Ah, content marketing. You hear folk repeatedly shouting about it, marketers telling you to do it, but you don’t quite understand why it’s important. It’s just another cost, right? If that’s the line you’re thinking down, then I’m afraid you couldn’t be more wrong. More and more businesses are starting to utilise content marketing. Why? Because content marketing is a proven way of delivering success.
But you can’t just dive into content marketing and become a success overnight. It takes time, effort and a great deal of commitment. Immediately this will put some people off. To reap the benefits of increased brand awareness, generating better-quality leads, and more of them, making your business more successful, you must be prepared to make sacrifices to get where you want to be.
An effective content marketing plan will set you apart from your competitors, and very quickly, you’ll become the go-to business first in your niche, then in your region, and then in your industry. By reading this blog and consuming the knowledge we have to offer, you’ll be able to kick start your content marketing strategy and build a brand your competitors envy. We don’t keep our expertise a secret, we don’t withhold our knowledge for our benefit, and it’s time to make your company the brand everyone’s talking about.
So, let’s get started. Are you ready?
First things first, you need to define your target market. This means thinking about your ideal consumer, the people you think are most likely to have a genuine interest in your products or services. So, whether that may be small business owners, recruitment agencies, or even people who drive Mercedes, it would be helpful to create buyer personas so that you have a visual representation of your target audience. This doesn’t have to be anything technical or fancy, but you must keep these personas in mind when creating your content.
Okay, so you’ve got your target market outlined, and you can visualise who will be buying your product/service. Now you’ve got to dig that little bit deeper and find out what resonates with those people so you can create compelling content that delivers results. What is the best way to do this, I hear you say. Ask! Your consumers hold the keys to the success of your content marketing strategy, so let them unlock doors, so you don’t have to!
When creating a successful content marketing strategy, you must consider your audience, competitors and goals.
Let’s start with the audience. First off, understand who you’re trying to reach by researching their demographics (age, gender, education level), psychographics (personality traits) and behaviours (what they do online). You can do this through surveys or focus groups. Next up is understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What kind of content are they producing? How is it different from what you’re creating? What topics do they cover but not enough people are talking about? Once you know what works for your competition—and what doesn’t—you can tailor your strategy accordingly. You’ll also want to establish clear objectives for why you’re creating content first: Is it because sales have slowed down, so we need more traffic? Or is this something senior leadership wants us doing regardless of whether sales go up or down?” By establishing these goals, you clearly understand why you’re creating a strategy to make the process smoother.
So you have your strategy; what next?
Time for a content plan, folks.
You can’t immediately jump into creating content without an element of preparation beforehand. Your content will struggle to deliver value and meaning to your audience, ultimately making it unsuccessful and disappointing.
Here’s what you should think about:
Timeline. Try to be organised and schedule well in advance but leave room to be reactive.
Budget – Is there a budget to pay for tools, or even a paid ads campaign
Content Types – All of your topics, content formats and styles.
Distribution Channels – Social media, email marketing, print media etc.
Measurement Channels – Analytics tools and surveys to monitor the success of your content.
Once you’ve given some consideration to these topics and clearly defined what content you’re going to produce, when you’re going to use it, where you will distribute it and how you’ll measure its success, then we can get stuck in!
Create original content.
Creating your content is crucial to growing your business with content marketing. You want to be the expert that people know, like and trust, so you must offer your perspective on topics relevant to what your business does. The most effective way of doing this is by creating original content that shares insights, tips, and advice related to your field or industry.
What makes good original content?
You need to create something that provides value and meaning to your audience, offering helpful information and not just trying to sell them something. While there’s some overlap between those two (in fact, the best sales pitches usually have some educational component), they’re not the same. If you’re selling something too hard at first glance (like “buy my product”), it’ll seem like you’re being insincere and might turn away potential customers looking for more than just a purchase. More and more consumers are actively seeking brands to develop relationships with, which is even more prominent in the B2B sector.
For example, if someone searches online for information on how to use Adobe Photoshop, but all they find are ads from companies selling training videos about how their products work better than other programs, they won’t think highly of those brands. This is because all they saw were targeted ads that didn’t provide any help other than telling people where they could buy their courses instead.”
Get it on the calendar.
It would help if you created a content calendar. To ensure you’re making an appropriate amount of content and meeting your audience’s needs, create a content calendar that includes the types (for example, blog posts, emails and social media updates) and topics and target audiences for each piece of content. This will keep help you on track and motivated to keep posting!
Using a calendar will also keep your content varied and exciting. You can visualise what type of content will go out through the week and if you post a blog post on Monday, then make sure the days before and after are different types of content. This helps your audience develop familiarity with what to expect from you without overloading by redundancy or predictability.
Carry on the conversation
Posting content is only half the job. It would be best if you made sure that any feedback or engagement you receive is matched with engagement from your company. Respond to comments, emails, direct messages and any other engagement on your content. This encourages people to engage more often as they feel valued and like they matter.
The sooner you respond, the better! Customers then know you heard them and listened to them, but also prompts the consumer by reminding them of your presence.
Content marketing is an ever-growing part of digital marketing that can help you grow your business by developing your brand, attracting new customers and building relationships with them.
As a business owner, the question you need to ask yourself is: do you want to be a brand or nothing more than a shallow logo? If it’s the latter, then maybe this isn’t for you. But if you want to create something meaningful and lasting, then content marketing is the one for you!
We hope these tips have given you some ideas for your content marketing strategy. Remember to keep it fun and exciting, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats; you could even try video if you want! If you’re looking for more information about growing your business (who isn’t?), check out our other blog here.
But wait! Before you go, have you reserved your strategy toolkit template? Don’t forget we’re giving a free template to help you get started very soon. You don’t want to miss out!