Content Marketing Strategy

The way that people research and buy products and services has changed. Now it’s all done online through search engines and social media, meaning that businesses have to work harder to win leads.

The tide has changed for marketing.

Today we can all skip the adverts.

Content Marketing Strategy

80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
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The transition to buyers conducting digital research has led to the growth of content marketing. This can be defined as the strategic creation and dissemination of content to attract and engage with buyers.

Content marketing

According to a Yahoo study, content marketing spend is set to rise by 179% to £349 million by 2020.

Content marketing is booming. Why?

80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.

Rather than confronting an audience with information about a business’ products or services, content marketing aims to attract potential leads by providing them with useful, relevant content. For example, whereas a traditional advert might promise

“We can turbo-charge your brand!”

a content marketing piece would promise the reader

“10 ways to turbo-charge brand awareness!”

enticing the reader with the promise of useful information.

Unlike traditional ‘hard-sell’ advertising, content marketing allows a business to soft-sell its expertise.

The advantages of content marketing are obvious. Producing informative, well-researched content is proof that your organisation can deliver what it promises - customers who turn to you for information are more likely to buy from you.

Content marketing is also relatively inexpensive. Costs are minimal, and most work can be produced in-house. In addition, quality content draws leads to your website, boosting traffic.

It's important to understand that your content is an investment that should be created with clear goals to maximise its value and return. Use content to convert website visitors into leads and to drive social media engagement. In fact, use it power each step of your sales funnel.

But how?

Creating a ton of content with no clear plan won’t help you generate new leads or customers. You need a strategy to define how you will use that content; to attract, engage with, convert and nurture people into customers.

But defining a strategy is impossible until you have a clear idea about who your buyers are. This is done by creating buyer personas.

Buyer persona

Effective buyer personas are constructed using market research and your customer database. Using business personas allows you to create content focused on your target audience.

buyer persona

Constructing personas also allows you to segment your marketing more effectively. For example, instead of sending the same email to everyone in your database, you can tailor your emails according to what you know about different leads, and their specific needs and interests.

A buyer persona is a clear definition as to who your target buyer is likely to be. It will help you to be clear about:

  • Who you are talking to? (Are you in touch with the head of a department, or someone lower down the food chain? Do they have the power to make purchases or not? What’s their budget?)
  • What they are interested in? (And what are they are not interested in?)
  • What problems they are trying to solve?
  • How your products can help them
  • How you can map out your sales funnel

It's important to think about your complete sales funnel and not just the initial conversion. Otherwise you could end up generating leads but lacking the framework to actually nurture them into customers.

Search your database for trends – ask yourself how individual leads find and use your content.

When creating forms, use fields that capture important information. Think hard about the forms you use – how useful is the information they gather? For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.

The better your intel, the easier it will be to effectively segment your database.

Take into consideration your sales team's feedback on the leads they're interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best.

Interview customers and prospects, either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your product or service. This is one of the most important steps, so let's discuss it in greater detail ...

Breaking your sales funnel down into key steps can help you to focus on what needs to happen and when.

Content Marketing Funnel

Your Content Marketing Funnel

1. Attract

Attracting visitors to your website or blog.

At a basic level, this can be done with search engine optimised blog content and social media promotion of it. Research the keywords your buyers are likely to use and then make sure you are creating content that will be found for those searches. ‘How to' and informational guides can be promoted via social media.

Attracting visitors to your blog takes time and effort. You’ll need to monitor your metrics carefully, taking not of what attracts readers, and what doesn’t.

Your blog will only be effective if you update it often. A blog that’s updated too rarely reflects badly on your business, no matter how strong the content. Produce a number of pieces simultaneously and stagger publication to ensure that fresh content is posted regularly.

Finally: Add a call-to-action that prompts readers to share links to your blog, and always focus on producing material that users are likely to share – this is an effective way of increasing your marketing reach.

2. Convert

Converting visitors to leads that you can contact.

Never underestimate the power of free gifts to drive conversions. Create high value content such as white papers, research documents and webinars. Then use a landing page for your visitors to complete, granting access (the free gift) in return for their details. Your high value content can be promoted on your blog and you can provide links from related blog articles.

Remember, you are looking to trade up a visitor to a contact. Your free gift can take many forms, you could offer visitors an ebook, a webinar, a free email course or a PDF guide.

The more attractive the offer, the more success you will have.

3. Nurture

Moving contacts to deeper engagement.

When your visitors convert to contacts, you can begin to nurture them over time. The chances are that they aren't quite sales ready at first and without a nurturing process they’re likely to drift away and forget about you.

So stay in touch and make sure you are adding value over time. The more information you can gather on leads and their preferences, the better. Some leads may want you contact them regularly with information about the benefits your products or services. Others may prefer a less hands on approach.

The more you learn about a lead, the more accurately you can target them. Always look for opportunities to initiate conversations – it’s always great when a lead voluntarily passes information to you. Monitor comments on your blog and other social media channels.

Provide opportunities for leads to re-engage with new content and offers - build a relationship that’s beneficial for both parties. If you only have a few leads, keep in touch by email on a one-to-one basis; people respond well to personalised messages. The nurturing process is your opportunity to position yourself as an authority within your field.

Of course, the more leads you have, the more difficult it will be to maintain a one-to-one relationship. This is where profiling, segmentation and email automation come into play…

4. Close

Seal the sale.

During the nurturing process, you’ll likely find that leads respond to a particular offer.

Be sure to follow up on leads that show sales readiness. You can do this by using marketing automation triggered by specific lead activity that will send a notification to your sales team – allowing them to swoop in and seal the deal. You can assist your sales team by equipping them with relevant icebreakers. These questions can range from “Do you have any queries?” to “If we threw in a free gift, would that convince you to buy today?”, depending on the lead’s profile.

Lay groundwork by gathering intelligence on previous sales. Start by analysing past customers’ behaviour through the funnel. Ask yourself, how did they act before converting? Did they give any clues that they were about to make a purchase?

There are lots of data points when converting and nurturing leads. These include capturing details on landing pages, tracking website activity and email engagement.

It's important to have a single way of controlling the customer journey. Similarly, it’s vital to ensure that all lead data is maintained on a single, accessible database.

If your lead information is scattered between standalone landing pages, email marketing and CRM software you just can't react properly. That's why Jumplead manages converting visitors to leads, nurturing them, triggering automation and sending notifications.

Marketing automation needs content to drive it and content marketing needs marketing automation to keep the wheels turning.

Keep a single customer view

One thing that will make your life far easier when managing the flow of content marketing leads is a single customer view. A single customer view is a brief but comprehensive overview of all data on a business’s customers. The single customer view gives you a chance to analyse past customer behaviour and match your tactics to buyer personas…

Match your tactics to your buyer personas

How you move your leads through your stages will depend upon the details of your buyer personas. Your buyers might have a preferred social network or they might respond to one type of offer more than another. It's important to test your assumptions and then measure and improve your activity over time.

As long as you are measuring the activity and success at each step of your funnel, you will be able to see what works best for you. Content marketing is an exciting and diverse discipline with tactics that are always evolving.

Feel free to try new things, but keep your eye on the movement of your leads through your sales funnel. That’s the key to monetising your content and delivering a tangible return on your investment.

Content Marketing Resources

How to Create a Content Strategy to Drive Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Content can dramatically impact the success of your organization’s marketing if matched to the experience your ideal customer is having with your business at each stage of the sales funnel.

Content Marketing Statistics

Content marketing as a process is found to generate three times as many prospects as outbound marketing, while costing 62% less. See how businesses are using content marketing, their level of success and opinions.

Marketing Guides

Related 'How to' Articles:

How to identify website visitors
Even before they have converted on a form or landing page many website visitors can be identified to the level of their organisation by analysing their IP address, providing valuable sales enablement intelligence.
How to use marketing automation for lead generation
The basic process of marketing automation is all about generating and nurturing leads. From a lead converting on a landing page (or form) to automatically following up with email nurturing campaigns that qualify your leads ready for sales.
How to use landing pages for lead generation
A landing page is an editable web page containing a conversion form created to capture and enrich the information you have about your contacts. When someone completes one of your landing pages the information entered into it’s conversion form is used to create a contact (if they don’t exist), or add information to help you learn more about their needs, suitability and how qualified they are.
How to use landing pages with email autoresponders
Landing pages offer more design control over how your conversion form is presented allowing you to design a page and then add a conversion form to it. You can choose any existing conversion form to add to your landing page, and add marketing automation actions specific to your landing page.


Combine lead forms and pages, email marketing automation and live chat to jumpstart your marketing and sales.

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