As a forward-thinking business, your content strategy forms the basis of your efforts to attract, engage, and convert customers organically.
A great content strategy, therefore, offers a repeatable framework for educating your existing customers and target leads so you can convert them.
Like all things in marketing, change is the only constant when it comes to your content strategy. As unforeseen changes occur across your business, it might become necessary that you rework your content strategy.
So that you can (at a sustainable pace) keep creating content that informs, delights, and gets both your existing customers and prospects to see your offer as their solution.
Here are 6 great questions that’ll help you determine if your content strategy needs a refresh.
Does your content solve your customer’s pain points?
Content marketing revolves around your customer— in essence:
- Identifying your customers’ pain points, and,
- offering how you can solve these problems.
For content marketing to work, it must focus on the customer’s needs and offer a solution. As a result, the customer sees your brand as a trusted resource for help, hence, it’s easier making the journey through the flywheel.
So if your content isn’t laser-focused on your customer’s pain points, they’ll see no reason to interact with it.
While you're weighing whether your content strategy might be due for a refresh it’s important that you analyze from the customer’s viewpoint to determine whether your content offers value to your target personas.
Here are a few ways to pinpoint your customer’s pain points:
- Interview your customer service and sales team to uncover common questions they’re asked
- Type a related keyword into Google and take a look at the “People also ask” section
- Which pieces of your content bring in the most traffic?
Does your content address all three phases of the flywheel?
The funnel is dead. Long live the flywheel.
Businesses have traditionally been focused on publishing content to attract new leads, and neglecting to think about the types of content the leads need thereafter.
The inbound flywheel has changed marketing as we know it, with an emphasis on building win-win relationships with prospects and existing customers.
This supercharges your marketing and sales results by focusing on organic interactions that are developed naturally.
In order to power long-term, sustainable growth, your content strategy must generate organic content that’s focused on:
- earning your prospects’ attention with content that addresses their pain points (see #1 above),
- engaging your prospects, and,
- keeping your customers satisfied after they’re won.
A good example of content marketing that aligns with the flywheel model might involve:
- ATTRACT: informative blog posts that target the keywords your prospects search on Google; this first stage piece of content earns your readers’ attention by offering value without asking anything in return,
- ENGAGE: as a second step, the blog posts mentioned above are linked to a cluster of articles on that same topic, to offer a comprehensive resource on the prospect’s needs,
- DELIGHT: Finally, after a customer is closed, there’s a collection of educational content (emails, helpdesk articles, etc.) designed around the needs of these users of your solution and how they can get the best bang for their buck.
The flywheel offers an efficient model for adding value at every stage of the customer’s journey — addressing your customers’ needs and keeping them engaged with minimal effort.
If your content strategy isn’t designed around the flywheel model, you might want to make changes that’ll enable you to drive sustainable growth with significantly less effort.
Which content formats do your personas consume best?
Customers think, learn, and engage in different ways, and as a result, consume content in specific formats that deliver the knowledge they require in more depth.
lf you’re looking to acquire the attention of your target personas, you must first identify the content formats they consume best before you dive into creating anything. You must deliberately audit your content strategy to ensure it’s focused on creating content that’s directed at the medium your ideal personas can best relate with.
This ties into our first point about solving your customers' pain points since here, focusing on your ideal prospects’ preferred content formats helps them assimilate the knowledge you’re trying to convey faster.
Does your content drive organic traffic?
Organic traffic goes a long way in determining how much you get out of your content marketing efforts, since you can only attract, engage, and convert prospects who see your content.
Great content marketing should, therefore, focus not only on solving pain points for your user personas but be optimized for search engines.
While auditing your content strategy, it’s crucial that you take a long, hard look at how much organic traffic your existing content pieces are driving, as well as keep a record of their SEO performance over time.
Search marketing tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Moz offer in-depth insight into the keywords you rank for, how much traffic you’re getting, the competition you’re up against, and a general overview of how much effort it’d take to get your website seen by more potential customers.
Understanding how your content measures up to SEO standards will not only help determine whether your content strategy needs to be reworked but as well offer a realistic background for optimizing your content, setting performance expectations and measuring your ROI.
Does your content convert visitors into leads?
A visitor is anyone that lands on any of your website’s pages while a lead is an individual or organization that’s developed an interest in your offer and taken an action to indicate so. Content marketing holds a critical place in converting site visitors into leads.
What content marketing does is to:
- attract your ideal personas’ attention,
- offer the information they need about a pressing need, and
- provide an avenue to offer a solution to that need.
It’s easy to look at these three items above and realize that if your content marketing isn’t converting at least 3-5% of your site visitors, taking them from the awareness to the decision stage, you might have some work to do.
Generally, your content’s conversion rate depends a great deal on the quality of your content, user experience, your CTAs, and similar conversion-focused content elements that help deliver your offer to your visitors.
If you realize you’ve been putting out lots of content without any proportional growth in the number of your inbound leads, it’s a huge pointer that your content strategy needs overhauling.
Does your content strategy fit into your bigger picture business goals?
In the wider context, content marketing is simply using the knowledge your ideal customers need as a tool for growing your business.
By creating content that ties into the pain points of your ideal personas, you can attract their attention, market your offerings to them, and leverage that into achieving your bigger picture goals.
So, no matter how great your content appears to be, it can only be considered a justifiable investment when it serves as a stepping stone to your bigger picture business goals.
In order to determine whether your content strategy needs a refresh, it’s important to measure the role your content has played in:
- increasing your total lead volume,
- shortening your sales cycle,
- bringing in more organic traffic, and overall,
- growing your business’s organic footprint
The bigger picture question helps you determine if your content marketing is doing enough, or even exactly what it takes to move your business forward.
Next stepsAs a HubSpot Marketing agency, we help forward-thinking businesses design and execute content strategies that remove friction through the flywheel. Contact us today to learn more.