The internet has drastically changed the way companies do business. If a company is going to grow and be successful it must now have an online presence. And that means that it must have convincing content on that website. In some circles, this may be referred to as brand journalism, while others refer to it simply as content marketing. Regardless of what you want to call it, the content material on your website must be convincing to the visitor reading it.
When you get right down to brass tacks, your content material (the copy) needs to address four functions. They are:
- Building awareness
- Generating leads
- Converting leads to customers
- Retaining customers and promoting continuing purchases
This generally falls under the function of your marketing department. It is usually their responsibility to create awareness of your product or service and generate interest in it. This is the first phase of the buyer’s journey and occupies the uppermost portion of the sales funnel. The top portion of the sales funnel is where potential consumers are looking for general information on how to solve a problem that they currently have or anticipate having.
To successfully achieve this objective the copy must, first of all, be engaging. This means that the content must …
- Have a good SEO-friendly title - The title must accurately reflect the message of the content. Don’t let your creative/humorous side lead you into creating titles that may be obscure or even tangential to the main theme of the message you are trying to convey. That is a good way to lose potential readers, and customers, simply because they don’t relate to the title or how it pertains to their issue.
- Be easy to read - If the reader has difficulty reading the content they are going to leave the site. Avoid demonstrating your literary skills at the expense of effectively conveying the message. It’s not about you. It’s about the message.
- Draw the reader in - The content has to be written with a degree of commitment and passion that speaks to the reader’s concern and sparks their interest enough for them to continue reading and possibly visiting your website. Dry, bland prose will tend to lack interest and turn the reader off before getting to your offer.
- Not be “salesy” or self-promotional - The reader is looking at your piece because they have an issue that they want to address; a problem that they need to solve. They are looking for answers, not advertisements. That is not to say you shouldn’t have a call to action (CTA) link to your website at the end of the piece where they can get information about your product, a free sample, or some other beneficial offer.
This is the key purpose of creating convincing corporate content. With outbound advertising all you can do is to put your message out there where it can be seen and hope that it will generate interest and purchases. With inbound (content) marketing, you have the opportunity to actually generate leads by providing an offer of some sort with a CTA link. The reader with enough interest to give up their contact information in order to receive the benefit of your offer is a lead.
This lead has to be treated like any other lead. When you attend a trade show and you get visitors to your booth to give their contact information, that is a lead that needs to be followed up on and moved further along the buyer’s journey. The same is true for a content marketing lead.
Converting leads to customers
This is where your sales team really comes into play. Lead generation is an empty exercise without good sales team follow-up.
Think of the sales process as a funnel with building awareness as a marketing-driven, top-of-funnel function; generating leads as a combined sales and marketing-driven, middle-of-funnel function; and converting leads to customers as a sales-driven, bottom-of-funnel function.
The sales team members will follow up with the potential buyer to ...
- Build relationships
- Answer questions
- Compare products
- Close the deal
Except for closing the deal, these are the same functions that your content marketing pieces should serve for the potential buyer in the middle-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel positions. Your content marketing program should be able to complement your sales team by being available to potential buyers around-the-clock, 24/7.
Retaining customers and promoting continuing purchases
Content marketing is not just about writing blogs. It includes newsletters, podcasts, and even webinars as well. The newsletter is a great way to maintain relationships with your customers, especially if they are interactive. It allows you to keep in contact with them and to promote services and products on your website while making special offers to your loyal subscribers. Loyal subscribers tend to be repeat customers and even product champions.
Again, whether the content is a blog, newsletter, podcast, or webinar, and no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey, the content must always be clear, concise, and compelling.
Digital marketing agencies can help you optimize website performance by ensuring that lead generation efforts are effective. They can help develop content that resonates with personas based on real-life data, and they can integrate data solutions to allow healthcare organizations to make the most of their investments. Get in contact with KBK and draw on this knowledge to move your business forward.