Want to know what the real secret to succeeding with content marketing is? Stop trying to sell your product.
“Have you gone mad?” You might be asking, but hear me out. Obviously, as marketers, our responsibility is to drive sales for our organization. But you have to remember that your buyers don’t care about your responsibilities.
Think about that for a minute. Your buyers don’t care about your funnel, your strategy, or your marketing goals. All your buyers care about is their problems and whether or not you have a solution.
So if you want to get your buyers’ attention, you have to stop trying to sell them your product. They don’t care. Instead, it’s time to start creating content based on what they want to hear, not what you want to tell them.
No one understands that better than Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD. He’s found success with content marketing by ensuring that each piece of content is created with a specific buyer persona in mind. That way, all their prospects get content they find relevant and interesting. Which means LeadMD gets better leads, more efficient nurturing and ultimately, more conversions.
Interested in how they do it? Here are just a few of Justin’s tips on how LeadMD makes content marketing all about the buyer:
“Our process always starts …around buyer personas”
At Kapost, a question we run into a lot is “how do you get ideas for content?” But this question assumes that you should start by thinking up ideas. But really, to be successful with content marketing, you have to start with your buyers. As Justin puts it, “most people are starting to create content mid-stream, i.e. what content they want, rather than what the buyer wants, so most marketers are their own worst enemy in that regard.”
Instead of asking where you can get ideas, you should ask what do your buyers want to hear? At LeadMD, they begin each content brainstorming session by creating a detailed outline of each of their buyer personas and each persona’s specific journey. Then they create each piece of content based on a the needs of a particular buyer in a particular phase of their journey. This ensures that each piece of content you create stays aligned to your buyers’ interests.
“We never put [our content plan] on a shelf”
At LeadMD, they take planning for content seriously. Not only is each piece of content mapped to a detailed outline of their buyers’ journey, but they are constantly revising and improving their content plan.
Make sure you’re constantly reevaluating your understanding of your buyers and their needs. And then ensure that your content is always evolving to reflect your better understanding. Consult regularly with professionals on the front lines, like sales and customer success teams to determine what your buyers are interested in or have expressed concerns about.
“We’re really good at …asking ‘why?’ Why are we creating this whitepaper? How can we make this more engaging?”
There’s no question that you need a lot of content to be successful with a content marketing strategy. But it’s not just about quantity. Making sure your content is high quality, interesting, and useful should always be your top priority.
At LeadMD, they’re careful to explore the why of each and every piece of content they produce. “To get [our] message across, we really have to create engaging content that really shows our buyer not only what we do, but how they can utilize us. And there’s no better way to do that than to tell a story.”
“Listen to [your buyers’] feedback and really start to adjust what [you’re] saying to them based on that feedback”
Content marketing works best when your content is targeted to your buyers’ specific needs and interests. The trouble is, you may not actually know what information each buyer is looking for. That’s where listening comes in. Give your buyers a chance to tell you what content is working for them and what isn’t.
Listening to feedback not only ensures that your buyers only see content they enjoy, it also helps you refine and perfect all of your content to anticipate what new leads will want to see, sometimes before they even know it themselves. As Justin explains, “content marketing in general gives us the ability to …meet [our clients’] objection[s] with a good piece of content or a solution before they even really know it’s an objection.”
“Everyone loves to see the place that they’re comfortable with house a great piece of content that they’re interested in”
When adopting a content marketing strategy, remember to think not only about what information your audience is getting, but the context in which they’re getting it. Not only do you need to send the right message, you also have to make sure you’re presenting that information in the right forum.
That means you have to understand the different cultures and styles of your various distribution channels. Content that is appropriate for an audience on LinkedIn, for instance, might not work as well on Twitter. The positive side of this, however, is that when you do get the fit right, people will love engaging with your content and will come looking for more.
Great content requires understanding what things look like from your buyers’ perspective. Then ensuring that each piece of content has a place in your buyers’ journey. But Justin Gray has one more secret for creating buyer-centric content: He doesn’t do it alone. LeadMD uses Kapost to help them build out their buyer personas and visualize how each piece of content maps to a specific personas’ journey.
Check out the full video and to hear the full LeadMD content marketing success story.