What is Content Marketing?
Many marketers are struggling to understand and use content marketing. It is imperative in today’s net-savvy world, as all the customers are searching for you online. So how do you guide them to reach you? It seems to be a journey in an unknown land, where we don’t have a clue about what is happening and what we need to do. If you feel like this, then this is the right blogpost for you.
Content marketing is one of an important strategy used in digital marketing through which business owners educate and inform their customers and prospects about their products and services. This can be achieved in several ways including but not limited to blog posts, podcasts, videos, webinars, social media etc. In very simple words we can say that the objective here is to engage the customers with helpful content and impress them with authentic information.
Why You Need Content Marketing?
The customers are taking different routes today to reach you. Your customer has turned to the internet and social media to find information about you. B2B buyers are not contacting suppliers directly as they used to, yet around 57% of their purchase is completed, how? Purchase decisions are made and then executed online. Is your business online? Or have you left that space open for the competitor to fill?
Content marketing is an effective online marketing tool which assists businesses, especially small businesses to reach out to their target customers. A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute states that about a whopping 85% brands incorporate content marketing in their overall marketing strategy. The opportunities and possibilities offered by content marketing are simply limitless.
Create Content That Your Customer Needs
Know the purpose of your content. Ensure that the content that you create reaches your customer and is targeted at your customer. Your content should be useful and valuable for your customer. You should drive engagement with your customers. Decide what you wish to do with the content; increase sales or reduce churn. Know what your buyer wants and for this structure your content with a purpose in mind. Ensure that your content drives the result you are looking out for. Social content particularly proves to increase brand awareness, traffic and conversions.
Which Point Do You Start Content Marketing?
First, list your marketing goals for the content marketing campaign. What is your goal? You want the sign ups to increase or want the customer complaints to decrease?
Next understand your customer’s needs and what information you are looking out for. Include helpful articles or some lines about how your offering will meet their needs. The customer action that you want to promote through the content that you share, should meet up with your goals.
If your goal is to reduce call center calls, then you should consider creating a write up that answers the top 10 customer questions and queries. If you share the proper content through different social channels and forums, customers will be able get their answers well and the stress on the call center will reduce.
Content Has to Be Planned and Budgeted
Grab your marketing plan and goals, place them alongside the calendar. Look at what you want to achieve at the end of the year, month or quarter. Know your marketing objectives.
Now it’s time you turn your attention to the audience. What do they want? What are they looking for? Write stuff that are based on their pain points and their needs. Write content that solves their challenges and eases their frustration. This takes a lot of efforts to know what your audience wants. You must write variety of content on one topic. Decide your topics, plan their publishing dates and distribution channels.
Small businesses and content marketing
Should small businesses do content marketing? Yes, in fact small businesses should do more of Content Marketing than larger companies. Small companies don’t have a huge budget but, they are often shrouded with ineffective advertising. Nonetheless, they drive brand awareness and pull leads with lesser resources. These things can be achieved through content marketing.
The crux of content marketing is that it creates awareness and customer engagement that result in leads. Beyond these, there are some great results that can be seen through it. Content marketing builds trust among customers. Trust is at the heart of business because if customers trust you, they will buy your products or services and they are most likely to spread a word about it to their or family and friends.
Content Marketing Pitfall
Content marketing along with SEO and social media campaigns help businesses to achieve great results with limited resources. These elements must work in tandem with each other as an integrated marketing strategy for better execution and best outcomes. An integrated approach if ignored may prove ineffective.
How to Make Yourself Heard Online?
The virtual world is a big world indeed. And the internet is a crowded place, to say the least. Three mantras help business enterprises to stand out in the crowd and make yourself heard:
- Volume: Just a couple of posts per month will not provide the results you desire. Being connected with your audience consistently and continuously is paramount for the success of your content marketing campaign.
- Value: The content you provide must be of value to your customers/prospects. It should offer them the information they seek.
- Variety: Variety adds to the interest quotient of your content marketing campaign. From videos to audios to slide share presentations, different content forms must be explored and employed. Your campaign must cover social, digital and mobile space.
How to Measure Content Marketing Campaign Success?
You have created content around your business goals thus, you should monitor if your content is meeting your business goals. You can track the performance of each writing. This needs the use of additional technology. Tools capture the customer information and at the same time it lets you track engagement. You can include lead generation forms.
Keep a tracking code when you share content on social networking sites. Use Google Analytics that lets you get an insight into the success of messages by the usage of click-through rates, track on-site metrics. With using sophisticated tools, you can start identifying stories that interest the audience and what is relevant for them.
Invest Your Time and Money in Content Marketing
You need to invest time and money in content marketing; it is not easy. It doesn’t come free or with fewer efforts or less money. Everyone wants things within a restricted, less amount of money and time. That may not always happen.
Content marketing is not a quick fix solution. It is a long-term strategy. It may take some good 6 months to witness traffic and may be a year to monetize your website traffic.
Anyone involved in content marketing knows that the landscape is changing fast. Content marketing is not magic, it takes a lot of study, information, efforts and money. It is the one that creates value for your audience, and it helps them make valuable decisions. It makes them understand you and decide whether to buy your products and services. It is a tool that works if you follow a method and a pattern, so why not use it instead?