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Over the past few years, content marketing has gained in popularity with businesses and entrepreneurs alike. As a result, brands are communicating more effectively with their audience and seeing greater returns on leads and conversions. But what exactly has fueled this change and what does it mean for businesses?
We are living in a media-rich world where sharing content has become an integral part of every digital experience. As the demand continues to grow, brands that are not delivering quality content will likely be operating at a disadvantage.
What’s all the buzz about?
Content marketing is essentially consistently creating and distributing information that is valuable and relevant to your audience. Ultimately, the goal is to build brand awareness, make a connection with consumers and entice them to do business with your company. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that content marketing can be used to drive results for your business:
Boosts brand awareness.
By creating consistent content you are also creating many opportunities for your audience to come into contact with your brand.
By providing content that serves your audience and demonstrates your expertise in your industry, you create a relationship of trust between you and your customers.
Content is the leading driver of brand engagement on social media and is one of the main reasons people will follow or like a business.
Encourages people to take action.
Providing content that guides a consumer through the buying experience generally results in more sales.
As search engine algorithms continue to evolve and place more emphasis on quality over quantity, creating killer content is quickly becoming the single most effective SEO strategy.
So just how does content marketing help you build a better business?
Creating content-driven experiences through content marketing has proven to be a powerful way for marketers to create value for their business. By approaching customer engagement with an eye to delight, provide education and offer useful content, we create a new model for enriching people’s lives at every stage of the buying process.Approach customer engagement with an eye to delight to enrich every stage of the buying process. Click To Tweet
By establishing a vision, a plan and a process for building those experience, marketers can create a content-rich program with a unique and valuable purpose sure to delight their customers.
CREATE A PURPOSE-DRIVEN CONTENT PLAN:
Content marketing is a logical extension of your business’s core values. To create and implement an engaging and scaleable content marketing program, you have to know what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them.
Step 1: Identify your objectives
Whether you have already begun to create content and are struggling to get the results you want or if you are just starting out, you need to determine the purpose that will drive your campaign.
Ask yourself these key questions:
- What are our core values?
- What type of content might support our core values?
- What makes our approach to this content different?
- What support might we need to create this content?
Step 2: Identify your audience
Your content marketing should be crafted to benefit your target audience. To discover who that audience is, start by describing your ideal customer and how they will benefit from the content you create.
Unlock your ideal customer with these questions:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What needs or desires might they need fulfilled?
- How can we fulfil those needs/desires?
- Why should they care about our company/brand?
Step 3: Discover your story
Now that you have uncovered your audience, it’s time to start thinking about how you can create an emotional connection with them. One way to foster this connection is by discovering your unique value position and telling the story that only your business can provide.
Bring to mind a topic that you would like to cover, then ask yourself:
- Why is this topic important to my ideal customer?
- What need or desire does this fulfill?
- Why does that make a difference?
- How will their lives be different after consuming our content?
Use these questions to help you discover the story you were meant to tell through your content. By focusing your content on your customer’s needs (before your own) you will create a story that supports your purpose-driven campaign.
Step 4: Create your content plan
The key to any successful marketing endeavor is to have a plan that governs every piece of content you create.
- Who will be involved in the creation of content?
- What specific tasks will they be responsible for?
- What steps do we need to take to bring a topic from idea to completion?
- How will we keep this process organized?
- What topics will we cover?
- Which channels will we publish on?
- How often will we publish?
- What will be our editorial guidelines?
- How will we track and measure progress?
The goal for your content marketing plan is to produce content that matters to your audience, content that offers something of real value. Content marketing is not a pitch to increase a brand name or build brand awareness, but an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Over time, you’ll make a connection and these people become a part of your community, helping to build awareness and attention for your brand. The content you create and the connections you make build trust which turns potential consumers into loyal customers and leads to long-term success.
EFFECTIVE CONTENT MARKETING ON A SMALL SCALE
One of the questions I hear regularly is: can I be successful at content marketing even if I don’t have a big budget or a team? My answer is always a resounding: Yes!
Content marketing on a small scale (in terms of your budget and team) has a silver lining: when you don’t have the resources to take on every content-related project under the sun, you’re forced to create and curate content more carefully. The content you do produce (strategically and on-brand) will be more targeted and often in greater alignment with your business. In other words, you’re not throwing noodles at the wall to see what sticks. Because there is less of it, the focus is on content that generates the biggest value. The result is quality over quantity and that’s a marketing strategy you can’t beat.Effective content marketing is about bringing your audience something meaningful. Click To Tweet
There are a ton of different definitions of content marketing out there, but at it’s core, it’s all about providing value to a target audience for a specific outcome.
The best content provides value and puts people before the profits. It builds a connection between your business and your audience that creates life-long customers and advocates. And it builds trust, making your customer and your business loyal partners. Creating great content builds a bigger audience which in turn can help you build a better business. Because ultimately creating awareness doesn’t breed success, creating customers does.
Have a question or looking for some ways to make your content work for you? Send me a message and let’s chat about it!