The days of businesses having just a website are almost gone, nowadays savvy businesses have a whole host of online marketing collateral, a website, newsletter, sales pages, social media pages and to succeed you need to have a cohesive message or theme. Your content theme will need to explain how your products or services are different from your competitors and how they solve your audience’s problems, all in a single voice regardless of the marketing channel.
I cannot stress this enough, all of your marketing channels must speak with the same voice, by doing so your constantly reinforce your message every time you touch your audience even if they encounter you on different channels.
When crafting any message, the first thing you need to know before you start, is what your goals for the content are. Do you want to educate, inform, generate more newsletter subscribers, or push people to make a sale? Whatever your goals are, you need to understand them before you start to write that blog post, record that podcast or prepare that infographic.
Develop a sales funnel so that you understand every single stage of the buying cycle for your products and services and how they fit in with your audience. You might need for instance you consider different audiences (buyer personas) for different stages of the sales funnel, a receptionist in a large company might sign up for your newsletter but a manager might make the purchasing decisions. A sales funnel will also help you identify holes in your content strategy that you can fill with other things.
It’s all too easy to think that you know your audience, that you know everything you can about them because you want to work with them, because you have already created products and services for them. But you couldn’t be more wrong, your audience is constantly changing, so to stay ahead you need to continuously study your audience, to ensure you always meet their wants and needs.
Don’t you love that term, “pain points,” as you study and learn about your audience you should learn about all of their pain points and the issues your audience needs solved? Your products and services should seek to solve these issues and take the pain away, and your content should explain how this works.
It might seem strange to study your competition when it comes to developing your content theme, but you should, not to copy them or anything like that, but to try and work out what types of content they are using that’s converting, this means that you should subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on social media and check their blogs out regularly. Answer these two questions and you’re on the way to success, what do they know that you don’t? And what do you know that they don’t?
As you’re creating all of your content, you want to keep in mind what differentiates you from the competition. As you think of that, try to weave that story throughout your content marketing efforts so that you are in effect playing to your strengths and your competitors weaknesses.
One of the first things to consider when getting into content marketing is what your voice will be. Will you be serious, funny or irreverent? This aspect of defining your content theme is important, and will move you forward and help you establish your brand. It’s also important to write this down and share it with everyone that produces content for you, so that you can all keep a consistent voice.
Your overall messages defines your businesses value proposition, and your value proposition doesn’t change simply because your products change. Your overall goals are still to solve the pain points of your audience with your various products and services. Writing a mission statement can help you understand this and ensure your message stick to script so to say.
Knowing what you want to communicate with others, specifically your target audience, will go far in helping you frame your content marketing theme in a cohesive way. You can use this same information for any content that you plan to create for your business, whether you’re creating blog posts, white papers, or information products and always remember that consistency breeds acceptance and in turn customers.