What content should we make first, and what should be promoted organically vs. paid?

By Sean Withford - October 31, 2019

Digital marketing managers often question what content they should make first, and which content they should support with paid ads given they have a limited paid traffic budget.

 

Now, there is no exact answer, as it depends on your goals and budgets however here are some questions that will help you answer it.

 

First let’s make a distinction on the different types of content specifically as they relate to the buyer’s journey. 

 

We can divide the buyer journey into three stages:

  • Awareness - Your prospect is becoming aware of problem
  • Consideration - Your prospect is investigating their options for solving their problem
  • Decision - The prospect is deciding Why your specific solution will solve their problem

 

Your content plan should then be mapped against these buyer stages. 

 

Broadly speaking, awareness content grows your brand trust and preference, consideration content helps create leads, and decision content helps nurture a prospect into becoming a customer.

 

With this in mind. The first question you should ask yourself is…  

 

“What is our marketing priority? More awareness, more leads, or improved conversion?” 

 

The answer helps guide what type of content you need to be prioritising initially - awareness, consideration, or decision stage content.

 

Now, if you are like some businesses where the answer is “All three”, then a follow up question you might ask yourself is:

 

“If I only had $100 to spend on marketing, how would I divide it across awareness, leads, and conversion?”

 

Answering this will give you a % weighting for your priorities.

 

The next question you should ask yourself is… 

 

What is our sales / go to market strategy? 

 

If you have a very broad audience and distribution strategy, for example a bottle of coke is for everyone and can be bought everywhere, awareness is going to be a primary objective. 

 

However if you have a very narrow sales or distribution strategy, perhaps you’re a specialist accounting firm that looks after a specific industry, and you have a single partner in the business responsible for sales, then you might have a greater focus on generating inbound leads and enquiries with consideration and decision stage content.

 

You should also ask yourself… 

 

How significant is our budget?

 

It might seem obvious, but given a larger budget the more effectively you can try to influence your potential buyers at all three stages of their journey. The tighter the budget, the more you will need to prioritise a specific focus on either awareness, leads, or conversion.

 

Now you should consider… 

 

How large and how engaged are our existing audiences?

 

If you have large and engaged social media audience, or perhaps a really engaged and large email then you’ll be able to have opportunity there. 

 

Now for my favourite question… 

 

Does our product have a “viral potential”?

 

It’s a funny question, but the mass appeal of a product will also influence your content strategy. If you have something fun, funny, popular, quirky with a broad appeal then awareness content has the potential to perform really well for you.. 

 

Using the example from before of specialist accounting firm working for a niche vertical, it’s going to be a lot less likely your content is going to show up on the #foryou page on TikTok. 

 

So a quick recap, if you are deciding what content to make, and what content to promote, you need to ask yourself:  

 

  1. “Is our primary objective more awareness, more leads, or improved conversion rates?”
  2. “If I had $100 to divide across awareness, leads, and conversion, what would it be?”
  3. “What is our sales / go to market strategy?”
  4. “How significant is our budget” 
  5. “How large and how engaged are our existing audiences?”
  6. Does our product have viral potential?

I hope that you found this useful. 

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