We’ve talked before about the importance of content for your inbound marketing strategy. The content you create affects everything from SEO ranking to lead generation to sales enablement. How you distribute this content is just as important as how you create the content. To truly see a return from your content, you need to ensure the right people see it at the right part in their buyer’s journey.
The goal of using inbound marketing is to develop a strategy that reaches your ideal customer at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Content is used to provide valuable and educational information to your leads and potential customers throughout the process.
As your visitors and leads progress through their journey, they will encounter the four stages of the Inbound Marketing methodology:
Each stage uses different tools to reach your leads and customers. To truly reap the benefits of implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you need to ensure you are using each of these tools to distribute the right content to the right person at the right time.
Tools for Content Distribution
Your website is the first place people will visit when investigating your company. Remember, they are looking for an answer or a solution to a problem they have. Your website is a valuable tool because it can provide content for visitors and leads at every stage of their journey.
You could have a blog, specific landing pages, downloadable case studies or e-books, customer reviews, and more. There are endless opportunities for content distribution on your website because no matter what stage your ideal customer is on in their buyer’s journey, they can visit your website and find content that is relevant to them.
Email is another great tool that can reach customers at various stages in their journey. Email can easily distribute content throughout all the steps of the Inbound Marketing methodology.
Some ways to use email include creating personalized messages for potential buyers through the use of lists created to provide the right information to the right people at the right time. You can also use email to distribute newsletters and other content to buyers who are looking to take the next step in their journey.
Finally, email can even be used after a purchase has been completed to delight customers, pass on more relevant content, and even ask for reviews and testimonials.
3. Social Media
Like email, social media can be used to distribute content at different stages of a buyer’s journey. It can also be used as a pathway to guide people towards deeper and more relevant content.
Examples of content for social media include links to blog articles, photos, video, or other media, customer reviews and testimonials, contests, content downloads, and more!
Social media is a great distribution channel for all forms of content. Depending on the platform and your buyer persona, you could potentially reach people during every stage of their buyer’s journey.
4. Case Study or eBook
Long content such as case studies or eBooks are great distribution tools for reaching leads who are very interested in learning more about your particular solution to their problem. The detail that needs to go into these content forms works to establish you and your company as an authority on your topic and in your field.
Distributing this type of content also allows you to provide true value to your ideal customer and opens the door for further opportunities to distribute content.
For example, you could require an email address to download the content which will allow you to use other tools of communication to further the conversation. You could also add in links to other areas of interest in your website or blog so readers can continue to learn more and engage with your content.
5. Gated Forms
Gated forms are a great way to distribute content that holds a higher value. With a gated form, you are asking for information from your lead and in return, you will grant them access to a higher value piece of content.
This is beneficial to your company because it allows you to take the next step in your relationship with your potential lead or customer. At this point, they have recognized that you have something of value to offer them and are willing to give you something in return.
After you have received their information, you can continue to reach out to them and provide them with more content that is specific to their stage in the buyer’s journey.
6. Nurturing Campaigns
Nurturing campaigns are a valuable way to distribute content to your ideal customer while guiding them through the steps of the inbound marketing methodology. Once you have your potential customer’s information, you can then create specific pieces of content that are personalized to where they are in their buyer’s journey.
For example, once you have an email address, you could send a series of emails that continue to provide valuable and relevant information to leads. You could also create social media campaigns that target individuals who have visited a specific page on your website or blog.
These campaigns should be used to provide valuable information to these leads in the hopes of nurturing them and guiding them towards the next stage in their buyer’s journey.
7. In-Person Materials
A final way to distribute your inbound marketing content is with printed materials delivered in-person. These documents are not something that is mailed blindly or left on cars or doors.
Instead, they are documents that guide leads towards the next step AFTER you have already been invited to make an in-person connection with these potential customers.
For example, if you are a company who does in-home consultations for your product or service, you could create a document to leave behind with your potential customers after your consultation. You could also use these documents if you participate in trade shows or events to give to potential leads who visit your booth.
In both of these instances, you have been invited to share your knowledge with potential leads. Your printed leave-behind documents serve to further educate the leads and guide them towards the next step in their journey.
There are many ways to distribute the content you create for your inbound marketing campaign.
The number one thing to remember is to keep track of who you are trying to reach with each piece of content and where they would be in their buyer’s journey when they read each specific piece.
After you determine this, you will be able to decide which distribution method will be most effective to reach the right person in the right way at the right time.
The best way to know the right distribution channels to reach the right people at the right time is to create a buyer persona to identify your ideal customer. Download our free Buyer Persona template to create your own!