The Hub of your Content Marketing Strategy
So, you've set up your Facebook Page, Twitter account and Google+ Page. You have a LinkedIn Company and you've joined a number of LinkedIn Groups and Google+ Communities. Perhaps you even have a weekly newsletter and a growing list of interested subscribers. How is it all tied together?
A good content marketing campaign is also referred to as an Inbound Marketing campaign. The point is to utilize various marketing mediums to connect with potential customers and insert them into your sales funnel.
A sales funnel is essential for any business where customers do not tend to make immediate buying decisions. The sales funnel guides the potential client through the sales process, providing them with appropriate information at each step, and then guiding them to the next step, and the step after that, eventually getting them to the point where they decide to do business with you.
The problem with social media is that a visitor to your Facebook Page is not in a position to intuitively insert themselves properly into your sales funnel. If a customer is looking for a specific service and wants to know what you do and how you might do it, where would they find that on your Facebook Page? They probably wouldn't. That's what your website is for.
Your website should be designed to help potential customers, no matter where they are in their buying process, find the information they need to proceed to the next step.
This is why your website must be the hub of your entire content marketing strategy.
You should be working to create content that applies to each step of your sales process and sharing that content to your social networks. Potential customers who see your post and are in the step that the post addresses will naturally be interested to read it and find out more, and will end up on your website where you can then take them to the next step. You can use a series of blog posts, articles, landing pages and additional content, all linked together at appropriate points, to create a complete online sales system.
Take, for instance, the first step in any sales process: Identifying Need. Depending on your business, you may need to educate potential customers and demonstrate that they have a need for you and your product or service before they even realize they have that need. Your content might speak to a specific problem that they have, and weren't even aware of, and how you would address it. Once you have their attention and they're on your website, you can direct them to another page that talks in more detail about your unique expertise and experience with their problem, and then lead them to another page where they can contact you to solve their problem.
Take the time to identify the issues that your customers want you to resolve, and the decision-making process they are likely to go through before you receive their business. You will have then identified the kinds of pages you need to have within your website, and the kinds of social media and blog content you need to create to direct potential customers into the correct part of your sales funnel.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."