Content marketing is no longer an option. As consumers tune out traditional advertising and marketing channels, a majority of companies use content marketing to acquire new customers and gain market share.
Companies using content marketing experience cost savings, increased sales and stronger loyalty from customers.
However, as more companies produce more content, the challenge is to distinguish your company from your competitors by providing unique and compelling content. How do you get the advantage over your competitors with your content marketing? Here are some of steps to take as you approach content marketing:
Understand Content Marketing
Content marketing is ultimately about solving your customers’ problems. Content marketing differs from traditional methods by focusing on building relationships rather than trying to make an immediate sale. The goal of content marketing is to establish thought leadership and build trust with your target audience. By establishing your company as an expert and market leader, prospects and customers will turn to your company when ready to make a purchase.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
A well-defined content marketing strategy is important to the success of a content marketing campaign. To document how you will execute your content marketing strategy, create a content marketing plan
Your content marketing strategy should cover:
Content can come in many forms and can be either online or offline and can encompass audio, video or text. Content types include blogs, articles, podcasts, webinars, videos, infographics, social media posts and eBooks. To determine the types of content you should create review your goals, target audience research and distribution plan. When creating content, consider how you can differentiate yourself to your audience with unique content. Ensure your content is optimized for search engines.
Identify Content Distribution Platforms
Once you understand your ideal audience and their content needs, the next step is to identify how you will distribute the content. Using your audience research, determine the channels best suited to communicate with your audience. Look at the social media platforms they use, how they like to get their information.
Knowing where to distribute your content in just as important as the content itself.
Great content is important but you also need to ensure your target audience is aware the content is available. In addition to distributing the content, you also need to promote it. Content marketing should be aligned with the company’s marketing and advertising campaigns.
Conduct a Content Audit
The first step to developing a content plan is to conduct a content audit. Create an inventory of all content produced by your company including keywords, blogs, website and social media. For each content type, note how successful each type of content was to your content strategy.
Define Your Goals
Determine the goals you want to achieve with your content. Your goals should align with your overall business and marketing goals and should be specific, measurable and achievable. To achieve actionable results, connect your goals to your content. Examples of goals can include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving more traffic to website
- Generate sales leads
- Convert more leads into customers.
- Improve customer retention and drive upsell
Identify and Define Your Target Audience
Identify the specific audience you want to target and their key traits. Determine what your ideal customers need from you and how your content can benefit them. Demographics such as age, sex, location, interests, etc., will give help you create a picture of your ideal customer. Conducting customer research enable you to delve into your audience and identify their behavior
Tracking and Reporting
A content marketing strategy will continue to evolve based on how your audience reacts to the content. Tracking analytics will enable you to see what content is working and what might need to be improved and take appropriate actions. Analytics to track include how long customers spend on different types of content or what content is attracting new visitors.