Many companies have made a shift to content marketing. What’s that? The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
So, how do we do that?
The first step to killer content marketing is planning. This entails a lot. Identify your and research your target audience, or else your efforts likely won’t catch the ears or eyeballs of those who are most likely to act. Determine what platforms will be most effective with your target audience. Are you going to use a website blog, social media, a podcast, a video or come other creative method for distributing your information. This choice will rely heavily on who you’re trying to reach, and it will determine the style in which the content is created.
This is the time to set goals. These goals need to be specific and written down. These goals also need to be measurable with a deadline. Just saying “We’re going to get more followers,” isn’t enough. A good example would be: “By the end of the quarter, we will reach one thousand Twitter followers.” You’ll need a detailed game plan for how you’ll go about this, which brings us to the next tip: creating actual, valuable content.
You’ll need to ask yourself what information your audience needs and finds interesting. Content marketing is nothing if it is not valuable to your consumers. The goal is to give them the resources they need to stay informed and interested in your product or services. That may come in the form of a company blog that provides information in your area of expertise or in routine social media posts with facts or figures about your product. Information should be presented in a way that’s creative, easy to digest and appropriate for your content and platform. This, again, relies heavily on the decisions you made in planning.
This is a great move for building relationships that create loyal, active customers. It is a way of opening up two-way communication between you and your audience, and that is why it is key to a good public relations strategy. You also want to include SEO, so that you’re sure when your customers are searching for information, your solutions to their problems show up in the search engine.
The final key to good content is evaluation. This is why that measurable goal in the first tip is so important. You should be routinely comparing your goal to actual results and adjusting tactics accordingly. If you wanted to gain 1000 Twitter followers by the end of the year and in July you realize your numbers are barely moving, it’s time to rethink your strategy and try something new. This evaluation can happen weekly, monthly, quarterly or even yearly. Decide what makes sense for you. The point is to make sure you aren’t pouring time and effort into a strategy that isn’t seeing a good response.
This also involves monitoring the web and your social media pages for what your audience is saying about you and your products or services. Do they have any specific complaints you can address on your blog? Is there a problem you can provide solution for in a Podcast? Listening to your audience is one half of communication, and without it your content will be lacking.
Content marketing is about listening and giving your specific, targeted audience the information they want to read. Doing this, you can stand out in a sea of advertisements talking at them.