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Content marketing is a key strategy to educate, inform, reveal who you are, and bring new prospects to your website. Is your content marketing effectively telling your story? Learn more about the positive impact that content marketing can have on your business. (8 minute read).
- What is Content Marketing?
- What is Effective Content Marketing?
- What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
- How Do You Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
What is Content Marketing?
Let’s look at one of the best definitions of content marketing:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” –Content Marketing Institute
In other words, content marketing is the practice of developing web pages, blog posts, videos, images and graphics that are indexed by search engines and delivered to users in search results.
The process involves researching, writing, organizing, and editing information for publication in a way that your website visitors and social media users can relate to.
What is Effective Content Marketing?
First and foremost, effective content marketing is about solving your customer and prospective customer’s problems. Your goal should be to answer questions and remove doubt.
Tailor content to your audience’s needs and interests.
The development of effective content marketing requires an understanding of basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices.
The use of keywords in the right places, linking strategies, page length depth and other vital basic practices will help make your content SEO friendly to important search engines like Google.
We are proud to have a professional team of writers, graphic artists, and social media enthusiasts who possess the skills to successfully educate readers on technical concepts, provide thorough analysis and research, while giving the material an approachable and easily consumable tone.
But What About the Human Reader?
Besides appealing to the search engines, you should strive to develop content that delivers compelling stories with feeling and useful information to human beings with hearts, educational needs and a sense of humor.
Our attention span is being stretched by a virtual avalanche of content available online.
Short, to the point, bite sized chunks of information are very popular.
Be clear. What good is your message if it’s confusing?
What Content Marketing Is Not!
Content marketing is not about creating hard sell sales pitch messages for your products or services. It isn’t a push approach aimed at cornering people in the hopes you will convert them to customers.
“People don’t like to be sold-but they love to buy.” –Jeffrey Gitomer
Instead Content Marketing is a strategy that will position your brand as the go-to-source of valuable and critical information to your audience of prospects and customers, helping them solve their biggest challenges.
10 Benefits of Content Marketing
How will your business benefit through a content marketing strategy? Here is a list of ROI reasons from the Content Marketing Institute:
- Create new leads and demand
- Generate sales and revenue
- Build trust and credibility
- Brand awareness growth or the extent to which your brand is recognized by potential customers
- Educate your audience
- Create loyalty with your customers
- Support new product or service launch
- Attract people to your events
- Nurture leads through the funnel
- Develop subscribers to your blog, podcast, and email newsletter
The goal is to give value to your audience and dump the meaningless sales pitches. If the content you create helps a prospect answer a nagging question, solve a tough problem, or remove their doubt then your organization will be considered a must-read.
When people consider you and your company the go-to-source for information or solutions, you have achieved status as a trusted partner.
Trust is essential in helping your prospects take the final step in the buying cycle: purchasing your product(s) or service(s) or both.
How Do You Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
That’s a great question because many companies don’t take this important first step. According to Inc.com, over 60% of successful content marketers had a “documented strategy.” Here are four questions that will help you get your arms around building a strategy.
What Do You Want to Achieve?
Every company wants to drive sales, but you must first set the stage for your audience – give them value first and often.
What questions can you answer? What solutions will you provide for your audience? Simply put: what is the purpose of your content?
Once you have this figured out then think about your customer buying cycle. Think about the different stages in the sales funnel.
What would help your customers see the value you can bring to them? It could be a case study or white paper download, a sign up for your webinar, subscription to your blog, or newsletter email subscription.
What objections or issues do your audience or potential buyers have and what do they need to know to feel comfortable with your products or services?
The content you share should help overcome your prospective customer’s objections, provide the solution to their problem(s), and instill trust in your brand.
Who is Your Audience?
Sounds simple but this is often the most difficult question to answer. Be detailed and specific. Begin by looking at your current customers and then your prospects. Try these first steps:
- Develop customer profiles for the different audiences you are trying to reach
- Study your competition’s case studies
- Research industry data, analyst reports
- Conduct surveys to uncover valuable insights into customer behaviors
- Interview industry leaders
- Create email campaigns that provide value to your audience
- Engage with your audience through social media marketing outreach
What am I looking to learn? These questions will help you understand your customers and prospects:
- Why do consumers use products or services like yours?
- What do they want from products or services like yours?
- What influences your buyers as they evaluate their options?
- What benefits do your competitor’s products or services deliver that are perceived to be most critical during the buying process?
- What causes consumers to fail to purchase products or services like yours?
What concerns cause them to believe your product or service is not their best choice?
Where Does Your Audience Go Online?
You can’t win anyone over if you don’t know where they are. Where do they hang out or visit consistently? Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok are just a fraction of the platforms available today.
Don’t try to be everywhere at once. If your participation is limited and your time is stretched to the breaking point, you won’t get the results you want.
Pick a handful of platforms that your customers and prospects visit and concentrate your efforts there. Don’t just monitor what is being shared, participate in the conversation.
What Types of Content Does Your Audience Like?
You can often gauge the types of content people like by the social network or channel they frequent.
If they are on LinkedIn, they are often searching for in-depth information found in long form articles, case studies, and white papers.
If they love YouTube, then video content is what they are seeking.
Audiences on Twitter love breaking news from the media and fans.
Instagram attracts people through images and personal stories.
What are your competitors doing? How are they engaging? What are they sharing? Make a list of the types of content you are prepared to share and how well it is being received.
Content Marketing Distribution
Step one is to identify where your audience consumes information. It could be on any number of platforms such as social media networks, blogs, websites, video channels, or social news aggregation sites. Finding out where they engage is extremely important.
Step two is just as critical to your success. Formulate a content plan that you can load into one of the many scheduling tools that are available.
This is critical in establishing a consistent flow of valuable information to your audience
Why is this important? Scheduling organizes your plan for distribution across all the channels your customers and prospects frequent.
What Is the Next Step?
At Inner Architect, we’ve seen our clients’ organic search traffic volume grow substantially as we’ve helped them with their content marketing needs and challenges.
Specifically, we have seen how frequency of content, a consistent and ongoing effort of production, has a huge impact on organic traffic.
If you don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to devote to the increasingly vital job of content marketing, contact us to learn more about how we might help you better compete for visibility. Content marketing is too important to ignore.
If the answer is no and your marketing program is not performing to expectations, what are the issues affecting your success?
If you lack the staffing, the time, or the interest in running your digital marketing program please contact us for a free digital marketing consultation.