect’s attention and drive them from wherever the interaction takes place (an email, a social channel, media buy, search, or referral) to a property that you own. This property is typically your website. Once they’re here, you can focus your energy on moving them to the next step.

Step 4. Cha – Alignment

Once you’ve attracted your audience it’s time to move things to the next level. What can you offer that’s valuable enough to your audience that they’re willing to subscribe in exchange? This can be an online subscription via email or an offline subscription such as a print magazine.

Once you have a subscriber that’s given you permission, you’re able to continue the conversation with this prospect audience. It’s here that you provide educational value to them while also sharing your beliefs and what your company stands for on an ongoing basis. This allows both you and your customer to make sure there’s proper alignment.

Alignment of what, you ask? An alignment in approach and values, which is important because it allows you to weed out those who aren’t the right fit for your business while capturing more of those who are the perfect fit.

You see, it’s likely a purchase of your product or service is a bit more intricate than buying a pack of gum. Ongoing education and value alignment helps you convert more customers who believe in what you do and who are predisposed to do stick around longer, promote you, and do more business with you.

Warning: Most people get the urge to skip this step.

Why? It’s simply due to impatience. People want to jump directly to the next Cha, or the Action step. Resist this urge. I’m going to spend a bit of time explaining why because it’s that important.

Although it seems like you’re prolonging what you’d ultimately like your prospect to do, this Alignment step actually pays off long term.

Here’s an example of why this Alignment step is so important:

TD Ameritrade offers a free quarterly trading magazine, thinkMoney. They describe it as, “full of fresh thinking, humor and trading how-to’s from equities to futures…”

What did they learn about their subscribers and readers? TD Ameritrade found that subscribers and readers traded five times more that non-subscribers.

FIVE. TIMES. MORE. Let that sink in for a minute.

Based on this information, TD Ameritrade focuses its efforts on getting as many people as possible to subscribe to thinkMoney. Long term, this is a smarter move as it provides more overall value to their business. If they skipped ahead to the next step they’d actually be losing money from a long-term perspective.

Let’s just say your results are similar to the thinkMoney example, that’s five times more than someone who skips the Alignment step.

Now, I’m no math wiz, but if you start adding up the benefits of waiting a bit longer in favor of a quick conversion, you end up with a more valuable asset.

Find out more about why a content marketing subscription goal is so important.

Step 5. Cha – Action

This is where your prospect takes that action you want them to take. Maybe you want them to start a trial and then become a customer, perhaps you want them to hire you again and again for the services you offer, or pay for the training you provide, whatever the case may be this step receives a powerful added flourish when you’ve successfully landed the previous steps.

Shall we dance?

Now that you know the fundamental steps and understand the rhythm of each, you’ll be on your way to creating a content marketing strategy that converts more people to customers that stay longer and spend more.

Stick to and regularly practice these steps so you can start inviting more people to dance without fear of falling flat on your face.

Ready to get started?

Review each of the five steps and answer the following questions:

  • Who is your audience? What do you know about them?
  • What challenges can you help this audience overcome?
  • What content can you create that attracts the audience you’re trying to reach?
  • How will you allow them to subscribe so you can talk to them on a regular basis?
  • What actions do you ultimately want them to take?

Hope to see you on the dance floor. One, two, cha-cha-cha!