The big misconception is that content marketing is blogging. While blogs are a major component of content marketing, they’re only a part of the bigger picture. In most cases, a blog is not the most lucrative form of content marketing.
This is why I asked Russ Henneberry, the Director of Editorial at DigitalMarketer, five questions to help demystify all the components that go into building a successful content marketing strategy.
Paul Klebenov: What is the first step in defining your content marketing strategy?
Russ Henneberry: The biggest mistake marketers are making with their content is that they are just throwing a bunch of content against the wall and seeing what sticks. Of course, some sticks and some doesn’t.
The trouble is each piece of content takes time, money and energy to produce. The goal is to increase the chances that a piece of content will become an asset for your company.
To increase those chances, you first need to understand the characteristics of good content marketing.
PK: What are the characteristics of a “perfect” content marketing strategy?
RH: Perfect content marketing might sound hypey but it is absolutely achievable.
You simply need to understand that people access content when they are looking for information, entertainment or inspiration. Most businesses should be focused on providing informational content that is…
- Full Funnel – Content is needed at all stages of the marketing funnel from awareness to conversion.
- Intent-Based – Content should anticipate and address the intent of your prospects and customers.
- Asset Driven – Content assets can be articles, videos, mind maps, tools, podcasts, etc.
- Ascension Focused – Providing a relevant call-to-action isn’t just good marketing, it’s also a good user experience.
- Segmented – When a prospect takes time to consume your content, they are showing interest and should be segmented.
- Cross-Channel – Your content should be discoverable anywhere your customers are looking for information.
- Avatar Based – Developing a customer avatar will inform all other aspects of your content marketing including determining intent, ascension offer and channel.
PK: What goal does a perfect content strategy aim to achieve?
RH: The goal is to significantly increase the chances of producing a content asset that will produce positive ROI for the company. So much of the content that marketers produce (particularly blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.) are published, promoted and then promptly vanish.
This is tragic.
With the amount of work that goes into creating quality content, it makes sense to spend a bit of time planning to produce content that has a solid chance at having an impact.
PK: What channels does a perfect content marketing strategy leverage?
RH: Nearly any piece of content that is produced can be repurposed to be published on different channels. A blog post can be repurposed into a video or podcast.
A great blog post can be repurposed into a cheat sheet or checklist that can be used as a lead magnet. A live presentation can be converted into a webinar or a SlideShare deck. The possibilities are endless.
The conversion of content into different formats allows the marketer to publish that content on different channels.
I recommend eventually publishing content on any platform where you find your customers or prospects networking or searching for information.
PK: Where do you start in executing your perfect content strategy?
RH: Most businesses begin (and end) their content marketing with a blog. If you have an existing business, this isn’t the most profitable place to begin.
The bottom of the funnel (where the conversion is happening) is often a more profitable place to begin. It can be something as simple as a product demo, pricing page or a set of customer stories that help prospects make informed decisions about taking your offer.
A blog is certainly a powerful content marketing vehicle, but the blog is much better at raising awareness for your business than it is at closing sales. Look to the bottom of the funnel first, then circle back and work on your blog.
Join the Free SEMrush Webinar
If you want to create the perfect content marketing strategy and learn how to create content that generates leads and sales at every step of the funnel, then join us for an even more in-depth look on our live webinar on Wednesday, April 13.