Content Marketing: Who's Getting It Right?
So, you’ve invested in content, whacked it up on your campaign, and then...nothing. Why aren't you being flooded with inquiries?
Content marketing is more than developing some nice pieces of content and uploading it while hoping for the best. Content marketing needs to be informed by a strategic plan, and cover off a few key areas for it to be effective.
The fact is, marketing has changed. Once upon a time marketers would push messaging to potential customers and customers would accept these messages and base their purchasing decisions on them. However, now, consumers are far more empowered in their purchasing, they actively seek information from various channels first, doing significant research online before making any decisions about a brand.
When done well, content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to reach your customers, if you know how to package your messaging in a valuable way. According to recent research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), to reach customers and think content marketing is a key strategy. The Institute also reports 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement and 72% say it has increased their number of leads.
The above being said, content marketing is not a matter of writing ‘salesy’ content, pushing it out onto social and digital campaigns, and then hoping for the best. You can be churning out loads of content, but if it isn’t located where your customers are, or communicating your value proposition in the right way, your content will fail.
Here are a few quick tips on getting your content marketing right:
Most importantly, know your audience: If your brand isn’t very clear on who its audience is, then it's impossible to target them effectively. A point and spray approach is ineffective.
Have a strategy and a plan: Ensure you include what type of content you are going to produce, where it’s going, how long for, and how you are going to measure its success.
Check your data: See what keywords people are using when searching for your brand, and your top three competitors’ brands. Ensure those keywords feature in your content to maximise SEO.
Develop content to cover all aspects of the marketing funnel: Awareness, Engagement, Evaluation, and Purchase. There is no point in just covering awareness, as that is only once aspect of the funnel. Aim to evenly distribute content across these four aspects.
Develop your brand story, tone of voice, and value proposition: Think of your brand as a person - it is funny? Serious? Irreverent? This tone must permeate all your content consistently. What is your brand story? That is, how did your brand come about? What need is it serving? Does it have a purpose beyond sales? Hint: it needs to have a purpose beyond sales. What is the value your brand is bringing to people’s lives? How does your brand make life better for your customers and society in general?
What type of content will you use? Content isn’t just blog posts, it can include guest posts, podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, brand posts, ebooks, case studies, FAQs, and more.
What will be your distribution channels? You need to think beyond your own website, to partner, social and other key sites and these decisions must be informed by where your audience is.
How will you measure your content success? Engagement? Leads? Conversions? A combination of these? If you don’t know what your metrics are, you can’t judge whether it’s been effective or not.