A few weeks ago we introduced the idea of the content marketing home, and how planning and executing your content marketing strategy was similar to undertaking the construction of your dream home. To quickly refresh the key points of that post:
- It Starts With Vision and Content Strategy
- Configure A Strategic Framework For How You Want to Work
- Audit Your Content to Understand Current Gaps in Aligning Messaging to Strategy
- Create Ideas and Plan Content in Line With Strategy
- Execute on Your Content with Collaborative Workflows
- Stay On The Same Page With Multiple Views
- Integrate External Systems Into A Combined Workflow
- Measure Your Progress
- Plan and Optimize How Your Content Creates A Conversion Architecture
Today we going to take a closer look at one element of your content marketing home, the doors.
What is a Content Marketing Door?
Your door content is the content that your audience comes through to enter your content marketing home, and leads them to the appropriate room for their needs. It can be the initial point of contact that they have with your content hub. For those who are already familiar with you, it could be a piece of content that is specific to their needs or that piques their interest, and then takes them further through your conversion architecture. It will address a problem or need that your audience is experiencing, and then offer routes to additional content that is of interest to them.
Examples of Content Marketing Doors
- A piece of door content could be a blog post or a content-rich website page that deals with a problem your target audience commonly experiences. When they perform a search for solutions to those problems via a search engine they find your content and begin to familiarize themselves with your company.
- The door content could also be a post on social media featuring hashtags they are searching for, that in turn links to your website.
- Another example of door content could be a landing page for an e-book that you have published dealing with current shifts in your customer’s market and how to position oneself to best take advantage of the changing circumstances. You could then promote the landing page for the e-book by advertising it in places that your audience visits online.
- Rather than directly advertising your company directly, you advertise your door content as a means to build a relationship with your readers.
Throwing up any old content isn’t going to attract the audience that you want however. You need to put in some up-front work to analyze your audience to provide content that is relevant to them.
Alignment using Strategy Objects
You can achieve alignment with your content doors using strategy objects to help with your planning process.
The theme cycle helps you to create themes around which your content will focus. The cycle element refers to the buyer cycle, which is incorporated into the theme cycle. Door content is typically going to fall within the Awareness and Interest stages of the buyer cycle. It may include trial or purchase content, where you are engaging in re-targeting of existing prospects or leads.
This shows an example of a Theme Cycle based on a New Year theme. Here we can see that we already have two piece of door content that exists and has been published. We have gaps on this theme in the trial and purchase stages. For a strategic perspective, we need to fill out the rooms that those doors lead into, to ensure there is a clear path to conversion.
A persona journey takes a buyer persona and moves it through the stages of the buyer cycle. You then plan the content that will appeal to the persona at each of those stages. Again, your door content will be in the early half of the buyer cycle, but will be specific to the interests and needs of a persona.
This is an example of the persona journey for a marketing executive at a software company. Here it outlines how they enter the door, what they are thinking as they come in the door and what we want them to do once they have entered. Outlining these aspects of your personas help you to design the content blocks that are required to engage and convert your customers.
Once you have performed the strategic planning stage, it is time to start populating your editorial calendar with the content that will be produced. You can either jump straight into your calendar, or use the Ideas tool to collaboratively work on ideas for your content.
When you have created a list of content ideas you can then push them into your calendar, with your door content included first, then the other elements of your content block. This will include promotional content such as social updates to drive traffic to your doors. It will also include the follow-on content items that make up your content rooms. This forms your cohesive content strategy to get your customers in the door, then moving around your rooms and interacting with your content.
The above screenshot shows a simple content block. Here the door content is a blog post, which is linked to a website page and a landing page, that serve as the content rooms. These are all published on Monday. Over the next couple of days you follow up with social media updates to drive traffic from followers. On Thursday you send out an email to your mailing list that links to the piece of door content and issue a press release. Then, on Friday you start to advertise the piece of content to drive traffic from outside of your existing networks.
Measurement and Optimization
Using analytics to track the traffic generated helps determine which of your promotion methods was most successful for this piece of content. This can be tested and optimized by changing the days and times for publishing and promoting subsequent pieces of door content. Testing different methods of advertising will also help you to determine what is most successful for your target audience.
To see how you can use Marketing.AI to help build your content doors and develop blocks of content sign up for a FREE Trial and a member of our team will be in touch to show you a demo.