January 4th, 2017

Why You Must Cast a Wide Net in Content Marketing

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave” Sir Walter Scott used this line to refer to the complexity of life once a person begins to lie. In content marketing we must weave a similarly tangled and complex web. Content is not a one size fits all solution. What attracts you as a reader will probably not attract someone who prefers to learn via video or by listening to podcasts.

To truly gain the most from a content marketing strategy your content must be like the lair in Cirith Ungol (Lord of the Rings reference). Shelob, the spider who attacked Frodo, had a web that wasn’t just wide, but it was deep and covered every nook and cranny of her nest. While this may be taking a rather geeky turn, I hope you’ll see that it’s really a good analogy.

First: Go Wide

The width of your content marketing strategy refers to both all of your products and services, as well as the number of ways you can communicate. I’ll use Build/Create as an example of how we go wide in our content strategy.

We offer 3 main service types: web design, marketing, and content creation. Each week we produce somewhere between 3 and 5 different blogs on the three topics related to each of these subjects. In truth we tend to lean more on marketing writing because of the vastness that in covers. We’re trying to go as wide as we can on our content strategy.

However, we fail to go wide in the way we deliver content. Sure we write a lot, and that’s great for SEO. But not everyone wants to learn that way. We need more video, audio, and other means of communicating with our potential customers. In this aspect, at least as of the 4th of January 2017, we are failing. I have great faith that this will be rectified shortly. 🙂

Next: Go Deep

Shelob, as you may remember from watching The Lord of the Rings, had a cavern and maze of webs she had woven. Had she just had a single layer of webbing any prey she had would have cut through and gotten away. Deep content slows your visitor down, and gets them where you want them.

Not everyone is at the exploratory phase in their searches. Others are further down the funnel (or deeper in the cave in this reference) and if you don’t have webbing down there they may escape and be lost forever.

Deepening your content strategy will give users who want more detail a reason to keep digging. You’ll also find that they are more primed for sales when they get there. They know what they want to buy. And because of how much time they’ve spent with you they know who they want to buy it from.

Last: Create the Trip Wire

Even if they’ve gotten through everything you’ve given them and they still haven’t slowed enough to contact you, it’s time to create the trip wire. That special offer before they leave that says, “you don’t want to pass this up”

We all know the drill. You scroll up to the top of the website, contemplating leaving, and poof – up pops an offer of a discount or free service. If it’s something we want, then we often take them up on the offer. The hook is in us, and we have to do the same with our own visitors.

I titled this, why you must cast a wide net in content marketing. But I don’t think it was the best title. Why you must create a wide and deep net with lots of traps and snares in content marketing would have been a better title. However, it exceeded Google’s guidelines for title length so I didn’t. But it’s true, while casting a wide net in content marketing is important, it’s not the only way to success online.

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