Great content should be honest, authoritative, and valuable to your audience. But no matter how good your content is, if it can’t convert leads into paying customers, the effort is worthless. Good content should not only offer a solution to your audience, it should also urge them to take action. Creating a converting content marketing campaign demands some diligent strategizing and an in-depth understanding of what your audience needs. If your content hits the right chords, prospects would likely be keen on taking the next step because they see potential in your brand.
A high-converting content marketing campaign needs research, planning, and access to the right tools.
Here are a few steps every content marketer needs to follow for creating a content marketing campaign that converts.
1. Specify your content marketing goals
Like any other endeavor, your content marketing efforts need direction. This direction is provided by your content marketing goals. Your content marketing goals define what you are trying to achieve with the content that you create and distribute. Is it generating more leads? Is it getting people to subscribe to your blog? Are you trying to get your audience to get a free trial of your product? Whatever the goals are, the content you create has to be aligned with them.
Every content marketing campaign should have its short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals are what you wish to achieve immediately, such as generating traffic to your blog or getting more subscriptions. Long-term goals are the things you hope to achieve with good content marketing in the long run. These could include building a brand reputation or establishing your blog as an authority in its niche.
Your content marketing goals must be measurable, realistic, and relevant to your brand and business.
2. Research your audience and create audience personas
The next key step in creating content marketing campaigns that convert is understanding your audience well. To make your audience take specific action by engaging them in your content, you need to know what they are looking for in the first place.
Research suggests that this is what you can achieve with persona-based marketing.
You will need to conduct some thorough research to collect your audience’s demographic data such as gender, age, educational/professional background, earning power, and other details.
You also need to know about your audience’s interests, search intent, and pain points. There are several ways of gathering this information. You could use tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, social media listening tools, customer surveys, etc. The data from these tools will tell you where most of your traffic is coming from, what your target audience is talking about on social media, what your customers’ major pain points are, and so on.
Using this background, you can create different audience personas and segment your target audience accordingly. With an understanding of audience personas, you can craft highly focused, relevant content that connects with them.
3. Build a content creation strategy
After the preliminary research is done, the next step is to build a strong content strategy. A good content marketing campaign has to be dynamic and flexible. You cannot rely on textual content alone or create only visual content and expect to deliver value to your audience. Good content marketing is all about experimenting with different content formats and using them all in conjunction to get the most out of your efforts.
Develop a robust content strategy that defines the types of content you need to create, the tools you will need to create such content, the frequency of publishing, distribution channels to use, and any other related details. Also, lay down a method for measuring performance and productivity.
Your content strategy needs to be detailed, comprehensive, and tight. The stronger your strategy, the more you can get out of your content marketing campaigns.
4. Optimize your content creation and marketing workflow
A robust strategy is imperative. But your content marketing team may still not be able to deliver a punch unless your workflow is well-defined. Most content teams struggle with a lack of visibility and collaboration, simply because their content process is not optimized. It can result in missed deadlines and poor quality of content. It also makes it difficult to scale your content marketing process as your business grows.
To optimize your content creation and distribution process, you will need to clearly define roles, establish a workflow and enable effective collaboration for your team. Decide who is in charge of content ideation, creation, editing, and distribution. Build a content calendar and define the timelines and deliverables. It is important to clearly communicate these to your entire team so that everyone is on the same page in terms of expectations and responsibilities.
Using tech at the right places makes things a little easier and streamlines your team’s efforts. Only about 18% of content marketers use the right technology to its full potential in their content marketing efforts.
Collaborative workflow management tools like Notion, ClickUp, Airtable, Narrato, etc. can help bring your entire team together and boost productivity. It is much more convenient to assign tasks, track progress and share feedback on a single platform rather than having to rely on multiple, disconnected tools.
5. Create content for different stages of a customer’s journey
At this point, you can start creating content. When creating a high-converting content campaign, it is important to remember that not everyone who visits your blog or website is there with an intention to buy. Even your qualified leads are not all ready to buy from you immediately. It is essential to understand the customer’s journey and leverage content to drive them closer to a purchase decision. This means that you will need to create content for every stage of this journey.
For instance, some of your prospects may not be aware of your brand and are learning about you for the first time. In such cases, you need content that can create brand awareness.
Some others may be aware but don’t have an urgent need for your product and might consider it sometime in the future. For such leads, you will need to create content that can build trust and show your authority in the niche.
For others who are actively looking to buy, you need to offer highly targeted, solution-oriented content.
So your content creation plan needs to include content for the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.
6. Make use of emotion to make your content more impactful
The next step is to determine whether you are using emotion the right way in your content campaigns. There are certain emotions that, when triggered, can drive your content campaigns forward. For instance, creating a sense of urgency can make people feel like they should act now, or they would be missing out on a great opportunity. Same as the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Another driving force is relevance. When the content you create is extremely relevant to your target audience, they can relate to it. Anything that is relatable seems trustworthy.
Clarity is another factor that triggers the right emotions. If you are able to explain a concept simply and clearly, your audience is likely to engage better with your content. Clarity ensures that everyone in your audience understands the content, irrespective of their industry or background.
Here are some other emotions that can make your content go viral, according to research.
So before you go ahead and publish your content, check whether it will trigger the right emotions in your audience to take them closer to a conversion.
7. Distribute your content on the right channels
Your content marketing campaign’s success depends not only on the quality of your content but also on how and where you distribute it. Knowing where your target audience spends most of their time is crucial for choosing the right distribution channels. You can distribute content on your website, blog, social media, streaming platforms, or other channels depending on who your target audience is. A strong content marketing campaign usually needs a multichannel approach.
You will also need to ensure that you publish your content at the right time to drive maximum engagement on a channel. For starters, you can implement a trial and error method to see what works best. For example, if you are posting content on Facebook, try publishing a post every day at a different time. Find out which posts draw the most likes and shares. The day and time of publishing at which your posts perform best could be ideal for the platform.
Or, if you want more detailed insights, you could use a social media analytics tool or a web analytics tool that shows you which of your content drives the most engagement.
Further Reading: 7 Creative Ways to Increase Your Content Distribution and Promotion
8. Get your content endorsed by someone who matters
To create a content marketing campaign that converts, your voice alone is not enough. You need to expand your reach, which means you need more people in your industry talking about it. This is where a co-marketing or cross-promotion opportunity can help.
Reach out to influencers, brands, and peers in your industry and build a partnership strategy for your content marketing campaign. Asking some established brand or influencer from your industry to promote your content or even create content in collaboration with them gives you a lot more exposure.
People from their networks get to know about your brand. Your name is associated with another trusted brand or individual which automatically enhances your brand reputation and gives your content more credibility.
There are multiple ways you can go about such partnerships. You can collaborate for an interview or a podcast with an industry influencer. You could give them a free trial of your product/service and get some user reviews or a testimonial on how the product helped them, on their blog or social media accounts.
You could also co-write a resource, such as an ebook, or carry out a survey and release the report in partnership. In any case, a good partnership can increase your chances of converting leads through your content campaigns many folds.
9. Repurpose and reuse content
Creating a converting content marketing campaign does not always have to be effort-intensive. You can create more with less effort, as long as you know how and where to get your content from. You can generate quality content for various channels without actually having to spend much time on content creation.
Content repurposing is one way to minimize effort. If you have some long-form, high-authority blog posts that are truly valuable, you can repurpose them into other content formats. Create videos out of them or craft an engaging infographic out of one section of the post. There are many ways to repurpose your blog content, so don’t shy away from experimenting.
You can also gather content from users – what is known as user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content, as the name suggests, is any content that your users create to share on your channels or their own. It could be a social media post, a tutorial video for your YouTube channel, or even a case study for your blog, discussing how they achieved outcomes with your product.
Here’s an example of how Starbucks leverages UGC in its social media marketing campaign.
The added benefit of user-generated content is that it helps build credibility for your products/services among the audience. When satisfied users share their own experience with the product, prospective buyers are more likely to trust it. In fact, consumers trust user-generated content 9.8 times more than influencer content.
10. Track your content’s performance and optimize your campaigns
The best way to tell if your content marketing campaigns are converting leads is by tracking their performance. You need to know which of your content is driving more engagement and sales. At what point in the audience’s journey with your content are they mostly converting? Which content channels are most of your conversions coming from? Most of the insights you need can be obtained from Google Analytics for your website.
Make sure to choose the right metrics to measure performance. The key performance indicators you pick must be tangible and relevant to your content goals. Benchmarking against competitors or peers can also be a good way to gauge your content campaigns’ performance.
Here are some key metrics content marketers have used over the past years:
With this information at hand, you will be able to optimize your content marketing campaigns for better conversions. You can keep the parts that are working and modify or replace those that aren’t yielding the desired outcomes. Creating a converting content marketing campaign is an ongoing process, and continuous improvement is a part and parcel of it.
Further Reading: 6 Ways to Use Content Marketing to Increase Sales
Creating converting content marketing campaigns is nothing but the art of identifying your target market’s primary pressure points and nudging them in the right way. Making your audience aware of their challenges and then offering a solution is all you need to do. But easy as it may sound, this requires some very diligent research, planning, and fail-proof execution. It can be a lot more streamlined if you have a process and the right technology for it. To begin with, these few steps we’ve listed above should give your efforts more structure and help you get the most out of your content marketing campaigns.
Neelam Goswami is a content writer and marketer. She has written for several reputed brands in the digital and content marketing space including Narrato, Mio, Salesblink, and others.
Hero photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash
Content Marketing Campaign FAQs
Typical examples of content marketing include blog posts, ebooks, infographics, case studies, white papers, how-to guides, and demo videos. By providing helpful and informative content that educates and informs your target audience, you can establish yourself or your company as a thought leader in your industry — which can ultimately lead to increased brand awareness and visibility, higher web traffic levels, and more sales.
Check these tips on how to create a content marketing campaign:
1. Decide what type of content you want to create.
2. Come up with topics that will be interesting and relevant to your audience.
3. Determine how you will distribute your content.
4. Make sure you have a plan for measuring the success of your campaign. Track the number of views, shares, and leads generated to see if your effort is paying off.
Here are the 7 steps of content marketing:
1. Identify your target audience and understand what kinds of content will appeal to them
2. Create a content strategy that outlines what kinds of content will be created, how it will be distributed, and how often it will be updated.
3. Create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience.
4. Promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels.
5. Track the performance of your content and make adjustments as needed.
6. Continually update and improve your content.
7. Be patient and consistent in order to see results from your content marketing efforts.
The 4 pillars of content marketing are:
1. Audience – refers to the target market or group of potential customers that a business wants to reach with its content.
2. Channel – the medium through which the content will be distributed.
3. Message – the actual content that will be distributed through the chosen channels.
4. Measurement – refers to the process of tracking and analyzing the performance of the content marketing strategy.
What exactly makes for good content? First and foremost, it must be interesting and relevant to your target audience. It should also be well-written, visually appealing, and informative. But perhaps most importantly, good content must be shareable. After all, the whole point of content marketing is to generate interest and engagement from potential customers. If your content is not shareable, it will likely fail to achieve its objectives.