How to create a content marketing strategy that matters

People let’s make one thing clear; content marketing is not only having a blog. Blogging is part of the bigger picture of content marketing and the way brands persuade their target audience for a sale.

There are three essential stages where the consumers goes through: awareness, consideration and purchase.  After these stages there is also the possibility to convert your consumer into fans but we’ll focus on these three core phases. Each specific stage of this funnel has its own function and therefor its own needs for information delivery to your target audience.

A specific explanation of these three phases:

  1. Awareness – In this phase your consumer has to become aware of the fact that he has a problem and that you are the best solution for his problem. In this phase you as a brand have to be present to get the consumer’s attention.
  2. Consideration – Those that move through the Awareness stage must now evaluate the various choices available to them, including your competitor’s solutions. They are seeking for information that can help with the problem they try to solve.
  3. Conversion – The ones that continue their journey are now ready for a purchase. You as a brand have to be there to offer them the best possible product/service. We at Digital Movers always have the goal to convert leads into actual sales.

To summarize this: in each stage they need content to get their problem solved and you have to be present to offer them the content that they need .

The Hero, Hub, Hygiene model  offers you the best possible model if it comes down to video content in specific. In this blog we cover the full content strategy where you have TOFU (top funnel content), MOFU (mid funnel content) and BOFU (bottom funnel content) content types. Let’s further dive into these types of content.

TOP funnel content marketing

In this stage the consumer is completely unaware of your solution and you have to capture the audience attention. Most of the time the consumer is also unaware of their problem, so brands need content that can help consumers get involved into the offered solution.

You as a brand also have to understand that in this phase your consumer is not going to put a lot of time and effort into seeking for content. They want to be inspired, educated or entertained and it needs to be free for sure. It also helps when this content is easy to share and fun. Social media advertising can help you for example to create the reach that you need within your campaign.

Since the consumers are not going to put a lot of effort in this stage you need to be sure that this content is  consumed easily like:

  • Inspiring videos
  • Short blog posts
  • E-books
  • Audio or video podcasts
  • Photographs
  • VR experiences
  • Infographics
  • 360 degrees photo and videos

This stage is really to get attention and to attract new consumers into your brand. For Giant bicycles we used a video to get the audience attention by telling a story which was watched over 1,1 million times by using Facebook. In this phase it is important to measure the right metrics as well to be sure you are doing the right things.

  • Reach metrics
    • Impressions by channel
  • Engagement metrics
    • How many people interacted with your post, or better yet, clicked through (CTR) to read it.
  • Consumption metrics
    • Pageviews/Unique Pageviews this is how many people actually saw your content.
  • Retention metrics
    • Time on site can tell you more about how engaged people are and if they think the content is interesting.
  • Brand recall
    • Social networks like Facebook and Instagram let you optimize your paid campaigns for “brand awareness”, where they’ll automatically report on metrics like lift in ad recall.
  • Mentions and sentiment
    Oracle Marketing Cloud offers the possibility to track sentiments and social activity to spot if you campaign is delivering good results. Another paid tool is Buzzsumo which offers you the possibility to track your social networks.

A good example is the commercial that Volvo presented with Van Damme playing the main character:

Remember, the big goal at the top of the funnel is to make prospects “problem aware” and “solution aware.”

The goal for this type of content is to push consumers into the next phase: the mid funnel content where they are trying to solve their problem and are in need for help.

MID funnel content marketing

Your consumer just got aware of the fact they have a problem and this is the phase where you have to push your prospects into leads. In this phase you’ll try to seek the interaction as a brand and seek for more information which the consumer is willing to give if you play an added value for him.

You can use all types of content to be sure the consumer leaves some kind of information to you.

So called “how to” content is most of the time very valuable in this stage and people are willing to leave their information behind for getting more of it. You can think about the following types of content:

  • Educational Videos and photos
  • Buyer guides
  • Reviews
  • FAQ
  • E-books
  • White papers, research papers, instruction guides
  • Software downloads
  • Webinars
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes

In this phase you need to have good metrics to measure if the content that you’ve created helps to answer the target audience’s questions.

  • Engagement metrics
    g. New vs. Returning Visitors, Referral Traffic, Social metrics
  • Interest and search trends
    Google trends can track a lot of data and show you if interest is rising during the campaign.
  • Consumption metrics
    g. Bounce Rate, Exit Rate, Click-Through Rates (CTR)
  • Lead metrics
    g. Email Sign-ups, Whitepaper Downloads, Webinar Participants, etc.
  • Comments, shares & likes

Social media channels offer you the possibilities to see how much a post is liked or shared. It also shows you the amount of comments.

Google does a great job with this where they have a lot of explainer videos about their tools like AdWords: https://www.youtube.com/user/learnwithgoogle/videos

Now the last step to convert your consumer into sales. The Bottom

BOTTOM funnel content marketing

This is the point where we need to convert interested consumers into sales. In this stage it is really important that your consumers can find what they are looking for since they otherwise will go to your competitor. To persuade consumers for an actual sale a lot of companies make use of free trials. This helps consumers convince that your product or service is the best.

Here are some examples of good BOFU content

  • Demos/Free Trials
  • Customer Stories
  • Comparison/Spec Sheets
  • Webinars/Events
  • Mini-Classes

Hootsuite is one of the platforms that is using free trial versions to get an actual sale. This is a perfect example of BOFU to persuade companies in their journey to their perfect solution.

Another great example of BOFU content is done by Airbnb with their story section. Their content focuses on people, both the ones who own homes and the travelers who are using them. They have an entire section of their website called Airbnb.com/stories and it’s filled with videos and bios of hosts and guests around the world. It is a great way to persuade people in the last phase of making a final decision.

It always depends on what you define as a conversion but the below metrics are general metrics that you can use to measure the success of your campaign or website.

  •  Lead metrics
    • E.g. Whitepaper Downloads, Lead Generation Forms
  • Demo requests
    • E.g. Ratio of Demo Requests to Customers, Demo Conversions
  • Sales metrics
    • E.g. Sales Conversion Rate, Transactions

A long story short

Content drives sales and visual content will help you even quicker drive sales since this is processed much faster by the brain. You can structure your digital marketing campaign landing page with all sorts of content that is used in different stages. A social media content plan can help you structure your thoughts. There are three core stages (awareness, consideration, purchase) that the consumer goes through with three different types of content that you can provide them (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU content). By structuring the content in the right way, you can optimize the customer journey and help your consumer with their purchase.