If you need some content marketing tips to start or recharge communication with your audience, this article is for you! Content Marketing is CONNECTING with your customers wherever they are. It’s reaching out to say HELLO and remind them you are here for them. And it’s such an effective way to drive growth for your business. Creating content across a variety of channels can help you acquire new customers and gain loyalty among existing customers. And today, more than ever, it’s an important part of communicating and connecting with your customers.
However, too often, the task of creating compelling and engaging content is put on hold in order to focus on more pressing issues. Do you fall into this camp? Do you have a content strategy or a content calendar? How often are you communicating with your customers. The reasons for falling short on any one of these questions can vary. Perhaps you are not currently resourced to take on this additional workload. Or maybe you don’t yet have a clear understanding of what Content Marketing entails. Or perhaps you just honestly had not thought about it yet. It’s understandable, you have a great deal on your plate for running your business! But, you can no longer claim ignorance. Now is the time to get started or to strengthen or efforts!
This article covers the importance and benefits of content marketing, tips for creating your content strategy, and valuable resources for you as you start to build your strategy and execute content!
Benefits of Content Marketing
Before we get into all of the benefits, and there are many, let’s define Content Marketing. Essentially, content marketing is any communication with your customers or audience. Traditionally, when businesses or brands wanted to talk to their customers, they needed to run expensive ads in print, on TV, on radio, or other outdoor spaces, such as billboards. Today, with social media and email, businesses and brands can talk to their customers anywhere, anytime, as often as they like! However, if you’re not careful, you can either alienate, abandon, or annoy your customers. In other words, if you send the wrong message to the wrong customer, they can feel alienated and misunderstood and ultimately leave your business or brand. If you don’t communicate at all, they can feel abandoned and leave. And if you communicate too often and annoy them, they can be annoyed.
Successful Content Marketing is when a business or a brand has strategically targeted segments of their customers or audience with targeted messages. Furthermore, the content must be genuine, credible, trustworthy, and relevant.
Benefits of content marketing include the following:
Build Trust – content is a way for potential customers to gain trust in a brand. With trust comes purchase!
Gain Loyalty though Connection – content continues the conversation and builds a relationship between your brand and your customer. The greater the connection, the more loyalty you are building. With loyalty comes repeat purchase!
Become the Expert with credibility – content can also drive credibility in your brand’s category or industry. The more loyal customers you have, the more testimonials and therefore, credibility. Your brand can become the expert! With credibility comes even more customers and more purchases!
Overall, the benefit is more loyal customers and more sales.
Content Marketing Strategy Tips
Developing a Content Strategy simply means identifying your goals and the roadmap to get there. The reason that it’s so critical is that it enables your content to maintain focus and consistency. There are many tools and templates that you can use as a starting point for your content strategy. A good place to start is to read, 7 Steps to a Cohesive Brand Content Strategy. Once you find a Content Strategy model that makes sense, customize it to your business needs.
Here are the basics of a strong Content strategy:
Identify your target audience and any segments, what their needs are and where to reach them.
Define brand identity, tone of voice, and other cues.
Create content pillars, which are the intersections of what your Brand Offers and Believes and what your Customers need and are looking for.
Set goals for metrics in terms of channels, reach, frequency, and ultimately conversion.
Execution! Content Marketing Tips & Resources
Once you have a Content Strategy, it’s time to start executing! The best way to stay on track and organized is to first create a Content Calendar. However, don’t wait until you have one to start communicating! The sooner you get content out there, the better! Here are some Content Marketing Tips and Resources to help you along the way.
Content Marketing Calendar Ideas
A calendar can be as simple as using an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets. Or you can leverage a more advanced tool or app that may be and user-friendly for teams, such as Monday.com. Regardless of the method you use for tracking, it’s a way to keep track of every content idea that you have and want to publish. It allows you to track where you published it, when, and any other information including links.
As mentioned earlier, the content ideas will come out of your strategy which identified pillars that you will create content under. However, just because you have pillars or categories of topics, doesn’t mean it’s always easy to come up with specific and relevant content. That’s where trend and search tools come in.
Customer Comments – Start with looking for trends in comments or concerns on your website, social media, emails, and customer call reports.
Competitors & Industry – What are they talking about? Is there a topic that they are all talking about that you are not? Or is there a topic that no one is talking about yet and you can be first to do so?
Keyword Search Trends – You can also find trends within your topic pillars on Google Trends. Spyfu.com is another great service to look at the specific keywords that people are searching for and the # of clicks that those keywords generate.
Content Marketing Tips for Writing
Once you have the specific content topics, now it’s time to write the content. This could be a social media post, a blog post, an email, a guest post on another site, or an article in a publication. If you are the one writing, carve out time in your schedule to do so when you are most productive. Then remove all distractions. If you work from home, perhaps that is a time to leverage a Coworking Space.
If you don’t have time for writing the content, then consider bringing in a freelancer with experience to take this on for you! There are many, many experienced and professional freelancers available today. Many can be found through networking with others in your business and/or community network. However, it can also be advantageous to look at freelancer services and sites, such as Fivr.com, Upwork.com. You can also look to hiring a Virtual Assistant to not only help with Content Writing, but a variety of tasks that are likely building up on your plate. Check out TandemVirtualAssistant.com or Belay.com or TimeEtc.com.
Content Marketing Tips for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Once the content is written, or even before in some cases, you want to optimize it. This means editing it for optimal readability first. Then ensuring that it is SEO-ready in the case of website content. When it comes to social media posts, you want to ensure it is also optimized for keywords, hashtags, and any other links or tags.
For editing, at the most basic level, have someone read it! If you are the one writing, give it to a friend to make sure it makes sense and conveys your goal. If you have hired someone to write it, first you read it, then also have someone else read it. At a more advanced level, for instance if you are publishing an article, you may want to consider paying someone to edit it. It could be the same freelancer that you hired to write it or may be someone new just to edit. You can look to the same resources as mentioned above for hiring a freelancer.
For content that will be published on your website, you want to ensure that it’s SEO ready. Ensuring that you have keywords that you can rank for using Spyfu.com or similar sites can help. Then download an SEO plugin to your site, such as Yoast.com that can track your optimization and make recommendations for improvements.
Measuring content results
Finally, TRACK IT! For every social media post, email, blog post, or website link that you publish, track how many clicks and any conversion to purchases! Make sure that you have Google Analytics on your website so that you can measure all of the results from your content marketing.
You can use a service such as Bitly.com to create unique short links for any webpage that you are linking to. Each unique link will be specific to the post that it is published in. That means it is measurable for you! You can see how many of the clicks to your page came from the Instagram post vs. the Facebook post vs. the Email vs. any other published content!
Use These Content Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business!
Content Marketing doesn’t have to be complex, but it does need to be consistent. Start using some of these simple tips and strategies before the end of this year so ensure that your next year is the best one yet!