Goals of your inbound marketing content: educate & qualify

Geschreven door Johan Vandecasteele op 12 juli 2015

Providing good, relevant and helpful content is an excellent way of building trust between you and your audience. It establishes a relationship and may very well generate thought leadership for you on specific topics. Your stories and content should get people into your sales funnel, and it should progress and encourage them to the next stage.

One of the goals of your content in Inbound Marketing therefore is to educate your prospects; feed them with relevant, helpful content as they continue through your funnel. You also have to qualify; you need to determine those prospects that are a great fit with your company, and detect the people who are raising their hands: those are the ones that become sales qualified, and should be transferred to your sales team.

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Goal #1: Educate. Help your audience with the questions they have.

Content is a lot more than just posting blogs, or sharing ebooks. Good content should target and be relevant for your audience, show personality (nothing worse than a bland piece of content, right?), be rewarding and valuable for the reader (the old ‘what’s in it for me?’-question). It should even solve a problem (being helpful, as Jay Baer describes in Youtility) as well as engage and be shareable.

Good content is an excellent way of building trust between you and your audience. It establishes a relationship and may very well generate thought leadership for you on specific topics.

Educate at every stage of the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is the active research process that a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. Each phase will demand different content, and your content will be serving different goals at each stage.

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Content offers that educate

Educational content is all about blogposts and more quality, in-depth content, like eBooks, expert guides, white papers, infographics, ...

Keep in mind that you should always (always!) provide a next step for your content.

When somebody is reading a blogpost, you need to give that person a next-step piece of content at the end of the post, e.g. an expert guide on the same topic. And when sending them that expert guide by e-mail, make sure you to send some complimentary expert guides the next week with a marketing automation program.

Goal #2: Qualify. Detect the people who are raising their hands.

Above all, your stories and content should get people into your sales funnel, and it should progress and encourage them to the next stage. Your content should educate your prospects; feed them with relevant, helpful content as they progress through their buying process - and your funnel.

You also need to qualify; you need to determine those prospects that are a great fit with your company, and detect the people who are raising their hands: those are the ones that are sales qualified, and should be transferred to your sales team.

Qualify towards the end of the Buyer’s Journey

The goal will still be to educate and qualify, where qualification will become more important to determine when a lead should be transferred to your sales team.

Tip: your qualification does not really start at this point. It starts when developing your audience and crafting your Buyer Persona. Target the right audience from the start with your content. The QIQO-principle: Quality In, Quality Out. 

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Content offers

The content offerings you need for this stage are definitely qualifying, like live demo’s and events (where people need to come and see you and have an excellent opportunity for engagement with you and/or your sales team), case studies (where leads are investigating projects of similar companies), product literature, or more pure qualification items as trials.

Conclusion

Great content should educate prospects and develop an interest in your brand, product or service. Above all, it should convert quality leads into customers.

Providing good, relevant and helpful content is an excellent way of building trust between you and your audience. When writing your inbound marketing content plan, consider the different stages of the funnel, and the different content offerings you must produce: content that will both educate and qualify.

Content Strategy for Succesful Inbound Marketing

 

Categorie: Content, Inbound marketing

Johan Vandecasteele

Johan Vandecasteele

Johan is een van de oprichters van leadstreet.be, Platinum HubSpot Partner. Marketeer en Mediaman van origine (Mediahuis, Sanoma Magazines, Minoc, … ) met een sterk geloof in on line en content. Voorliefde voor e-mail als responstool en HubSpot als inbound tool. HubSpot-Certified op 13 niveau's. Sportman, foodie en fan van Fender (en PRS).
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