Turning a business around to be content-focused is a fascinating journey, but definitely not for the faint hearted. You want to get to a place where your content is so good that it does your selling for you, with an army of fans who happily share it and refer you, where the act of promoting your business is one you actually enjoy – that’s content marketing nirvana.
The journey – from the decision to focus your efforts on sharing the kind of content your customers are looking for, to the point at which they choose to do business with you – is not a straight A to B trip. There are numerous pitfalls and mountains on the way.
Depending on what business you have, you may have varying needs for content development and sophistication. It is a scale-not of capability, but of approach. Understanding where you currently are in your content marketing journey is critical to getting started on the right path. Robert Rose co-author of Managing Content Marketing came up with the maturity model for content marketing.
At the Base of this scale is what is called the “content aware.” This is using content to cut through the noise of interruption-based advertising and drive trusted awareness to your product and service. The strategy consist of generating lots of trustworthy and helpful content in order to be found, generate awareness, and endanger trust with your target audience.
After “content aware” the next stage is working to become a “thought leader,” or “lead with engagement.” This is where, as a brand, you create content that delivers value beyond the scope of your product or service. The business claims and earns leadership in the industry category by creating and facilitating content that not only meets demand but also creates trust in the brand beyond just how to use the product or service. At this stage, the business moves beyond creating content for its core buyers personas and moves into creating content for influencers. The goal of this stage is to use content to elevate the brand into one that’s trusted by the consumer, which therefore generates a differentiated approach to solving its problem, or simply put, whatever is getting in the way of the buyer’s purchase decision.
The final stage is the “storyteller” stage. At this stage, the brand integrates content into a larger brand narrative and aligns its content strategy completely around the customer engagement strategy. The business goes beyond becoming as though leader in the industry by drawing prospects, customers, and influencers into an emotional relationship with the brand. The storyteller strategy educates, entertains, engages, and has impact on audiences because the content goes well beyond the scope of the product and service into why the organization exists at all. The goal of the storytelling strategy is to create better customers. it creates a global efficiency in marketing and sales because it enables the brand to differentiate to the point of being able to command a premium for its products and services or to have to discount them less.
Sometimes becoming content aware is sufficient to be able to meet demand, which is done through the creation of epic content. But the real revenue opportunities and growth are in the storyteller stage. It’s something all businesses should strive to achieve. Understanding where you are in the content maturity model is important. You need to know where you are currently before making a decision about where you want to be.
If you are looking to develop a solid content strategy or a full online marketing strategy, our team can help develop a plan that will ensure you have the right amount of exposure for your business to develop a solid return on investment online. Please click here to contact us today.