An optimized website with regularly updated content will help your business get found by search engines. But not every piece of content should be published for the purposes of getting found online.
Content that informs and converts visitors must be carefully constructed and properly placed within your website structure, as downloadable articles, or as part of your targeted email marketing campaigns.
Planning your content marketing efforts, and the key messages you will focus on, must be part of a well-thought out online marketing strategy.
Your business should be producing various types of content to engage prospects who are in specific stages of the buying cycle. Content should be targeted to specific buyers and speak directly to their needs.
There are 5 key content types you need to produce to convert prospects into buyers:
1. Informative Content
Informative content speaks to new visitors; it tells them who you are and what you do. They might be unfamiliar with your company and they could be comparing how you stack up against other competitor’s sites. Content directed at this audience will include your company’s “About Us” page, or a blog post that focuses on why you started your business.
2. Overview Content
Overview content needs to capture the viewers who want to find out what your services are—and usually they want to find out quickly. This type of content is found in your “Products and Services” pages. Businesses may have a short video on their homepage to explain their services or their process quickly and easily; watching a 60 second video will capture more interest than reading a long page of text. Does your business offer service plans with various pricing levels? A great want to create easily digestible content is to use charts to convey pricing plans; it shows the viewer what you offer in a simple format and helps them decide quickly if your offerings are right for them.
3. Need-to-Know Content
Need-to-know content is for readers who know what they want. If you have product listings on your site, this content will include detailed product descriptions to help them decide what product is right for them. It can also include downloadable product sheets that compare the features and benefits of various models. Blog topics for need-to-know content include new product announcements or service updates, and content that will impact the buying process, such as “What You Need to Know When Buying _____” or “How to Choose the Right _____ Provider”.
4. Decision-Making Content
Decision-making content helps persuade the lead that is still “on-the-fence”. Your content needs to break down these walls and help prospects make the right decision. Examples of this type of content include: case studies, customer testimonials, and well-written calls-to-action that entice potential customers to provide their email address or phone numbers for you to follow up. These calls-to-action should encourage sign-ups by offering special promotions, informative white papers, or free quotes.
5. Confirmation Content
Confirmation content reassures the buyer that they are making the right choice. It can include blog posts that feature a look into your company and your employees, or it can include your commentary on industry news or events to show your knowledge and authority in your industry. Webpages with confirmation content will include your awards or recognitions, associations you belong to, important partnerships, or any recent press or publications in which you have been featured. Confirmation content should also appear in your lead-nurturing email campaigns.
Review your content and make a note of which types or formats you have available. Remember that your content isn’t limited to written words; content should take on various different formats.
Are you meeting the informational needs of prospects and customers? Is your content clearly differentiating you? Could you be doing more to guide prospects through buying cycles? These are the types of questions that must be answered as you construct your online content strategy.
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