Can content strategy help with inbound marketing?

May 9, 2016
Topics covered in this article:
inbound marketing magnet

It's easier to close a client who finds you than one you go out and find.

For sure. So how can we help them find us?  Inbound marketing. Thought leadership. And first impressions.

Think about becoming a magnet for the right audience. Become easily findable, irresistible, and believable. Here's where to start.  

  • Inbound marketing: Create valuable-to-them content and post it wherever they are looking for solutions (this might be social media platforms, forums, other brand's websites, or something industry-specific).
  • Thought leadership: Establish your brand as a thought leader by creating valuable, expert-level digital content, hosting webinars, producing videos, and publishing helpful books and handouts about your the topic or industry in which you are clearly experts.
  • First impressions: You may have valuable content, but if it's not presented in a cohesive, professionally designed way, it may not feel trustworthy or important, and turn people away. Photography, branding, legibility, and organization are just a few visual cues to help support your brand and credibility.

What's considered valuable? How do you get it created? How do you manage it over time?

That's where your content strategist comes in. Your content strategist will not only help you determine what's most valuable to your audience that will also achieve your goals, s/he'll hep you figure out the best way to get it created, presented (designed), and published -- even with limited time, budget, or resources.

She'll even manage it for you or set up the systems you need to have it managed.

How does content strategy for inbound marketing play out in the real world?

Here's an example. I recently had a health-focused company talk to me about how long and complex their sales funnel was. They have great prospects, but by the time they get them signed, soooo much time has gone by.  

My first thought? Let's see if we can shorten that sales funnel by optimizing the content. Prospects should be able to get most of the answers they need about whether to go with your brand before picking up the phone. How?

  • Evaluate the whole user experience by watching people navigate to and through your site and social media. Ask them to speak their thoughts out loud. How did they find you? What answers are they searching for?
  • Analyze customer service calls and emails to spot common questions, concerns, confusion, and other obstacles you might be able to clear up in your marketing materials, social media, and in your website content. This will strengthen your whole inbound marketing efforts, as well as your brand in general.
  • Partner with a noncompeting writer or expert/enthusiast in your field to create and publish "thought-leader" content that benefits both parties. That is, collaborate to create and promote content that draws attention of the same target client audience. Partnering is a great way to find in-kind help or at the least cut overall costs.

Need more ideas to help your ideal audience find and fall in love with your brand? Let's talk.

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

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