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Even the Best Content Is Worthless Without This One Thing

By now, smart organizations realize the value in content creation.

But if your content marketing strategy only includes plans for content topics and channels, you may be forgetting the all-important third C: context!

Context encompasses several elements that should be considered part of your strategy, such as the funnel stage the content speaks to, how content is consumed in a particular channel and format type preferences.

It comes down to reaching potential customers in the ways they want to be reached, while making content available in the channels they prefer.

It’s a given that people gravitate toward differing types of content. Some people prefer to find and bookmark content, rather than clutter their inbox. Or they may be on-the-go all the time, and prefer to get all their information via emails and Tweets on their mobile devices. Or, for people who think visually, infographics and Slideshares may resonate and provide much more value than an article would.

So how can you begin to add a dash of context to your content? Here are a some tips that will help strengthen your relationships, reach a broader audience and create that all-important conversation that is required for success.

Repurpose & redeliver

A lot of companies have a tendency to create content that has a fairly narrow focus. Say you decided to write a blog on a given topic. You promote it through the usual channels—email, Twitter, LinkedIn, maybe Facebook. And then…that’s it. You’ve done about all you can with it for the time being, and you’ve only reached those leads who prefer to read blogs.

But take a breather and consider your options. In your blog, you have lots of quality takeaways that many people will find valuable. So it only makes sense to transform this content into other formats that speak to different audience segments and are optimized for different devices. Think about infographics, SlideShare presentations, video series—each of these formats represents a fresh way to connect with an audience in a new context.

Once you see the possibilities for a multi-channel approach, you can create a comprehensive content rollout plan for each new topic, targeting the channels and formats that make sense to your audience and get the best results.

All the world’s a stage… map your content to it

When creating content that’s mapped to funnel stages, it’s essential to consider the unique stages of the buying cycle. Merely pushing out product content along the way is a surefire way to cost you a few leads, courtesy of the lack of relevancy and understanding of what their informational needs are at the different stage of their buying cycle. The deeper a lead or prospect goes in your funnel, the deeper the content served up needs to be.

For example, someone who is a brand-new lead and knows little to nothing about your company won’t benefit from a heavy sales pitch with tons of detailed product information.

Instead, ease them in with short, bite-sized piece of content like a quick video, infographic, or to-the-point testimonial. Once they’ve had the chance to learn about your company, you can increase the complexity of content with case studies, white papers and other in-depth information.

Don’t ignore your customers

A lot of companies tend to focus their content around inbound marketing efforts, trying to attract and convert new leads and prospects. But don’t forget about your existing customers! They can be your biggest cheerleaders, at virtually no cost to you. Consider these statistics:

  • 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing
  • 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family
  • 43 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it on social media

Make sure to include customers as part of your content strategy. Create content that’s consumable, valuable and, above all shareable, and let them find some new customers for you.

Always remember that content is less about what you want to say and more about what your potential customers want to know. Contextualize your content by broadening your media types and addressing pain points along the way, and you’ll find more and more leads who want to know even more about what you have to offer.

Questions? Concerns? Leave a comment below, or hit me up on Twitter. Don’t want to miss a post, article, or video? Fill out the form on the right and you’ll always be the smartest marketer in the room.

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