More and more brands are turning to content marketing because of its strong focus on consumers and effectiveness – particularly its effectiveness at a much lower cost than similar outbound efforts. Instead of something overly promotional, your audience expects something that has high value with very little branding. The goal is to encourage engagement through every level of the sales funnel, specifically awareness, trust, and conversion.
We recently outlined how an effective content marketing strategy – specifically one that combines an alignment of on- and off-site content – can help push your leads further down the sales funnel.
Here we’ll walk through how we effectively leveraged content marketing to impact three critical stages of the sales funnel for multiple clients.
1. A large-scale content marketing campaign generated awareness by earning our client more than 3 million views through a single placement.
Content marketing success relies heavily on earning coverage from top-tier publishers, and it is one of the most effective ways for your content to impact consumers at the awareness level. Additional gains from earned media include the following:
- Search engines’ indexing your site higher through a strong inbound link portfolio, increasing the overall visibility of your site
- Growth in traffic to your site from new visitors who might not be familiar with your brand
- A higher return on the content you created because you’re actively promoting it versus simply relying on natural syndication
For the exclusive for one of our client campaigns – “Perceptions of Perfection Across Borders” – we reached out to an editor at BuzzFeed who had previously covered body issues. She loved the idea and wanted the feature to go live immediately. Capitalizing on their already large, built-in audience, the post earned more than 3 million views for the client before syndication.
2. Prioritize on-site content to build trust: More than half of consumers say that offering free content is an effective way to attract their business.
While earning placements on authoritative sites is a great way to increase awareness, it is also a simple way to generate trust. To increase this sense of brand loyalty, though, you want these placements to drive visitors back to your brand’s site and offer them something of additional value. A great way to do this is through on-site content that is readily available to download: More than 50 percent of consumers agree that offering free content is an effective way to earn their business.
A great example of effective on-site content that aligns with business goals is BuzzStream’s blog. In an effort to improve search rankings and increase on-site engagement, Fractl outlined an evergreen blog strategy that featured posts on their latest data-driven campaigns along with best practice guides. You can check out some of our specific blog posts below:
- The Most Social Publishers
- Best Practice Guide for Influencer Marketing Pitches
- 7 Practices That Maximize the ROI of Negative Pitch Replies
3. A mix of on- and off-site content can generate faster conversions by shortening your sales funnel.
Remember that all your content has the ability to affect all levels of the sales funnel. For example, content that assists with the top of the funnel aims to push conversion events – like email subscribers – but can also lead to conversions. A great example of a content marketing strategy that reached consumers at all levels of the funnel is the one employed by Rehabs.com, which generated 850 percent increase in traffic, 1,200 press mentions, and more than 2,900 percent ROI.