Content without goals is just noise.
Setting goals allows you to measure the success of your content strategy. Defining goals means everyone on the team understands what the content is intended to achieve and how it will look when that happens.
High-level goals for strategic content marketing in the water industry can be to:
- Increase brand awareness.
- Drive more traffic to your website.
- Generate sales leads.
- Convert more leads into customers.
- Improve retention and drive upsell.
However, many content marketing plans fail to realize that goals change through the sales funnel. There are different goals at each stage of the funnel.
At the top of the funnel, your goals should be about building awareness of your brand and your solutions.
In the middle, you allow prospects to evaluate whether your solution will indeed solve their problem.
And at the bottom of the funnel, your goals are fundamentally about converting leads into customers.
In this post, we look at possible goals for content marketing through the sales funnel. Just be sure your goals link back to desired business outcomes.
Section 1: Goals at the top of the funnel
At the top of the sales funnel you are working to increase awareness of your brand, your solution. Your prospects are cold. They may not even know they have a problem much less that you hold the solution.
Therefore, at the top of the funnel your content should provide information to your prospects about a problem in the industry. A problem with a currently-available solution that may not be quite as good as your solution.
Your actual product should not be touted at the top of the funnel. Just the science and/or technology of your solution that sets it apart.
Thus, goals at the top of the funnel can be to:
- Increase awareness
- Increase engagement
- Grow website traffic
- Grow retargeting lists
Not all goals will apply to all situations. And there may be other goals that suit your business. Pick the ones that align with your business objectives.
Section 2: Goals in the middle of the funnel
In the middle of the funnel your prospect is evaluating solutions, seeing which solution will solve their problem. You draw them into the middle of the funnel by offering content they want to download. You are warming up the prospects and moving them into the funnel with offers.
Offers that must be downloaded. This gives you the opportunity to collect email addresses. You can then use email to further engage with the prospect.
Goals in the middle of the funnel may be to:
- Grow email lists/leads
- Grow retargeting lists
- Initial Customer Acquisition
Goals in the middle are about warming up your prospects by allowing them to evaluate all the options. Getting them to pick your solution happens in the bottom of the funnel.
Section 3: Goals at the bottom of the funnel
At the bottom of the funnel, your prospect is making the decision about your solution.
That means he’s paying more attention to what you offer. He’s looking at different packages and options. Your ultimate goal in the bottom of the funnel is to help that prospect make the final decision to purchase.
Goals in the bottom of the funnel are about:
- Nurturing leads/customers
- Maximizing immediate customer value
- Increasing retention
- Increasing buyer frequency
- Growing retargeting lists
Again, choose goals that align with your business goals.
Setting goals for your content marketing strategy is powerful. Aligning content goals with business goals increases the efficiency and efficacy of you content investment.
Next week we’ll look at what types of content will help you reach your content marketing goals.
Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience? Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?
I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions. I can interpret the jargon. I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.
Contact me to discuss your next content project.