What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing technique that involves the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content in order to attract, acquire and retain a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Why content marketing?
Well written quality content can win big business through outreach and acquiring link power for SEO. In fact, for many companies the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing. Authoritative content not only helps to drive organic search traffic but also facilitates in gaining a potential customer’s trust. When visitors see your content and are able to learn more about you, they will feel as though they are developing a relationship with you, they learn to trust you. It is always easier to make a sale when the consumer trusts you.
How customers decide to purchase
The four steps of the buying cycle:
- Awareness: Prior to awareness a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.
- Research: Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves.
- Consideration: At this point the customer starts comparing different products from different companies to make sure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.
- Buy: Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.
Traditional advertising and marketing is great when it comes to the second two steps. Content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.
The importance of using media in your content
Viewers are much less likely to read or engage with your content if it is just plain text on it’s own. It is a fact that if you showed the same text to the same people except this time you interlaced the text with images your information would have a longer lasting impact on those who read it. Images and text are complimentary to one another, when combined they deliver a more powerful message.
Different types of media:
- Images: When implemented properly, images can complement and enhance your content, catch the interest of new readers, and improve your chances of getting found through organic searches.
- Podcasts: Roughly 30 percent of your customers are auditory learners and will process and retain information much easier through sound.
- eBooks: eBooks offer thorough information and/or data on industry specific topics.
- Video: People digest information through video better than any other form of content.
- Infographics: Containing valuable statistics and information presented in an engaging, visual way, infographics are especially good for generating social media sharing. They work without requiring any additional written content to support them, and often get republished on major media channels, and become magnets for inbound links.
- Interactive content: Examples include interactive scrolling parallax pages and digital quizzes. It engages the user to interact, share socially and reveal personal information that can be used to help your lead targeting.
Developing a content marketing strategy
Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content. A strategy should provide an assessment of the client’s current content, as well as insight into their competitors’ content.
Why are you doing this? What is content going to do for your organization? Create awareness? Generate leads? Improve loyalty and retention?
2.Research your target audience
Use personas to model the audiences for your content marketing. You must understand your customer in order to give them what they require.
3.Analyse your competition
You need to figure out where your competitors are, their good and bad points, what they offer and how you can learn from their example.
4.What makes you unique?
What it is about your content that will set you apart from the competition?
Research relevant keywords and begin to brainstorm potential articles and content based around these keywords.
6.Create a content execution plan
Build a plan that shows what content you’ll create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Without a consistent and strategic schedule, you can’t expect to attract your target audience and gain organic traffic.
7.Create an amplification plan
The reality is that just creating content isn’t enough. In many cases, you need to amplify it. This is where social media plays it’s part.
8.Monitor, evaluate and readjust
Set up Google Analytics account to keep track of visitors and monitor the following:
- To gauge whether and how audiences are finding your knowledge on the web.
- To evaluate marketing and outreach activities designed to drive target audiences to your web site.
- To improve content and navigation on your website.
- To gauge system performance and technical requirements.
Once you’ve gone through this entire process, do it again. You engage, you refine and you rework.
If you’re not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers what kind of content you can produce that would be helpful to them. They’ll tell you.