Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
While many big businesses have already incorporated content marketing into their overall strategy, it’s no surprise that companies of all sizes can benefit from it. This strategic marketing practice can help attract and retain an audience by creating targeted content and increase sales by focusing on people that likely want or need your product or service. Content marketing takes many forms, including blogs, social media, email blasts, podcasts, print materials, and press releases. Which content platform your business chooses depends on your target customer and where they spend most of their time online.
Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing
It can seem hard to justify spending a budget on something your business has never tried before. Yet, many entrepreneurs and businesses already know that content marketing is an excellent investment and a great way to reach new and existing customers. By using some of your marketing budget to target the customers most likely to use your product or service, your business can generate more sales.
If you’re still not convinced, here are some additional reasons why your business should consider adding content marketing to its communication strategy:
- Engage Your Audience — By creating content that is relevant to your targets, your business can better catch their attention. Customers often tune out traditional ads and commercials unrelated to their interests or needs. Younger generations tend to use social media more, so generating content that pertains to their wants via social media is a great way to target that audience.
- Build Credibility — Potential audiences want to see reviews and testimonials from other customers to know how great a product or service is. On top of that, customers want another source, aside from your business, to vouch for whether your product or service delivers what it promises. You can also build credibility and demonstrate expertise by using expert sources, answering their questions, and solving issues they may have.
- Generate Revenue — Once customers see relevant content and honest reviews, they are more likely to want to visit your website and use your product. This is a great way to reach customers who have a need for your business but might have never heard about it otherwise.
- Start Conversations — It’s important to start conversations between your business and customers. Social media is a great place to begin, as it allows you to share your website content and blogs with a broader audience. You can also learn more about what is important to customers through these conversations.
The Dos and Don’ts of Content Marketing
Content marketing is an essential addition to your marketing plan. However, despite being a great strategy for all businesses, it may seem daunting when you are starting from scratch. To reap all the benefits, marketers need to ensure their content plan is well-executed. When first getting started, it can be easy to make mistakes like not creating enough reusable content or not paying attention to the importance of user-generated content. Reusable content is essential to a good content marketing plan, as it allows the marketer to repurpose and repost content on different mediums. For example, a well-researched blog for your business’s website can easily be turned into a social media post. In addition, user-generated content can give further insight into what your customers like about your business. Not looking out for it can result in a missed opportunity to better your business!
Here are some important tips your business should follow before beginning to create content:
- Identify Your Target Audience — It’s important to understand your audience’s needs and wants because this will allow you to figure out how your business will fulfill them. Once you identify your specific target demographics, you’ll be able to tailor content specifically for them.
- Find the Right Platforms — Blogs, social media, email lists, paid advertising, SEO, and print are all great ways to start content marketing. It is important to research your target audience to see which platforms they use most before deciding which to target. For example, if you are targeting a more professional audience, Twitter and LinkedIn may be your go-to social platform, while consumers may be more receptive to content on Facebook and Instagram.
- Create Content Regularly — Having a consistent content cadence will improve your reputation, establish customer loyalty, and help to build a better relationship with them. This can be done by simply asking your audience what they want to learn more about (social media is a great place to start). Being consistent doesn’t have to take up too much of your time, but your content should be on a schedule and your brand should have consistent messaging.
- Identify Any Gaps — Ask internal questions like “is there something our business is missing?” or “how can our content fill the gap?” This will allow your business to cover all of its bases and get the right information out to its audience.
How to Make Your Writing Stand Out
Captivating your audience is essential for written content! As good as your content may be, your audience won’t take the time to read it if your writing is subpar. You’ll have to convince your audience in a few short lines that your content is worth the read. To do so, make sure your title is attention-grabbing and your first few sentences are engaging.
Once your audience is hooked, keep them reading by writing through a journalistic lens. Think about why your content is newsworthy or different from competitors, and readers will want to read even more. Make sure your writing style and grammar are on point, as no one wants to read through mistakes that should have been caught in the editing stage. That being said, when editing your content, remember to keep things concise and watch out for anything that might be confusing for readers.
With these tips in mind, your writing will entice readers to consume more content!
Get Started Today!
It is never too late to ride the content marketing wave. Content marketing helps you learn more about your target customers and how to best reach them. If it’s not already, it should be a key part of your marketing strategy and a worthwhile investment for your business. There is no real wrong way to do it — as long as your business is getting more exposure to its target audience, it’s benefitting you. Content marketing may feel overwhelming when first getting started, but there are tons of platforms to get started on, so try using one you are already comfortable with. No more excuses — get writing today!