Content Marketing is essentially providing your target audience with information that satisfies their needs. It should be of value to THEM. It is not a sales pitch, but it is intended to stimulate interest in your products or services indirectly.
It could be a written blog, a video, a podcast, an email, a social media post, generally any sort of communication that is geared towards answering a question that someone may one day ask Google.
If there is content online with the answer your prospect is looking for, the search engines will put it in front of them. If you wrote that content, then your prospect is heading your way and your opportunities to influence them just got a whole lot bigger.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
Builds a long-term audience
Wouldn’t it be great if you became a trusted source of great content?
Builds brand awareness
Consistent delivery of good content will keep your brand at the forefront of your readers minds.
Creates an impression of thought leadership.
Wouldn’t it be great to become revered as the go to company in your industry for innovative ideas?
Supports your social media efforts
Used in collaboration with social media adds another opportunity to get your content in front of your prospects.
Drives traffic to your website
This, in turn gives you multiple opportunities to convert your prospects into customers.
Improves Search Engine Optimisation
Adding a blog is a great way to give search engines more content to ‘crawl’ and allows them to get a better idea of what you do.
It’s important to be realistic with your expectations of how quickly content marketing is going to work for you. It’s a slow burner, you can’t expect someone to read a blog and then go and buy something from you straight away. It takes time to build trust. Stay consistent, relevant and true to your main objective of creating value for your customers and you will eventually reap the rewards.
So how do you go about it?
Take a look at the content you have already written.
What have you got? What topics does it cover? What is the style of your writing, formal/informal? What has had the most engagement for you historically? What seems to work with your audience and what doesn’t?
Set some objectives – what do you want your content to do?
Do you want it to drive traffic to your website? Do you want people to engage with you on social media? Do you want it to help drive sales?
Be specific about what you want your content to do, because that will govern the way that it is put together.
What you want to say and who you want to say it to!
First of all, in your arsenal of messages you should have your businesses Vision, Mission and Values available to you at all times, these are your businesses main messages and so it is important that your content is aligned to them. (Take a look at my blog about why a vision is important.)
Secondly, identify who your readers are going to be? Who would you like to read your content? This ties into your target audience. What do you think would they like to read? What pains them and keeps them awake at night?
Finally, tailor your content to the audience through understanding what you believe they will be interested to not only read about, but engage with, share and take action from.
Once you get writing and posting content, analyse the engagement data for patterns.
For example, look at your social media insights to see which posts are getting the most engagement. Look at Google Analytics to see which of your blogs are getting the most traffic.
You will be able to determine what kind of content seems to do the best, then just do more of this and less of the other stuff.
Content Marketing Ideas
1. Top 10 at 10
People like 10 reasons to do anything, in fact if you can’t think of 10 reasons, think of 6 or 8 or whatever number, but nicely setting your blog up into pointers makes it easy to read and digest.
2. How to guides
How to… do something must be one of the most commonly used searches in search engines. Think about how often you have googled stuff like that. What are you the expert at that you could write a guide for?
3. What it is and why you need it
Think about the reasons why your customer might not want to buy from you. You’re too expensive, you’re not accessible, you’re perceived as a nice to have, whatever it may be, write about why they’re wrong!
If you have a face for television, people like to see people being real. There’s no faster way to get to know someone than seeing them in person. If you can recreate that via social media/content marketing, then fantastic.
Promote your blogs in person on a screen. Share and record your screen and distribute on social media channels.
Social Media Post Ideas
Share your blogs
One of the quickest ways to generate lots of post content, is to write your blogs and then break them up into smaller chunks that you can then post on social media.
For example, each of the chapters in an e-book are blogs in their own right, take this blog, I could chop this up into the following social media posts;
- Definition of Content Marketing
- The benefits of Content Marketing
- How to develop a CM strategy
- Content Marketing Ideas
- Blog Content ideas
- Video Content ideas
- Social Media Content ideas
So all of a sudden you have produced one big piece of content but got 7 days’ worth of social media content out of it.
Social media, the clue is in the name… social. These platforms want you to be sociable. They want you stimulating conversation between the members. It thrives on it. The more you can do, the more the social platforms like you and the wider they distribute your content.
The more you put yourself about and mingle on social channels, the more interest you will generate in yourself. You know yourself that if you have received a ‘follow’ ‘like’ or ‘comment’ from someone who’s name you don’t recognise, the first thing you do is look them up. Boom, you’ve just been noticed and that’s fantastic right?
Think of these social sites as if you were walking into a room of people, your potential prospects no less. The best way to generate trust with these people is through building a relationship. Social media is no different, it is just trickier to do because you can’t buy them a pint!
Get conversations going with your followers. Ask questions. Run competitions. The engagement will help build relationships and ultimately trust in your brand.
Content marketing is a big commitment in time and it might be really daunting if you’re not a natural writer, but it really packs a punch as far as Google is concerned and that it’s an area of your marketing strategy that really can’t be neglected.
Give it a go and don’t be afraid to reach out to a copywriter, like me, if you need some more help.