It's not easy to choose the cookie
It’s not easy to choose the cookie
May 20, 2020
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BRANDED CONTENT IS A MUST. BUT IT'S NOT ENOUGH.

August 31, 2020

Everyone talks about the need for content, but great content alone isn't enough. Without a proper strategy for its creation, deployment and promotion, your efforts could be futile. Investing in content strategy helps ensure you’re creating quality material that gets published on time, seen by the right people and shared across your market.

The question is, how do you build a content marketing strategy from the ground up? Following these 7 core principles will help you make the most out of the content you and your team create for your company.

1. Define Your Goals
Every article, blog post or infographic you create should contribute to a clearly defined goal. For example, you might want your site to receive 50,000 unique visitors per month by the end of the year. Or you may want to boost sales of your best-selling product by 250% during the next quarter. Or maybe you want to double your audience engagement on Facebook and Instagram.

Don't just write an article or blog. Ask yourself how that piece of content will help you achieve your goal.

2. Pinpoint Your Target Audience
In order to create content that your audience finds useful, you need to know who your audience is. One common mistake is to say: I want to reach as many people as possible! Remember that you really just need to reach the folks who need or want whatever you're selling. One way to do that is to come up with reader and buyer personas that reflect the type of people who have problems your company solves. You can even give them a name, imagine what they wear, where they live, and what their lives are like to help give yourself a clear and consistent image of who you’re talking to.

3. Refine Your Message
All of your content should center around a unifying message. That message might be your brand story. Or it may describe the things that differentiate your company from your competition. Or it might focus on the unique benefits of your product line.

Your message should have a purpose. For example, are you trying to educate your audience? Are you trying to instill trust, build goodwill and position yourself as an authority? Or is your goal to convince people to purchase your entry-level product so you can introduce them to your sales funnel for conversion at higher price points? Your messaging directs your content, not the other way around.

If you find yourself struggling to nail down your message, you may be having a little brand identity crisis. Taking the steps to define your brand allows you to put a stake in the ground because you know who your business is and what you stand for.

If you’re not sure where to start, send us a note and tell us a little about your organization. We can send you a fun brand exercise to kickstart your thinking.

4. Design A Sales Funnel
The point of content marketing is to deliver relevant content that attracts your target audience. But what do you do with folks once they arrive on your site? Ideally, you'll send them into a sales funnel. While they're in the funnel, you can provide content at various stages designed to help them move closer to making a purchase decision.

Create content that speaks to prospects at every stage of your sales funnel. For example, you might offer a free e-book or white paper for those entering your funnel. Then, provide buyer guides and data sheets to those who progress to the next stage. Near the end of the funnel, provide prospects with coupons, testimonials and case studies or customer success stories.

5. Choose Your Content Formats
Chances are, you'll be more inclined to create some formats over others. For example, you might be comfortable writing blogs, articles and white papers. You may be less comfortable with creating videos, slide decks, infographics and pin boards.

There are dozens of content formats. Pick a core few that are a good fit for you and your team. You can always experiment with other formats down the road.

6. Create A Content Marketing Calendar
There are dozens of activities you'll need to address as part of your ongoing content marketing strategy. Keeping track of everything in your head not only becomes stressful, it also means something will eventually fall through the cracks. Consider the following:
• Creating emails focused on holidays
• Writing blogs to address specific customer pain points
• Designing infographics to post to social media
• Creating different types of articles for specific segments of your target audience
• Running polls and surveys to learn more about your market's needs
• Scheduling webinars for prospects entering your intro sales funnel
• Producing e-books and articles for brand promotions

And that's just scraping the surface. You also need to know the publish date of each, as well as who is responsible for making sure the items get done. Creating a content marketing calendar will help you stay on top of your content marketing.

7. Be Consistent
Nothing kills expectations like a lack of consistency. If you start out publishing a weekly blog, don't suddenly drop down to posting monthly. If your customers are used to receiving instructional videos, don't stop creating them without notice. Consistency breeds loyalty. There's no better way to get your audience to look forward to your content than creating the expectation that something good is coming their way. Don't disappoint them.

Set Yourself Up for Success
Marketing is an investment in your business and a solid strategy helps ensure your time and money isn’t wasted. Use the blueprint outlined above to design a plan that allows you to squeeze maximum value from your content.

From copy and design to photo and video production, Pearl specializes in creating content that helps our clients connect with their audiences. We invite you to contact us to discuss your brand’s content needs.

August 31, 2020

Everyone talks about the need for content, but great content alone isn't enough. Without a proper strategy for its creation, deployment and promotion, your efforts could be futile. Investing in content strategy helps ensure you’re creating quality material that gets published on time, seen by the right people and shared across your market.

The question is, how do you build a content marketing strategy from the ground up? Following these 7 core principles will help you make the most out of the content you and your team create for your company.

1. Define Your Goals
Every article, blog post or infographic you create should contribute to a clearly defined goal. For example, you might want your site to receive 50,000 unique visitors per month by the end of the year. Or you may want to boost sales of your best-selling product by 250% during the next quarter. Or maybe you want to double your audience engagement on Facebook and Instagram.

Don't just write an article or blog. Ask yourself how that piece of content will help you achieve your goal.

2. Pinpoint Your Target Audience
In order to create content that your audience finds useful, you need to know who your audience is. One common mistake is to say: I want to reach as many people as possible! Remember that you really just need to reach the folks who need or want whatever you're selling. One way to do that is to come up with reader and buyer personas that reflect the type of people who have problems your company solves. You can even give them a name, imagine what they wear, where they live, and what their lives are like to help give yourself a clear and consistent image of who you’re talking to.

3. Refine Your Message
All of your content should center around a unifying message. That message might be your brand story. Or it may describe the things that differentiate your company from your competition. Or it might focus on the unique benefits of your product line.

Your message should have a purpose. For example, are you trying to educate your audience? Are you trying to instill trust, build goodwill and position yourself as an authority? Or is your goal to convince people to purchase your entry-level product so you can introduce them to your sales funnel for conversion at higher price points? Your messaging directs your content, not the other way around.

If you find yourself struggling to nail down your message, you may be having a little brand identity crisis. Taking the steps to define your brand allows you to put a stake in the ground because you know who your business is and what you stand for.

If you’re not sure where to start, send us a note and tell us a little about your organization. We can send you a fun brand exercise to kickstart your thinking.

4. Design A Sales Funnel
The point of content marketing is to deliver relevant content that attracts your target audience. But what do you do with folks once they arrive on your site? Ideally, you'll send them into a sales funnel. While they're in the funnel, you can provide content at various stages designed to help them move closer to making a purchase decision.

Create content that speaks to prospects at every stage of your sales funnel. For example, you might offer a free e-book or white paper for those entering your funnel. Then, provide buyer guides and data sheets to those who progress to the next stage. Near the end of the funnel, provide prospects with coupons, testimonials and case studies or customer success stories.

5. Choose Your Content Formats
Chances are, you'll be more inclined to create some formats over others. For example, you might be comfortable writing blogs, articles and white papers. You may be less comfortable with creating videos, slide decks, infographics and pin boards.

There are dozens of content formats. Pick a core few that are a good fit for you and your team. You can always experiment with other formats down the road.

6. Create A Content Marketing Calendar
There are dozens of activities you'll need to address as part of your ongoing content marketing strategy. Keeping track of everything in your head not only becomes stressful, it also means something will eventually fall through the cracks. Consider the following:
• Creating emails focused on holidays
• Writing blogs to address specific customer pain points
• Designing infographics to post to social media
• Creating different types of articles for specific segments of your target audience
• Running polls and surveys to learn more about your market's needs
• Scheduling webinars for prospects entering your intro sales funnel
• Producing e-books and articles for brand promotions

And that's just scraping the surface. You also need to know the publish date of each, as well as who is responsible for making sure the items get done. Creating a content marketing calendar will help you stay on top of your content marketing.

7. Be Consistent
Nothing kills expectations like a lack of consistency. If you start out publishing a weekly blog, don't suddenly drop down to posting monthly. If your customers are used to receiving instructional videos, don't stop creating them without notice. Consistency breeds loyalty. There's no better way to get your audience to look forward to your content than creating the expectation that something good is coming their way. Don't disappoint them.

Set Yourself Up for Success
Marketing is an investment in your business and a solid strategy helps ensure your time and money isn’t wasted. Use the blueprint outlined above to design a plan that allows you to squeeze maximum value from your content.

From copy and design to photo and video production, Pearl specializes in creating content that helps our clients connect with their audiences. We invite you to contact us to discuss your brand’s content needs.