Marketing has come a long way since the good old days of super salesy slogans and “buy now” type selling. Consumers want information and tend to research thoroughly prior to making a decision. They are hungry for knowledge that allows them to make an informed choice before they buy. And they do not want to be sold to.
This is where content marketing comes in.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that is based around sharing information online via blogs, videos and social media. It does not specifically promote your brand but it offers information intended to pique the interest of your audience.
Yes, you are basically still advertising but you are doing it in a way that offers information that is of value. You are sharing your knowledge and building trust and brand awareness in doing so.
So how do you get started with an effective content marketing strategy? It needs to be just that, a strategy. Simply throwing information up randomly makes it difficult to get a consistent message to your audience and generally leads to haphazard marketing.
There are 5 basic stepsyou need to take to build an effective strategy.
1) What are your marketing goals?
The first thing is to work out what are your goals? Is it to bring more people to your website or to drive sales? Maybe it is to grow your social media following or help build brand awareness? Whatever the reason, be specific here.
2) Develop a mission statement.
Once you have worked out your clear goal it is good to develop a mission statement that accurately reflects why your company exists and what your priorities and views are. A great example of a mission statement is from Amnesty International which is: To undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights.
3) Work out your target audience.
You need to narrow down who your core target audience is so you can keep your marketing focused and clear. Ask yourself who is your ideal client – who you can most help with your information and therefore services. Your desired audience can never be everyone. Often when we don’t want to miss out on any business we try and throw the content net wide and loose, and of course in doing so you risk the ideal clients slipping through because it may not be of interest to them. If you do have multiple ideal client profiles, rather than cast a scattered campaign, you can put together separate campaigns targeting the different groups. For a newsletter campaign, you can set up separate mailing lists. If you are advertising on social media you can target your desired audience using tools such as Facebook profiling.
4) How will you deliver your message?
Once you have ascertained who your audience is you can then work out on what medium you will deliver to your audience (ie blog, video etc) and what type of information will you provide via your content. The message must be of value otherwise there is no incentive for the customer to continue reading watching. Remember, no-one likes being sold to.
5) What action you want your audience to take?
Finally, you need to make sure you are clear about what you want your audience to do once they have consumed your content and how you will measure if what you have communicated is successful. You might want to send them to your website so they can purchase directly, or perhaps make contact with you to find out more information. Desired actions vary but again it is important to be specific. You can then monitor the activity on your website and or social media profiles so you know if it is successful or not.
Get in touch to find out how Content Marketing can help your business or organisation.