Content marketing shouldn’t be used as a direct sales tactic, but instead, as a way of creating two-way communication between your business and your potential customers.
By utilising effective content marketing you will be able to educate your potential customers whilst opening the door to a future purchase through long term engagement.
When developing a content marketing strategy there are several key things to remember, some of these include the following.
Dropping the sales pitch
As with any marketing, relevance and engagement should be the key. You shouldn’t need a sales pitch. Although of course content marketing is ultimately about selling your products or services, it shouldn’t be made immediately obvious. This is often a major turn-off as most customers are distrusting of advertising messages, so if your content is purely promotional they are likely to switch-off straightaway.
Effective content marketing shouldn’t need an obvious sales pitch. Instead, present your customers with information in a creative, helpful and engaging way. Customers won’t be reading your content to receive a hard sell; they will be reading your content to gain more of an insight into your company or your industry – so demonstrate your expertise.
An example of effective content marketing could be a fashion retailer who regularly creates content that looks at current trends and what people are wearing, without specifically mentioning their own products and pushing their current offers. As long as this content is relevant, timely, informative and engaging, the retailer will be able to connect with their audience, increase their site visits, build up their brand recognition and in turn increase their sales.
If you create content that informs, entertains and engages an audience, you will build up trust with your customers and make them want to visit your site again, opening up the door for them to purchase.
Creating a content calendar
In order to keep your content fresh and ensure you don’t come up against any roadblocks, look to the year ahead and plan what you will be producing each month.
When planning, think about specific holidays you could create content around, think about any product launches you may have, think about the seasons – is your business led by particular times of the year? Also think about your company goals – what are you hoping to accomplish through your content projects?
For your convenience, when it comes to creating the content, ensure you include the following in your content calendar; a title, a brief description, your target audience, the type of content you will be producing and the keywords you wish to target for each piece and where you hope to share the content – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for example.
Use your content calendar as a guide to the year ahead; you don’t need to stringently stick to it. If something more relevant comes up, tweak your calendar and produce content around that as well or instead.
Keep your content informative
Don’t just create content for the sake of it, ensure you have something useful and informative to say. If you haven’t got anything interesting to say, don’t say it. Creating boring and irrelevant content will cause your audience to switch off and probably never return.
Answer your customers’ questions
People turn to the internet to answer their questions, so make sure your content answers these questions. This is vital in order to produce content that is relevant and connects with your audience. Research what your current customers are asking, what your potential customers are asking and what is likely to be asked. Look at Google Trends, look at analytics, look at your social data, find out what customers are asking you via email, via the telephone, or in person and use your content to answer their questions.
Look at the figures
There is a reason you are doing this, so it’s essential that you measure and understand the results of your efforts. Set yourself clear goals before you look at the figures. That way you will have something to measure.
The key things to look at are how many people have viewed your content; how many people have shared your content; whether your traffic has increased; the social interaction with your content, and importantly, the impact that your content marketing has had on your conversion rate.
Dean Ronnie is a Content Marketer with Miromedia.co.uk