Content is the essential element of an inbound marketing strategy. Both terms are often used as synonyms, but content marketing is a sub-discipline of inbound marketing. While inbound marketing encompasses all of the strategy involved in creating and distributing your content, content marketing is about creating, publishing, and distributing content to an audience. Now you might be wondering: How can I create content that is truly unique when more and more companies are turning to inbound marketing? Content rules help here.
Content rule #1:
Get to know your target audience
Content creation should not be a race against your competitors, but should be specifically geared towards your buyer persona. That’s why developing buyer personas is the very first step of any inbound marketing strategy. – In short: Your content results from your persona.
As you develop a persona, ideas for suitable content will automatically arise: What is your ideal customer looking for? What are his challenges? How would you like to receive information? The answers to these and other questions result in topics and channels through which your content is distributed.
Content rule #2:
Choose the right channels
Once you’ve figured out where your buyer persona is looking for information online, you should use the relevant channels to consistently reach your target audience. A blog , social media channels or a newsletter are good ways to publish new content that is geared towards specific personas and their current situation.
Content Rule #3:
Don’t be pushy
One of the reasons inbound marketing is so successful is that it doesn’t use the traditional ad break tactic. Whether you’re developing content for an e-book, a blog article, or a post on your social media, focus on helping the reader rather than scaring them off with distracting or even aggressive marketing messages such as, “We get you two for the price of one!”.
Here are some examples of suitable inbound marketing content:
- white papers
- blog article
- Emails to relevant contacts
Content Rule #4:
Think of the customer journey
Just as your buyer persona moves through the different phases of the customer or buyer’s journey on the way to the customer , you should also change your content.
At the beginning of the customer journey, readers are looking for more general information. In the consideration phase, your content can be of a high standard, while in the decision phase, the focus should be more on your company or your products/services. To help you develop your leads, we recommend creating specific content for each stage of the buyer’s journey (attention – consideration – decision).
Content rule #5:
Create an editorial plan
An editorial plan will help you create unique content at a consistent level and become more productive over time. With an editorial plan, you can more easily uncover gaps in your content strategy and also delegate tasks and responsibilities to team members.
Content rule #6:
Measure your engagement
How did readers interact with the content you created and shared? To measure this, the following key figures are helpful:
- Number of likes/shares/retweets on the various social networks
- Comments on blog articles
- Number of downloads of offers (e.g. white paper, checklists)
- General website traffic figures (views, clicks, length of stay)
If you know what types of content drive more traffic or engagement, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. And should you ever have no idea: there is no rule that prohibits using the same content again in a different form.
In order to use original, successful content in the marketing mix of an inbound strategy, certain requirements must be met. The above 6 content rules reflect this strategy.
Your desired readers are the focus. Knowing them as well as possible is the first requirement. What are your personas interested in? Unique content addresses their questions openly.
This also results in the ways in which content is to be provided. You cannot promote content. It must be present in the canon of expertise on the core topics of your target group. The more groundbreaking your content, the better.
That’s why it’s also worth offering content at all stages of the buyer’s journey. This requires editorial planning and constant measurement of interactions. You ensure success through feedback on relevance and resonance and also enable your content to be perceived as unique.