Are you making the most of your content marketing? “According to the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B brands and 90% of B2C brands are now using content marketing to educate consumers about their brands.”, says Benjy Boxer contributor of Forbes. However, many companies are missing opportunities by not using CRM to improve their content marketing campaigns.
What is content marketing?
Intelligent marketers everywhere are learning that traditional marketing tactics are becoming less effective. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a “marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
It allows marketers to attract prospects and retain customers by providing consistent, valuable, and relevant content that is designed to change or enhance a consumer’s behavior. In short, content marketing is all about communicating with your prospects and customers without selling.
You must know your audience
When starting content marketing, one of the first things you need to do is know your audience. If you don’t understand your audience and what they need, it’s all too likely that you’re going to write meaningless content wasting the reader’s time. The solution is to write your content for your specific audience and not just for your brand. You need your readers to interact with the content by sharing and providing community.
One key to this is to understand your user persona. Rather than trying to write for thousands of people, think of one single person that is your customer and write your content for them. Clearly define the characteristics for this person, the more details you have, the more likely your success.
How CRM can help
You’ve spent months or even years collecting valuable customer data in your CRM. Why not use it now to help you define your audience. The more data you can gather about your individual customers, the easier it will be to build a powerful user persona to communicate with in your content marketing.
According to Adria Saracino on the Content Marketing Institute, “CRM tools can help a company get to know the audience that will be consuming the content it creates in the same ways it can help a company identify and target its customers (and that is what all content consumers are — customers who are at some stage of the conversion funnel). This will help content marketers define goals and unique selling proposals (USPs), which in turn will help us determine what kind of content to produce and at what times it will be the most relevant to deliver it to our audience.”
Blogging is only part of the content marketing puzzle
Some people think content marketing is all about blog posts. However, this is only part of the puzzle. In order to have a successful content marketing strategy, it must incorporate multiple types of content. These include blog posts, social media, email marketing, and other forms of content.
It’s always important to fully plan your content marketing campaign. You can save thousands of dollars by doing proper planning up front. Do your proper keyword research and learn what phrases your prospects and customers use and incorporate this into your campaign.
Content marketing can help you establish your company as being an expert in your field. By starting with high-level content and then slowly working your way into more in-depth, longer content, you can help build a trusting relationship with your readers. You’re offering the reader ideas on how to solve their problems in establishing yourself as a trusted partner in the process.
Consistency is the key. While it’s easy to write one or two blog post and think you’re done, this is only the beginning of content marketing. Creating regular content for your website in the form of blog posts is a great way to start. By having the content calendar with a regular schedule, you can create different types of blog posts. These can include longer evergreen in-depth articles that may be over 2,000 words, which search engines like Google really like. You can also include shorter 500 to 1,000 word posts that can help fill in the gaps between evergreen posts.
Creating a blog post is only the beginning. After your blog post has been created, you use social media to promote your blog posts. Make sure you provide value in your social media post and only make roughly 20% of the post about your blog post, products, and services.
While it may seem like great idea to sign up for as many social media sites as possible, you’ll quickly learn that the sites can be very time-consuming. By finding the two or three social media sites where your potential prospects and customers hang out, you will be able to focus on those.
How CRM can help
Most CRM systems will help you monitor social media and news about your potential prospects and customers. This news and social media can be a powerful way to find out exactly what matters to your customer. Once you have this information, you can use it to create new content marketing ideas for your campaigns.
Adding email to the mix
According to the Direct Marketing Association, “email marketing has an ROI of 4300%”. By building a list for email marketing, you can bring customers and potential prospects back to your site on a regular basis. By segmenting your prospects and customers, you can target each group specifically.
Make sure you provide value in every email you send that helps your customer. It’s also a good idea to link back to your blog post so they must click the link in order to view the full post.
Email marketing can help you learn more about your prospects and customers. By asking for feedback, you can have people tell you their objectives, dreams, and desires, which you can help fulfill.
How CRM can help
• Allow you to segment prospects, one-time buyers, up-sell buyers, cross-sell buyers, and more
• Help you track the feedback you receive from your customers so you can provide better marketing to them in the future
• Help you keep track of the email addresses for all your customers
• Track and understand your prospect’s likes and dislikes to help create compelling email blasts
• Keep track of the growing number of leads and customers
• Help marketing departments identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that can be used in email marketing
• Allow your company to stay top-of-mind with prospects and customers so your company will be the one they think of when they’re ready to buy
Most marketers know it can cost up to five times more get a new customer than retain an existing one. When mixed with email marketing, CRM can be a powerful way to build loyalty and keep existing customers.
Data-driven content marketing
According to Gianfranco Cuzziol with Fusion Marketing Experience, “Brands can’t create valuable content if they don’t understand how their customers buy. Before setting about creating a content strategy, it’s worth spending time understanding the stages that customers go through in the decision making process and getting to grips with customers wants at each point.”
Mr. Cuzziol says he is surprised by the number of brands that don’t fully understand how their customers buy. You can learn this information by talking to your customers and reviewing your data. You can then use the frustrations, objectives, and stories from your customers to find new ways of creating content marketing for them.
A CRM Solution
According to marketingdonut.co.uk, “A customer relationship management system can be a powerful tool in your marketing armoury. By recording your customer’s product likes and dislikes, their spending patterns and even their location, age and gender, a CRM enables you to build up a detailed picture of their tastes, needs and buying habits.”
Your content marketing can make a significant difference in how much trust you build with potential customers before and after you make the sale. CRM can be used to enhance the cycle by helping you build better relationships and extend the customer lifecycle.
As you slowly build your content library, you are providing your sales staff with some powerful material will help them in key areas of the sales process.
Once you use CRM to fully understand your audience, you will know how your content marketing can help them. Once you have written the incredible content that helps your prospect, you will use social media to promote your content marketing and build awareness.
Some marketers consider email marketing to be the Holy Grail of marketing and for good reason. When combined with CRM, email marketing becomes even more powerful. It will allow you to continually drive more traffic to your site, build trust, and gain a continuous better understanding of your customer persona.
By combining CRM data with your content marketing strategy, you can improve your content marketing using data driven techniques. Using these two together will create a synergy that will drive results.