Develop a Content Marketing Plan That Actually Drives Sales
I wouldn’t say that content marketing is overlooked as a sales tool, but it sure gets done wrong a lot.
I’ve built three content-driven startups. One ran successfully for 12 years, the second got acquired in three years, the third is just getting underway.
I’ve also been advising on content marketing for well over 20 years — across all manner of threats ranging from social media to SEO to podcasts to ChatGPT.
And in almost all the cases where I’ve seen content marketing fail, the primary reason for the failure wasn’t one of these threats. It was the lack of a coherent content marketing plan. And the ironic thing is, a content marketing plan is dead simple to develop.
Content marketing is not a boilerplate exercise. It has meaning and purpose that goes beyond cookie-cutter blog posts and paid email lists.
But there are essentially just two parts to a content marketing plan. The first part I’ll talk about in this post: creating content that leads to sales. In my next post, I’ll cover the second part: tracking the effectiveness of the marketing.
Why All Businesses Need Great Content Marketing
In 2023, I think we can all finally come to the conclusion that digital ads aren’t economical. They don’t work unless you have a ton of data and an equal amount of expensive data science.
Furthermore, social marketing has become, for lack of a better term, a dumpster fire crapshoot. Viral marketing and word-of-mouth can only take a business so far into its target market, and it does so completely unreliably.
For startups and other innovative companies, content marketing should be mandatory. Innovation, by definition, requires new methods, new perspectives and belief in new potential. Achieving that potential requires customer education, engagement, and trust.
So let’s educate, engage and build trust. With content.