Recently a colleague from the sales department asked me to send him some information on content marketing. He enjoyed the information but he still had one nagging question “Why would you make such useful marketing content free?”. It’s a legitimate question that I did my best to answer. I’m hoping this can help more people understand why content is a key component of your marketing funnel.
The examples of content marketing I sent him were pieces I’ve done previously on Bossitude:
Colleague: Thank you! I have a question though. Why would someone create these and spend all the time on them for free? I don’t think I’ve fully grasped why people create content like this.
Also, it’s very well structured and easy to read by the way!
ME: Typically it’s top of the funnel content. It helps you segment users by interest, build authority etc. It’s the first step in a cold sales process.
Colleague: Cold sales process? May you break that down to me even further? I don’t know, it’s so hard for me to wrap my head around. What is the ultimate purpose and benefit in creating free content for people to just read?
ME: Sure, so let’s run through an example scenario. You have a company that sells real estate training. We won’t get into specifics, but we’ll say it is on the investment side. Your company is looking for people to sell their home or property to you. What you do with the property doesn’t really matter. You could flip it, rehab it, rent it, or sit on it. So how would you find these people and establish yourself as a trustworthy source to cold prospects (people that have never heard of you).
People that are not familiar with you or your company are “COLD”.
One way to do that is to create content that shows you know what you’re talking about. Content that showcases your expertise and ability to solve customer problems and create solutions.
An example for this business would be articles like “10 Signs it’s time to sell your rental property”, “5 ways to get your money out of your house”, “Checklist: Should you downsize your home?” etc.
You would then start directing traffic to this content via ads.
The people that click these ads and go to your content are likely to have some interest in selling their home. When you have enough hits you can expand your audience using a lookalike audience. This is beneficial as it allows you to laser focus your prospects by segmenting them with content.
You then use another ad to re-target the people that have viewed your content and match your customer avatar. You can retarget them with something like a discovery call or free consultation or a tool that will estimate how much money they can get for their home.
All the prospects that click the retargeted ad and complete the optin are now warm leads. They’ve seen your brand, read your content and have filled out some information. Next step would be to turn them into a conversion, client or customer.
Content → Ads to Content/Cold Traffic → Retarget Content Visitors → Optin → Warm Lead
Colleague: That makes PERFECT sense!
So that is the ultimate reason why content marketing is essential to do when you’re in business?
ME: That is one of the dominant reasons, yes.
Are you using content to better segment, cost optimize and target leads that turn into customers? Read more about digital marketing on my blog at www.robertmcmillin.com.