Creating content marketing is one of the most tedious, time consuming tasks, not to mention the brain drain when you are facing an empty screen. When done right, however, it improves not only your SEO but also the perception that your target markets has towards your thought leadership.
To start with, I would like to refer back to a previous post where we clarified why your nutraceuticals company needs to create a clear path that your ideal customer needs to follow. In this post, we will go through what your nutraceuticals business need to have to design and execute a successful content marketing program which includes:
A variety of methods
What metrics you need to focus on
Who need to be creating content
Methods of Conversion-Focused Content Marketing
First, let’s clarify what we mean when we refer to content.
What happens most times, the majority of businesses cannot grasp the full opportunities that content present them.
As a result, they are spending time, money and effort on content without getting results.
You want to know the reason?
Well, content isn’t what drives traffic and sales.
Now, what do we mean by that?
You see, content isn’t about you. Content isn’t about your brand and moreover, content isn’t about your objectives. The pure sense of writing content is about delivering the right information to your prospects at exactly the right time in their customer path (remember this one?)
Here is the big secret: everyone thinks that content marketing is simply blogging about stuff.
Yes, a blog may bring a nice chunk of traffic to your website, but it is just a part of the bigger picture. In fact, in most cases, a blog is not the most lucrative form of content marketing.
But we’ll come back to that.
First, let’s get clear on the six characteristics of perfect content marketing and why it’s essential that you get started.
1. Content Marketing Exists In The Entire Funnel
In case you don’t know how the stages of the buyer’s path works, let’s do a refresher:
For a prospect who never heard of you, and in order to become a customer, they will need to go through three stages:
Awareness– As mentioned, it’s not about you. So if you thought that the Awareness stage is that the customer suddenly finds about you, you are wrong. The Awareness stage is when a customer first becomes aware HE has a problem and he looks for solutions. If you have a blog that addresses these problems, this is where your blog becomes an information machine.
Evaluation– Any potential customer who has a problem and has found a potential solution to their problem via your website must now evaluate all the choices available to them, including your competitor’s solutions.
Conversion– Everyone who is at the Evaluation stage will, at any time that’s convenient, take the hard decision to become a customer.
Here are the hard, cold truths:
A cold prospect will never, ever evaluate what you are offering until they are first realize that they have a problem AND you have a solution.
Conversion is impossible at any point, until the prospect has first evaluated all options.
To push a cold prospect through any marketing funnel, your task is to design and create content specifically addressed to satisfy their needs at each of the three stages.
This looks like this:
They need content at the top of the funnel (TOFU) that creates awareness.
They need content in the middle of the funnel (MOFU) that forces them to evaluate their situation and your solution.
They need content at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) that assists and helps conversion.
To make things more clear:
Having a blog within your website is the go to medium for prospect awareness, however it does an awful job of evaluating and converting people.
To push prospects through the middle (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) you’ll need different content types.
We call this The Content Lifecycle.
Let’s take a look at each stage of the funnel and the content that you will need at each stage:
Top Of The Funnel (TOFU) Content Marketing
Cold prospects that enter the top of your funnel are completely unaware of what you offer. Sometimes, they are also unaware of that they have a problem and realise it when they read your blog.
For these type of prospects, you need content that asks almost nothing – or something very little – because at this stage, they are not motivated hard enough to proceed to an action step (like entering their email or purchasing a sample, for example).
You need to give free content at the top of the funnel (TOFU) that…
Either entertains (quizzes, fun facts etc)
Educates (statistics, industry news and comments etc)
And/or Inspires (interviews of successful implementations etc)
…and the mediums to deliver that content is via:
Social media updates
Ebooks and digital magazines
Audio or videos
Research/statistics and more
Well, you may be wondering if you need all of these content types at the top of the funnel?
Most businesses will post content to a blog and to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. At Centis for example, we only post on our blog, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. We do consider videos, but I guess everyone is shy around here 🙂
Start with some that you are comfortable with. Once you are familiar with the ones you selected, you’ll want to add more top-of-funnel content to the mix, like a video, or a research.
To refresh, the main goal at the top of the funnel is to make prospects to take notice either for your solution, their problem or both.
At Centis Digital for example, we do that by providing educational and informational content primarily addressed to nutraceutical manufacturers and nutraceutical/supplements retailers, specifically those who are trying to demystify using digital marketing to increase sales and reach over their competition. Using that content we raise awareness of our digital marketing services.
With TOFU content, you want to create awareness around problems as well as solutions.
Unfortunately, the top of the funnel is where most nutraceutical companies start and finish their content marketing efforts.
With just little a bit more effort, you can move prospects from awareness to the evaluation stage.
Let’s explore how you can make this possible:
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Content Marketing
We can all agree that the main goal in the middle of the funnel is to convert all those prospects that are looking for supplements and vitamins into leads.
At this stage of the funnel, we use free (again) content that incentivises prospects to provide their contact information and opt in to receive future communications.
In the digital marketing world, this type of content is called ethical bribe, freemium, content upgrade or lead magnet.
These may range between
Educational Resources (Case Study, White Paper, etc.)
Useful Resources (Checklists, etc.)
Discount/Coupons for vitamin stores
When visitors click on the “Download Now” button, they’re prompted to enter their email address to receive the piece of content. For example, a white paper or report creates “solution aware” leads.
Well, the problem is that you can’t really get paid from leads (unless you turn that into a business, of course).
So what remains is the third content type that resides at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) to convert leads into customers…
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Content Marketing
What will you present to your new lead in order to help them make an informed purchase decision?
Here are a few ideas:
Free supplement samples
Customer Success Stories
Your leads may be reading your blog and downloading your content upgrades, freemiums or lead magnets, but in order to help them decide whether you are the best choice between you and your competitor you’ll need a different type of content that helps her to move them through to purchase.
What content is best?
For example, customer stories are content that converts, and they are the responsibility of the content marketing team.
Also, when dealing for content at the bottom of the funnel, prospects are comparison shopping, so comparison sheets make smart BOFU content.
The best BOFU content answers last-minute questions and gives prospects a reason to buy.
Is creating top of funnel (TOFU) content on a blog important?
But failing to build a full-funnel content plan will leave you disappointed in your content marketing results.
2. Conversion-Focused Content Marketing Is Intent-Based
Some nutraceutical manufacturing businesses and their marketing teams get hung up on the wrong metrics, particularly when it comes to their blog.
The key to conversion-focused content marketing for nutraceutical companies is understanding existing intent and anticipating future intent, and then, they must be focusing on creating the content “assets” needed to address that intent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For example, a customer who’s deep in the funnel might have the intent to compare different vitamin manufacturers or if you are a retailer, different products that address the same problem.
If you could create a page that could compare i.e. the MOQ for your vitamins, or the type then you could win BIG in the game.
3. Conversion-Focused Content Marketing Must Elevate The Customer
Failure to provide a path that increase the order value or doubles the revenue from every piece of content you create isn’t just bad marketing—it’s a bad user experience.
Content marketers that know their game anticipate the next logical intent and remove as much friction as possible to create a clear path to conversion.
For instance, a while back, when we are at the first steps in launching Vitalis London, a supplement brand, we requested samples from various companies.
You will be surprised to know that very few suppliers responded. Yet a UK company asked us what we needed and the next day they shipped the samples, with no fuss. No questions asked.
They put their competition behind. We ended up buying from them.
In blog content, prospects can be given the opportunity to opt-in with their email address to get more information about a topic.
They get more information about a topic they are interested in.
You get a lead.
Its your job then to create content that transforms this lead into a sale.
4. Conversion – Focused Content Marketing is Segmented
When a prospect interacts with a specific content that you distribute (meaning reads it extensively, prints it, shares it or saves it in his favorites) they have raised their hand and indicated interest. And, if you have mastered retargeting, you can follow up with these prospects with a relevant offer that elevates their path without even acquiring their contact information.
5. Conversion – Focused Content Marketing Must Be Cross-Channel
In an ideal world, you publish content that meets intent in any channel where groups of prospects are searching for and sharing content including:
Of course, this takes time and effort, which translates to money. Most of nutraceuticals manufacturers or vitam retailers are not really aware how important content marketing is AND they do not allocate many resources towards it. However, with a little bit of extra effort you could repurpose a single content asset in such a way that could be published across numerous channels to maximize exposure.
For instance, you could transform a blog post in a video with still images and text so that except your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn you could also publish it on your YouTube channel.
Can that article on your blog be repurposed as a webinar? Can that podcast become a written article for LinkedIn Pulse?
6. Conversion – Focused Content Marketing Is Based on Your Customer Personas
Bear in mind, that in the ocean of content marketing, conversion focused marketing assets are produced to satisfy the intent of your customer avatars. A content asset can satisfy the intent of multiple avatars or it can be published to target a single avatar. We talked very extensively on how to create customer avatars or customer personas here.
How To Effectively Plan Your Content Marketing: The Content Campaign
To execute content marketing, you need a plan.
At Centis Digital, we send our customers a spreadsheet called Content Plan.
The planning document includes fields for:
Marketing Funnel– which funnel is what we are going to write for applicable to? Top, middle, or bottom of the funnel?
Persona– Which persona(s) will this content target?
Type– Is this content going to be a text, image, video, or audio?
Channel– Where will this content be published?
Elevation Path– What call-to-action will be used in this type of content?
The Content Plan is used to bring together the content marketing with the business objectives of each customer, like generating leads and sales.
Want to create content that converts prospects at all stages of the funnel? All you have to do is create a Content Plan, fill it in follow it and track your results.
How Will You Measure Your Content Marketing Success?
How do measure the success of your content marketing tactics? Here is a handy list.
Traffic by Channel
At the top of the funnel, your marketing needs to raise awareness for your nutraceuticals business, your supplement or vitamin brand, and of course your line of products. Measure traffic from channels like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Net New Marketing Qualified Lead (MQLs)
In the middle of the funnel, you need to measure the number of leads generated, that require further nurturing before they are ready to make a purchase.
This is a biggie. When content marketing is done correctly (in a way that makes sense for you, as there is no one-size fits all solution), it generates traffic to lead forms and product pages. You measure the conversion rate (Page Visits/Conversions) on lead forms, product pages, and other calls-to-action.
Net New Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
How many leads are consuming content at the bottom of the funnel(i.e. they are reading your customer stories, are reading a request a sample page etc.), indicating they’re ready to buy.
Relevant Roles in Content Marketing
In nearly every nutraceuticals business we handle we ask this question: who in your business is trained in content, email and video marketing?
At every level, every time, the answer is the same: no one.
Well, if you consider content marketing to be at the forefront of your operations in order to attract, qualify and convert, then you need to have at least three different departments or people that must be experts at and understand the role of content marketing:
1. The Marketing Person
Content marketing is the base of your outreach that affects your search, social, email, and advertising. The person you have in charge of your digital marketing or marketing department should be playing content marketing with his left and right fingers.
2. The Sales Person
Harvard Business Review, the management journal from the respected university says that the average buyer is 57% of the way through the sales process before they engage with a sales representative of your nutraceutical company.
Rather than going into the trouble of picking up the phone or sending emails to your sales team, your prospects are reading or watching your content. If your sales team can understand how important content marketing is, can align with the marketing person or team to work alongside, brainstorm and create content that gets business.
3. The Public Relations Person
The modern-day PR team must understand how the content they produce fits into the larger content, social, and search marketing strategy.
Content marketing isn’t JUST blogging. You’ll NEED to create tons of blog posts, but if you’re use what you learned above, you’ll use your blog as just one channel in your content campaigns.
As mentioned previously, content marketing works with your other digital tactics and is part of a larger marketing plan designed to push people through your Customer Map.
As soon as you got your content arsenal built, you’re ready to learn how to use digital advertising to drive traffic and conversions.
We offer digital marketing specifically for the nutraceuticals industry. Unlike any other generic agency, we are highly specialised and we know all the players, the market and how we can best help you achieve your goals.