If you’re looking for the TLDR: there is no point.
Longer answer: objectives keep us on track and ensure that what we’re creating and our content marketing is worthwhile and contributes to our business goals.
Regardless of what we’re doing, we all need an objective/s to keep us on track and to stop us from flip-flopping all over the place. Too often, brands know that they should be creating content, but they just throw out content when inspiration strikes. Without a concrete idea of what they’re working towards with their content marketing.
Every brand is unique and will probably have its individual content marketing objectives. What works for one business may not work for another. But I’m going to take you through three common marketing objectives, how you can achieve them AND why you should want to!
What is content marketing?
Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Building Brand Awareness
It’s basically the wild west out there. Did you know that Google shows about 3.5 BILLION searches every day? You need to cut through the noise, and when you stand out, you need the person who reads it to think: I want more of this.
Firstly, you need to create consistently high-quality content that speaks and answers your audience’s pain points, thereby positioning your brand as a helpful, authoritative, and accessible expert. From here, you want anyone reading your content to become aware of your brand through the fantastic content you’re creating and for them to want more of it.
How to build brand awareness through your content?
C O N S I S T E N C Y
It’s not magic, and it’s not rocket science. You just need to be consistent. There’s no point just randomly churning out pieces of content; a blog every four years and then throwing out an eBook isn’t going to help you to stick in people’s minds.
Imagine your audience are little squirrels or birds, and you’re leading them to your brand with a trail of seeds and nuts, until one day they’re eating out of your hands and they’re your best friends.
But to get to the point where these little birds and squirrels are eating out of your hands, you need a consistent strategy for creating value-packed content. But howwwww, you ask?
Well, like this:
- Content ideas pop in our minds all the time; jot them down and keep a content list on the go. I keep an ideas list of both social and blog posts in the notes section on my phone.
- When creating content, think about how you can repurpose it. For example, your 6/8/10 best-performing blogs could become an eBook. You could turn a whitepaper into a short course or a tutorial. The possibilities are endless, expanding your reach and the mileage of your content.
- Offer value to your audience, either by solving their problem or answering a question or even just by entertaining them. Prove to your audience that you’re worth coming back to.
To craft content that will speak to your audience in a way that they relate to, always have an ear to the ground on what your audience is saying and what problems they have. Social listening, buyer insights and surveys, market research are excellent ways to listen to your customers on their terms. I also love Answer the Public for content ideas to generate based on the questions that are being asked.
Don’t forget, your content also needs to mirror your personality, values and knowledge as well as being relatable to your audience and demonstrate who your brand is.
What it’s realllllly all about: Leads Generation
Being salesy for myself can feel really icky to me. But let’s be real, we’re creating content to generate leads and get people to take action: buy/engage/do the thing that we want them to.
So, you want to get those readers into your content market funnel and gently nudge them along as you build your trust with them.
Setting a content marketing funnel should be a key objective because it warms up the reader until they’re ready for the sale.
At the start of the funnel is the awareness stage, which is all about brand awareness.
This is where you want to pique their interest, solving their problems and drawing them in. Using our little squirrel and birds analogy, this is what gets them to start at the beginning of your little seeds and nuts trail.
Content examples include:
Social media posts
The next stage of the funnel is the Consideration Stage; this is where you nurture these leads, making them aware of your brand’s authority, impressing them with value-packed content. (The squirrels and birds are galloping through the little trail of seeds and nuts at this point).
All the content types above for brand awareness plus
Product comparison guides
The final stage of the funnel is the Retention Stage. This is your chance to ask for the sale and get the little squirrels eating out of your hands. In theory, your audience should be warm enough to trust you and see the value in your service or offering.
Free trial or demo
Landing pages with conversion copy
Your website itself
Marketing funnels could have its own individual post, so if you want to know more about content marketing funnels, Hubspot has an amazing post here where you can read about it more in-depth.
Showing up for SEO
Ahh, mystical SEO. We all know it’s important, but do we do the stuff to show up? Errr, not often enough.
That’s why your Content Marketing Strategy and SEO Strategy should be good friends and hang out together. It’s vital for your content to be optimised and include keywords if you want it to stand a chance. You can do this through tools like SEMrush, or Google’s Keyword Planner will also help you here. This, along with something like Answer the Public, can help you identify the keywords and phrases your audience is searching for.
Ultimately though, Google prioritises helpful and authentic content. So do not stuff your content with keywords. Keyword stuffing will only result in Google spitting on you and throwing you in the bin. So first and foremost, write for humans, not Google. You want your post to be valuable and relatable over everything else.
SEO is a big, big topic, I recently covered Local SEO here, but some essential advice to get you started:
- Use the keyword that you’re targeting in the title of your content
- and then again in the first paragraph of your content
- Use variants of your keyword and connected terms because Google also looks at the context
So, whatever your Content Marketing Objectives are, whatever you want to achieve by having your little squirrel and bird audience eating out of your hand and sitting on your shoulder, you need a plan and a goal to get there.
Want to raise brand awareness? Excellent, consistently create content that’s value-driven and reflects your brand values. Conversions and leads are what you’re going for? Great, develop your marketing funnel so that you can nurture those leads.
Don’t flip-flop. Create consistently according to what you want to accomplish and make content marketing work for you and your brand.
You’ve got this!