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Let’s face it. When you are marketing a business, you are busy… really busy! And you are often juggling so many priorities when trying to get the word out about your products and services that it can be difficult to decide where you should be putting your oh so valuable attention.
One area I suspect you are neglecting is regularly creating new, fresh content for your website and social media. How do I know? Because I have been there!
You might even be asking yourself, Do I really need a content marketing strategy?
Our answer? A big, capital YES!
Why content marketing?
Back in the day – and by that, we mean before the age of digital – marketing meant doing pretty much one thing.
Madmen wasn’t just a brilliant show, they were a demonstration of the power of advertising. A groundbreaking way for brands to market their products to the consumer. It was fun, risque, sexy, and fresh.
Fast forward a few decades and constantly advertising your products to your customers just isn’t that sexy anymore. It can actually be downright annoying. So much so that ad-blockers are now built right into browsers.
So how can you still reach your target customers and market your products to them without annoying them with continuous adverts?
2 words: Content Marketing.
But what actually is content marketing?
In its simplest terms, content marketing is a type of marketing focused on planning, creating, and publishing content online to a specific audience. Your audience.
It shouldn’t be confused with advertising (though if your content is really resonating with your audience, you might want to consider running some ads to it). It isn’t about directly selling your product.
The aim is to:
- And eventually, win them over
Do this right and your reader & viewers will quickly become customers.
If you search on Google Trends, you will see that content marketing has skyrocketed in popularity since 2007. So if you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place – now is the time to create one.
Why does your business need content marketing?
One of your main marketing goals should be to create a loyal fanbase of people that will become customers.
Whatever product you are selling; fashion, beauty, consultancy, training workshops, pet portraits, yourself! – you will want to create content that is informative and valuable to your customer.
If the information you offer ticks all of the right boxes, then you will gain yourself some loyal customers who come back again, and again.
When you’re creating your content, you want to constantly be thinking about do your customers need? What do they care about? How can you (and only you) share to help them?
6 Tips For Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
So, we have walked through what content marketing is and why you need it. Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty and actually create your content marketing strategy.
Your strategy should highlight all the points that make your business the answer to your customer’s (and potential customers) problems. It should showcase your skills, knowledge and products that can help your ideal customer.
This turns your business from a commodity into something that your consumers will trust, embrace, and come back to.
Tip #1: Plan Your Goals
Your strategy should serve a particular purpose. What do you want that to be? Is it to grow your customer base? Create engagement with your customers? Improve your website rank on Google? Attract yourself some more email subscribers?
Whatever it is, your strategy needs to reflect it.
Tip #2: Define Your Audience
Content marketing can only truly work if you know your audience. Remember, you are not trying to reach everyone. You are trying to attract into a specific type of customer. Your content needs to be valuable to them.
How can you do this? Create your customer avatar – think about who they are, what their challenges are and what would be the most useful piece of content that you could give them right now! It’s so easy when we know a lot to assume that everyone else does too. So go back to the beginning and think about what people that are new to your business or industry might want to know. Then use this information to create content that THEY will find useful.
Tip #3: What Are Some Good Ways To Promote Your Content?
The best thing about content marketing is that there are so many platforms for you to use. This also means there are loads of cool and unique ways to reach your customers. Here are some great ones:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Free downloads
Each of these forms of content gives you the chance to reach your customer and offer them something new and unique that they won’t be able to get elsewhere. They also give you the opportunity to hone your brand voice and learn more about what your customer wants and needs.
The key is to be consistent, and offer quality content that is informative and valuable.
Tip #4: Think Of Some Unique Ideas
If you are already scratching your head trying to think up some cool and simple ways to entice your audience, here are some ideas that you can adapt to your small business:
- Your business: Painting Paw-Fect (sorry) Pet Portraits. The content: Write an informative blog post about how to take impromptu snaps of your fur baby. The blog post can end with a CTA (that’s marketing lingo for “call to action”) linking them to your portrait landing page.
- Your business: A Freelance Copywriter. The content: Create a free download for business owners that gives top tips to on how they can write great copy. Include a space for them to pop in their email and you can add them to your email list.
- Your business: A local garden centre . The content: Create a live video where you talk about the season’s interior trends and how they can be incorporated into the home. End the video showcasing some of your favourite products that they can only get at your garden centre or online.
- Your business: A industry consultancy. The content: Create an infographic about some industry trends and the impact it is going to have your sector. Have a link back to your website where you ask people to signup to keep up to date each month with new changes that are going on and feed into your leads database.
These adaptable ideas will target specific audiences with content that is relevant, searched for, and useful. They also allow you to build a relationship with your customers.
Tip #5: Share, Share, SHARE!
You have spent time, energy, and many coffee-fueled evenings planning and creating your content. So now is the time to share it! Include your content in your social media plan and share it out over the course of a few days or even weeks. If it is evergreen content, then even better, as you can reshare it again months and even years later.
Create a social post for each of your platforms and embed your content. Encourage your followers to engage, comment, and share – so your content can spread like warm butter on hot toast!
Tip #6: It’s Tracking Time
Now that you have spent all that time creating cracking content, it’s time to track it. By tracking it, you will get a much better idea of how well it performed and what your audience thought of it. This can include new email subscribers, a change in revenue, new followers on social media, and an increase in page views.
There are loads of great tools available for you to do this, such as Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics and SEMrush, so see which one works best for you.
Want to move from ideas into action?
We hope that we have given you a good insight into the world of content marketing. If you feel like you could use a bit more help creating a strategy for your small business, then check out our Content Marketing Masterclass on October 13th. You will learn all the tricks of the trade to create a winning and rewarding strategy. Hope to see you there!