It’s important to create the best content marketing strategy for your business – why? Simply put, you need to reach the people that are online. Your business will thank you for it, and so will your new customers.
What is it?
Traditional marketing (newspaper, commercials, radio, printed marketing, etc.) only reaches so far, and with the number of people online all day, every day, marketers needed to adjust their thinking – and their reach. Content marketing focuses on marketing your business to online content locations to attract and retain a specifically defined audience with valuable and relevant techniques.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, compared to one year ago, nearly 65 percent of businesses are reporting more success with their content marketing. Businesses will find three benefits of utilizing content marketing:
- Increased sales
- Savings to their cost basis
- Increase in loyal customers
Who Needs It?
Do you own a big business? Or do you own a small business? Are you an independent contractor? It doesn’t matter how you answered that question because the answer is anyone who has a product or service to sell or promote needs a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing provides a value to customers. It solves a problem for them. You can put your marketing out for all to see, but if your product or service doesn’t solve a need for the person seeing it, they’ll move along.
In time, you will find that your website has higher rankings in search engines and you’ll have a better reputation with customers. You will also find that you’ll retain traffic and will succeed in converting your competitor’s customers.
When To Use It?
The time to use a content marketing strategy is now, don’t wait a second longer. Forbes.com states that there are some things you’ll need to know before you get started, including:
- Defining Your Audience: Sure, reaching everyone in the world sounds great, but as mentioned earlier, it won’t mean a hill of beans if you can’t be the solution they need.
- Determine Your Relevance: Decide precisely what your focus is so that you are more relevant with your audience. For instance, if you provide a tool sharpening service, there’s no need to market your content to stay at home moms, bankers or attorneys. Also, determining your relevance will define how you stand out from your competition.
- Set a Goal: Define the goal for your content marketing. For instance, you may be trying to get new customers, or maybe you want to increase your recurring traffic. Define your goals, just as you did when you started out your business.
How To Use It?
Your content marketing strategy must have an outline of what content you intend on utilizing. Content Marketing can consist of blog posts, YouTube videos, ebooks, infographics and more. As you develop your content marketing strategy, you need to understand who your audience is so that you are reaching them with the proper content.
To determine who your audience is, you’ll need to collect some demographic data from your website visitors, social media followers and email subscribers through analytic tools. This data will tell you a lot about your audience, for instance:
- Key interests
Social media sites offer similar insights as well. You can also ask for feedback from your customers and audience.
Determining who your audience is by creating a buyer persona is key to your content marketing strategy. Creating a buyer persona is the process of describing your audience and customers in detail – think of creating an avatar that represents your audience and customers.
Your audience and customer personas should not only include who they are by age, interests, etc. It should also describe who they aren’t. As you outline this persona, you will be able to determine where your online presence is currently successful and focus on these areas.
Your content marketing strategy will include having a list of what you will be publishing on the different platforms you want to use. If you don’t plan for this content, you could be left with nothing for your audience to read, ultimately resulting in the loss of that audience. And trust me, a quality and dedicated audience will be looking for your next post.
To be successful with your content, you’ll need to create a publishing calendar to outline when you intend on publishing what piece of content. If you have a larger business, you may have a team of content creators and publishers, which will mean it’s even more important to know what’s coming and when you expect it to post.
When you’re ready to start working on your content you’ll need to:
- Research the content.
- Determine how your content will be different from what’s already out there.
- Use keywords in your content for SEO optimization.
Now you’re ready to begin creating your content and getting it published. Be sure your content reflects your brand persona – will you be professional and to-the-point or will you be conversational? Perhaps it will be something that fits in between the two.
Once you have posted your content, you’ll want to share it with your audience via email, social media, and don’t forget to share it with colleagues as well.