Part of my job is to create content for the 1Digital blog. I spent a lot of time looking at our competitors’ blogs, and was surprised to see that almost none kept a regular blog. The most I saw any of these blogs updated was once a month. I write 2 to 3 articles every week, without exception. I do this for a number of reasons:
First and foremost, I do it to stay on top of everything that goes on in the industry. If there is a new trend or technology or marketing strategy out there, writing about it forces me to do thorough research, keeping me sharp and good at my job.
The second reason I do it is to give our clients and prospects valuable information about our and their industry. I want to present 1Digital Agency as a thought leader and deserving of our reputation as experts.
Lastly, I do it for SEO purposes. Good content is essential if you want Google to reward you with good rankings, as their crawlers more and more detect and rank sites based on merit.
Another part of my job is to edit and revise the content our writing team produces for our SEO clients who have hired us to do content generation. We analyze what kind of articles are to be written for our clients, and I make sure that everything we produce is well-written, error-free, and follows whichever strategy we have created for the client based of the AIDA conversion funnel strategy.
AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action
Awareness, interest, desire and action are the four categories of content, borrowed from marketing lexicon. Each describes a type of article meant to elicit different actions in customers based on what stage of awareness they are on.
Awareness articles are written to inform people that you exist. Interest articles are written to make people who know you exist become interested in learning more about your products. Desire articles inspire prospects to consider purchasing from you, and action articles move prospects from potential to purchasing customers.
To demonstrate what these categories are and how they should be used, I’ll go through examples using a fictitious company, let’s say QuackCam digital cameras.
QuackCam is a new company that doesn’t have much awareness. They are launching their first product, Camera100A. Unless they have the resources to write hundreds of articles at once to cover all four categories, they’ll want to focus more on articles that specifically build awareness.
To do this, QuackCam will want to learn about what general questions their target demographic is asking, and write articles that answer those questions. These could answer questions like:
- “What makes a good photographer?”
- “What’s the difference between digital and film cameras?”
- “How can I take better pictures?”
None of these topics deal specifically with QuackCam or their camera or even digital cameras. But the people asking those questions are most likely in QuackCam’s target demographic, so producing content that will be read by those people is a great way to get their brand on the radar.
You’ll want to use different distribution channels for each stage and type of article in the conversion funnel. For the awareness stage, consider publishing content in mainstream media; as guest posts, press releases, webinars; at trade shows and conferences; and in social media and display advertising.
Now that QuackCam isn’t completely unknown, they will want to focus on creating content that takes prospects to the next stage in conversion, Interest. You’ll see that the questions change once prospects become aware of you, and you’ll want to produce content that answers questions like:
- “What’s so special about QuackCam?”
- “Is the Camera100A better than my DCLR?”
- “Does QuackCam make reliable cameras?”
Distribution channels appropriate for the interest stage include: your website; as press releases and webinars; in social media, display advertising, review sites, and forums.
Answer interest questions effectively, and you will attract prospects to the next stage in the conversion funnel, where they have gone beyond interest and start to consider purchasing your product. You’ll have to address predicted reservations that prospects might have, like whether or not they need it as opposed to something they just tack onto a wish list.
Questions to address in the desire stage:
- “Do I really need to buy a Camera100A now?”
- “How do I convince my wife that we need this camera?”
- “Is there a way to play with this camera before I buy it?”
It took a lot of strategic marketing to get prospects this far into the conversion funnel, but you can’t tackle the last hurdles with any less diligence. The gap between desire and purchase is bigger than it seems, and you’ll need to produce content that closes it. Places you can publish desire content include: review websites, your website, forums, and using SEO and Google Adwords.
The type of content you write for the last stage can sometimes blur with that of the desire stage. These questions are asked by prospects right before they purchase:
- “What kind of payment does QuackCam accept?
- “Does the Camera100A come with a cable that connects to my PC?”
- “Are there any limitations in this camera?”
The distribution channels you use for action content are similar to those used for desire content: your website, forums, Google Adwords, and SEO.
You’ll have to examine where you are to determine which type of content to produce. If you only have 15 page views a day, it’s clear that you need to produce and promulgate content that builds awareness. If you have plenty of traffic and a low conversion rate, you’ll have to look into producing content that addresses questions posed in the other stages of the conversion funnel. If you get a lot of questions asking how or where to purchase or what certain specifications are, you’ll need to develop content that addresses those questions.
- Joe Chilson
- April 4, 2014