All you need to know about Content Marketing
In my previous blogs, I've covered the what, why and how to for those looking to integrate content marketing into their business strategy. But now, I want to focus on some kind of content marketing 'fundamentals' for those who are need the technicalities to content marketing broken down.
Now, it's no secret that traditional methods of marketing, are less effective than what they once were. Reaching prospects and converting these leads into customers was once, far simpler than what we see today. This is precisely why, content marketing has rapidly become a common approach for businesses to reach new audiences, and engage with their existing one.
By providing your audience with content that is both educational and informative (based on your products and services), you will be able to show them exactly how your business can efficiently solve their pain points and challenges they face. This subsequently leads to the ability to increase conversions, improve brand awareness, and increase revenue.
What is Content Marketing?
Going back to basics, content marketing is the creation and curation of sharing information related to your products and services. The key thing to note, is that this content needs to be perceived as informative to your respective target audience. By having this approach to the content your business publishes, you will be able to (over time) build authority in the field.
The content you publish can vary hugely - in fact, there are a variety of content types which can really diversify what you publish. Below are just a few examples of the types of content your business can start to integrate.
Why is content marketing important?
Outbound marketing strategies are not as effective in today's society as they once were. Content marketing on the other hand, offers you the opportunity to truly drive results through storytelling - making your marketing efforts far more personalised and engaging to your audience.
Content marketing not only offers the benefit of having a narrative behind your brand that can easily be accessed by your audience, but can also aide your business in:
- Increasing conversions
- Building relationships between your clientele and business
- Educating your prospects about the products and services you offer, in a more effective manner
- Connecting with your clientele to show them how your products and services resolve their pain points and challenges
- Create a communal environment which your clientele can engage with
How to create an effective content marketing strategy?
Creating a relevant content marketing strategy is beyond crucial for any business. The purpose behind a content marketing strategy, is to simply ensure you are effectively channeling your marketing efforts towards the relevant business objective. The main components behind an efficient content marketing strategy is as follows:
- Outline your SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, and timely)
- Determine your KPIs
- Find inspiration and determine the kind of content you want to publish
- Choose the channels you are deploying content onto
- Create a content calendar
- Analyze and measure the performance of your content
Outline your SMART goals
The SMART framework is a fantastic way to really narrow down exactly what kind of goals you are looking to achieve through your content marketing. Any SMART goals you outline should be specific to your business, and you may find they align with your broader marketing and company goals.
Determine your KPIs
The next area to focus on, is your KPIs. The key performance indicators sit well within your initial SMART goals, and allow you to focus on exactly what data points you can use to measure the actual performance of your campaign against your goal.
For example, you may have set an initial SMART goal of increasing your brand's awareness. KPIs that you can focus on in order to successfully measure the results of this can include your site's traffic, sign-ups, social media followers etc.
Find inspiration and determine the kind of content you want to publish
With your SMART goals outlined, and your KPIs determined, you can now move onto the next step - content. As previously mentioned, following the 80/20 rule can enable you to truly diversify the content you publish. By diversifying the content you publish, you can ensure you retain your audience's interest in your brand.
Be sure to take into consideration exactly what kind of content YOUR audience will want to see. Segmenting the persona of your target audience is a fantastic way to really fine tune both your content marketing strategy and subsequently, your content. For example, targeting an audience of 20-30 year-olds with content such as whitepapers, may not be too effective. Whilst on the other hand, you may find more visually stimulating content such as digestible info-graphics or videos may perform far better.
Focus on asking yourself questions such as, what do your audience need from you? What challenges do your audience face? Why do they need your services?
For inspiration around content ideas, carrying out research into your competitors, and their offerings can prove sufficient. Additionally, by carrying this research out, you will be able to identify areas in which they lack - providing you with an upper hand against your competitors offerings.
Choose the channels you are deploying content onto
Recognising that each platform is uniquely different is crucial when outlining where to deploy what content. Whilst you may find that the overall objective of your content marketing strategy is the same across various platforms, they do in fact differentiate remarkably. Another factor to consider when choosing your channels, is where your audience spends majority of their time online.
Create a content calendar
Content calendars are a highly efficient way to not only organise your content, but also an ideal way to ensure your posting the relevant content, to the relevant platform, at the relevant time! Your content calendar should ideally include some kind of structure to your content marketing mix.
Analyze and measure the performance of your content
Once you have began implementing your content marketing strategy, the last (and arguably the most important) area, is to track and analyse the performance of your content. Keeping an eye on what is working well for your business will be an indicator that what you are doing, is working effectively! Whilst on the other hand, monitoring content that is not performing too well, will indicate that you need to review this area.
After reviewing the overall performance of your content marketing efforts, you can begin to refine and adjust your content - thus improving the overall results.
Measuring the performance of your overall campaign, is a critical way to understand your audience's interactions with your business. In addition to this, your efforts can present to you exactly how you are performing against your competitors in your respected field.
Polaris is an award-winning SEO agency in London specialising B2B, PPC, e-commerce and the healthcare industry.