The market place 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 make purchase. This buyer-driven environment is not helping certain businesses to exist. The best answer to help level the play field is Content Marketing.
Content Marketing means creating and sharing relevant, valuable and free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related 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 and must be integrated into your overall marketing strategy.
Content marketing basically involves communicating with your clients and prospects without selling to them your products and services. Instead of telling the clients what you are selling, you rather educate the clients and make them more informed.
The essence of this content marketing strategy is that, we as businesses and brands deliver consistent and valuable information to buyers and they (customers) in return reward us with their businesses and loyalty.(which they always do). The content marketing strategy is developed by both big and small businesses worldwide. Why? Because it works.
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 starts chasing you with his money.
A successful content marketing campaign requires a solid foundation with in dept 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.
If you are about kick starting your content marketing campaign or looking for a fresh start, the process is actually not complicated. By understanding the aims of content marketing, developing your corporate identity, defining your goals, identifying your audience, and developing your content effectively, 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.
For any marketing campaign to succeed, it needs to be aligned with your business or brand vision and mission statement. Therefore a business needs to define what it wants to achieve with content marketing before it starts rolling out content. Every business has its goals. That notwithstanding, businesses that engage in content marketing have typical goals which include:
- Building connection: Content marketing offers businesses the platform to engage customers and prospects in conversations. This help build trust towards the business or brand.
- Raising brand awareness: Content marketing help 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 likeable resource.
These goals are necessary to help quantify your results and justify your budget and investment.
- Define your persona/audience
To embark on a successful content marketing campaign, you need to define 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
One element necessary for the success of your content marketing campaign is to be original. There are so much content available online hence it would be difficult to be recognized unless you bring something unique or different to the table. This will give you an advantage over your competitors.
- Identify what type of content to use
Based on the information gathered so far, you will need to determine the type of content that will be relevant to your campaign. There are no restrictions whatsoever as to 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, whitepapers and more.
- Develop content calendar
A content calendar at this stage is very important to help keep track of your content and ensure it is posted 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. You content must be in line with your content calendar. There are a few things to help ensure you create good content.
- Your content should be aligned with your marketing strategy. In other words, your content shouldn’t contradict your main brand message.
- Your content must be created by someone who specializes in a given content type (even if it means having to outsource it)
- You should spend a considerable time on headlines (as 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 encountered by content marketers today.
Before you launch your campaign you should come up with ideas 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 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 a minimum of 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 Vimoe depending on which platform you choose. Note that your videos must me of good quality in order to amass a lot of views.
Infographics: Just as the name implies, give your audience info and back it with graphics. A well-designed infographics organizes and communicates technical or detailed information in a visually attractive, easy-to-process way. Infographics are easy to share on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest which deal mostly with images.
Email Newsletters: The opt-in email newsletter is a fantastic avenue for getting your message out to loyal followers. The key is providing highly relevant content that they actually want to read. This means it’s time to forget recycled blog content and opt instead for unique content that meets a need for your audience: inspiration, humor, information, etc.
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, and 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 authority and awareness you generate for your brand. By building brand awareness, your business can generate higher levels of authority, loyalty and respect from 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 likelihood 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.