Drive Your Content Pillar Strategy

The Multi-Channel Content Distribution Guide, it’s a content-centered marketing strategy that fuels your distribution channels with original, buyer-centric content.

Now, instead of simply creating only one major asset, just create three, closely aligned assets to engage, drive action, and propel purchase: the Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert.

The goal of these three assets is to efficiently fuel every marketing channel—from social media to sales emails—and deliver highly relevant content that engages your target audience, speaks to a specific buyer need, and aligns that specific need to your solution.

The Appetizer Asset

The Appetizer is a fun, engaging asset, like a SlideShare or an infographic that serves the top of the funnel. The goal here is to engage a lot of prospects, and drive them toward a related, gated content asset. This type of content is often optimized by channels like your blog and website, social channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and video channels like YouTube and Vimeo, or even used to facilitate conversations with influencers and media outlets.

To come up with the Appetizer, choose which eye-catching format you’d like to use, an easily accessible topic related to your pillar theme, and the major insight that will hook your audience to learn more by downloading the Entree asset.

appetizer formula for content pillar approach

The Entree Asset

The Entree is your major content pillar asset. The entree piece could be an eBook, a whitepaper, or a workbook. It gives readers who download it actionable guidance for tackling the challenges related to your selected theme. The key to making this content asset valuable to readers is ensuring it helps them solve a pain point or problem. Marketers should distribute this content through email or marketing automation, and support it with paid advertising.

To come up with your Entree asset, choose a content format that allows for in-depth analysis or coverage of best practices, define the buyer pain point you’re addressing (which your product or solution also solves), and the tactics or best practices that will help your buyer overcome their challenges.

entree formula for content pillar approach

The Dessert Asset

The Dessert is a product-centric asset, like a PDF, video and or demo, that reveals how your product serves the theme in question. This content can be distributed through your marketing automation as part of your nurturing efforts, hosted on video channels or supported by webinar platforms (ReadyTalk, ON24, etc.), and distributed to the sales team to accelerate the deal cycle.

To determine your Dessert asset, choose a format that makes it easy to see your product strengths at a glance, addresses the same pain point you discuss in your Entree, and the specific product features or functions that eliminate that pain point for customers.

dessert formula for content pillar approach

How do these work together? The Appetizer drives to the Entree asset. And the Entree asset directs readers toward the product-centric Dessert asset.

Once you determine these assets, they can each be distributed through their key channels to reach buyers at the right stage in their journey. By working through this process, not only will you have relevant, valuable content across all your channels, but each key asset will share a consistent message and theme, creating a cohesive buyer experience.

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Steps To An Effective Content Marketing Strategy

83% of marketers cite lead generation as their top goal for b2b content marketing, but when the focus is on driving enquires, it’s easy to get caught up with too much product promotion.

If you want to build a successful content strategy, it’s time to ditch the content you want to create and start producing content that fits with the concerns and interest of your audience using accurate, data-driven buyer personas.

Whatever your business goals may be, using a persona-driven approach to your content marketing strategy is a powerful way of creating timely, relevant and valuable content.

Step 1 – Use data not assumptions to define your buyer personas

Buyer personas are the most powerful way to fuel your content marketing strategy and create content that delivers real value to the right buyers. The more factual and in-depth you can make your buyer personas, the better informed your strategy will be. And it all starts with data.

Dig deep into all available data sources to build 360-degree factual personas that truly represent your audience. We’re not just talking customer databases either, use Twitter and Facebook analytics, Google Webmaster tools and Lead Forensics to gain in-depth insight on your audience and their behaviours.

Step 2 – Solve challenges and add value

Being relevant and valuable to your buyers is essential if you want to create content that converts, especially when 60% of buyers are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.

When putting together your content editorial plans, keep in mind what makes your buyer persona tick and the challenges they face in their day-to-day role. By answering these questions within the content you create, you’ll provide value to your buyers and be well on your way to thought-leadership status in no time.

Step 3 – Sniff out the relevant macro moments, topics and events

58% of marketers agree that being relevant and compelling is the No. 1 thing that makes content marketing so effective. While your content marketing goals will shift and change over time, the need to be relevant and engaging will not.

Map out relevant industry events, topics and news across the year, and make use of the creative inspiration they can provide, but remember to keep it relevant! Make sure that every event or story can be associated to your buyer personas’ personal interests because nobody likes an irrelevant news hijack.

By mapping out your macro moments, you give yourself the opportunity to be more agile and flexible with the content you create.

Step 4 – Serve content in the media form your buyer personas use

If your personas spend the majority of their time on YouTube… you probably need to start serving content as videos… If you find your personas always download whitepapers and guides…you probably need to be creating whitepapers and guides…you get the jist of it.

Most marketers will use up to 12 different tactics to reach their audience, so don’t be afraid to mix and match your media to find what fits with your personas.

Step 5 – Be in the right place, at the right time

Being timely can make or break your marketing strategy – so it’s essential you’re in the right place at the right time. Use your social media and website analytics to find where your buyer personas spend their time, then ramp up your efforts to be present.

Step 6 – Tie it all together

Last but, most definitely, not least you need to know your content marketing goals and supporting metrics inside out. By determining these details now, you’ll be able to focus your content creation later, measure your content’s ROI AND regularly evolve your personas based on real data insight.

Start by identifying your one core content marketing goal and determining the related KPI’s to hit that goal. Then match up your day-to-day supporting metrics to your KPI’s and you’re well on your way to measurable content success.

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