What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating information for your target audience with the goal of attracting new customers. In a digital world, website pages, blogs, social media posts, infographics or videos (to name a few) are the most common ways to distribute this information.
In this article, our aim is to help you understand the foundations of content marketing, why businesses are being encouraged to create new, relevant content and help spark some inspiration when it comes to creating your own content.
Already know the basics? Skip to the practical advice bit.
Why is content marketing so important?
Consider content as the same as your sales force, or more accurately your account management team. It’s a way of staying connected with your customers, reminding them of your services and giving you an opportunity to talk about something new. As a result, this will help establish you as the authority on a particular subject. Essentially, it’s the soft sell.
Content marketing isn’t exclusively a digital tool and can be delivered via various sources, including print. However, this form of marketing has become a vital element to a successful digital marketing strategy.
Producing content regularly for your audience helps you to continually populate your website, blog and social feeds with fresh stories and messages. This allows you to promote your business to the same audience again and again without them getting bored or indifferent to your brand. It also helps you obtain new contacts by capturing their attention (shouting the loudest / most often) and demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about.
Creating the best content marketing strategy
Creating the perfect content marketing strategy for your business is going to take time, effort and probably some financial investment. It’s unlikely that one piece of content or even a series of material is going to bring in the sales straight away. However, without it, the chances of future sales are going to get slimmer.
The size and investment in your content strategy are dependent on your business. Larger organisations will usually have dedicated content creators who continually promote the brand and actively seek out related stores to exploit – similar to newspaper journalists. Smaller organisations have to be savvier and take advantage of opportunities when they appear.
Either way, the method of creating a strategy is the same.
Creating a successful content marketing strategy
Understand your target audience
What content is your target market interested in and what is the best way(s) to reach them? Don’t be afraid to put people in boxes and segment your audience to help target your message better. However, don’t overcomplicate things and certainly don’t be scared to throw these segmentation rules out the window if they don’t work for you.
Create a plan
Try not to just go for it. Inevitably you’ll lose interest, drive and probably forget what you’re supposed to be doing – or more likely, get distracted by other things.
Creating a rolling three-month content plan should help you stay on track and leave a little wiggle room should things not work out as you planned. When creating your three-month plan, first identify what you want to achieve – is it brand awareness, contacts or just more website visits and social engagement? It may be all of these things. Next, think about the content that will help you achieve these goals.
Dedicate some resource to creating content regularly
Investing in a person or agency to regularly create content is essential. The keyword here is REGULAR. It’s sometimes hard to find a direct link between creating content and sales, so it’s understandable that you may think you don’t need to create anything regularly. However, if you do stop, you will notice the impact later on – guaranteed.
Invest in design
Making your content easy to digest by your audience is essential. Don’t forget the different types of learning/audience, for example: visual, audible and kinesthetic. If you have a great message, produce a suite of themed content using different channels and create something for everyone. A text-heavy blog article alone won’t help you (no matter how good it is).
Challenge your design agency to produce materials across various platforms. Doing it yourself? Then the Adobe Creative Cloud will probably be your new best friend. Alternatively, there are free design tools available, like Canva.
Share your content
Promote your content over as many appropriate channels as you can – and don’t just do it once! If you spend time creating all this great content, don’t let all that effort go to waste. Spend at least double the time promoting as you did in creating. Here are some common channels:
- Social media
- PPC Adverts
You don’t need to remember to promote your blog every week; you can use tools to help schedule months of distribution across various platforms in advance. However, try and keep each iteration fresh with introduction derivatives.
Monitor, report and improve
Keep track of what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Pay attention to the success of other brands and adapt their content, modifying it to suit your style and audience.
Some practical advice
The most common and ‘go to’ content is usually writing a blog, and this seems to be the cornerstone of all content creation. However, as powerful as your blogs are, they’re not going to solve all of your problems. They need to be supported by other things, and they don’t allow for your audience who have audible or kinesthetic preferences.
In addition to blogs, there are a few other formats you might also consider:
- Creating how-to guides
- Video guides
- Online games
If you’re interested in other types of content, check out the Content Marketing Institute for more information.
How Wondrous can help?
Challenge us to improve your content strategy. We regularly run workshops to help generate ideas and find new, exciting ways to promote businesses.
And remember, just as content marketing isn’t exclusive to digital, neither are we. Our integrated approach extends past our digital services to include print, design and PR services.
Give us your challenge. Call us.