Aiming High with Content Marketing- 7 Goals Worth Pursuing

According to Content Marketing Institute's (CMI) latest marketing survey entitled "2015 Benchmarks, Budgets,

and Trends-North America", , a whopping 88 percent of B2B respondents and 76 percent of B2C respondents use content marketing. 

While those numbers are impressive, the same survey indicates that only 30 percent of B2B respondents and 38 percent of B2C respondents feel that their organizations are effective at content marketing.

Why is there such a disparity between the use of content marketing and the effective use of content marketing?

Here are a few statistics from the report that may shed some light on where the problem lies:

  • Only 44 percent of B2B organizations have a clear idea of what an effective content marketing strategy looks like 
  • Of the most effective marketers, 79 percent have clarity regarding their marketing strategy 
  • 53 percent of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy
  • 40 percent of the least effective marketers have no strategy at all, either documented or undocumented 
  • whereas only 28 percent of organizations overall have a documented editorial mission statement, that number jumps to 48 percent among the most effective marketers 

What do these numbers reveal? 

The indisputable fact is that if a content marketing strategy is to be effective, clear objectives must be defined.

Content marketing at its best cannot be a haphazard pursuit.

So, what are some content goals worth pursuing?

Here are a few to get you started: 

1) Build trust. 

Of necessity, one of the main goals of your content marketing must be to build brand awareness and establish authority in your field. If your content fails to engender trust in your target audience, you can

basically forget about conversion. So, how do you build trust? Simply put, you must provide relevant, interesting content with consistency. Getting your brand message out across multiple social media channels will build trust in a progressive, steady way. In fact, 77 percent of B2B content marketers list brand awareness as one of their main goals. 

2) Attract new leads. 

This one is huge. 85 percent of survey respondents list lead generation as their most important goal. Why? The bottom line is: if you do not generate new leads, your business will not prosper. So, how do you make that happen? It comes back to quality content. If your content is compelling enough to attract links, social media sharing, and conversation, leads will follow.

3) Nurture existing leads. 

Close on the heels of generating leads, 78 percent rank lead nurturing as a highly important goal. So, how do you nurture your leads? Here are two aspects of lead nurturing to consider:

  • Figure out the problems that your customers are facing. This can be done by use of robust analytic tools, customer surveys, and feedback from social media forums. 
  • Once you have figured out the problems your leads face, solve them. Your marketing message should clearly define your solution to their problem. Illustrate the real benefit of your product or service by tying it directly into the pain points of your audience. Show them why they have come to you, and how that decision will benefit them.

4) Paint an engaging, nuanced picture.

While you are communicating the benefits of your product or service, tap into the imagination of your audience. The goal here is to help them envision how life with your product or service will be better than life without it. Use storytelling to let your customers try out your product mentally before they buy. After all, everyone loves a good story. Storytelling will

help you engage your audience more fully, a goal that 76 percent of respondents listed as highly important.

5) Seal the deal. 

Your goal here is conversion. Include clear information about the action you want your audience to take.

While each piece of content you put out need not have a specific, strong call to action, it is wise to generously season your content with a combination of subtle and not-so-subtle instructions about what your customer can do to put himself or herself into the picture you are painting.

6) Engender loyalty in your customer base.

Once you have converted your leads into purchasing customers, there is still more work for your content marketing to do. 74 percent of organizations rate customer loyalty and retention as a top goal. As has been the case since the beginning of free enterprise, the best form of advertising is good word of mouth. Your content must be aimed at retaining the customers you have and encouraging them to advocate for your brand. Referrals and repeat business provide a healthy ROI for your marketing efforts.

7) Do it all again. 

To be viable, a business must continue to grow and evolve. Your content must grow and evolve with it.

Using your content stream to test out new product ideas is both cost-effective and highly informative. If you throw out an idea that prompts excitement in your audience, that may just be the idea that needs to be developed further. On the other hand, you can also spot a negative vibe among your customers and potentially save time and money that would have otherwise been spent in developing a poor idea.

The Bottom Line 

Henry Ford, innovator and master entrepreneur, once said:

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

Clearly defining the objectives of your content marketing and maintaining a sharp focus on your goals will enable you to attract, convert, and delight your customers.

Aiming high with content marketing—7 goals worth pursuing gives you a game plan to engage your prospects.

Every good marketing strategy begins with a game plan that includes goal setting.

Click here to find out about S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals.