But how do you connect with them in a meaningful way that cuts through the noise? Get credible, that’s how!
Content marketing allows you to build organic awareness of your brand through search engines and social networks. Relevant content is more likely to be shared, meaning that your audience is more likely to tune in to your message.
Engaging content makes you a trusted source of information in your industry.
In an age where customers are inundated with marketing messages, they want information that’s relevant to their needs and that’s going to help them to make decisions – they don’t need more noise.
Content marketing allows you to publish your own content, build your own audience and attract the attention of customers who have a problem that you can solve.
An effective content marketing strategy allows you to reach more customers at a lower cost. You’ll create a natural conversation with current and potential customers, the results of which will grow over time.
As with any marketing investment, you need a plan:
Understand your customers: Analyse existing customers to determine their buyer personas, their needs, challenges and the kind of content they like to consume. Their buying stages will determine what you want to accomplish with each piece of content.
Define your brand’s voice: It’s important to be consistent in presenting your brand. Your style may change depending on the type of content such as a Twitter post versus a whitepaper but overall you need to present a consistent brand voice.
Create your content: Inspiration for content can come from anywhere. Industry news alerts, web analytics, keyword research, social media monitoring. One of the most important sources is customer feedback or experience. Tell your customer’s story, there are bound to be others out there experiencing the same challenges.
The type of content will depend on the story you are telling and the audience you are telling it to
- Case Study – tell your customer’s story focusing on the outcome and results your organisation provided.
- Whitepapers and Reports – these are usually technical and informational in nature and are more credible if they are based on or refer to externally published research or data.
- eBooks – effective for B2B audiences, the content must be useful and relevant in order to entice your audience to download it.
- Worksheets or templates – these are useful tools for planning, quick and easy to download.
- Infographics – are a great way to present complex data or concepts. With apps such as Pictochart these can be easily produced.
- Slide Decks – a visual presentation with a lot of graphical content and minimal text
- Video – video is extremely versatile and can be used for many purposes including explainer videos, branding or entertainment.
- Blogs – blogging is a great way to build thought leadership in your industry but it must be regularly maintained to remain relevant.
Set up an Editorial calendar
An editorial calendar allows you to map out your content for the year and break it down by quarter or month. It will keep you organised and allow you to keep track of what type of content needs to be generated and when.
Before you start planning your content ideas, look at what events are coming up in your organisation and your industry – populate your calendar with dates of any product launches, industry events or announcements, national or international holidays or celebration days that may be relevant to your industry.
When creating content, it’s important to be aware of what resources you will require, which tasks can be undertaken in-house and what will need to be outsourced for example, writing or graphic design. You may also be able to work collaboratively with industry partners or external experts in your content creation.
Remember that any content you produce needs to have a purpose – you want your audience to take a specific action – visit your landing page, download an eBook, subscribe to your newsletter. With each of these there is an opportunity to obtain his or her information and in so doing, to keep the conversation going.
As mentioned before, content marketing is an ongoing strategy that builds up over time. As you create more and more content, a resource centre where you can publish and organise your content will make it easier for your audience and your team to find and share the content they need.
Publish and promote your content
Deciding how to promote your content will depend on your audience and of course, your budget.
Promotion can be through social media posts, email campaigns to your database or blog updates; through sponsored posts on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter, paid content on industry news sites, paid email programs or purchasing ads on search engines. Promotion may also be earned through social media shares, distribution of your content by a media source or being mentioned by an influencer.
Test and measure your content marketing strategy
There are plenty of ways to test and measure your content marketing but it is important to look past the initial response to measure ongoing levels of engagement and impact over time.
Possible metrics may be:
- Traffic to your website and blog
- Views and downloads of your content
- Links to your content
- Social shares (Facebook shares, retweets, etc.)
- Social engagement (comments, Facebook “likes,” etc.)
- Followers on social/blog subscribers
- Lead generation
- Pipeline and opportunity allocation
- Sales use
- Revenue allocation
The value of content marketing is in the engagement between the customer and your organisation. Essentially, it is about the creation and participation in meaningful conversations and development of relationships. It’s time to look at how your organisation uses content marketing to engage your audience.
For more information contact the OTM team.