While the titans of advertising continue indulging in heated debates on weather content marketing really works, the field keeps on gaining popularity and bringing considerable benefits to the ones who were wise enough to believe in it. Indeed, in today’s heavily technological reality, in which an average consumer is gadget-dependent, media content has become equivalent to the air they breath. It literally accompanies each stage of a person’s ordinary day. Thus, when businesses inevitably go online since the entire industry is operating in a digital economy, it is impossible to survive without high quality content aimed at attracting and retaining potential customers.
Overall, content marketing is focused on producing and spreading high value content about the product or service. Its aim is to attract customers by stimulating their interest with the help of valuable information that has a definite purpose. And that is its main difference from the traditional advertising marketing tools. While simple adds only showcase the offered product , often distracting and annoying the audience, capturing the attention only for a couple of seconds, content marketing aims to entertain or educate the customers, adding value to what is being marketed. Content may be in the form of blogs, social media posts, podcasts, infographics, videos, white papers or even guidelines on how to write high quality Pro-papers. Having hooked the audience’s attention with these high value educational or entertaining pieces of content, a business is sure to establish profitable relations with the potential customers.
Content Marketing Strategies
Of course, the creation of inspirational and informative content that converts ordinary customers into meaningful leads is not a matter of writing a simple blog post. A successful content marketer should know the basics and main practices of the field to be able to produce and promote powerful content that achieves its main purpose. Here are seven important strategies a content marketing beginner needs to learn.
Strategy #1. Know Your Audience
Before starting creating the content, you should specify your target audience. Since your aim is to connect with the potential consumers and establish profitable relations with them, you should reach them at a personal level. For this, you need to define a so-called “buyer persona” by identifying his or her preferences, behaviors, needs, wants, goals, and even inner thoughts. Define your target customer’s age, possible job, income level, family status, friends, and hobbies. Try to imagine what can be the problem of your perfect customer and who or what can help to resolve it. Think if they would be eager to pay (and how much) for what you offer and what could be done to make them do this. A clear picture of a buyer persona will guide the nature of your content.
Strategy #2. Set the Goal
Apart from defining your ideal customer, you should also define your goal. Of course, it will depend on the type of the product or service your offer as well as on your business needs. The content you will create should smoothly align with your goals, which must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based – SMART.
Strategy #3. Devise a Content Plan
It is still too early to create any piece of content. Before this, you need to develop a clear plan of the direction you will lead your customers to the offered service or product. Think of what type of content can resonate with your ideal customer and what platforms they are most likely to be using. It is also good to consider important events to time the publications. This way, you can define and schedule where and when to post each type of content.
Strategy #4. Create Content
After all the questions about your target audience are thoughtfully considered, you can create the content on the basis of these answers. In it, address the defined problems and offer solutions, showing your concern over the consumers in the first place. Your content should not sell the product but resolve the customers’ issues.
One important issue about creating content is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Thus, apart from making a good story that will resonate with your audience, think of appropriate keywords that will influence the ranking of the materials you post. Remember that the majority of Internet users never go further than the first page of search suggestions.
Strategy #5. Create Video Content
The best way to market a product or service is to make a video about it. Research has shown that video content is more appealing to the audience, thus bringing more benefits and producing more revenue. First of all, it is easier to show how something works in a video, painting a very vivid picture of it, than describing it in writing. Secondly, today’s populations, too busy with their everyday agendas and too spoiled with an abundance of technology, are more likely to watch a video clip than read a lengthy article, which is also more time-saving.
Strategy #6. Distribute Content
If you were attentive to the recommendations in this article and diligently followed them, you have already created a content plan that features the channels you intend to use in distributing your content. Of course, the most popular ones are social media sites, the most common online locations for the Internet users. Besides, you can use distribution or publishing sites and pay-per-click advertising platforms. Just be sure that these channels can reach to the target audience. And a brand monitoring tool will help to see the sites that mention or link to your content or product, thus enabling you to devise the further course of action.
Strategy #7. Measure the Analytics
Do not think that the posted content will win millions of customers and generate considerable revenue right away. You need to track and measure the content’s performance and take appropriate actions to make necessary amendments in your content plan if needed. Recognizing any discrepancy with your business goal is an important skill you need to learn.
The provided strategies can help a beginning content marketer to make the firm steps in the right direction. However, you need to be ready that the first results will not be immediate. Patience and readiness to learn further will provide their long-term results.