First things first, and I don’t want to tell anyone to suck eggs here but, let’s define content marketing quickly. It’s essentially the practice of planning your published content to support the business’ wider marketing strategy.
Why is it important?
Content has always been significant to your marketing, of course. But today, technology uses content in ways the Mad Men wouldn’t even be able to conceive; the (free!) tools available to us now have significantly narrowed the gap between the big players and the small start-ups. Whether it’s twitter, YouTube, a blog or an article, content is key to getting you noticed. How you curate that content depends on your audience and where they’re likely to be hanging out.
So, here are a few little pointers to hopefully nudge (and by ‘nudge’, I mean ‘propel’) you in the right direction:
1. It’s ok to start small
An effective content marketing plan doesn’t need to be a complex plethora of spreadsheets and reports. The most important thing is to make a plan that you feel will meet your goals, and then persevere to stick to the steps in order to meet them. This could be as simple as maintaining your website and blogging regularly. As long as you do these few things well, with a little bit of strategic thinking behind you, you’ll achieve what you set out to.
2. Create a strategy
As with any objective in business, the best way to achieve your content marketing goals is to create a strategic plan that paves a step-by-step plan of how you’ll get there. This needs to dovetail into your existing marketing strategy and be clearly measurable against the wider objectives so you can easily see what’s working and what isn’t, and subsequently adjust accordingly. Your strategy will naturally evolve over time, so ensure you re-visit it regularly to review its progress and fine-tune where needed. Your strategy is where you’ll define how to drive leads, sales, acquisition or retention among your clients.
3. Share your knowledge
The beauty behind content marketing is the… content! Increasingly, consumers are looking to brands to publish related information that adds value and is relevant to them. Herein lies the art behind the science. By curating content that stays ahead of trends and is of personal interest to your customers, you’ll naturally evoke brand confidence, deepen relationships and position yourself as a market leader. This bit requires research, and a lot of trial and error. Once you’ve completed the research, think about your narrative and how you’ll tell the story: it’s the storytelling that produces the spark in the flick of the wand.
4. Make your content easy to find
The first step to making your content discoverable is to share it loud and proud across your own channels – this might include e-newsletters, social media posts, your website, direct mail, articles etc. Rather than pushing and shoving your product message in your prospective consumers’ general direction with vague hopes you’ll be noticed, carefully planned content will do all the hard work for you: your loyal followers will share all the right links online, pointing everyone back to your website.
Want to know more or find out how I can assist with your content marketing? Get in touch today.image courtesy of twylo