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Creating Content for Each Stage of the Paid Ads Funnel

For just a moment, imagine you’ve recently created a brand selling smartphones — competition is fierce, and few (if any) people have heard of you. Your potential customers are currently iPhone or Android users, but in order for you to gain market share, you must convince them to switch. It won’t be easy, and it might even take multiple attempts — after all, humans are creatures of habit, and we don’t like to veer from comfort until we’re confident in our decisions.

Okay, you might be asking, “What does selling smartphones have to do with paid ads?”

Well, similar to paid ads, in order to convince someone to switch from their preferred product or brand, you might take a multi-step approach. 

The first thing you’d need to do is let them know you exist — to educate them about your brand, what it is that you offer, and that they have another option. Then, you might show them how other people use your brand’s smartphone to achieve their goals: whether for work, art, or play. Lastly, you might demonstrate how your phones are better than iPhone or Android (really, your products are extraordinary).

This tiered strategy is how we approach paid advertising, and it starts with the Top of Funnel.

Top Of Funnel

Your Top of Funnel (TOF) is cold traffic — this audience has never engaged with your brand and they have never seen or heard about your product or service. We usually spend 60-70% of ad budgets capturing qualified TOF traffic, as the long-term success of the next funnel stages rely on delivering relevant content to this audience.

Since cold traffic still requires education about your product, your paid ads should reflect this.

Educate your audience about your brand, product and service. While the goal of any ad campaign is to drive sales, your cold traffic is the least likely to convert — at this stage of the funnel, your focus should be on brand education.

Pique your audience’s interest enough to send them to a landing or product page, where you can discuss your offer more in depth. This will set your retargeting campaigns, the next stages of the funnel, for success.

To learn more about determining audiences for Top of Funnel, we’ve outlined some strategies to help you get started.

Middle Of Funnel

Your Middle of Funnel (MOF) traffic has not attempted to make a purchase, but they may have liked your social page, commented, or followed you. They have not necessarily been to your website — we think of this as a social re-engagement opportunity.

Middle of Funnel and Bottom of Funnel (BOF) creatives should be a mixture of User Generated Content (videos and images from your customers) and trust-building content you have created.

MOF copy should be product-focused, addressing how your product or service can address a person’s need or problem. Testimonials or reviews perform well at this stage.

While there are a variety of content types to use for Middle of Funnel, the objective should always be to re-engage TOF traffic.

Bottom Of Funnel

BOF, or hot traffic, are your most qualified leads — those closest to making a purchase (some may even be returning customers). Your BOF has engaged with your website, though they haven’t necessarily attempted to make a purchase.

This is your best retargeting opportunity.

These campaigns should include essential creatives to encourage users to return and purchase. Ad copy can be more direct about your product, and your language can reflect that a person understands your brand.

Showing your product in use or discussing why it is superior to competitors is more effective at this stage than with cold traffic, as your audience should now be educated about your brand.

How the Stages Work Together to Achieve Success

Creating content for each stage enables brands to speak to their audience in ways that are relevant to their current experience and level of knowledge. By taking this 3-tiered approach, you are assuring your campaigns have the best chance for long-term, sustainable growth.

By following this process, you will create more qualified leads, more efficiently spend your ad budget, and provide consumers with a better user experience and more relevant content to make more educated purchases.

The 11 holidays to leverage for growing your e-commerce brand

Holidays are some of the best opportunities for brands to turn visitors into long term customers — unfortunately, most brands miss out because of a lack of planning. To help, we’ve outlined some of the most important US holidays to consider when creating a marketing plan, as well as a few tactics to best leverage these days.

Why Holiday Sales Are Great For Brands

People search for things to buy during the holidays. This creates a unique opportunity for your brand to connect with new users that are more open to trying new products. Even better: you can test different offers and angles on cold traffic to see which offers prove most enticing.

What Sales Should We Offer?

The best sales are straightforward; the most popular are sitewide sales and product bundles. If you offer a sitewide sale, A/B test callouts for specific percentages off and the total potential savings — you might find that your customers respond better to one.

Example 

Percentage Savings

“Save 20% site-wide through November 21st!”

Dollar Savings 

“Now through November 21st, save up to $75 on your order!”

What Holidays Should Have Sales?

Below are the top US holidays in 2021 we recommend including in your marketing plan to capture more sales, develop timeless brand awareness, and keep relevant with your customers. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it provides a foundation for your annual marketing plan to ensure you’re ready for the most popular holidays.

  1. New Year’s Day: January 1st
  2. Memorial Day: May 31st
  3. Independence Day: July 4th
  4. Labor Day: September 6th
  5. Veterans Day: November 11th
  6. Thanksgiving: November 25th
  7. Black Friday: November 26th
  8. Cyber Weekend: Nov 27-28th
  9. Cyber Monday: November 29th
  10. Christmas Day: December 25th
  11. New Year’s Eve: December 31st

Special holidays for your product or industry

In addition to the 11 national holidays we’ve listed, there are an ever-growing number of industry-specific holidays celebrated across social media: National Ice Cream Day, World Pharmacist Day, Houseplant Appreciation Day, Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day) — if there’s an industry for it, there’s probably a day for it.

These “holidays” can be especially effective because brands compete on a smaller scale — against other ice cream brands prepared with an advertising strategy, for instance. It can also be easier to get people excited about your product on an otherwise ordinary day.

In many instances, there can even be an opportunity to become an organizer or leader within a community/vertical for that given holiday — especially for small businesses.

Our recommendation: prepare an ad strategy for any “holidays” celebrating your products.

How expensive are paid ads during the holidays?

Year-end holidays are some of the most expensive times to run paid ads. While this shouldn’t deter you from continuing to grow, a 20-35% cost increase from historical averages is typical during November and December.

When you’re building your annual marketing plan, you’re identifying new ways to grow. Remember to look at the holidays that best relate to your brand and add them to the schedule. It might be the next best way for you to add a new stream to your brand’s annual revenue.

The 5 Core Stages Of The Buying Cycle

Identifying and developing the right content for your campaigns is a challenging task. If you push the wrong content to your viewers at the wrong time, you risk sending the wrong message and missing out on potential sales. We’ve helped hundreds of brands grow with paid ads and have developed a simple, go-to list to identify which content is best for each stage of the buying cycle and turning ad viewers into customers.

Before we dive into the best types of content for each stage of the buying cycle, let’s discuss the cycle itself. 

When running ads, your customer flows through what is called a buying cycle. This buying cycle or customer journey is the process of starting as someone that doesn’t know about your brand or product to become a fan or first-time purchaser. 

Understanding the buyer’s journey improves your ability to push the right content to them at the right time, increasing the likelihood of generating a sale. Below is an overview of the five places we should be targeting our customers with ads to drive sales.

  1. Cold Traffic (no engagement with the brand) 
    • People that have never seen or heard about the product/service
  2. Social Engagement (no website action)
    • Liked social page, commented, follows you but has never been to the website
  3. Website Engagement (no attempt to purchase action)
    • Been to the website but hasn’t attempted to purchase or convert
  4. Attempt To Purchase Action (no checkout)
    • A person has attempted to purchase but did not complete 
  5. Post Purchase (value add)
    • People that have made at least one purchase with you

Finding Winning Content for Each Stage

The 5 stages of the buyer’s journey are the foundation for successful campaigns, providing the roadmap for your ad copy and creatives. 

One of the keys to building winning campaigns is to test everything. Once you’ve found that a creative performs well at one stage of the funnel, don’t be afraid to test it at a different stage to see if it succeeds elsewhere.

Middle of Funnel (MOF) and Bottom of Funnel (BOF) creatives should be a mixture of User Generated Content (videos and images from your customers), trust-building content you have created, and for the Bottom of Funnel, essential creatives to encourage users to return and purchase again.

10 Middle of Funnel Content Types You Should Be Using

1. Unboxing Videos

Show how the product gets delivered, showcase the branding experience, and show and discuss the product.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • For colder audiences, the best performing unboxing content is concise (10-15 seconds). When a customer has a deeper interest and understanding of your brand, longer videos can perform better (30-60 seconds).

2. Reaction Videos

Show people’s reactions to receiving the product themselves or as a gift. Capturing the excitement from these moments is super engaging content.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • Great if you’re able to source quality user-generated content.
  • When creating reaction video ads, we recommend starting with a clear CTA in the first 3 seconds and not letting the full video exceed 30 seconds.

3. Competitor Review Videos

Compare your product to a competitor’s or discuss why your product is superior.

  • BOF winner (sometimes MOF)
  • An opportunity to demonstrate how your product is better and what makes your brand unique.
  • When developing product comparison videos, ensure you showcase your brand personality to be more relatable and keep the viewer’s attention.
  • Videos of this type are best between 30-90 seconds.

4. Product in Use Videos

Show different angles and features of the product in use.

  • Excellent for every stage of the buying cycle
  • Often 15-30 seconds and identify the core customer problem and how your product solves it.

5. Customer Collage Videos

A video that combines all the different elements above into one video, including short videos and photos from customers using a product.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • Similar to reaction videos, mixing short clips of customers using the product adds credibility and trust in your brand. This is because a potential buyer sees other people just like them using your product and enjoying its benefits.
  • These types of videos are great at 15-30 seconds, providing enough depth without being too long.

6. Full Product Experience Videos

These videos are from a customer, showing them receiving the item, discussing the brand experience and why they purchased the product, what made them buy it, how it compares to competitors and what they love about it. They also demonstrate the product’s key features and benefits and how it solves their problem.

  • BOF winner
  • These videos work best when a customer has engaged with the brand multiple times. Given that these videos are much more in-depth than all other kinds of creatives, we need a customer to have a high interest in learning more.
  • Full product experience videos have shown to perform best when between 45-2 minutes long. 

7. Customer review videos

Videos from your customers talking about why they purchased your product, why they love it, and why others should buy it.

  • MOF & BOF WINNER
  • This content is the foundation of user-generated content and consistently provides the final encouragement needed to make a purchase.
  • The best review videos are 20-40 seconds.

8. Testimonial Videos

Videos from customers discussing how the product has helped them or made a difference in their lives and how it could benefit others.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • Testimonial creatives show off your product and add trust in your brand. If your video testimonial is mixed with imagery, this often performs best.

9. Finish Checkout Creatives

Images or videos encouraging users to return to the website and finish checking out.

  • BOF Abandoned Cart winner
  • This is one of the few times being very direct generates a great return. When developing checkout creatives, we’ve found that the more straightforward you are with segmentation, the better it performs. If someone checked out a product but didn’t buy, then call it out and test different creatives to see which converts best.

10. “We miss you” creatives

These videos address in a creative way that we know a user has revisited a website but has not purchased — they encourage the user to return and make a purchase.

  • MOF & BOF winner
  • These creatives focus on the re-engagement of potential customers that have shown a high level of interest but haven’t taken any action in a while. This style of creative works well as an image or 6-10 second video that’s very direct. Since these viewers already understand your brand, you can be direct with creative.

By leveraging our paid advertising insights and strategies in creative development, we aim to provide you with a clear path to creating ads that massively impact your brand. If you’re able to implement a variation of each type of content outlined above, we’re confident that your ad performance will improve. 

The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing In 2019

Everything you should know about content marketing to grow your business and reach your goals

Have questions about content marketing? Then you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide takes you from inspiration through distribution to answer every question you’ve ever had about content marketing (and some you’ve never thought of).

Definitions and driving forces:

  • What is content marketing?
  • Why do I need a content strategy?
  • What is content marketing strategy?
  • What types of content do I have to choose from?
  • How do I distribute content?
  • How does social media fit into content strategy?

Getting started or improving performance in content marketing:

  • Where can I research content topics?
  • How often should I post to my blog?
  • How often should I release videos?
  • How often should I post to social media?
  • How do I post content to social media?
  • How do I organize my content marketing?
  • How do I track results?

Definitions and driving forces:

What is content marketing?

Marketing trends come and go. In the 1930s, radio ads were the hot new thing. In the 50s, it was TV ads. Marketing has pretty much always evolved to take advantage of the latest technology. You might call content marketing the marketing tactic for the internet age.

But you came here for a definition, not a history lesson. Content marketing is text, videos, audio images, or other content, thoughtfully distributed with the goal of building customer relationships and, ultimately, driving sales.

You build customer relationships by providing interesting and engaging content that your audience is eager to consume. As they consume your content, customers come to trust your business and see you as an authority in your industry. As a result, they feel comfortable giving you money in exchange for a product or service.

The best thing about content marketing is that rather than being annoyed by the commercial break, customers seek content to consume. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while bringing in 3 times as many leads. So you spend less money and get a better result.

But content alone is not enough. The best content in the world is useless if nobody sees it. So you also need to distribute it to your audience.

Where and how you do that is all part of your content marketing strategy.

Why do I need a content strategy?

There are two kinds of businesses: businesses that don’t bother to create a content strategy and businesses that are top performers in their industry.

If that seems like an extreme statement, consider this. The 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report from the Content Marketing Institute found that 62% of top performing companies have a documented content marketing strategy.

If you don’t have a documented content strategy you’re going to miss opportunities, miss customers, and generally just miss out.

How do I make a content marketing strategy?

A content marketing strategy tells you what content to create and what to do with it once it’s made. Developing a content marketing strategy starts with goals. Think about the effect you want your content to have. Are you trying to boost sales? Increase customer loyalty? Make more people aware of your product?

To measure your progress toward those goals you need to identify trackable metrics. How many people are clicking your link, reading your blog, leaving comments, sharing your posts and videos?

Make sure that every piece of content is effective by codifying your unique value. What sets you apart from other companies in your industry? What is your brand story? How you tell this story depends on who your audience is.  

Create customer personas to help you understand who your audience is. That way you can ensure that every piece of content you make appeals to the people you’re trying to reach. Personas will also help you decide where to distribute your content for the greatest impact.

Compiling all this information into a document that everyone on your team can access puts you on the road to being a top-performing company.

What types of content do I have to choose from?

Almost anything can be content. A blog post? Content. A video? Content. That funny gif you shared on Twitter? Content. All of it is content. The trick is to choose the format that fits your message and your audience.

Longer-form content is good for conveying complex messages or big ideas. It includes videos, blogs, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, e-books, webinars, case studies, apps, white papers, and slideshares. So, yeah. Pretty much everything can be content.

Short form content is better at conveying a single clear idea or topic. It includes charts and graphs, lists, mind maps, templates, quizzes, and polls.

Super-short content is good for reinforcing an idea you’ve already presented in long-form somewhere else. It can also help solidify your brand voice. Flash form content includes cartoons, illustrations, GIFs, memes, quotes, user-generated content, and timelines.

It’s almost impossible to assemble a truly comprehensive list of content marketing formats, because anything that entertains, educates, or informs your audience counts as content.

If you try to make content in all of the formats listed above, you’ll likely overwhelm your audience. Also, your marketing team might stage a coup.

You’ll get the best results by choosing two or three formats and doing them really well. Once you’ve mastered your messaging and customer interaction around one format, you can add another format to the mix.

How do I distribute content?

Where you distribute your content depends on who your audience is, the type of content you’ve created, and what your goals are.

The best content is created with the distribution channel in mind. For example, if you’re making a video, the length and tone might be different if you’re creating a video for an email to existing customers versus one that will be publicly shared on your Facebook page.

The go-to distribution channels are your website, your blog, marketing emails, and social media platforms. Choose your distribution channels based on who your clients are. If you’re selling designer sunglasses, LinkedIn probably isn’t your platform, but Instagram might be.

Find out: How to distribute your videos for maximum growth

While choosing the best distribution channel is important, don’t make the mistake of distributing on only one channel. Ideally, your content appears in some form on the go-to channels that fit you, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

You’ll probably make some adjustments to fit the platform, but the extra work spent repurposing one piece of content means more eyes on it—and ultimately higher return on investment.

Where does social media fit into content strategy?

If you keep your content confined to your website or blog, you’re limiting its reach. Social media is where content goes to make new friends.

Guess what the most popular social media channel in the United States is.

Go ahead.

You said Facebook didn’t you? #facebookmarketingislife #remarketingcentral

In 2016, you would have been right. But in 2018, the Pew Research Center found that YouTube is actually the most popular social media site, with 73% of U.S. adults using the platform.

Facebook was a close second with 68% The next most popular were Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. LinkedIn was on the list at 25% and Twitter at 24%.

Before you run to post your video on YouTube, hang on a second. The most popular site isn’t always the best option. Theoretically, more popularity means more eyes on your content. It also means more competition from other marketers.

If you’re posting only on YouTube and Facebook, you’re hitting a wide swath of the American public—but that might not contain your ideal customer.

Different platforms have vastly different demographics. Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female at 70%. Snapchat users are young, with 85% percent are between the ages of 18 and 34. LinkedIn users are business professionals.

Instead of distributing to everyone and hoping the right people see it, distribute on the platform with the highest concentration of your target audience.

Getting started (or improving performance) in content marketing:

Where can I research content topics?

Great content starts with a great topic. You need something that resonates with your target audience. Something that makes them sit up and take notice. Something they’ll go out of their way to consume.

So it’s no surprise that selecting content topics is the task voted Most Likely to Cause Marketers to Bang Their Heads Against the Wall. But the right tools can help you avoid those headaches.

Before we get into tools, let’s relieve some of the anxiety you’re feeling. If you think you’re going to come up with a completely unique topic that nobody has ever talked about before, you’re wrong.

Everything has been talked about before. Absolutely everything. The goal isn’t to come up with something completely unique. It’s to say it in your voice colored by your brand story.

Okay, now to the tools.

Google Analytics. The perfect tool for researching keywords and search terms that will help your content show up in Google searches. That’s a useful insight since Google is the top search engine in the world with 1.6 billion unique monthly visitors. The next runner up, Bing, only gets 400 million.

Google Trends. While we’re tapping the rich resources of planet Google, don’t forget Google Trends. This handy dashboard shows you what’s trending on Google. You can even search for specific keywords or phrases and see how popular they’ve been over time.

Ubersuggest. This helps you discover keywords and phrases related to your topic. Results include search volume, competition, and cost per click.

BuzzSumo. This website helps you find the most shared, trending, and highest performing content for specific topics across the web. This is a paid service, so expect a monthly fee.

EpicBeat. Similar to Buzzsumo, EpicBeat lets you see shares comments and engagement for popular posts on different topics. They have limited free functionality, but you can upgrade for full access.

Ahrefs Content Explorer. See how content has performed across different social media channels with this powerful content research tool. You’ll pay for this one, too.

Quora. A free membership site where anyone can post questions and anyone can answer. Search by your topic to find out exactly what questions people are asking about it.

Answers.com. Like Quora, you can type a keyword or phrase in the box and get questions from real people on that topic.

Answer the Public. This is a weird one, but you can’t beat it for ease of use and volume of ideas. Type your search into the box and get a graphic with dozens of questions asked by the internet hive mind.

All those tools are useful, but don’t forget your greatest resource—your customers. Pay attention to the questions they are asking. Your sales and customer service teams probably have a short list of questions that they hear all the time. Find ways to answer those questions with your content.

How often should I post to my blog?

Your blog is often the cornerstone of your content marketing efforts. It’s where you post videos, engage with customers, and share the special bonus content you’ve created.

According to Hubspot, B2B marketers who use blogs get 67% more leads. And companies that blog get 97% more links to their website.

The general rule is 11 or more posts per month will maximize your results. Anything less than that, and you’re getting small improvement for each additional post.

Super-small companies (10 employees or fewer) see a jump in traffic with each additional blog post per month. Even one or two additional posts can increase traffic by 50%.

The outlier here is large companies with more than 201 employees. They see very small change when they increase from one post to 10. But by posting 11 or more times a month, they can increase traffic by 4 times.

So, if possible, post about 3 times a week to get the most out of your posting schedule.

How often should I release videos?  

There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should release videos. It depends on how you’re using them. If your videos are part of your sales funnel, you might create 8 or 10 and push them to potential customers through email over a period of weeks. If you create videos for your blog, you might need one per week.

But remember that they take little longer than a blog to produce, so you may want to make several in advance.

How often should I post to social media platforms?

Every social media platform has different methods of sorting posts. Those algorithms impact the lifespan of posts on the platform. Generally, marketers talk about the half-life of a post, the length of time it takes for content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement.

Twitter posts have the shortest half-life at 18 minutes. Pinterest has the longest with a half-life of 3.5 months. In between, you get Facebook at 30 min. Instagram at 19 hours. And YouTube at 6 days.

How often you post depends on how your audience responds to your posts, but the following are a good starting point.

Twitter: 10-20 times per day

Pinterest: 10-15 times per day

Facebook, Instagram: 1 time per day 

LinkedIn: 1-3 times per workday (skip Saturday and Sunday)

YouTube: 1-3 times per week

And remember, you don’t have to post on all of these platforms. Pick the one or two that are most popular with your target audience and concentrate your efforts there.

How do I post content to social media?

Posting several times a week or even just once a day can get time-consuming. Fortunately, there are tools to help you.

Facebook has a built-in scheduling tool that allows you to plan your posts weeks and months ahead of time.

Most other social media platforms haven’t bothered to add this feature. But that’s not a problem since dozens of social media management platforms exist that can be linked to your social accounts for scheduling and analytics.

Some popular favorites include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. They offer similar services at a range of price points and functionality levels. Explore and find the one that’s right for you.

A note of caution when scheduling posts: things change. Markets shake up. Major tragedies happen. News breaks.

If something major is affecting your industry, it’s a good idea to take a look at your scheduled posts and make sure they’re still on message before they go live.

How do I organize my content marketing efforts?  

It seems like a new content management tool pops up every day. Some are better than others for specific tasks, but ultimately it comes down to preference. Which tool you choose depends on what you need the most help with and the size of your budget.

HubSpot. Markets itself as all-in-one inbound marketing software. It allows you to plan, create, and track the performance of content across your website and social channels. There is a free version with limited functionality, but the paid versions offer a formidable suite of services that include blog and content creation tools, social media, email marketing, and more.

CoSchedule. A marketing calendar at heart. With drag and drop functionality and the ability to collaborate across teams, this calendar lets you plan blog and social content in one place. Paid plans range from individual to agency versions.

MailChimp. Designed for email marketing, MailChimp also helps you make weekly digests, segmented email lists, and RSS campaigns. A/B testing is built in. The free version has a lot of functionality but limits the number of subscribers and emails you can have per month.

Buffer. This popular social media management tool includes a social media calendar, analytics, and the ability to manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard. The free plan is fairly robust but lacks a calendar. It also limits you to three social accounts.

Trello. A robust project management tool, Trello works equally well when the project is your content. Trello helps you track where content is in the creation pipeline. And it’s free.

How do I track results?

Many of the tools mentioned above include some sort of analytics reporting to help you track how your content is doing. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have built-in analytics dashboards, as do Hootsuite and Hubspot. A few other tools can give you even more insight into how your content is performing.

Crazy Egg. This tool gives you visual reports to track where visitors go on your website, what they click on, and how they move through your site.

Google Analytics. This is the go-to reporting system to help you see how customers are interacting with your content.

Kissmetrics. Helps you measure engagement, track the effectiveness of different marketing channels, and even send emails based on user behavior.  

Whatever tools you use, make sure you are tracking your results. Using that information, you can refine your content marketing strategy and boost your ROI.

What Is Organic Marketing?

Marketing 101: What Is Organic Marketing?

When it comes to growing your business by attracting more leads, there are several different ways to go about it. While some company leaders put a lot of money and time into their marketing approach, others have a way of growing their following and making more sales simply by letting the marketing do itself. This is known as organic marketing, and it’s a sure-fire way to expand your business naturally. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no work to be done — after all, creating a successful organic marketing strategy requires at least some type of ‘investment’ upfront.

The Basics of Organic Marketing

Organic marketing is a marketing strategy in which companies can bring customers to them “organically,” which means they aren’t actively chasing after customers with in-your-face marketing campaigns, irritating sales calls, or paid ads. It’s defined as natural marketing tactics that are free, because anything you pay or to bring in customers would be considered “inorganic marketing.” Organic marketing is a term that’s thrown around a lot, and you may have heard the term “inbound marketing” more often. Inbound marketing and organic marketing are essentially the same thing, but organic marketing can be thought of as “inbound marketing 2.0” as it takes similar strategies to the next level.

Different Types of Organic Marketing

These days, there are many different types of organic marketing that company leaders can experiment with. While a combination of all types of organic marketing strategies is wise, some companies may feel as though a certain type works better for them than others. Before you discover what works best for you, take a closer look at the main organic marketing tactics used by companies today:

  • Organic marketing using social channels
  • Organic marketing using external groups and online communities
  • Organic marketing by building connections on an individual basis

Examples of Organic Marketing

Within those three different types of organic marketing tactics are additional strategies companies can use to grow their following. The number of examples are endless, but there are a few that have proven effective thus far for many businesses selling in a variety of different industries. Remember, anything that can be used to bring in leads without paying, can be considered a form of organic marketing. Best of all, the more organic marketing examples you try for yourself, the more it will boost your validity on platforms like Facebook:

  • Highlight your best performing posts on social media by pinning them to the top of your page
  • Use emojis to brighten up your posts
  • Share a link to your page in a Facebook group that allows people to highlight their services, for instance, an entrepreneur group
  • Publish interactive content, like polls, contests, tag-a-friend, etc.
  • Host a webinar or one-on-one consultation with an interested client where you offer value for free

Setting the Groundwork

One of the main reasons company leaders zero in on organic marketing is because it allows them to save time and money on finding leads. But, it’s also a better way to bring in leads in general, because people appreciate when companies do things naturally. No one wants to feel as though they are being coerced into buying a product or service. Instead, they prefer to find a solution to a problem their having, or be given valuable resources for free before they make a financial commitment.

As you can see, organic marketing isn’t “organic” in every sense of the world. It takes some time before you can get yourself to the point where you see the leads coming in, and that’s only after putting in the initial work to make that happen. Social media posts are going to post themselves, and video chats with interested customers isn’t going to happen via a bot (though, that’s certainly not impossible).

That being said, these tasks should only take a few minutes of your time, and with software like marketing automation, you can do more. The fact that any determined company can potentially bring in loads of leads with just a post or share and absolutely no money down, goes to show that organic marketing is something every smart business leader should be considering, if they are not already doing it.

Why You Should Be Doing It

We are very lucky to be living in a time in which there are so many ways to advertise your business for free. The internet and social media platforms have gifted entrepreneurs with something that wasn’t even fathomable a decade ago. Though companies will still no doubt continue to invest money in things like ads or boosting posts, there’s no guarantee that those strategies will always work. And, when you can bring in leads without needing to spend a dime, companies can do so much more with less. Organic marketing has completely changed the way businesses advertise and sell their products and services, and those who aren’t taking advantage will likely fall behind.

Why Your Content Strategy Is Seriously Failing

Do you remember when you had to be convinced that content marketing was worth the effort?

Now, it’s more popular than ever before and has proven to be more effective than any outbound marketing activity, costing 63% less and generating three times as many leads.

In fact, 90% of all organizations now incorporate content marketing into their overall marketing strategy. We’ve evolved from bemoaning how long it takes to write a blog article to eagerly adopting new formats and approaches.

This is, after all, a generation with young adults earning $10 million per year through monetized blogs on YouTube:

It’s safe to say the overwhelming effectiveness of content marketing has been established. For businesses who have adopted this channel, however, there is one potential pitfall. A big one.

Its equation is simple. The more organizations produce and promote content, the more content there is available to be consumed. The more content available, the less time their audience has to identify and consume the most valuable and relevant content to their needs and interests. This is what Mark Schaefer calls ‘content shock’.

What is Content Shock?

Schaefer published an article four years ago in which he suggested that content marketing was not a sustainable strategy for many businesses. What was once a relatively uncrowded content space, “Red Bull was a beverage company, not a media company, Chipotle was making burritos, not claymation films, and there were roughly one-third as many bloggers”  was becoming a “situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand [remains] flat”.

In 2018, we have officially reached saturation point.

As well-intentioned as your efforts are, no matter how many hours you spend researching a blog post, or scripting a webinar, there are no guarantees that your work will yield positive results. This infographic shows just how easily your content can get lost in the crowd.

Your Content Strategy is Failing

You know your target audience. You built a strategy. You put together a content calendar. You invest time and resources. And… it’s not working.

In our current state of content shock, this is unsurprising. You need to be able to differentiate your brand, demonstrate your Unique Selling Points, and set yourself apart from an ever-growing level of competition. To quote Steve Martin, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

This may seem like an impossible prospect, but even in a world in which 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds, you can still come out on top.  

Let’s check out the most likely reasons your content strategy is failing and how to turn things around!

 

  • You aren’t measuring the ROI of your content.

 

Only 8% of marketers consider themselves “very successful” or “extremely successful” at tracking content marketing ROI. If your business is spending time and budget on creating and distributing content, this is, unquestionably, the metric that matters most. And if you aren’t using the right tools and data points, it will be impossible to achieve.

Use a time-tracking app or iPhone timer to discern how long it takes to create a piece of content. Don’t forget to pause the timer while taking a break. The worth of your cumulative time spent creating content is your investment.

To find the return, you need to discern which metrics to track. If it’s online sales, you should set up a Google Analytics User Flow report to see what website visitors do, like whether they click your CTA after reading an article, or whether they make a purchase after landing on a product page. Then, knowing which content on your website is converting and which is underperforming, you can optimize your strategy.

If the main objective of your content marketing is lead generation, you can calculate content ROI by tracking the number of contact enquiries that were completed via lead gen forms around your content. Depending on how you set up your lead gen forms, this can be done through your CRM, email provider, or software such as Leadformly.

If you want to adopt a more all-inclusive approach, you can use Google’s Attribution Modeling to calculate the monetary impact of every piece of content consumed at every step in the customer journey.

Once you’ve figured out what will constitute your return, calculating ROI is only a few simple steps away. Through your content ROI, you can determine which titles, topics, and content formats best engage your customers and provide most value. These insights will enable you to adapt and refine your content strategy, and set you up for success.

 

  • You haven’t considered video.

 

51% of marketing professionals worldwide cite video as the medium with the best ROI. Marketers who use video content grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t, but many brands are still reluctant to embrace it as part of their content strategy. Despite its unparalleled ability to boost brand awareness, generate quality leads, and maximize sales, video still carries a few common misconceptions.

Many assume that video only works for top-of-funnel campaigns, when brand awareness is the key objective. Or that it’s more suitable for B2C audiences rather than B2B. Or that anyone with a smartphone can create compelling video content. Or that it’s too expensive for your organization to have its video content created professionally.

The truth is, video can be whatever you want it to be and achieve whatever you need it to achieve—often more effectively than other formats. Now that the average human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish, it’s more feasible to imagine a consumer engaging with a 60 second video than a 1500-word article (apart from this one of course!). Easy-to-consume over breakfast, during a break, or on a commute, video also helps viewers retain 95% of its message compared to 10% for text, ensuring your brand stays front-of-mind amongst your target audience.

Video also has the ability to engage your customers on a variety of platforms. As one of the most repurposable content assets, video can seriously maximize its ROI. You can use video on your website’s landing pages to increase engagement, in email marketing campaigns to increase CTR, and in social ad campaigns to increase conversions. If you’re reluctant to invest in video production, this amazing example from Zendesk, suitable for every stage of the sales funnel, may make you want to reallocate your marketing budget!

  • You aren’t being specific.

 

You know you need to produce content as part of your wider marketing strategy. Before you start, you need to be able to answer one deceptively simple question.

“Why are we creating this content?”

One of the most common reasons for the failure of an organization’s content strategy is they haven’t considered the needs and interests of their customers. Consequently, their content lacks direction and clear purpose. You’ve taken the time to identify specific business goals and specific target audience segments. Now, you need to identify your specific content niche.

It’s important to avoid becoming an aimless content creator, fluctuating between listicles and webinars and GIFs with no sense of cohesion. Consider your target market, your value proposition and your industry. From there, decide upon the most appropriate content formats. Keeping a narrow focus will enable you to build your brand reputation and strengthen relationships. Potential and existing customers will come to eagerly anticipate your particular pieces of content.

You might become the company known for their emotive customer testimonial videos. Maybe your product review podcast series will be your specialty. But whatever angle you choose to adopt, stick with it, and do it well. Your content marketing performance metrics will speak for themselves!

 

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