Balancing niche and broad content
Content marketing can often feel like walking a high wire while being buffeted by crosswinds. Firstly, on one hand, you realize the need to have brand recognition: Followers, shares, likes, all the ingredients that make marketers happy.
On the other hand, there is the need to prove it is effective via lead capture, consistent conversion rates, and closing of deals. These ingredients used to be the problem of the sales department. However, as marketing becomes more driven by data, marketers are finding themselves increasingly being held responsible for providing proof of their contribution to earnings.
Sometimes you end alternating from one extreme to the other, over-correcting constantly. It is hard to maintain forward momentum when you are simply trying to not to lose your footing.
There is good news, once you have found your footing you can quickly gain speed. You have the ability to make adjustments so you are able to make more progress. You can soon be attracting the right audience and be helping in leading them to make a purchase decision. Let’s explore two unbalanced methods to address the problem, then look at what a healthy balance should look like.
- Method 1: Fill the top of the funnel
This marketing idea comes from a logical position. Your sales pipeline is a funnel with more people at the top than there are at the bottom. Therefore the more people at the top, it follows that you will eventually acquire more paying customers. Right?
Therefore you set about to create content that is maximized for sharing and clicks. For example your company makes handmade soap. However you see a video trending video with a cat jumping into a box. So you make a video compilation of cats in boxes. It is an entertaining video and it soon goes viral.
The problem with this is, if the content no related to your actual product or service offering, you are pitching to the wrong audience.
You cannot expect this audience to make the next step, because they have not taken a first step.
- Method 2: Focus on the bottom of the funnel
So attracting a large but irrelevant audience does not work. Why not go to the other end of the scale, and focus on people you know have an interest in your product or service? It is then more likely they will go from your content to making a purchase decision.
What this means is the creation of content that convinces people your handmade soap is the best. Videos highlighting the time spent lovingly crafting each cake of soap. Blog posts talking about the artificial ingredients found in most soaps and so on.
Anyone looking to buy handmade soap would be foolish to buy any other kind after they have read your content.
However, how many competitors and buyers are already in the marketplace? How many know there are many handmade soap options out there?
More importantly, how many people wanting handmade soap will never see your content?
This approach can capture a segment of your potential audience, but leaves most out in the cold.
Four tips for effectively balancing content
It should now be clear neither method is going to allow you to move forward on your marketing high wire. Here is how to achieve the balance to achieve your goals.
Tip 1: All content should target your audience
Regardless of which stage of the funnel, all content you create should be of some relevance to your audience. That means you need to clearly define who your audience is… but also define who your audience is not. Do not create content for people wanting the cheapest handmade soap. They are not your people. Focus on the people who are more likely to be moved by your value proposition.
Tip 2: Create a high proportion of top of funnel content
Most businesses have a greater quantity of bottom of funnel content than they do top—as we said, it is easier to link that content to revenue. However, dependent on who your audience is, you should aim to have more top of funnel content than any other kind. Just remember the first point: The needs for it to be relevant content that is designed to be the first step towards a purchase.
Tip 3: Do not neglect mid-funnel content
It is important to cover the area between “I have a bit of an interest in more natural soap”, and “I need $25 handmade soap”. The middle part of the funnel is the place where you can provide greater value to your potential audience. You are trying to position your brand as an expert, providing useful information, and earning trust. It is a critical step in the process.
Tip 4: Seal the deal with bottom of funnel content
With a content plan that is well-balanced, you are likely to less bottom of funnel content than other content. That’s no problem, because your top of funnel content is relevant and your middle content leads the buyer further towards making a purchase. All you need now are a few pieces of content that speak directly to your different audience segments. Each piece should demonstrate to one segment why your solution is right for them.
Check your balance
How to tell if you have balanced content? Check out your analytics. If you are getting many impressions in search results but no clicks, or you have a lot of page traffic but no responses to your call to action, the content at the top of the funnel needs to be more relevant.
If your percentage of conversion is high but your traffic is low overall, you are placing too much emphasis on the bottom. If you are getting blog subscribers but they are making no purchases, it is likely due to a middle funnel deficit.
Continue making adjustments to better serve potential customers with what they need. Once you balance out your content, you are likely to find your traffic and conversions rise.