John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing founder, gave a presentation at Gathering 2011 on the importance of content creation for business. He adds another dimension to the simple formula of more content as a means of boosting search ranking and links types of content to moving the prospect along the ‘awareness to conversion” continuum.
Content that Builds Trust
To move the prospect from awareness to trust, he recommends content that builds trust. This type of content would include “How To” blog posts, customer reviews (on your site as well as other platforms such as Google Places, Yelp, etc.), customer testimonials, and articles that you’ve written for publications or articles that mention your company.
Content that Educates
This type of content explores your products and service offerings, your methodology, your expertise (along with the “why” you do what you do), and your team and organization. This content answers your unique approach and competitive differentiator.
Included in Content that Educates would be white papers, newsletters, seminars (on site and online), FAQs, and survey data.
While this content serves to showcase you and your company, it should always be done from the prospect’s perspective – how will it help them, what problems will it solve for them, and how can they prosper through working with you.
Invite your customers to write guest blog posts for your site and share their news through your social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Getting the customer’s perspective of your products and services through testimonials, case studies, and video success stories is a great way of showing the proof in the pudding.
As Jantsch points out, in addition to providing content that prospects will be highly interested in, customer-generated content also serves to create a community of loyal and enthusiastic advocates of your business.
The third party endorsement allows prospects to get a sense of what your customer experience feels like. Within the Duct Tape Marketing system we talk about the stages of the Marketing Hour Glass: Know Like Trust Try Buy Repeat Refer. In a sense, customer-generated content allows a sort of “Try” experience – that is a prospect can have a vicarious experience of what it would be like to work with you through the feedback of your existing customers.
Other People’s Content
Much like this blog post you are reading – where I rely on an idea put forth by someone else while adding my own spin to it – sharing other people’s content serves to filter and aggregate good content for customers and prospects.
Jantsch recommends creating custom RSS feeds that are customer or industry specific. This also involves republishing, liking (Facebook), RT (re-Tweeting on Twitter) as a way of pointing to and sharing great content from others that will help educate and inform.
Content that Converts
This might also be described as content that urges the reader to respond to the Call to Action. It’s a moment of truth that follows the Know Like Trust Try and moves them to Buy.
The type of content that does this could be in-person events, case studies, ROI calculators or the results enjoyed by another customer. All of which should be punctuated with a call to action.
As you put together your content editorial calendar (content that already exists and content that needs to be created) do so with mind toward covering these various stages of prospect movement in addition to the normal considerations toward SEO. Combining SEO-rich content with content designed for each phase of the prospect experience results in a valuable visitor experience when exploring your website.
What are your thoughts on the 5 types of content? Please share your feedback in the comments section.
You might also be interested in reading:
5 Types of Content that Every Business Must Employ by John Jantsch