If you have recently opened a website or blog for your business, then you’re on the right track.
A recent study by the eCommerce Foundation showed that 88 percent of consumers will research a product prior to making a purchase in-store or online. This means that if you or your product don’t have a place in which consumers can review and educate themselves on your offerings, you’re going to miss a large percentage of the purchasing public.
The catch that comes with this statistic is that it’s not enough to simply have a website or a blog, you have to have the right content. So, how do you know what content to publish with your business? In order to answer that question, you have to do a little data mining.
Research has shown that 62 percent of successful content marketers plans, develop and employ a content marketing strategy. Obviously, it’s an important component of your success, but how do you design one for your company?
One of the most important rules of content marketing is to know your audience. You have to be aware of the age, demographics, needs and economic bracket of your audience in order to effectively build your plan.
The second consideration is your product. Create a chart that describes your product, the intent behind its creation, and what solution it offers your targeted audience. Once you have this information, you can develop a content marketing strategy that is effective.
As every business and product are unique, content marketing strategies will vary from company to company. With that being said, there are a few components a successful marketing strategy must include:
- A business plan for your content marketing goals. Set a number goal of the number of consumers you desire to reach by a specified date. Take time to consider the obstacles that you will face in reaching this number, i.e., content visibility, web traffic, building a website that loads efficiently and smoothly across all digital devices. During this stage of development, your content marketing strategy should be focused on the technical aspects to ensure that when you launch your plan, it will work as intended.
- Know who your audience is, what they respond to and what they search for on the internet, as well as their preferred purchasing methods. If you don’t format the content to meet these needs, your chances at success are limited.
- Your brand story. Your branding is where you speak personally to your audience about your product, the people behind it and the goals of the company. This is where you really sell your product to the consumer. Customers want to feel like they understand the brand they are buying and become emotionally invested in a product when the brand story is provided.
- Develop your channel plan. With what you know about your audience, research and select the platforms in which to display your product. Also, plan out the keywords and locations that will be relevant in making your product attractive to your desired audience while creating the look for your website that will be visually appealing to your targeted purchasing demographic.
Building an audience that regularly returns to your content is one of the primary goals. Just as the numbers work with selling a product, in that the completed sales will be a percentage of your pitches, the same holds true for a marketing strategy. You’ll likely have more people interested in your content than purchasing your product, and that’s ok. As your audience grows, you will likely be increasing brand awareness and potentially attract new clients.
Format your content to attract an audience, not just to close sales. Concentrate on content that is relatable, personable and entertaining.
Once you have developed this, share it internally. This will ensure that any person in your company who may have contact with a customer will be aware of and abide by your branding during those interactions.
It’s vital that each member of your team be coached on how to present your company to the consumer, or your efforts in branding may be wasted. A client is going to be more impacted by interaction with your company than any marketing strategy, and if they don’t match, the public perception of your product will suffer.
A note on content marketing to remember is that it is always evolving. Specific aspects of your plan will not change, such as your branding, product and target audience. Other considerations in your strategy should be reviewed annually, or semi-annually within the first year of inception, such as platforms, keywords, purchasing options and effective outreach advertising methods.
In the latest release of B2B surveys, 64 percent of the top performers stated that they discontinued ineffective marketing strategies as the demographics changed. Continuing to evaluate audience response and adjusting your strategy is imperative to sustained favorable response.
Through taking the time to study your demographic and reevaluating your plan as time passes, you can formulate your content into a marketing strategy that is effective in producing results.