The Four Purposes
of Content

By David Smith
CX
Content
Marketing

Content marketing needs to be done intentionally and with purpose. That’s a concept that often gets pushed aside when the content discussion concentrates on content types, blogging, and content distribution.  Purpose is what provide context for your content marketing.

Keeping context in mind allows you to balance your content portfolio and develop the right type of content for its usage.

Content that informs and educates

At multiple stages of the customer journey, your audience will want knowledge about their problem or need, insight into how the problem is solved, alternatives, budgets, your experience and approach, and a long list of other questions, concerns, and interests.

This type of content also works as the best SEO tactic you can employ.  A website that has the content that the audience wants will get higher rankings and more traffic.  Google loves to send traffic to a site and know that they were able to find what they were looking for – including educational content.

Your body of content should satisfy their thirst for knowledge, even if they haven’t formulated the question yet or understand they need to ask it.   That includes;

  • Articles and blog posts
  • FAQs
  • Solution descriptions
  • eBooks
  • whitepapers
  • Video
  • Research

Content that builds trust and credibility

Building trust is one of the most daunting tasks for marketers.  It requires a well-choreographed customer experience path that bridges the gap between awareness and becoming vulnerable.   So how is it done and how does content play a role?

Trust and credibility can be gained from association and display.  Think professional organizations, networks, or even the Better Business Bureau.   You are part of those organizations and may include them on your website and social media platforms to demonstrate your credentials and acceptance.

Review sites and listings also boost your credibility and build trust.  If you are noted implementation consultancy and aren’t listed in AppExchange, along with displaying your certifications and customer reviews, you’re not going to be as trustworthy as the consultancies that are listed there.  A well-written company description (that’s content) is useful here.

Trust building content is used to draw your audiences nearer.  They will look for evidence that supports their decision to investigate your tech consulting firm.  These types of content will help;

  • Case Studies
  • How to Content
  • Customer Reviews
  • Awards and Recognition
“The first step? Understanding your ideal customer.”

Content that converts

eConsultancy reports that for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them. That’s a staggering statistic.  If you keep this purpose in mind during your content planning and development efforts, you’ll be well ahead of your competition.

Conversion oriented content removes friction and anxiety. Instead of having a difficult about project pricing, produce a set of project descriptions and cost ranges.  I hear that response – yeah, I know you don’t want to put a dollar figure in a prospects head and then have to move them away from it.  But, but giving them multiple examples of a variety of projects you’ll allow them to rationalize their investment and potentially prevent sticker shock when the proposal is delivered.

Content that works best here are things like these;

  • Case Studies
  • Project Descriptions
  • ROI Calculators
  • Checklists

 

Content that supports customer success

If you want the result of your marketing efforts to be a referral, not just a sell, you’ll need to ensure the client is delighted with your work and achieves success.  If you install a system and nobody uses it – is it still a system?  Customer success brings repeat business, referrals, and customer generated content like reviews and testimonials.

So what role does content play in customer success?

You support system contains content, so does your customer portal.   A marketer may not think of those Content plays an essential role in customer success and satisfaction.

Customer success content includes;

  • Support systems
  • Documentation
  • How-to material
  • training material
  • usage guides
  • process descriptions

Producing content with these four purposes will ensure you are aligning to the needs of the audience and building content that fits well with the customer experience.

This article is part of The Valens Point Guide to Content Marketing Success

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