Tell your story, deepen relationships, win new customers.
- Content marketing is a core component of a company’s digital presence
- Content can increase traffic, grow awareness, and deepen engagement
- AI can save time and resources, but has its limitations
Now more than ever, a robust digital presence is vital to businesses today. There are many critical components to this, but one of the most essential is content marketing. In this episode of DOXA’s “The Future is Borderless” podcast series, Founder and CEO David Nilssen hosts Wendy Lieber, co-founder of ContentBacon, a prominent content marketing agency that works with businesses to grow brand awareness and increase traffic through exceptional content.
Below, we explore the major takeaways from the episode – the dos and don’ts of content marketing, AI’s growing role in the industry, how to avoid common content marketing mistakes, and a few final words of wisdom.
When is the right time to create content?
Content creates momentum, so the earlier you begin creating it, the better. As Lieber says, “When’s the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. It’s the same thing with your content plan. Content we created three or four years ago gets us leads today.”
The better you tell your story, the more clearly you will find your point of view – the unique perspective that sets you apart from others in your field. As this becomes more clearly defined, it becomes that much easier to find your customers.
But if you’ve put content marketing on the back burner in the past to focus on other things, don’t worry – it’s never too late to get started.
Align content with your business needs
Great content is critical, but it can’t exist on its own. The next step is to align it with your business needs. It’s one piece of your more extensive marketing and business plans. Once goals are set and you know where you want to go, content is the fuel that can help get you there.
Lieber’s team at ContentBacon uses the flywheel approach to ensure that their content connects with customers at every level. Unlike the traditional sales funnel that focuses solely on outcomes, the flywheel model instead prioritizes customer experience, using content to provide deeper engagement.
This approach allows people to raise their hands and opt into your community, whether with a newsletter, podcast, or webinar. As this new audience becomes more familiar with your story, it becomes that much easier to convert them into customers.
Track your success
Once your content begins working for you, you need to be able to measure the results. Luckily, there’s a wide range of tools out there, including Google Analytics, HubSpot, and many others. Once you get set up on any of these platforms, it’s a pretty simple process to track and document your progress. Make sure you review your goals regularly and ask yourself what’s working: Is traffic going up or down? How many leads did we get last month? How many of those leads converted?
Lieber makes it very clear why this process is crucial – traffic turns into leads, leads turn into prospects, and prospects turn into opportunities. And being able to follow the process all the way through allows you to see what’s working and what’s not.
Educate yourself about AI
Like many in the content creation space, Lieber keeps a close eye on the rising influence of AI in all aspects of business and culture. She is cautiously optimistic. On the one hand, it has provided access to more creative tools and removed some barriers for companies that aren’t yet ready to outsource their content. If you’re a fledgling startup operating on a shoestring budget, AI can help you establish a baseline of content to help grow the business.
But Lieber also sees limitations and has some very real questions. Will AI produce the type of content that sets you apart? Will it educate, entertain, inspire your audience? In the end, you still need a human editor who knows exactly what your potential customers want. You need someone who can properly format, add links, and choose appropriate graphics. Ultimately, even the most sophisticated robot can’t duplicate intuition, creative instinct, and connection to customers.
Learn what mistakes to avoid
Lieber’s many years in content marketing have led to a list of best practices, but also a list of mistakes to avoid:
- Being inconsistent. Make sure you’re producing content for all parts of the flywheel, be it prospects, strangers, promoters, or current customers.
- Running out of fuel. Put a system of tools in place so you can develop, manage, and publish top-flight content on a reliable basis.
- Forgetting those who got you here. Many companies become obsessed with the new – new customers, new technologies, new opportunities. While new is great, don’t abandon your current customers. They want unique content of their own to keep them engaged.
Words of wisdom
Finally, Lieber has a few tips on how to successfully manage your content marketing strategy:
- Set expectations and revisit them often. What goals do you have for your company, and how can content marketing help achieve them?
- Communicate. Great communication makes anything possible. No-BS conversations save time and headaches. When you can talk about the elephant in the room, you free yourself and your team to leave the drama at the door and focus on productivity.
- Partner smartly. It’s wonderful to have a partner on this journey, but it must be the right partner – one who complements your strengths and weaknesses. A partner who can’t communicate, who isn’t responsible or accountable, isn’t really much of a partner.
You don’t have to create content alone
If you want to jump into content marketing but feel overwhelmed by the new responsibility, you don’t have to go it alone. DOXA and ContentBacon each bring unique skills to the table, whether it’s marketing strategy or putting together a great team from around the globe. Visit both companies online to see how they can go to work for you.