Content marketing is an investment that requires thoughtful strategy and planning. But when it’s done right, it’s dollar for dollar the most cost-effective way to generate new leads and gain loyal customers. Consider these facts:
- Generating a lead through content marketing costs 38 percent less than traditional marketing.
- Per dollar, content marketing produces three times more leads than paid search marketing.
- 60 percent of people seek out a product after reading content about it.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean success comes from producing more content. Success comes from that magical mix of creating the right content, in the right amount.
Choosing the right content
When you create something your audience finds valuable and engaging, it ignites a dialogue. From there, you can skillfully turn this dialogue into business results. That’s why the best content topics are those that can produce the greatest business results, or the greatest ROI.
You can identify the best ROI-producing topics for your organization by creating a goal-specific list. Then score each topic by volume and value.
Here’s how you do it:
Before writing down a single topic, ask yourself: “What issue or question will my content help solve?” Brainstorm a list of topics that support your answer. Then narrow the list down to what seems like the best. From here, it’s time to score each topic by volume and value.
Scoring volume and value
After you cut the list down to topics your audience will find most valuable, pull out the strongest topics by scoring each according to volume (i.e., audience reach) and value (i.e., benefit to your business).
Step 1: Gather
Gather all supporting data related to your topics, including the number of people who seem to care about or find the topic or keywords useful. Potential sources of data include:
- Searching keywords and keyword phrases people used to arrive at your site
- Gathering keywords from your internal search data
- Reviewing topics from your Twitter feed
- Analyzing themes from your customer support inquiries
Step 2: Organize
Now input all of this data into a spreadsheet. You’ll notice common themes and topics surface. Make a list of these themes and topics, including their popularity.
Step 3: Prioritize and cut
This step will help you identify each topic’s reach. From data on your new list, you should see the number of people who care about or find a topic useful. The greater the number, the higher the topic’s potential reach. After prioritizing your list, cut it down further by only keeping topics with the highest revenue potential.
Step 4: Check
Glean your topic list further by only keeping topics that match your overall marketing strategy. Do you want more top of the funnel visitors coming in, or do you want to upsell existing customers? Maybe you want to optimize for the top of the funnel, then nurture leads with engagement tactics like email capture.
Yes, this process takes work. And you’ll be thankful you did it because you’ll end up with a strong list of topics that will support your marketing and business goals, keep you on track, and save resources. But this is just the beginning…
Now that you have a list of ROI-producing topics, you need to strategize how you’ll create the content…
Then you need to get it out to your audience. This is where most of us stumble.
Where most content marketers go wrong
Many content marketers focus too much time on creating content and not enough time on strategizing its distribution. So you end up with a great blog or video that’s hardly ever seen.
It’s not only deflating, it’s also bad for business. Distribution is how you get your content out to your audience, so you can engage them and eventually turn them into customers.
Just like choosing ROI-producing content topics, distribution requires a strong content marketing strategy. But most content marketers don’t have one, which partly explains why six out of 10 are disappointed with their results.
Here’s the bottom line: Before you write a single blog post, put together a content marketing strategy first.
Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. For help creating a stellar strategy from content creation to distribution, download your free copy of The Content Marketer’s Sure-Fire Strategy for Success ebook here.