Content Marketing, every body wants to do it, but how do you start?
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies that you can use to boost your brand. According to a recent research of over 3400 global marketers, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. On top of that 60% of marketers stated that Content Marketing is ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ to their overall marketing strategy.
Content Marketing involves the production of regularly updated content that are attractive to your target audience, often influencing them to support your product or service sometimes without them even noticing! When done right, it leads to a significant increase in improvement of your bottom line or your key KPIs. There could be a variety of content (blogs, infographics, videos, case studies, ebooks) and channels (blog, website, social media, youtube, etc) but the core process and guidelines to start are the same.
It’s never too late to start! We are going to give you a bit of a 5 step blueprint to get started in your content marketing path. Go forth and conquer!
1. Identify Your Target Audience
No matter what kind of marketing strategy you are implementing, knowing your target audience is always the first step you have to take. Doing this will enable you to think about what content would work best for your brand and what your audience will resonate with.
If you are a B2B company you may want to start with job titles as your audience. For MixCopy our target audience will be Digital Marketing Managers, Content Marketers etc. Marketers involved in content know exactly what we are offering and what pain points we solve. Knowing this means we can tailor our content to their daily pain points and what they want to learn. Knowing your audience makes your content-life a lot easier.
If you are a B2C company, you may want to start with demograhics and interests. You may be a female clothing brand, so females within a certain age range wanting to hava a bohemian look might be your target audience. Lets say you are a luxury beauty store. Your market is mostly women who are willing to pay money ranging from medium to high, in exchange for quality beauty products. So you would start building a profile of what your ideal audience is and what their interests are. Knowing their interests lets you know what information they are looking for and what answers will resonate with them.
2. Create a content structure
Once you have established your Audience and Interests, its time to dig in deep and find primary content pillars and supplementary content pillars that will resonate with your beforementioned audience. A marketing manager would likely not just be interested in products that help his daily work but training materials, productivity content and even possibly wellbeing and stress management content. It’s a bit of trial and error on creating these structures, posting content and seeing what resonates and what coverts with your target audience. Look at pillars which are crowded (has a lot of competing blogs and though leaders) and sparse (opportunity for you to generate a good following and cement yourself as a thought leader).
We recommend starting with at least 3 content pillars. Once your pillars are set, its time to setup sub pillars of supporting content. This is not required early on but will make your content more strategic.
3. Research for Content
To be effective in your content marketing, you have to have the content that people are actively looking for, or things that are making noise at the moment. In order to know what these are you have to do your research. Don’t fret, though! It does not have to be time consuming or costly.
You may use existing content on the internet to your advantage and look for clues in social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube—which is mostly where trends start nowadays, and also where people love to talk about the things that they currently find important or amusing.
Or you may use industry sites to see what other people are talking about. Things like Digg.com, Medium.com, Quora.com are great places to find what other poeple are asking and talking about related to your content pillars.
You may also make use of common marketing tools that identify which topics are being searched by people and trending topics and hashtags. This will be the foundation of your content.
4. Consistent and Clear Content
Researching for good content to produce might be the foundation of your content marketing, but the creativity, clarity, and usefulness of the information you publish is how that content is going to thrive. You don’t want people viewing your work, and then never come back because they don’t find your content attractive, or they think it’s boring, or they were not able to gain any useful information from it.
You want to give your audience a straightforward, yet informative narrative of what your topic is about while entertaining them with good photos, videos, or an attractive website. Gimmicks would work well, too!
If you are consistently updating with new content, people will start looking forward to what you are producing, because they know that they are likely to pick something up from them. At the same time, regular new content is also how you make sure that you are reaching new audiences constantly. When you are startint out, new content once a month is a good aim but the more the merrier as long as the content is relevant.
5. Measure, Learn and Grow
Measurement is key isn any Marketing Strategy now. Budgets are tight and if something doesn’t work, its better to focus on another thing now. In order to stay relevant using content marketing, you have to make sure that you are measuring how successful your content is and learning from it.
You then utilise these learnings in your next content piece.
Questions to ask yourself are
- Why did I get more engagement from this content piece compared to another content piece?
- What mediums and channels your content was shared in, got the most engagement?
- What comments if any did your network provide to your articles?
- Could I have used a relevant call to action on this piece of content?
- How can I improve my next content with what I have learnt?