With the year coming to an end, we are starting to think of resolutions that could make our new year a raging success. That is why December is the perfect month for a special Content Marketing Monday series where you will be able to learn what content marketing has in store for 2015! Let us start with the foundation of content – the moment of inspiration.
This September I had the pleasure of attending Content Marketing World 2014. If you are a content marketer, you know that CMWorld is where you can get not only information but a ton of inspiration from the best of the best like Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, or Andrew Davis. That last one is especially important in today’s blog post, why? Because Andrew Davis had a great opening keynote that every content marketer can benefit from.
MOI to ROI
Davis spoke about the “Moment of Inspiration” where your customer is not just given a product or asked to sign up for your newsletter, he is given an initiative or a cause that will inspire them to become your loyal customer.
What is a moment of inspiration? It can be a whole plethora of things, but all in all it is a hidden message within a context. You can be inspired by an image of a great meal, maybe by a video of a young boy who built his own gaming arcade from boxes – all examples that Andrew Davis used in his keynote. However, if you were not able to be there, no worries! This blog posts is for you.
During the keynote Andrew Davis spoke about the four secrets of MOI:
- Build suspense in your story
- Foster inspiration
- Drive empathy
- Harness emotion
Would you take the initiative to research how to make the perfect Christmas cookies if you went on a website and just saw raw cookie dough in the header? Some might say yes, but most of us would just ignore the signs and keep on searching elsewhere. However, if you saw a picture of freshly baked cookies on a beautiful festive plate – you would start to think that you need those cookies and you need that festive plate. Inspiration.
You can find numerous cookie recipes all over the internet, you find the perfect one at last, but where can you get that festive plate? Of course! You go back to the very website you saw it on, you realize that this is an online shop, there is a holiday sale – THAT very plate CAN be yours! So what do you do? You buy it.
Your search is now complete, at least that is what most people think. However, the journey has just begun because now you can get back to square one, “but is there anything else that I need?” and so you begin searching that website once again for things that might be of use to you. Not only did you get inspired and buy a product, but you began looking for more, in fact you went further into the sales funnel by maybe even signing up for a newsletter to keep up with the sales and bonuses? All because a picture inspired you.
Funneling in on inspiration
The above four triggers are great ways to get consent, email leads, and create a loyalty loop. All in all you have to think like a Hollywood director who wants to create a great movie, you can’t give everything all at once, but you have to lay down the crumbs (poster, teasers, trailers, specials) which will lead to the big picture (film). Are you creating content that could lead people to your product?
This of a simple campaign that could drive leads: a tweet talking about a new blog post you have prepared, this blog post could lead to an authority article or figure, in fact you have a whitepaper written by that person and with an email sign up you will send that whitepaper to the prospect, after signing up for the whitepaper your sales page pops up OR you send out a follow up email to offer more content or products. Remember that social media is also content marketing (which we will also talk about in our Content Marketing Monday series) and you need to include it in your strategy.
How do I work the content funnel?
Technically, most of us think of the funnel as a sales funnel that you hear of at conventions. However, you as a content marketer should get inspired by the funnel and learn what works and what doesn’t at different stages of capturing a potential customer. Remember, you begin the journey by inspiring a prospective customer.
- INSPIRATION: At this stage (the top of the funnel) a person becomes aware of your brand. They stumble upon you on Google, Yelp, maybe even Pinterest. As a person looks through your website, what do they see? Do they see content that educates them, motivates them, maybe forces products on them? At this stage of the journey you need to make sure that you build trust, focus on clear and short messages, testimonials, motivate with clean cut content (don’t show raw cookie dough, give them the final product baked on a beautiful platter!). This is the place for humor, character, and simple content like resource pages, FAQ’s, infographics, or social media posts.
- COMPARISON: Going further into the funnel, a customer has to evaluate their options and choose where they are going to get the product they need. Here is your opportunity to educate prospects, offer them a whitepaper, links to your blog where you talk about why your product answers their needs, invite them to a webinar, show a case study, or link up to a product/price comparison sheet. Make sure that you give a clear view of the pros and cons, you will gain trust, give answers to their potential questions, and finally give a reason to stick around.
- DECISION: The bottom of the funnel is where your prospect becomes your customer. If they have been inspired and educated, they have a reason to purchase your product! Now that someone has become aware that your product fulfills their needs, they want to know even more, which is why you need to prepare advanced content that will give an in-depth information to reinforce their choice. At this stage you can collect their email by offering an advanced whitepaper if they fill out their info. Use this to follow up with coupons, offers, webinar invitations, and other bonuses for customers who have signed up to your list (this is where content marketing meets email marketing).
Get inspired to do more
Making great content comes with great responsibility. As a content marketer you need to make sure that you focus on the whole and not just the articles, whitepapers, and tweets you create. You are selling the entire product and brand, which means you have to think of the entire shopping process from the top of the funnel to the very bottom.
With inspirational stories and suspense you can capture more leads, start thinking like a Hollywood director and create content at every stage of the funnel to make sure that your strategy gives even more at every part of the journey! And as we begin this new Monday December series, we invite you to let us know your thoughts on content marketing, share with us in the comments below what inspires your content.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this free Content Marketing Essentials for 2015 Guide that we’ve prepared for you! There’s plenty of valuable information and examples waiting for you, so get your coffee and a note-pad ready. You’ll definitely want to write this down and present to your team when you’re back in the office.