Content production plays a key role in modern marketing. Actually, digital marketing as a whole is built on content production.
Different approaches to marketing require different amounts of content production. If your websites are ready and you just want to run a banner campaign to bring traffic to your site, then no other content production is required than creating those banners.
When it comes to marketing we want to measure, content production often plays a key role.
What is content production?
Content production refers to all content produced by the company. Content production covers everything from text to image and from video to audio content. Text content is used most often, along with images and videos. Audio content such as radio ads or podcasts, on the other hand, are not that widely used.
When thinking about content production from a business perspective, you should first look at the big picture of sales and marketing. It is useful to start from the end of the sales process and then move towards the first contact with the customer.
In general, it is advisable to disassemble the whole end of the sales process towards the first customer contact. It does not matter if the first steps in the sales process are working well if no deals are made at the end of the process.
4 questions about content production
1. What kind of content makes closing sales easier?
It is often best to ask this question from the salespersons. From them, you often get direct answers. You can get information on topics that are frequently discussed during sales visits, as well as on testimonials and case-stories salespersons are using in order to build trust.
Discussing with salespersons may bring up topics that should be paid attention to in content production. Topics that often emerge in this phase include testimonial stories and studies on the effectiveness of products and services.
When a customer is getting nearer the purchase decision, he or she usually needs recommendations from peers. Customer testimonials play an important role in convincing potential customers that the company has served similar customers with success. (Try Trustmary for free for collecting testimonials for your business!)
2. What kind of content could help in warming up cold leads?
At this point, we are talking about a situation in which a person’s contact information has been obtained, but the person is not yet considering buying. Therefore, it is not yet cost-efficient to contact the person.
It does not really matter whether the potential customer receives information directly from the salesperson or via e-mail automation. What matters is the usefulness of the content targeted at the potential customer. The characteristics of the created content should depend on the way leads have been generated and on how close to the purchase decision they are.
If a person has joined the mailing list for example as a result of participating in a lottery and your aim is to sell a kitchen remodeling to him or her, you have a long road ahead in warming up the lead. In this scenario, you should plan content that interests the potential customer and try to create a sense of hurry in the potential customer.
More often, however, the members on the mailing list are already at least a little interested in the topic. In this case, the potential customer needs to be convinced about why he or she should choose your company instead some of your competitors. In addition, you should argue why the potential customer needs the product or service now and not later. It is advisable to publish content that tells the potential customer how the service works and why things are done like they are done in your company. Show a few testimonials as proof and activate the potential customer with an offer with a clear time frame: “Book a meeting today and win 500 dollars”, or, “Only today: all products –10 % with the code x”.
3. What kind of content generates leads efficiently?
The answers to this question can be found by considering what kind of problems your customers are facing. For example, if you sell websites, make a checklist for updating websites (for example: “Remember these 10 things when updating websites”).
If, on the other hand, you sell heat pumps, guide your potential customers to read “How to save 50 % in heating costs” -guide. This could work particularly well during cold winter times.
By providing answers and tips you can generate relevant leads.
4. What kind of content helps you to get the attention of your customers and bring traffic to your site?
In this phase, you should start considering using different channels. It is a completely different thing to try to get people’s attention with search engine optimized content than with videos published on Facebook.
Depending on the goals and resources, sometimes it is wise to keep the focus on social media and sometimes it’s smarter to use search engine optimization. In some cases, it could be wisest to use only display advertising.
Content production in practice
Once you have gone through the questions above, you should have an action plan and should have prioritized the questions. However, the phases of sales process should also be considered together. For instance, generating leads may require testing and therefore driving traffic to one’s websites.
It is often cost-efficient to create lots of content of the same topic and use different parts of the content entity in different phases of the sales process.
We can again use a company selling websites as an example. The company could make an online course called “How to create well converting websites?” Let’s refer different kind of ways of using the content to the 4 questions earlier.
For the fourth question:
Company takes short clips from the online course. The clips are published in social media. In addition, blog posts are written about the same topic and different keywords are being used to drive potential customers to the website.
For the third question:
Company uses the whole course in generating leads. However, they can also take a checklist from the end of the course and use it as a support in lead generation. For example: ”10 tips for better websites. Follow this advice and your websites will convert more sales than before.”
For the second question:
The company can use the online course as a material in creating e-mail automation that tells the potential customers why it is wisest to buy the service just from you. People who have watched the whole online course can also be considered as leads ready to buy because they have clearly paid attention to the topic and probably like the company’s way to build websites.
For the first question:
The company can use the best parts of the course materials also in the sales presentation.
As the example shows, it is important to consider the problems potential customers are facing when planning content production. Different parts of content entities may be utilized in different phases of the sales process. Working hours can be saved because one material originally planned for generating leads may also be used for instance in ten social media posts and three blog posts.
Costs of content production
What does content production cost? Firstly, it should be noted that video content is more expensive than text content, but often more impressive as well. You can buy high-quality search engine optimized blog posts starting from a few hundred dollars. High-quality video, however, easily costs a few thousand dollars.
If you really want to invest in content production, it is often wise to hire a marketing agent. A marketer that knows the company well can write a good blog post within a few hours. However, the benefit of outsourcing is that it is easy to compare and switch freelancers.
In terms of video production, the situation is similar. In principle, there is a point where a company should hire someone to produce videos and make other marketing. The challenge in hiring someone is finding the right person, which is why using a freelancer is often an easier solution. Via services such as Upwork, it is easy to find freelancers from all over the world.
It is also good to remember that there is a difference between impartial content and content produced by the company. Videos that look similar on the surface may be perceived really differently by customers.
Content production plays a key role in modern marketing, and in order to get the most out of it, you should first think about the sales process as a whole and break content entities to smaller pieces to be used in different phases of the process.
Whether content production should be outsourced or done internally is a question without a simple answer. Instead of general instructions, it is essential to assess the situation case by case.
Marketers too often start content production without careful planning. When content production fails to support the sales process and the work of the salespersons, it can be asked whether there was any point in producing the content at the first place.
However, one should not set too high standards for content production, either. It is usually better to do something than to do nothing. There are also cases in which content production is merely a waste of resources. If you are interested in content production and want to hear more about utilizing video testimonials, book a meeting with our specialist here.