Companies are regularly faced with the question of how they can offer their customers added value . At the same time, they strive for optimized sales and marketing strategies. This interaction offers the ideal prerequisites for a truly customer-oriented approach in marketing and sales: the corporate blog. In this article, we give you tips on how to better align your content marketing to the needs of your target group, pre-qualify entire decision-making bodies and also generally increase the engagement and satisfaction of your users.
Strategic content marketing requires companies to deal intensively with the needs and challenges of their desired customers. This is the only way to create content marketing that really reaches potential new customers instead of just publishing company perspectives. On the one hand, strategic content should convince desired customers with real added value. On the other hand, customer feedback must also be taken into account. What does that mean specifically?
From the beginning, the inbound methodology propagated the same mantra: instead of presenting advertising messages to our target group, we should rather create exactly the content that our target group has been waiting for.
This is the inbound principle! Content provided under this specification meets the core interest of leads – i.e. interested parties . The linguistic agreement in German here is by no means accidental. At the same time, good content offers underpin the expert status of companies. Above all, however, they have the potential to address the entire staff in the buying center of desired customers.
Concentrate first on communicating with your desired customers – then on sales
The biggest entry mistake that can be observed in content marketing is focusing too much on your own products or services. Of course we all do; and justifiably to boost sales . However, the result is often reports from the first-person perspective of our everyday life in the company. We like to believe that product information and quality proofs above all hit the nerve of customer problems.
But let’s be honest: here the perspective of the recipient – the potential new customer – is largely ignored; Questions from interested parties are only answered to a limited extent. Properties are described, but the benefit for potential buyers is left out.
If we think one step further, it becomes interesting to consider what questions the decision-makers, buyers and decision-making bodies on the customer side have. All of these personas base their purchasing decisions on the quality of the answers vendors give them.
The goal of content marketing should therefore be to offer your target group as a whole content that they perceive as valuable, informative or entertaining; in the best case even as a mixture of all these attributes. Work out personas from the target group and deal with your content in a complex way. In this way, these personas reflect a large part of the buying center of your desired customers. The result: You penetrate several departments of your desired customers with strategic content .
Create informative content tailored to your industry or sector. The strategy here is not advertising, but valuable assistance.
Top examples of what a target group finds informative are the tools of our modern media generation:
- Best practices
- case studies
- Answers to common questions
- explosive industry news
These forms of content directly address the potential new customer. They are created to answer customer questions. The questions on which the information is based correspond to the thinking of people looking for solutions to their worries and challenges.
Incidentally, informative, strategic content also conveys that you – as the creator of this content – know and understand the situation of potential new customers.
Getting started: Qualify prospects according to their merits
Of course, informative content is also the start of your sales process. It’s good if you don’t immediately think about selling. Don’t forget that sales is at best the final stage in the marketing process.
Convince your prospects with your content without you or your salespeople having to enter into a dialogue first. Because your ideal customers will certainly appreciate their own, non-binding preliminary groping during their search for a solution.
Direct sales measures are better carried out after the solution has been found, on the basis of previous marketing success and from then on, on the proven path, ultimately develop prospects into customers.
Incidentally, this also fulfills another inbound principle: smart marketing .
Through close cooperation between marketing and sales when qualifying leads, the classic cold call becomes a takeover of already warmly welcomed and well-prepared prospects. And if you have acted strategically, then there is a high probability that your content has already penetrated several levels in the buying center of the desired customer.
In the second step: Pay attention to exchange
Then you pick up the valuable leads that result from your content: through an exchange with the interested parties or through initial communication offers. Be sure to allow a dialogue with your readers, for example by asking for direct feedback, offering additional contact areas or integrating the functionality of a chat.
3 practical tips:
Offer content that your ideal customers can learn something from…
The Internet contains millions of pieces of information and people search the Web every day for the right solution to their needs, questions or problems. But the value is no longer determined by the free availability of this information.
A content offer becomes serious when it offers help and does not go beyond an introduction to communication. This serious content can be advertised. And strategy helps here too:
If you develop an SEO-optimized content marketing strategy , you improve your ranking, your expert status and your content is easier to find for your desired customers. Link meaningful thematically appropriate content offers. Leverage your knowledge in complex ways and pursue a pillar content strategy .
By the way: Instructive, serious content such as instructions, tips or white papers are rare, valuable sources of information on the Internet and are generally perceived as customer-oriented.
…think of the Lifecycle Stages…
A prospect’s progression to becoming a lead through your content involves several stages. In order to strengthen the bond with your target group, you should define and keep an eye on the individual phases of a consumer lifecycle . Here, too, the inbound methodology offers proven templates. Prospects are categorized here based on the progress they make on their way through our company as customers. Here is a common naming of the phases at a glance:
- customers and
A good content marketing strategy offers different content for each of these phases, which in turn is geared towards the needs of the target group. Someone looking for information about your industry should be approached with a different content offer than an existing customer who wants to introduce your brand to their friends on the web.
The benefit of this strategy is not immediately obvious, as it only develops over the long term. But the better you align your content with the individual lifecycle stages , the greater the likelihood that you will be perceived as a real influencer in your industry.
… and don’t forget social media
Social networks are used by many people to search for information or to update themselves on a daily basis. Therefore, your goal should be to get your content into the streams here as well, so that you can get in better contact with your target group. Try to be really relevant instead of just following trends.
By searching for relevant hashtags and influencers in groups or networks, you can identify topics that are currently being talked about in your industry. The better you analyze your target group in the social networks, the better you understand what your ideal customers really want . Always focus on your customer and how you can add value with your content. Because once started, the task of creating strategic content is permanent.
Strategic content marketing is not just the answer to the question of added value that we can offer customers. It is also the basis of a modern, digital and yet sales-oriented approach to customers.
It is precisely this speech that is initially in the foreground. They provide information, tools, real solutions to draw attention to themselves. They offer opportunities for interaction. At best, you qualify real, valuable leads at all points in the buying center and at all levels of the corporate structure of potential customers.
Only after successful pre-qualification do you hand over to sales. The quality of the leads and an entry via a specific core topic of each desired customer can be considered and evaluated as a success of strategic content marketing. This is how the idea of smart marketing comes to fruition.
Real strategic content reinforces your expert status. It helps you with search engine ranking and strengthens the corporate brand. That is why it is aimed at all customers: from the online searcher as an initial spark to satisfied existing customers. In addition, strategic content can also be used excellently in social media marketing. The dialogue there and the knowledge gained from relevant streams offers necessary suggestions for the further development of strategic content. Because once it has been recorded, strategic content also thrives on continuity.