When you go driving with someone, are you more involved with the driving aspect of the journey or the navigation? This is something that GPS navigation has all but made redundant, but on the odd occasion that you’ve had to use some form of directions or map to get somewhere, which would you be in charge of?
They’re two different roles, driving and navigation. I mean, they’re related in quite a few different ways, but in the end, the two of them have to work together to get you to your destination. And they’re not too dissimilar from how content and offers work in the realm of inbound marketing.
A Shared Purpose
Inbound marketing has really sprung up as a response to the ineffectiveness of traditional marketing and the shift in how buyers go about buying. We’ve become a society that purchases based on research and reviews; on working out what the problem was before seeking out the most effective solution. So, a business that is employing inbound marketing strategies is going to need material that searchers can, well, research. Once you’ve got website visitors checking out your helpful material - referred to as content - you can interest them in premium content, in exchange for contact details.
And once you’ve got contact details, you can continue feeding your leads useful information until they reach a point where they’re ready for a sale. That’s the end goal, and content marketing is how you reach it.
A Specific Purpose
Content and Offers work together to bring your business leads. That’s their shared purpose. But they go about it in different ways, and that’s what makes them great. The regularly updated content on your website - whether they’re reviews, blog posts, videos, or any of the legion of options that exist online - exists to grab the attention of the web searcher. It starts off with a punchy title and first paragraph, to first raise the interest of the reader, and then grab the attention. Your content can be informative, critical, funny, thoughtful; the nature and tone of your content will be dictated by your business and its brand. But I digress; your content is going to have a lighter side to it than your offer. Its purpose is to grab and hold the attention of your reader long enough for them to understand how the marketing offer is going to be of great use to them.
Your marketing offer can present more detailed information than what was conveyed in the content. For example, I could write content describing how a marketing campaign could really kickstart your business. An appropriate follow-up to that would be a guide on how to design your own marketing campaign, because the content will have confirmed to you the value of the offer. The specified help that a marketing offer gives will help answer any questions the reader might have that the content could have raised, as well as existing questions that aforementioned reader could have had before stumbling across the content and the offer.
The specific difference between the content of your website and the offer is which side of the lead conversion point they are accessible from - content is designed to compel your reader to convert to a lead, whereas the offer is designed to deliver premium content to your newly converted lead. Both are important to the conversion process - the content needs to convince the reader of the value of the offer, and the offer itself needs to be of high enough quality for the lead to be interested in being nurtured into a customer.
Functioning In Alignment
Once the marketing offer and the content are put next to each other like this, it’s pretty easy to see why the two need to work together to bring in leads. If your content is poor in quality, you won’t interest readers in converting. If your offer is poor in quality, then you won’t be able to convert leads, or you’ll have poor-quality leads that quickly jump out of the sales funnel.
Of course, the flipside of this - writing engaging content that frames highly desirable offers - is bringing in many high quality leads that will effortlessly be nurtured into customers.
How then do you write high-quality content and offers? Well, my first piece of advice would be to develop yourself some buyer personas. What does your ideal customer look like? What questions do they have? What format would they be most likely to consume when looking for answers to those questions?
Once you have a clear idea of what your ideal customer looks like, work at creating material that they’d enjoy consuming. Create offers that they’d find irresistible. You’d be surprised at how well information created for an ideal transfers over to real life. Understanding your audience and creating content they’ll enjoy is the first step towards securing a whole lot of new and great business.
- Online content and marketing offers share the goal of getting people excited about your business
Content is designed to make your offers look as desirable as they are to encourage lead conversion
Offers are designed to keep your leads coming back to be nurtured into customers
You need high-quality content and offers to convert great leads
- Develop high-quality content and offers by first determining the characteristics of your ideal customers, and then writing content that is perfect for those customers