Content Marketing today is more important than ever before. There are so many channels and in each you will find diverse groups of people.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a combination of content generation and research to put that content in front of the right people.
The content can be in many different forms, some popular ones are: blog articles and copywriting, photography and images, videos, animation, podcasts and radio.
The goal of content marketing is to get the attention of your target audience and persuade them to look at your product or service. In order to accomplish this, it is very important to have a good content marketing strategy.
Your content strategy is only as good as your marketing strategy. It may be helpful to talk to a digital marketing consultant in order to tailor your strategy for your audience and define your target audience with analytics and reports.
Your marketing strategy is central to your business. In fact, planning your marketing strategy is something that you will need to be involved in as the main “Decision Maker” if you are the business owner.
The marketing strategy is about defining the audience, understanding the product and most importantly the culture and branding of the company. There is a point where all of these factors meet which is what we call the “Sweet Spot”. We usually find the “Sweet Spot” by analysing sales and buyer personas, surveying users and consulting with the business owner about the company culture.
In short, the audience chooses the brand for a reason: it’s culture or feel, the product, the cost, the value. The brand typically puts focus on what is bringing in revenue but isn’t always sure why the customers choose what they do.
The foundation of your marketing strategy is pinpointing “why” your customers are purchasing from you.
After defining why your customers buy your services, you have a solid tool to use in your content marketing arsenal. The logic behind this strategy is:
If X customers are purchasing Y product, then other X customers would purchase Y product if they knew about it.
The idea behind content marketing is to get those customers to know about your product and you do so using the “Sweet Spot” and “Why” from your current customers.
Content Marketing Strategy
As stated above, content marketing involves many different medium and means of communication. It can take the form of images, videos, text or tangible goods but the distribution channels vary. One strategy may include text messaging while another could be handing out signed posters.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Digital marketing strategies are the most common today because of their scalability. Handing out company-branded pens will only reach a few hundred people per day in a specific geographic area and may or may not be efficient in targeting potential customers. A Facebook campaign however, will allow you to target the specific company, age, gender and interests of a person in as many geographic areas as you please. You will pay much less for a Facebook ad than a physical product and reach many more of the specific type of person you are looking for.
Although digital is much more scalable and economical to start out with, many companies are benefitting from magazine and print channels as well as billboard and commercials.
No matter which channel or medium you choose, you will need the content to resonate with your audience. It’s a lot easier to optimise digital marketing campaigns and change them quickly than reprint an entire magazine or pay for a new billboard every month. Once you find a solid digital marketing strategy and optimise it, you are ready to publish your campaign.
Now that you’ve analysed your customers and defined your strategy’s focus, you will need to create the content around it. Blogging and SEO go hand in hand. A good blog article is only worth the time it takes to write it if you’ve taken the time to research what people are looking for and what they want to read.
Here’s a common process for content creation:
Step 1: Keyword Research
Head over to Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner and type in your keywords. Look around in Google for similar keywords and find related terms. Once you have a list of about 10-20 keywords, put them through the Keyword Planner and find their search volume as well as their competition. Continue to do this until you have at about 5-10 keywords with over 1,000 monthly searches and less than 50% competition (percentages show when you export the list to .csv).
Step 2: Write A Blog
Use the highest searched keyword for the title and the top 5 highest searched keywords for your subheadings. Write at least 400 words and make sure your writing is high quality (correct grammar, engaging and interesting). Try to use the highest searched keywords in your first paragraph and intrigue your audience at the same time. Don’t forget to break up the text to make it easier to read (use steps, block quotes, bold, italic and headings).
Step 3: Add Images
Use at least 2 images. Either take some photos or find some stock images that you can modify to help visualise your blog article. Try to stay away from stock images as the majority are very corporate and impersonal for readers. The majority of readers resonate more with an iPhone photo than a stock image. Just be sure to use SEO technique on your images as well (add the keyword as the alternative text for the photo and caption).
Step 4: Branch Out
Now that you have a solid SEO tool on your website earning you traffic, you can take some time to turn it into a podcast and video as well as social media posts and emails. Record yourself talking about the article you wrote. Record a video or a screencast demonstrating what you’re doing. Create more images and quotes for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts and add them to the content.
One blog article can usually become about 3-5 social media posts as well as include Tweetable quotes and shareable images. Alternatively, we might create a video that can then become 4 articles and 12 social media posts. It all depends on the campaign and what the focus is. If you find that your typical clients are on YouTube, then start with video. If you’re unsure of where your clients are start with the blog. You’ll get traffic regardless and then you can easily create more content for the other channels.
Just a quick word about inbound marketing…
All of these efforts are based on a concept called inbound marketing which consists of getting the customers to contact or engage with you or your brand. This is much more profitable and more common now than traditional outbound sales or marketing which typically includes cold-calling, canvassing, appointment setting and other technique which require a dedicated sales staff.
Inbound marketing has risen in popularity due to its efficiency and scalability. It’s much more difficult to pay and train a sales team than to write some good blogs and put an opt-in form on a website. Spending the same amount on inbound marketing as you would on a sales team will yield a much higher ROI and ensure success whereas the sales team could potentially underperform or require more training.