Businesses providing goods and services have always used the written word in one way or another to promote their offers to existing and potential customers. They might have taken out advertisements in local newspapers or magazines for their niche. One tractor company produced a farming magazine to attract customers. Radio soap operas were also used to promote goods to housewives. Posters and leaflets were a big part of the marketing mix and often distributed in community venues from churches, to GP surgeries to supermarkets.
In the digital age, content marketing is essential to succeed in the business world and the better your content the more word of mouth you create leading to new customers. It can be very daunting though with terms flying around that you don’t quite understand such as the Google Algorithm. There is a whole range of types of content too such as tweets, Facebook and blog posts, YouTube videos, downloadable white papers, email newsletters, webinars and website articles. It can be a lot for a business owner to get their head around whether they are pushing products, a service or indeed a blog. You can always outsource this work and take on an expert such as Content Mother to help with content, blogging and outreach.
I am sharing some content marketing tips to give you a head start.
Identifying your audience/s
Content marketing needs to be thought about and not rushed into. The first step is to identify who you want to read your content and to engage with your business. If you can produce content that tackles a burning issue or pain point they have in their lives, you are one step away from new customers. If you keep solving their problems over and over again, they will grow to know, trust and like you. Not only does that make them more likely to buy your products and services but it also encourages them to tell other people about what you do. These new people become readers and potential customers and so the momentum builds for your business fuelled by great content marketing. Listen to your team members and perhaps hold a brainstorming session to really pin down the burning issues and pain points for your customers and potential customers. For some businesses, making customers laugh or keeping them entertained can also pay dividends – it’s not all about the pain points although you could argue that we access entertainment to escape the pain points in our lives so it all ties in nicely.
What do you want your readers to do?
When producing content you should keep in mind what you want your reader to do having read what you have to say. Do you want them to give you feedback, buy a product, take up a service or something else entirely. You may even be wanting someone to fund or invest in your company. It is good to monitor results of different content pieces and to have set a target or benchmark as to what you would like to see each one produce in terms of page views, clicks on links, leads and social media shares.
Who is going to write the content?
Not everyone is a natural writer and even good writers are not necessarily wonderful at writing marketing materials. Who in your business has the skills you need? Can you access some training for yourself or a member of your team? You will need to learn about search engine optimisations and work out your focus keywords. If you are not used to content marketing, you can learn relatively quickly and that is better than just producing content with no real purpose and not backed up by effective search engine optimisation.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
If all this sounds like an awful lot of time and effort you will need to be convinced of the benefits of content marketing at best. It is all about finding your prospective customers, converting them into customers, retaining them as customers and then seeing them go out and about in the world on and offline shouting to the rafters about your amazing products and services.
In conclusion, great content marketing can bring huge traffic to your website and blog posts and convert into wonderful engaged customers that buy time and time again. If you don’t know what you are doing you can access training or take on a consultant who is already skilled in this field. Remember also that one good bit of content can be repurposed so a blog post could become a vlog and a podcast. That’s just one example of how creative we can be with content marketing.