What Should Your Goal for Content Marketing Be?
Yes, this is a loaded question and no, I do not expect you to be able to answer it at this very moment.
That’s why you are here.
You’re likely wondering why content marketing isn’t working to increase your sales, customers, followers, and relationships. This is because you’re focusing on the wrong tasks.
Making and distributing content is already hard enough, I know! But, there isn’t a point of making content and attracting viewers, if they do nothing to interact with your business. It’s like throwing money at a crowd of people, only to have them walk away.
Your content is not a campaign by itself. It is the beginning of a funnel. By this, I mean content is the lure, and you’ve got to have the rod to reel in the fish.
Now, there are quite a few approaches you can take to set successful goals for you content marketing. This is what I will answer today!
1. Brand Awareness
Right off the bat, I’ll save you the time wondering. This is most effective for B2C businesses.
Why? Chances are, your business idea has a fairly large audience. Even the most niche-specific industries can garner an audience in the millions. The reason this is the best option for B2C is because when you have an audience in the millions, your relationship tends to be shallow.
You don’t need a customers’ phone number, or their home address and no, an email is not necessary. Consumer interest can be as simple as hitting the Follow button on social media. However, this is no easy feat. Attracting an audience on platforms saturated with tens of millions of businesses will take a fair bit of time and effort.
More specifically, in order to gain brand awareness, you want to prioritize your focus on frequency and engagement. This is because your audience could be on any given platform. You don’t know who they are in real life (99% of the time) and a simple Unfollow button is all it takes to lose their interest.
- Post often, either daily or bi-daily on social media
- Schedule in advance when your posts go live
- Alert followers of new posts (usually via Stories) across channels
- Leave your audience wanting more
- Ask for fairly similar and repetitive Calls-to-action (e.g. learn more)
- Like followers’ posts shortly after they like yours
- Respond to every comment
- Make Calls-to-action conversational
- Respond to all Direct Messages
- Offer specials for followers (i.e., discounts)
2. Lead Generation
Okay, B2B! This is for you! The goals of content differs between B2B and B2C. This is because of how and who you are targeting. B2C typically (not always) targets a very broad audience. Aforementioned, audiences can get up into the millions. Whereas, B2B is much, much more narrow. Some of the most narrow B2B services can have 200 possible prospects (Hint: That isn’t a lot).
This is why how your content converts is so crucial. B2B requires long term digital marketing strategy. It takes a potential client multiple months to make a purchase decision (90% of the time). This is why it is up to you to push out a lot of content. But, if you’re well into the B2B process, it is very noticeable that basically all of your content never sees a repeat visitor. And, when you are building a business with such a small client base, you need your readers to be repeats. Your reach can only go so far.
So, in order to engage new readers and hopefully get them to come back, your content’s goal as a B2B company should be lead generation. This is most popularly in the form of collecting emails. In fact, emails still pose as the most effective tactic available today.
This works especially well for B2B, because when you target business professionals, you are targeting a group of people who check their email regularly. And if you offer a great bit of value with a great, catchy subject line, consider your email opened.
Now, consider the outcome if you didn’t have an email opt-in. There is a 99% chance you will never see that viewer again, or nonetheless, they’ll never see you again. This is why email is such a great channel for B2B. It is similar to finding your primary content hub. You find the best performing platform, prioritize that, and post mainly there. Then advertise your other media accounts and grow your internet footprint from there.
Now, it is up to you to slowly nurture leads to spread their loyalty to your other social accounts. By consistently providing value and letting your audience know, your business grows closer and closer to them.
Let them know about your new podcast or your awesome new eBook. You can even give them a free copy to say thanks for getting on your list! The more you show that you actually appreciate them, the more they will want to connect further, become a part of your brand and ultimately buy in!
Lead Generation tips:
- Call-to-action should be related to list building
- Offer freebies in exchange for contact information
- Create website pop-ups and banners with email forms
- Consistently nurture your audience with content and offers
- Let your email list know about everything! From milestones to new content!
3. Website Traffic
A final potential goal for your content marketing efforts is to drive traffic to your website or landing page. Lead generation actually ties in closely with this, as potential leads visit your website. However, web traffic is much more general as it represents anyone visiting your website. This goal is most popular in the space of public figures, experts and bloggers.
For this tactic, I highly recommend staying far from Instagram. You may be surprised, but there is a good reason for it. Instagram doesn’t allow direct linking in posts. Simply, you can’t put a link to your website or blog within the caption of a post at the time of this writing.
Instead, focus on platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Medium. These are great channels with truly organic reach. Organically reaching somebody means that they do not already follow you, they made a search within your niche or topic and they saw your post… and you didn’t pay a dime!
In my personal opinion, Pinterest and Twitter are competing for #1 in terms of web traffic capability. They both rely heavily on search, use keywords to show results and allow redirect linking to any site and any page across the web.
In terms of potential audience size, I give Twitter the win. Pinterest takes the cake for the ability to find and search organically. It’s all about finding who you are targeting and what your channel’s reach potential looks like.
Website Traffic Tips:
- Use text graphics with hooks to lure readers
- Use a URL shortening tool (like Bitly) for your links
- On Pinterest posts, include as many keywords that relate to your niche as possible
- For Twitter, use some keywords, keep it short ‘n sweet, and add a direct quote
To Tie It In
Your content must have goals! You cannot just post and hope to achieve results. Including these tactics will improve your conversions, build relationships and increase overall business performance.
All of these mentioned tips use organic methods, meaning that they are free (the best methods, in my opinion). However, if I were to give my insight on the best paid methods, consider using:
- Facebook & Instagram ads
- Google Ads
- Influencer marketing
However, that special feeling of organic reach is something else! Paid ads will never replace the warm touch of an organic view! Let me know what you think. Have you had success with any other organic methods for reaching your content marketing goals?