Content Strategy: Tips for Developing Strong Drip Campaigns
In today’s digital world, your marketing just isn’t complete without a content strategy. From blogs, social media, newsletters and email campaigns, there’s too much opportunity to reach and engage your audience to just let potential customers slip by.
One of the most effective ways to keep your lead funnels filled is through long term engagement. While many potential prospects aren’t ready to buy today, throwing away these leads is wasteful, and can really hurt your long-term goals.
Email drip campaigns are a fantastic way to keep your company top of mind, and a great method to put your content to good use. But developing a drip strategy can be daunting. Here are some quick tips to help you work out a drip campaign that works, and keep your marketing funnels full.
- Take stock of the content you already have - sometimes, the old whitepapers, blogs or ebooks are great sources of easy content to get into a drip. If they’re just sitting in a file on your hard drive, they’re not working for you, and if they’re still relevant, put them to work!
- Don’t drive yourself crazy looking for the magic hook - I’ve seen too many marketers waste days of time trying to come up with a unicorn that will bring in leads by the boatloads. But, in the time it takes trying to brainstorm the magic beans, you could have worked out a fantastic content strategy based on solid topics you already know.
- Draw it out - I’m a visual person, so rather than trying to write a step-by-step guide of how I want my strategy to work, I usually start with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper. It lets me visualize how I want the contact to flow through the content drip, and let’s me see where I have holes that need to be filled with a well-timed email, or another offer.
- Scribble, scribble, scribble - when I show the initial ideas of a content strategy to a marketing director, they usually think I’m crazy. There are random notes all over the page, arrows linking one idea to another, and even stuff written upside down. But, within those “brain dumps” I’ve usually managed to come up with a ton of different topics and ideas that I can pull together into a cohesive, methodical and effective campaign.
- Don’t go for the close on the first article - I’ve found that when I end up somebody else’s drip campaigns, it’s usually because I’ve needed a tool or a tip to help me with whatever I’m already working on. I have very little interest in somebody’s services, but their templates or guides are really helpful. When you craft your campaign, make your first article relevant to your industry, but try to fill a small, quick need that any person could make use of.
- Plan for lots of touch points - it’s no secret that it takes 8 or more touch points before a person is ready to buy. The same is true for getting somebody interested in your services. Plan for many points of contact that will keep your name within the notice of your prospect. Be prepared to figure out many different ways to connect with the people on your list, and always continue to give them options to convert.
- Gradually increase the pressure - as your content drip moves along, remember that you’re trying to take a prospect from curiosity to awareness, from awareness to interest. As you progress a contact along your funnel, make sure that you gradually increase mentions of your services, and the ways you can help them achieve their goals.
- Track and measure - this is the most important part of any strategy. Track, measure, analyze and edit as needed. If you keep track of when your contacts convert from one stage to the next, you’ll be able to streamline your content flows, and zero in on the key pains that get them to convert. There’s power in data, so use it.
These are just tricks that I use to come up with strategies, and they’ve worked well for me. I’ve been able to develop effective campaigns by doing these things, and it’s helped me hone a process for myself.
Content strategy isn’t rocket science, but if you don’t approach your drip campaigns with an equal measure of art and science, imagery and data, you’ll be able to build great content campaigns to convert your long term leads.