Many online marketers are failing miserably at content marketing strategy. I read a great post on this topic recently, by Google evangelist Avinash Kaushik. It caught my attention because it deals with the continuously moving target for online marketers of content marketing. But more important, it caught my attention because it points out why so many online marketers are doing content marketing all wrong and how to fix it.
Avinash proposes a new marketing framework around content marketing called, “See, Think, Do.” I like this framework because it helps online marketers like us to approach content marketing problems with a framework with which to solve them. But what is the “problem” around content marketing? The problem is how do you deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right audience? And your online content, whether in the form of posts, articles, ads, or whatever, if it’s not delivered right, at the right time, to the right audience, well it’s pretty much just a waste of time and money.
The framework presented by Avinash to deal with content marketing is simple and it helps to solve the above problem that all content marketers face.
- First decide which phase in the buying process that your audience is in.
- Secondly, design and deliver content to match the phase that the audience is in.
- Finally, you must then measure how your content is doing based on which phase in the buying process that the customer is in. It sounds pretty complicated, and it is.
Here’s my best condensed version of the three stages of the buying process:
‘See’ Stage: If your audience is in the ‘See’ stage, they are just browsing or in a passive state. With an audience in the ‘See’ stage your ads will be targeted based on demographics, psychographics, or geographic. Your ad creative will be more broadly targeted and the purpose will be mostly for branding.
‘Think’ Stage: If your audience is in the ‘Think’ stage, they are thinking they may need something they’ve seen before. With an audience in the ‘Think’ stage your ads will be targeted to certain sites or categories. Your ad creative will be more narrowly targeted and the purpose will be for branding but there will be an effort to get some kind of engagement such as an email address.
‘Do’ Stage: If your audience is in the ‘Do’ stage, they are ready to buy. With your audience in the ‘Do’ stage your ads will be specific to the intent of that potential buyer. Creative will be more focused and the purpose is to get the audience to spend money or ‘Buy Now!’
But as Avinash points out, some many online marketers are doing this content marketing all wrong. For example, a marketer is putting up ‘Buy Now’ display ads all over a website where the audience is clearly in the ‘See’ stage. This kind of ‘Do’ content should be reserved for a website or page where the intent of the audience is clear. This is why the marketer’s targeting and content have failed. For me and for other online marketers responsible for content marketing strategy, the take home from this framework presented by Avinash is to decide what stage your audience is in and then match your message, or content to get the best, possible outcome.
If you have any questions on content marketing feel free to leave a comment or contact us.