You have to develop useful, relevant content to get the right people into your pipeline. But where you publish that content is just as important—if not more—than what you publish.
For example, would you deliver an in-depth product FAQ to someone who just subscribed to your brand’s high-level blog? Probably not. Being a great content marketer means providing users and prospects with the most valuable information at the right time during their path to purchase.
So what distribution channels do you have to work with, and what are they for? Here’s an overview.
Channels for Educating
Content that addresses high-level industry questions and concerns belongs at the top of the funnel.
The 4-Step Approach to Promoting Content the Right Way by @lizkoneill
This top-of-funnel content should be distributed through owned and earned media channels like your blog, social channels, and website. The goal here is to cast a wide net. Content should engage people with your brand for the first time, and offer valuable information and thought leadership that educates and entertains them (or “edutains,” as social selling pro, Jill Rowley, says). Providing interesting top-of-funnel content gets people to trust your brand enough to provide contact information, which gives you the opportunity to move them further down the funnel.
Channels for Engaging
Your leads who have downloaded a few assets and have already expressed interest in your brand deserve special attention. The best way to give it? Target your content.
Identify who has engaged with your content, what they’ve engaged with, and how they’ve engaged with it. Then deliver other assets that fall under the same themes. For example, if a group of people in your database show interest in content marketing workflows, make sure to send them related content that supports that theme. Content collaborators should work with your demand generation and marketing operations teams to ensure content is right for your intended audience.
Channels for Convincing
Where you publish content is just as important—if not more—than what you publish.
Prospects who reach the bottom of your sales funnel require content that solidifies their trust and interest in your company. Content at this stage is designed to ramp up the decision-making and purchase process. It’s content that closes deals.
The best way to identify what themes to focus this bottom-of-the-funnel content around is to talk to your sales team. What information do prospects at this stage crave? What is their biggest reservation about making a purchase? What content is going to most support the sales team? Where are the gaps?
The further down the funnel, the more targeted and product-specific your content should be.
Channels for Retaining
Think the work is over once a deal closes? Think again.
If a lead becomes a customer, your team still needs to provide relevant content that will facilitate a streamlined, problem-free user experience. This customer-centric content is usually distributed by account management teams or customer success or service teams. Assets in this category include exclusive FAQs, webinars, workshops, and screencasts.
Today, too many marketers are simply publishing content for the sake of publishing content. They’re in a mad rush to hop on this content marketing trend without knowing how, why, where, and when to publish. Don’t add to the noise. Carefully consider what content you need and where you need to deliver it. Always keep your reader’s content needs in mind, and you’ll never go wrong.