Companies employ successful inbound marketing practices by creating remarkable content on their website and business blog. What is remarkable content? Anything worth talking about! HubSpot (here and here) describes in their videos how to successfully create and use a business blog: the most important thing to remember when creating a business blog, is to only use remarkable content that is worth talking about, and will be remarked on. By creating content, you are providing inbound links to trace back to your website which act as fingers pointing to your site saying, “look over here!” The more remarkable content you create, the more people you have interacting, and the more successful you could be.
When starting to think about creating remarkable content, you first need to think about the persona you are targeting. What is your customer like, and what kind of audience do you want to target? Next, you need to determine what kind of content consumers will be interested in for each part of the sales cycle. According to a blog post by Steven MacDonald, the content you make for each stage of the cycle will help consumers advance to the next stage.
Let’s say you work in the content creation division at a shoe company: during the awareness stage your goal is to create content that will make consumers see how awesome your company is, and how comfortable (and stylish!) the shoes you sell are. Next, during the consideration stage, using videos and case studies that prove how much more effect your shoes are than competitors will help show the consumer that your company is a leader in the shoe industry! Finally, during the purchase stage, you seal the deal using free trials, or demonstrations that show people once and for all, that these are the shoes they want to buy.
Content can work as an effective tool to get consumers through the sales cycle, and become a devoted customer. It is estimated that 60% of the sales cycle is over before a customer even talks to a salesperson. Content is vital to ensure customer can find the information they need about your brand. After determining what content you will use for each part of the sales cycle, it is time to create your content, and implement it.
The most difficult thing for me when creating content on my blog, is getting people to see that it is there. Some things that can help with this is posting to social media with the link to your blog- HubSpot even recommends posting multiple times to ensure all users who are interested see your post. Other ways you can promote is Google AdWords which is a pay-per-click model that will advertise your ad on Google right when the consumer is searching for the thing that you offer. Finally, if you have an email list, you can email out them whenever there is content you think they would be interested in.
Content Harmony believes that in 2015, firms will begin focusing their efforts on a select number of channels instead of spreading out their presence on social media to multiple platforms. By being selective, companies can specialize their content for specific sites, and ensure that are reflective of their brand, and responsive to their audience. I believe that this will change how social media is used for many companies. By narrowing in their social media focus, they will be able to use their content to target a specific group of people that will be most likely become a conversion on their site.
One company known for their successful content marketing strategy is Virgin Mobile. The company targets young users (14-18) who are interested in content like music, apps, memes, and more. The company published Virgin Mobile Live which has all of these things and more sharing them across Facebook, Twitter, BuzzFeed, and other platforms that younger users are on. Virgin Mobile wants to keep their users engaged, and interested in their product using content, and historically, they have done this fantastically. By using content, Virgin Mobile is able to fuel their inbound strategy to keep current users interested, and entice new users to come to them.
Microsoft is also in the process of using content marketing to call attention of college aged millennial to MS Office OneNote. The goal of the campaign is to show millennials that MS Office can be used things beyond office work. The way many Gen X and Baby Boomers view MS Office is with a sigh: They relate the product with deadlines, long hours, and being at work. The goal of Microsoft’s content campaign is to show younger users that anything is POSSIBLE (ha) with OneNote. POSSIBLE is a creative agency that designs content for companies like Microsoft, Coke a Cola, Skype, and more. They are the minds behind this campaign’s success.
My favorite piece of content from this campaign was a Vine done by Zach King. The Vine emphasizes that OneNote can be used to do innovate things, and added a bit of flair to make it interesting. Using content like Vines helps Microsoft get college students around 18-25 interested in different ways of using their product, and to call attention to the fact that they are out there, and ready for you to try the product. The campaign focuses on college students using OneNote to accomplish amazing things; like create inexpensive prosthetics for kids. Microsoft is sending the message that anything is possible using OneNote, which makes me (a millennial college student) want to try OneNote.
Update: Tried OneNote. Loved it.