As you read through this blog today, ask yourself this: What type of material/content usually sparks my interest in a particular product or service?
I mentioned in a previous post that on a daily basis I help my customers with their marketing and sales strategy. As our society adapts to the technology advancements and transformations today, companies need to stay on top of the latest trends to reach their target audiences. The lives of these companies depend on the reach and the level of ENGAGEMENT that the visitors to the websites and stores have with their CONTENT. I’m sure most of you have heard of the phrase, “Cash is king,” but what about “Content is king?”
Content Is King is an essay Bill Gates wrote back in 1996, which you can find here. Many of the things that are expressed in this essay still hold true to today’s marketing world. Content is the way that companies can educate new visitors to their website. The thing about content is that not every visitor is going to want to view the same material; the truth is everyone is at a different point in their buyer/researcher’s journey for the product or service. The difficult part of being a content marketer is the fact that you cannot please everyone, but we can get as close as we can through segmenting content into different categories like so:
Top of the funnel (TOFU.. no not the food)
Think of this type of content as rudimentary information that would be helpful for someone to understand what it is that your company has to offer. Looking beyond the About Us page that most websites have, what can the viewer gloss over to understand what it is that you do? Keep in mind that the viewer may not even realize they have a problem yet, and may have come across your website organically because they were trying to do some research on a particular topic. Examples of TOFU content could be an infographic, checklist, or a tip sheet.
Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
There will be those visitors that come to your website because they realize they have a problem. Maybe they were linked directly from another site that referenced your company’s site or came across through the search engine. What these visitors are looking for are material that can help them understand all the options that are out there and why your solution may be the best for them to go with. Having information that helps to further the understanding of where your company’s offering stands compared to competitors or other companies that the visitors know of will help position your solution as a top contender. Examples of MOFU can be case studies, eBooks, quizzes, webinars, and recorded videos from past events.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
Those that have done the research and understand the differences between the products and services that you offer vs. competitors generally fall within this bucket of visitors. The type of content that can be offered here is offering different ways for your target audience to try the product or service, or to help further their understanding. Offering discount codes or a free trial gives a direct access for potential customers to try your offering. By positioning your sales representatives to be available to speak with potential customers to help answer questions and potentially close the deal is also considered a piece of content. In my day to day, I often have my email signature include my personal meetings link so that they can request to speak with me directly to learn more.
By planning out a content calendar and knowing what types of content a company should create puts them in a position to better qualify leads or contacts that are coming through their social media channels and website. If you take a look at a quick website I created through my work at www.mynavigatour.com, you’ll notice that a lot of the content that I have on there (though made up) create a path or journey for visitors to read and digest content, before being brought over to something called a landing page where in exchange for their personal information they can download a piece of gated content. Gated content essentially means that generally visitors are required to fill out a form with basic information such as their full name and email address to be able to view the materials on the website. Aside from just cookie tracking, companies can leverage this data and use all kinds of third party companies and their technology to now market and position better content in front of you. Whether it is promoting their latest blog to you through an email, or leveraging paid ads to pop up as you’re scrolling through Facebook, companies can now leverage your information to create a journey that can either annoy you or convince you to purchase their goods.
The reality is that once you have any sort of content live and on your website, you can start to think about how one might navigate their way to your site and start engaging with your content. There are so many ways to leverage social media and marketing software to position your content and to reach your target audience, but understanding how you can position your product or service is a huge component of a content marketer’s job. These are the challenges that many of the customers I work with have on a daily basis and I am always curious as to how different people like to engage with content. I personally am a fan of reading customer testimonials and watching videos of people who have done product/service reviews. This goes back to discussions around social media and how platforms like YouTube and Instagram has truly changed the way people engage with companies and products. These platform “influencers” definitely play a role in creating hype and interest in products.
So I’ll close by asking you this: What types of content have interested you to learn more or eventually seek to try a product or service and why in particular do you think it had that effect on you?