Step-by-Step Guide to Content Marketing
Content marketing is a long term marketing strategy that helps you build a strong relationship with your target audiences, using high quality content that is relevant and delivered on a consistent basis. Content marketing can help show that you care about your customers and, in today’s world, many customers will choose a company that cares over some other competitors. Since content marketing is a long-term strategy, it’s necessary to come up with a plan that will be successful.
Your Unique Selling Proposition: There are going to be similar products and services to yours on the market, and you need to start figuring our what makes your product better or different. This way, you can let your customers know through your content.
Figure Out Your Target Market: Getting to know the audience you are creating content for is a necessary first step, in order to have this strategy work for your business. It’s possible that your business may have more than one type of customer, so you going to have to create content for each audience segment. You can use a variety of content channels and types to deliver content to each one of your audiences. Make sure that each of your customers gets what they need from your company.
The Problem Your Content Is Going to Solve: Each audience has their own set of problems that your product or service should be solving. The content you should be creating will let each audience know how the service or product is going to help solve their problems. There should be content for both sides: for those who are still figuring out the challenges and those who are already using the product or service to overcome the challenges.
Figure Out Which Content Formats to Focus On: Content can take many forms, whether it’s a video, blog post, eBook, or infographic. Having some topics that address some of the issues you have already identified can help determine which types of content to use. It’s not enough to figure out what type of content you are going to create, you also need to have a plan in place for who is going to create this content. This is especially true if you don’t have a dedicated team in place. Having each piece of content in one place, such as a content calendar, can make it easier to visualize the message you want to send and the types of content to produce.
Figure Out How to Publish Content: Once you have content created, that is only half the battle. You also need to decide where content is going once it’s created. Does it go on the website? Are you going to post videos on YouTube? Are you then going to share content to your social media accounts?
Figure Out Which Tools to Use: You don’t necessarily need any tools for content marketing, but it can make the whole process a lot easier. If multiple people in the company are going to be responsible for content, then have a place where it’s easy to collaborate, whether that is Google Drive or some other system. Also, tools that make content distribution easier, such as Hootsuite, can make managing social media channels simple and also give some insight into what content is performing the best. This will help you know if you need to tweak your strategy.
Set Goals for Content Marketing: It’s important to have goals when implementing a marketing strategy, and content marketing is no different. These goals should be able to be measured. What do you want your content to accomplish? If you know your goals before planning out your content, it can be easier to determine the best types of content. If one of your goals is to educate customers on how your product works because it’s new in the marketplace, then you already have built-in content topics to help reach this goal.
Do Persona Research: You should already know your target audience if you follow the first step, but how well do you really know them? Sometimes marketers find it helpful to create a whole persona for their target audience. Your target market could also change over time, so be sure to check in with your personas from time to time to make sure your content is still delivering the most relevant information.
Run a Content Audit: You may already have some content created and you don’t want it to go to waste if you can still use it. If the content is still relevant to your audience, use it in your existing strategy. If the content is a little outdated, figure out ways to revamp it. Sometimes it’s easier to reuse old content than create brand new content.
Revisit Your Goals: Once you have started creating and publishing content, you will need to revisit your goals in order to see if your strategy is working. Remember that this is a long-term strategy, so you will need to make changes as your products or services change, if your goals aren’t being met, and as your business grows. You can gather feedback using polls or surveys, see the comments sections of blogs and social media, and monitor traffic and engagement. Don’t forget to also engage with your consumers. Your customers can help guide you in the direction where your content marketing should go. If they have the same questions that come up on social media or blog posts, create content to answer them.