Content marketing is by far the most significant new integrated marketing strategy that has emerged in recent years. When done correctly and consistently, it drives new customers to your online presence, builds credibility and engages an audience in new and exciting ways. When not done correctly, it saps resources without delivering results.
If you and your company have already committed to a content marketing program, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re ahead of the game. If you haven’t, here are some ideas that might help you get moving in the right direction.
For the past couple of years, we’ve been employing content marketing strategies for our clients that are driving sales. It all begins with understanding who your buyer is and what they’re interested in.
Let’s start with who the buyer is. In our agency, and in others around the country, we use the development of personas to define the audience. We profile this audience by demographic, psychographic and behavioral segmentation. We even give the persona a name and a photo. We want to get inside this person’s head and having this physical image helps us do that.
Since we’re big planners in our firm, we put together a comprehensive content planning document which incorporates seasons, holidays, themes, and ideas into a calendar that we can implement. It sure makes the process flow easier and more seamlessly. In fact, a recent study comparing content marketing programs showed that 66% of businesses with a documented plan were most effective.
The next step is discovering what your audience is interested in. Common sense can tell you a lot of things but you may want to use research to confirm what you think and to tell you even more. Content does not need to be product related, but mixing it in can certainly be beneficial! It can be about anything that draws the reader in and engages them.
When you understand what interests your buyer, you can then start to create or curate strategic pieces of content that you can house on your website and outposts like Facebook and YouTube. You then distribute content to media sources and push it out through social media. Some of the kinds of content you may want to consider using are videos, articles of interest, photographs and presentations. Really, anything will work as long as your audience is interested in it.
Before you start the program, be sure to do an online audit and establish a baseline for where you are with web traffic, social media followers, engagement levels and online sales. Set measurable goals for what you are trying to accomplish and remember that while you may generate immediate sales from your efforts, it’s more about building awareness for your brand over time.
After you get your program up and running, you should begin to see results. If you stay with it and do it well, it should start to build steam and hopefully, snowball from there.
If you do have a program already working, then you know this has been a simplistic view of content marketing. I recognize it’s more complicated than that and technology driven but my objective today has been to spark interest in this exciting marketing topic. I hope I’ve been able to do that. How did I do?