[Deck] A Basic Content Marketing Strategy that Generated $4 Million with One Product Launch

 Content Marketing concept

Last weekend, I came home to the University of Santo Tomas to deliver a presentation in front of about 70 MBA students. My topic revolved around how to use video and mobile marketing to power today’s online businesses. The outline given to me asked for a discussion that would teach the audience tactics that can be used for mobile and video. I decided to do one better by presenting them with a full strategy that we’ve used in 2012 to generate $4 million in sales for a US-based client’s product launch.

The deck below illustrates what it took for us to set up a functional and profitable enterprise that operated solely on the Web. Through the strategic use of content assets such as blog posts, videos and email, we were able to convert visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers. Have a look and I’ll explain the rest:

The first few slides were for definitional purposes. I also threw in some important stats that drill home how important mobile and video marketing are in today’s marketing landscape. I then shifted the discussion to content marketing and how every site owner can use it to do better business. I segmented the strategy into five key cyclical parts that every content marketing campaign must have:

Phase 1: Drive Traffic

This is the part where I talked about attracting targeted visitors to a website and which channels could be used to do it. This includes:

  • Building a blog
  • Doing basic SEO
  • Using paid search
  • Building real world relationships

Phase 2: Build Authority and Trust

Once you’ve drawn visitors to your pages and impressed them with your content, it’s time to pull them closer by using some trust-building tactics. These are the things I recommended in order to build rapport within a market and to establish yourself as a recognizable authority:

  • Eliminate the sensation of risk on the part of your audience
  • Train people to click with calls to action that lead to rewarding outcomes
  • Not asking for money (trying to sell) at the first point of contact with a potential customer
  • Leveraging social proof
  • Solving people’s problems with your knowledge and creations

Phase 3: Capture Leads

This is the part where you ask visitors for something that’s not money but equally valuable: their information. Email addresses, social media profile URLs, phone numbers and other data can be used to reach your audience even when they’re not in your website. I outlined the following prerequisites to doing that:

  • Create and offer a freemium (opt-in bait)
  • Build a squeeze page/lead capture page
  • Use banners, sidebars and lightboxes to capture more leads
  • Test everything: calls to action, buttons, color schemes, headlines, etc.
  • Segment the mailing list

Phase 4: Make the Pitch

Ultimately, content marketing is still about making money and this is the part where you get to do it. I discussed the following concepts with the audience to maximize their chances of converting leads into paying customers:

  • Creating demand by increasing people’s pleasures and taking away their pains
  • Building excitement with simple tactics like creating the perception of scarcity, limiting time availability and offering early bird incentives
  • Using a pilot list to get a feel for the overall market response
  • Using affiliates to help you market and sell
  • Following up to keep your offer on the top of your audience’s mind
  • Upselling to produce more revenue

Phase 5: Analyze Results

Practically everything on the Web is trackable and the results of content marketing are not an exception. I encouraged the use of the following techniques to make sure your campaign is running like a well-oiled machine:

  • Calculate your average sale values, average margins per sale, lead value, cost per acquisition and overall ROI.
  • Track the performance of your affiliates
  • Perform A/B and multivariate tests to gauge the performance of the following elements: headlines, CTAs, color schemes, copy templates, freemiums

The beauty of content marketing is its flexibility with incorporating old and new content assets and using them towards one common goal. It’s not dependent on any single component such as SEO, emails or ads, but it blends them all cohesively together for great results when executed correctly.

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