If you’re on the wrong road, driving faster won’t get you where you want to go. If you’re putting out the wrong kind of content, creating more of it won’t attract the prospects you need.
Good writing isn’t enough to fill your sales pipeline. To generate results, content has to be strategic.
Strategy helps you in many ways, but here are the top 5:
It helps you reach specific objectives. I talk with a lot of people who’ve heard inbound marketing works, so they have the idea that they should be cranking out a ton of content. But they aren’t sure what “works” means to them. They don’t know what they really want to accomplish. Strategy helps you to clearly define what success means to your business—the very specific results you need in order to be successful.
- It helps you do your research. Thoroughly understanding your audience—the way they think, the way they use the Internet, the way they make purchasing decisions—is the foundation of effective content. Strategy offers you the opportunity to dig deep to find what drives your audience and how to connect with them.
- It helps you to be relevant. I can’t even count how many marketing emails I receive on a weekly basis that have nothing to do with anything I’m remotely interested in. Marketers with the “more is better” philosophy shotgun content out into the world, hoping it will resonate with somebody. But the reality is that if you take that approach, you’re likely to alienate people who could have very well become customers if you’d just focused a bit more to say something relevant to them.
- It helps you to develop a cohesive marketing plan where all the parts are working together to accomplish your goals. Content isn’t something separate from the rest of your marketing efforts. For marketing to be effective, all the pieces need to work together. Someone sees your LinkedIn profile, clicks on your website link, explores your blog, goes back to their to-do list, gets a marketing piece from you a few days later, remembers your website, goes back to the website, and so on, until they finally give you a call or are ready to receive a call from Sales.
- It gives you specific measurables you can use to judge your progress. If you know that you need 30 people to download your e-book in order to get five people to take an appointment, you have a way to see how you’re doing each month. And when you know how you’re doing, you can make smart decisions on how to adjust your strategy to get the results you want.
Strategy is where the power lies in content marketing. You need high-quality, effectively-written content, but without the strategy directing that content, you don’t know where you’ll end up.