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1. What is content marketing?

Content is the material you create that is related to your business offer.

Content could be anything, on any medium and on any channel. (I will go through the different types of content and when to use what content type in a while).

However, content marketing is not your landing pages, your product pages or your company page. 

Content marketing is not company updates on social media, where you talk about your new office location. 

Content should always be created with the purpose of nudging your audience a little bit closer to becoming a customer.

Content is your field “brand ambassador”. It is out there talking to people, educating them on concepts and ideas. It is persuading, convincing and establishing relationships.

When you create content you should have two different objectives in mind.

Marketing KPIs and Authority.

KPIs are easy to measure, hard numbers. For instance, how well the content drives traffic, how well it converts, how many subscribers or followers it generates etc.

Authority is harder to measure but crucial. You build authority, educate your audience, and show your expertise in your field. To nudge the consumer closer to becoming a customer.

Treat every piece of content like something you could rely on for years. Chances are, you will. You need to create something valuable. Not rewriting someone else’s blog post, or saying something everyone else is already saying. 

Content needs to be substantial, and it needs to be useful.

2. Why Content is Your Advertising

Say your Persona has problem A, and your product is a solution to problem A. 

If you were to walk up to your Persona out of nowhere and say:

"Hey stranger, I got this solution to A, want to buy it?" 

They would most likely be hesitant. Even if your product is great and all, you haven't earned the trust yet. If you are very lucky, they will take their time to look you up, do their due diligence. 

Is it likely that you are able to actually solve their problem? Because the cost is too high for them to be wrong, especially in B2B. 

Instead of relying on being lucky, we want to be prepared and have a plan. 

In this case, Problem A also consists of 3 smaller sub-problems: B, C and D. 

So what you want to do is this:

"Hey there stranger, I wrote this guide on how to solve B, and also this case study that shows you how to solve C, and in this ebook you can get the full answer to D. And you get it all for free."

Now you have shown that you know your field. You have expertise and authority. You are now trust-worthy because of the content, case study, ebook you wrote. Now the potential customer is much more inclined to have a chat with you about that solution to A, and give you their money.

To come up with sub-problem B, C, and D – you need to understand your audience.

Check out this other guide for creating super effective Personas:

3. What Type of Content Should I Create?

Create value-adding deep content that is useful for your audience.

Founders and CEOs love to promote their products directly to cold audiences, even better if they can add a big “BOOK DEMO” call to action on the ad as well. 

They believe that if they just show the world their products potential customers will immediately “get it” and rush in to book a meeting or start a trial. 

It doesn’t work that way, sorry. It's called founder bias.

So, what to do instead? 

It is usually the first touch point your brand has with another person. In marketing, just as in life, a good first impression is important.

There are millions of posts published each day on the internet. So if you want someone to read yours, you have to work smart.

Content today needs to be relevant, laser-targeted and super valuable to your target audience.

4. Paid Ads Content Distribution to Boost SEO

SEO is great, but it does not do its job collecting dust somewhere in a sub-folder on your website. It needs to get in front of your audience to be effective.

If your website or domain is new, it’s unlikely that you’ll see immediate results from SEO. Acquiring enough backlinks for your content to reach top 10 for competitive keywords can take years of hard work. 

While you want your content to rank organically, you can give it a boost by promoting it on social media and google ads – and since content usually targets the upper parts of the funnel the cost can be low.

Not only do these kinds of ads help with distribution of your content, but they could potentially help you acquire essential backlinks that’d boost your rankings. When people find your content they will start to share and link to it if it is of good quality.

Also, it’s going to be a shame not to promote your latest blog post, guide, report, or case study after spending hours creating it.

While it can take months to see results from your SEO efforts, it can take a few hours to see results from your Paid Ads campaign.

Since PPC ads appear above organic rankings when you run a PPC campaign for your target keyword, your website would appear first on the search engine result page. This ranking makes your audience notice you first before scrolling to see other results.

big brain seo

5. Collect Data From Ads to Improve your SEO strategy

PPC campaigns grant you access to a lot of data — keyword search volumes, keywords your competitors are bidding for, highest converting calls-to-action, and so on.

With a PPC campaign, you can run several different ads simultaneously to measure the one that converts better.

Do you want to evaluate how your content performs towards audiences from specific geographic areas? Or people of a particular age? Marital status? Or interest? If so, then you should distribute your content with Paid Ads. 

PPC allows you to pinpoint your target audience to refine and optimize your SEO strategy, you’d be able to create better SEO content with less effort.

6. Mapping Content for the Customer Journey

For buyer journeys, we are talking about one specific individuals' relationship with a problem / solution.

Usually a buyer journey looks like this (based on Eugene Swartz's "Five Levels of Awareness"):

5 levels of awareness marketing

Unaware (cold)

Prospects are going along through life, blissfully unaware of their problem or pain.

Type of content: Stories and secrets, blog posts, videos
Targeting:
Interest & behavior targeting, Personas, customer research
Distribution channel:
Social media, SEO

Problem aware (cold)

Something happens where they are made aware of a present situation that’s different from an ideal future.

Type of content: Benefits and anxieties, blog posts, white papers, checklists
Targeting: Look-alike lists, customer lists, pixel data, engagements
Distribution channel: Social media, SEO

Solution aware (warm)

When the agitation of that problem becomes acute enough, these prospects are actively searching for a solution. They aren’t sure what solution best fits their needs.

Type of content: Claims and proof
Targeting:
Look-alike lists, customer lists, pixel data, engagements
Distribution channel:
Google Ads, Social Media Retargeting

Product aware (warm)

Prospects who are aware of the different solutions, including yours but aren’t 100% convinced. They need consideration stage content.

Type of content: Discounts, deals, case studies, testimonials
Targeting:
Look-alikes, customer lists, pixel data, engagements
Distribution channel:
Google Ads, Social Media Retargeting

Most aware (hot)

These prospects are ready to buy, you just need you to tell them how and where.

Type of content: Product, price, comparisons, free trials
Targeting: Remarketing, website, engagements, email
Distribution channel: Google Ads, Social Media Retargeting, Email Nurture

Author

Alex Rangevik

I am Alex Rangevik and I help marketing leaders in B2B companies with digitizing their sales funnels and develop an effective system for generating leads. I have been building converting lead funnels since 2013 full time for hyper growth startups and established enterprises.

If you want me to help you with your funnel setup, check out my Growth Marketing Services or sign up for my Growth Marketing email series Lead Gen Zone.

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