Content Marketing is the buzzword of the moment but there is confusion over what that really is and why a business should do it. This article sets out some of the basics.
If you create content that your prospective customers need and want, they will find it, consume and engage with it and ultimately transact a profitable action with you. They may also share that content with their own friends and contacts, amplifying the effect.
So this is where you start – developing a content marketing strategy. First you need to work out what your audience wants. Finding them is easy, but working out what they’re really interested in and why they visit certain sites or retail outlets is the issue.
All consumers are looking for solutions to their problems. Work out what those problems are and you can target your content marketing.
Once the aims of the content marketing programme are set and customer needs identified, then you need to create the content to fulfil that need. That content can take many forms – here are just a few; videos, Infographics, social media content, apps, website articles, blogs, Enewsletters, photos/illustrations, animations, webinars, microsites, etc.
If you can’t produce that content yourself, you will need the support of writers, bloggers, designers and web developers. You will need a network of tried and trusted partners – videographers, coders, app builders etc – who will work to your strategy and brief.
There is no point in creating content if it is not seen by the people you want to see it. Content search optimisation is key. Use all possible SEO techniques on every piece of content to make sure it is found by your target audience. Also make sure it is distributed on all relevant channels, not just your own social networks.
The Holy Grail is getting your content shared. To achieve this you need a deep understanding of peoples’ motivations for sharing. The top two reasons people share content is to bring valuable and entertaining content to others and to define themselves and what they care about.
Your content must fulfil these desires to be shared.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective marketing techniques and is a core channel to get your content distributed and seen widely.
The principle is that ideas and preferences spread though communities socially, from person to person, as opposed to individuals making independent decisions. Some people are more effective than others inasmuch as others tend to follow their practices and/or advice; these people are called influencers.
Marketing to influencers is likely to be more effective (deliver better ROI) than marketing to everybody or marketing to, say, demographics. You need to identify the influencers in your sector and create a strategy to target them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I’m Steve Downes, Digital Marketing Consultant, strategist, wordsmith, SEO practitioner and content creator. I’m also a Director of the Manchester International Festival,