The marketplace we live in now is different from the ones our predecessors started. Sales personnel and business owners used to be experts in their field of work. Brands and other companies also spent millions of cedis to reach people who needed their services.
Today, the buyer or customer is the expert and has the power to reach out to businesses whose services he or she needs. This is because according to research, 81% of buyers research online before setting foot in the store to buy. This buyer-driven environment is not helping certain businesses to exist. The best answer to help level the playfield is Content Marketing.
What is Content Marketing
Content Marketing means creating and sharing relevant, valuable and free content to attract and convert prospects into customers. And then into repeat buyers. The type of content you share relates to what you sell. In other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. This is an ongoing process which you should add to your marketing strategy.
Content marketing involves communicating with your clients and prospects without selling to them. Instead of selling, you rather educate the clients and make them more informed.
Content marketing helps businesses and brands deliver consistent and valuable information to buyers. These customers, in return, become brand loyalists.
Kindly go back and read the definition of content marketing once again. This time omit the words relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell to you. They push information that has no relevance or adds no value to you. Good content marketing makes a person STOP, READ, THINK, BEHAVE differently and start chasing you with his money.
A successful content marketing campaign requires a solid foundation with in-depth knowledge of the scheme, preparation and execution. Failure to lay down these fundamentals can lead to misguided efforts and a waste of company and human resources.
Starting your content marketing campaign is not complicated. By understanding the aims of content marketing, developing your corporate identity, defining your goals, identifying your audience, and developing your content, your team can count themselves among the growing number of marketers who feel confident and effective.
That said, the following points should get you on the right path to a successful content marketing campaign.
- Define your goals.
Before you start any marketing campaign, first make sure it’s aligned to your business. Thus, you need to define what you want to achieve with content marketing. Every business has its goals. Here are some business goals of content marketing:
- Building connection: Content marketing offers businesses the platform to engage customers and prospects in conversations. This help builds trust in the business or brand.
- Raising brand awareness: Content marketing helps raise brand awareness as readers start looking for the brand behind the content they consume.
- Customer education: This is the main goal of content marketers. Content can be used to answers the many questions your clients ask thereby educating them.
- Increasing brand loyalty: Once your prospects start finding themselves coming across and reading your content whenever they search for specific solutions, they start to see your brand in a new light as a credible but also a likeable resource.
These goals help quantify your results and justify your budget and investment.
- Define your persona/audience
A successful content marketing campaign involves defining your target audience. You have to know the kind of content that will be relevant to them. This will help you develop content personas. That is a representation of your ideal reader or someone you will be creating the content for.
- Have a unique content
- Identify what type of content to use
The next step is to determine the type of content that will be relevant to your campaign. There are no restrictions whatsoever on the number of content you want to use.
You can publish as much content as you can depending on the preference of your audience. You can try different content types such as blogs, infographics, white papers and more.
- Develop content calendar
A content calendar is very important to help keep track of your content and ensure you post on time. It also gives an insight into content personas, topics, keywords and distribution method.
- Create content
Enough said, now is the time to roll up your sleeves, put on your thinking cap and start writing. Your content must be in line with your content calendar. There are a few things to help ensure you create good content.
- Align your content with your marketing strategy. In other words, your content shouldn’t contradict your main brand message.
- Have someone specialized create your content (even if it means having to outsource it)
- You should spend considerable time on headlines. They will play a big role in dictating the success of a campaign.
- Define distribution channels
In content marketing distribution is everything. The main work on your campaign begins when you hit publish. Yet, getting content in front of the target audience is still one of the biggest problems today.
Before you launch, have an idea and a clear path for reaching your target audience. Consider your internal resources as social media, press connections, newsletter subscribers and existing visitors. Decide if there are any industry leaders who would agree to help and if you can afford to run ads to promote the main pieces.
Types Of Content Marketing
There are a lot of options available to content marketers when it comes to choosing the content. Choosing a content type depends on your goals and target audience. Some of the types of content available in content marketing include:
Blog posts: These are articles that talk about your company’s core message and other secondary issues that are of relevance to your persona. A blog post can range from 300 words to 2000 words depending on your topic and audience.
Videos: You cannot have all your content on your website. You can create a Youtube or Vimeo channel to give your video savvy personas a taste of your content. You can as well upload the video on the website and link it to Youtube or Vimeo depending on which platform you choose. Note that your videos must be of good quality to amass a lot of views.
Infographics: As the name implies, give your audience info and back it with graphics. A well-designed infographic organizes and communicates information in a visually attractive, easy-to-process way. Infographics are often shared on Instagram and Pinterest.
Email Newsletters: The opt-in email newsletter is a fantastic avenue for getting your message out to loyal followers. The key is to provide relevant content that they want to read.
EBooks: For your customers who are hungry for more info about your brand and your story, eBooks offer many advantages. Package your best writing into an eBook to sell or give away. You can share more in-depth info on your company’s unique personality, story, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF CONTENT MARKETING
- Content marketing is cheaper than traditional forms of marketing.
Content marketing has proven to be cost-effective as compared to other traditional forms of marketing. The strategy can be implemented from your own team or organization without having to pay someone to run specific marketing tasks for you.
- Content marketing helps build brand awareness
The higher the quality of content you provide, the greater the authority and awareness you generate for your brand. By building brand awareness, your business can generate higher levels of authority, loyalty and respect from the targeted audience.
- Content marketing increases sales
Consumers who are attracted by your content are likely to buy your product or service. The better your target audience understand your content and appreciate its benefits, the more likely they can become your paying customers.
- Content marketing generates more leads
By conducting an effective content marketing campaign, all your traffic and engagement can deliver better results up to three times more leads for any cedi you invest.
- Content marketing generates traffic to your site
Providing your targeted audience with relevant information that can provide a solution to a particular need or problem will help direct massive traffic to your website.
Today’s buyers and consumers are empowered and independent and savvy marketers meet them where they are. A robust content marketing strategy will help your brand connect and engage with your audience at every stage of the buying cycle.
Ever tried content marketing? Share your experience with us in the comments below.