All customers are either trying to make a purchase or solve a problem. It seems so simple, but guiding customers through content is no easy task. Generating buzz words, website traffic, and press mentions is all well and good; however, if your marketing isn’t generating leads or driving profitable customer behavior, it’s not living up to its potential.
Successful marketing is an activity designed to drive behavior. Following a few simple steps can transform your client's content marketing plan into a force that drives consumer behavior.
Identify Buying Personas and Stages of the Buying Process
People will enjoy and respond more favorably to content if they believe it's useful to them personally. By dividing customers into groups, or buying personas, your clients can create content that speaks more meaningfully to each member of a group. Its important to understand exactly who the target customers are, their stage in the buying process, and the problems they’re trying to solve.
People have different roles, needs, problems, and priorities. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t be as useful for Shawn in purchasing, Susie who signs contracts, or Ryan in receiving. Create various types of pages based on your client's overall marketing plan specifically suited for each group of customers.
Dividing customers into buying personas also allows your clients to design content for groups of customers based on their stage in the buying process. Marketing content should smoothly guide your customers to purchasing the product or service with an effective call-to-action.
Use One CTA Per Page
To effectively drive customer behavior, each page should have one task -- to focus the visitor on a simple and clearly defined call-to-action. If each individual page does its job, the overall marketing objectives will be met.
Build Promotion Into The Content
To promote your client's business, the real value of content can only be realized through effective delivery and distribution. While fresh, quality content is the basic foundation of your marketing plan, nothing is more important than building a solid community that consumes and shares it.
If there’s a disconnect between content and a plan for its successful distribution, you won’t realize the full potential of the content. Effective delivery of content involves a combination of public relations, editorial visibility, networking with others in your client's industry, link networking and individual link solicitations, and social media.
Design Your Environment For A/B Tests
For today’s business, creating quality content that adapts to changing conditions of the marketplace is critical for success. Make sure the content evolves to generate higher profits by having multiple A/B tests running as you experiment with the following:
- Social media
- Product promotions
- Type of content
- Length of content
- Page colors, design, and layout
A/B testing will give you an accurate account of what drives customers’ behavior and gets them to act.
Your eBooks, white papers, print magazines, and e-newsletters can provide you with a steady stream of leads. Ask your customers to opt-in to special programs. For both print and email content campaigns, whatever you deliver to customers or prospects can be considered spam if they haven’t specifically requested it.
According to CAN-SPAM, your clients can communicate with customers via email, as long as they have a working relationship. However, you can’t send unsolicited correspondence on an ongoing basis without their permission. Once you have permission, you can use new offers and promotions to encourage them to sign up for more content, and you must always provide them the option of opting-out or unsubscribing from programs.
Keep Content Consistent With Repeated Exposure
White papers and videos should be delivered in series. If your clients can’t commit the necessary resources to a series, it’s best to use the resources in other ways.
The psychological effects of content marketing are similar to print ads, and consistency is important no matter how content is delivered. A good example of how marketing drives behavior? It’s often said that it takes seven views of an ad copy per year to make a lasting impression on a decision-maker. Repeated exposure to content has positive effects on consumer behavior -- it’s important to deliver it consistently.