Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a three-part part series on acquisition, conversion and retention content.
As content marketers, we don’t usually create content for the sake of creating content. Usually there is a purpose behind each piece of online marketing content, and whether we realize it or not, it tends to fall into familiar buckets: reach and acquisition, conversion, and retention.
These, of course, are components of the traditional marketing customer lifecycle, which are used to describe the progression of steps involved in turning a prospect into a customer (and keeping them as one).
It makes great sense to organize and think about your content using the same terminology that marketers use. Call it ‘lifecycle’ content – the alignment between content and marketing. This is a key part of content marketing and online marketing, including SEO.
Here is a list showing where different pieces of content, from blogs to online customer videos, fit into the customer lifecycle. We start with reach/acquisition and explore conversion and retention content in later posts about this aspect of content marketing and online marketing.
The purpose of acquisition content is to grab a prospect’s attention and familiarize them with your brand, usually your web site. Acquisition content usually revolves around thought leadership, data or news. Here are some examples:
Blogging – One of the best ways to attract attention on the social web is by providing relevant content for your target audience. This content gets shared through social media and picked up by the search engines. Eloqua does a great job of providing relevant information on its blog .
Online press releases – Online news releases – through PRWeb or other services – are great for SEO and can help explain an important announcement in an official, matter-of-fact way. Distribute with a video for maximum results.
Social media content – Content created specifically for social channels, including posts, tweets, updates, etc., helps connect with your followers and is also great for SEO.
Online video content – Entertaining or viral video content distributed to multiple video platforms, including YouTube, is a great way to broaden your reach. As many a digital guru will tell you, YouTube is one of the web’s largest search engines, so this is another way to improve SEO. Animated explanatory videos are also extremely popular. Phonebooth.com has a great video from Epipheo Studios. We like our video on the front of InboundWriter too.
Infographics – When meshed with strong data and good art, infographics are a great technique for attracting attention. People love to share compelling data, especially in visual form. Here’s an example of a good infographic from Marketo, on content marketing.
Surveys and trend information – If you can pull off a good survey, with compelling data and a relevant sample size, you’re golden. Original data is a GREAT way to attract attention and leads to all sorts of content: reports, white papers, blog posts, press releases, etc. This is one of the strongest tactics of content marketing.
Webinars – An interesting webinar – whether product demos or case studies that explain how to do something — is still a great way to get leads in exchange for information. Make sure the content is interesting and well-crafted. Another content marketing staple.
Advertising and search copy – Carefully honed advertising copy is key for productive online campaigns, including SEM. Just make sure there’s a strong call to action.
Podcasts – Similar to blogging, podcasts can be great for showing thought leadership and teaching people something they didn’t know.
Blog and forum comments – If done correctly – through intelligent discussion and comments – commenting on blogs and forums can help get the word out and reach new audiences. Just make sure your comments aren’t the equivalent of spam.
You can use web and social measurement tools to measure the impact of aquisition content and your content marketing efforts in general, including online marketing and SEO.
Do you have other examples of great acquisition content? We’d love to hear it. Look for our next post on the different types of conversion content, which should be a part of online marketing efforts.
- Erik Bratt