Best Content Marketing Types Online and Offline - VQ Success

Best Content Marketing Types Online and Offline

How to Choose Your Content Types (Online and Offline)

One big benefit of working with a content marketing agency is consistency. A good content marketing strategy will give you a consistent message across all your content distribution channels and a seamless strategy for using all your channels to support your goal to build content equity. 

In the introduction to this article, I explained how a content marketing agency might specialize in a specific type of content creation and/or publishing. This is also true with marketing agencies in general. Some specialize in creating SEO content for your website. Others specialize in video, social media, email marketing, or direct mail marketing.

The purpose of your content marketing strategy is to get all these different media types and all your content distribution channels working as one seamless marketing funnel.

You achieve this by first defining your buyer’s personas and using the Five Stages of the VQ Success Buyer’s Journey as the foundation of all your marketing content. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. It’s actually quite simple if you use the formula we’re about to unpack. 

First, let me answer a question I sometimes get about the relationship between your marketing funnel and the stages of the buyer’s journey. They’re not the same thing. True, your prospects will move closer to Stage #4 of the buyer’s journey as they move from the top of your marketing funnel to the bottom. 

Content Marketing Funnel

However, some of your first-time impressions and website visits will come from Stage #1 Prospects, while others will come from Stage #2 Prospects, and others from Stage #3 prospects. Likewise, leads who subscribe to your email list might be in any one of the five stages.

This is why it’s important to segment your subscribers and your customers AND to organize your published content to target each of the Five Stages of the VQ Success Buyer’s Journey. This will become clearer as we unpack the strategy for choosing your content types and for building our content marketing schedule. 

Start With Your “Content Marketing Pantry”

Content Marketing Pantry: a collection of content that you draw upon to create all your other marketing content. Some examples include a printed book, a collection of 12 to 30 high-quality website articles, or a master file with messages targeting your buyer’s persona(s) at each of the Five Stages of the VQ Success Buyer’s Journey.

Think of a Content Marketing Pantry like the pantry in your kitchen. When you go to your kitchen to prepare a meal, most of the ingredients are already in your pantry. This saves the time of having to run to the store or create an ingredient from scratch. Likewise, a content pantry is the body of content you draw on to produce all your marketing messages.

For example, let’s assume you’re a financial consultant who specializes in helping married couples build and execute a retirement plan. You’ve already written a solid start-to-finish book on financial management for married couples. You could spin your wheels creating a brand-new website article, explainer video, and a half-dozen new social media posts every month.

Or, using your book as your Content Pantry, you could create dozens of pieces of derivative content using the most salient ideas in your book. This solves two problems. First, it gives you a consistent and sequential message across all your content distribution channels. 

Content Marketing Pantry

Of course, this assumes that the message in your book starts at the first stage of the VQ Success Buyer’s Journey and finishes around Stage #4. Having ghostwritten and edited self-help and business books since 2009, I can tell you that this is the most logical and persuasive formula for writing a non-fiction book.

Second, using a Content Pantry makes your life a WHOLE lot easier by eliminating the need to come up with ideas to create new content around. In my experience, one of the hardest parts of implementing a content marketing strategy is the pressure to consistently create and publish new content. You can escape this hamster wheel, get into a groove, and gradually build momentum by starting with a Content Marketing Pantry and using it to create most (or all) of your remaining content. 

This means that in the beginning, most of your efforts will be focused on planning and creating your Content Pantry. This can be a book, a collection of 12 to 30 well-written website articles, or a master file that includes messages for prospects in each stage of the VQ Success Buyer’s Journey. Since creating your Content Marketing Pantry is a complicated topic, we’ll focus first on how to define the content types for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Then I’ll show you how to use your Content Marketing Pantry to build a dynamite content creation and distribution strategy. 

How to Use Your Content Marketing Pantry

Let’s wrap up this section with five examples of how a prospect from each buying stage might interact with the above-defined marketing content. For the sake of this example, let’s assume you’re a financial planner who helps married couples get out of debt and plan for retirement. You’ve written a book on the topic. The book starts out by educating your reader (the prospect) about how personal, critical, and urgent it is that they start planning for retirement right away. 

Now, imagine a Stage #1 Prospect is on LinkedIn and he finds one of your teaser articles. The article (based on chapter one of your book) starts to educate him on the risks of neglecting good retirement planning. He clicks through to your website to read the rest of the article. After finishing the article, he’s convinced that he needs to talk to his wife about their finances. He follows your updates on LinkedIn. He is now a Stage #2 Prospect

A few days later, the same prospect sees another one of your articles. This article (based on chapter two of your book) educates him on the available options for financial planning. The article also explains the shortcomings of each of these solutions and invites the prospect to download a white paper in exchange for his email. The white paper (based on chapter three of your book) explains what financial planners do and why working with one is a good idea. Your prospect gets distracted by a phone call before he can read your white paper. But you now have his email address.

Over the next ten days, you send him emails (also based on chapter three of your book) that educate him on what financial planners do and why working with one is a good idea. After reading a few of them, he talks to his wife and they decide that it’s time to start looking for a financial planner. He also accepts your offer to give you his physical mailing address in exchange for a free diagnostic worksheet. He is now a Stage #3 Prospect.

You mail him the diagnostic worksheets along with a letter explaining why your relevance, superiority, and uniqueness as a financial planner. After reading it with his wife call you for a meeting. They are now almost a Stage #4 Prospect. Next, you send them an email detailing what will happen once they become your client. By the time they arrive at your office, they’re practically a client already. 

This entire process might take a few weeks, or even up to a year. However, by the time they became a Stage #3 Prospect, you’d already build a significant amount of credibility and trust. This is the stage where most of your competitors would FIRST start marketing to the prospect. Meanwhile, you’ve already brought the prospect from Stage #1 to Stage #2 to Stage #3. As you can imagine, this gives you a much, much better chance of being the one who earns their business. 

So, now we’ve explained how to define your buyer’s persona(s), your content distribution channels, and the content types you’ll be using to reach them at each stage. Now it’s time to start putting your content marketing strategy into motion… 

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