“Content is King!”
If you have launched a Digital Marketing campaign (or hired a specialist agency to launch one for you), you have probably come across this cliché dozens of times, if not more.
Digital Marketing (DM) goes well beyond occasional Facebook posts or Instagram stories. A DM strategy that is well-designed, well-thought-out, and well-executed can help today’s organizations build their brands’ reputations (reputation = trust!), bring in new qualified leads, convert prospects into customers and build relationships with them, and create a niche for themselves in a crowded and noisy marketplace. In short, DM can help a business grow and stay relevant.
And to do all of the above, brands need good content built around a solid Content Marketing strategy.
But what exactly is ‘good’ content?
The actual meaning may differ from one industry or audience group to another, but in general, content that:
- Resonates with the target audience
- Addresses their pain points
- Provides useful information
- Creates value
- Shows them that a brand cares about them
is considered good content.
So how can you grow your business through Content Marketing?
It’s not difficult but it does require some time, effort, and patience.
Here are 5 time-tested ways!
#1: Know your audience!
Sounds like an obvious ‘duh’ tip? That’s because it is! But, it is also the most ignored!
Are you churning out articles for your company’s blog without checking if your audience actually wants/needs those articles?
Are you using keywords that are cost-effective for you without confirming if they are relevant for your audience?
Is your content strategy focused on volume overvalue?
Content Marketing works best if it starts with audience analysis.
- What is your audience trying to achieve?
- What are their challenges?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What kind of information are they looking for?
Instead of forcing your ideas on them and expecting them to work, why not understand their ideas first and then create content accordingly?
Needless to say, you need to know who your audience is first!
#2: Set your mission, goals, and KPIs
Once you know what your audience is looking for, create your content marketing mission statement. Make sure it outlines your target audience, what kind of content you need to create to reach them, and what benefits you expect them to get from it. Knowing all of this will ensure that your Content Marketing strategy stays on track in a systematic manner.
Now, your mission will tell you what your audience will get from your Content Marketing efforts. Your goals will state what you will get.
Your goal could be:
- Increasing revenue by making more sales
- Getting more qualified leads
- Improving lead-customer conversion
- Boosting traffic to your site
- Better social media engagement with your customers
- Greater returns on marketing investment
or anything else that is relevant to your business. You can even have more than one!
#3: Establish your KPIs
It is not enough to simply set your goals because a goal without a plan is just a wish.
Therefore, after setting your goals, you need to identify and set your most relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Your KPIs will provide solid milestones and numbers that you can compare your content strategy against. In other words, KPIs make your Goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).
Here are some KPI examples that may apply to your Content Marketing strategy:
- X% increase in site traffic
- Y number of email subscribers
- Z% increase in revenues or profits
- Improve the search ranking of some of your key pages by N number
- S number of followers on social media
#4: Identify the best content channels for your business and create content accordingly
Some brands play the ‘more the merrier’ game when it comes to Content Marketing. Large, established firms have the money and resources to devise a content strategy that straddles multiple channels and media. These are the firms that have blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and Pinterest boards, and even send out newsletters and WhatsApp messages on a regular basis.
If you don’t have the wherewithal to do all this, you don’t have to! Be strategic about where you want to create your online presence by answering the following questions:
- What kind of business are you in?
- Where does your audience ‘live’?
- Where are you most likely to be most successful with Content Marketing?
Focus on a few channels, figure out what’s working, and expand from there rather than trying everything at once. For this, analytics tools are very useful. Then think about the types of content you need to create. Check out what other successful content is out there for inspiration (no plagiarism!).
- Should you have a company blog?
- Create a Facebook page with useful posts?
- Is video marketing the way forward?
- Are our email newsletters worth the time and effort?
#5: Allocate resources and create a content calendar
If you know what types of content you need to create and what the goal/KPI of each type is – creating a content calendar will be a breeze.
A calendar will help you plan your output, assign resources and control your schedule. Just make sure that you leave enough room for tweaking in case you need to suddenly change your Content Marketing strategy for some reason (e.g. in response to a particular unplanned event).
Identify your content team and then create a content workflow with roles and responsibilities clearly identified.
Next step – create content!
Use tools and analytics to measure your results. You may have to adjust your strategy a few times before you get it right. Be patient and Content Marketing will pay huge dividends in the long run!