Content marketing can be an important arm in your overall marketing strategy. The approach involves developing or curating content that offers exceptional value to your target audience. Different to more direct advertising techniques, content marketing can offer high levels of engagement, attracting new customers into your business. Content marketing is not just a matter of creating articles, though, and requires a coherent strategy to gain the best results. The following techniques can be used to build an effective content marketing campaign that works.
Each content marketing campaign will be unique to individual businesses. The campaigns might share many similarities, but they are not necessarily working toward the same goals. Before setting out the plan, think about what you are trying to achieve and narrow down your options. You might, for example, have a broad plan of making more money through increased sales. However, reaching this broad goal might involve a strategy of collecting emails and moving subscribers through a sales funnel.
Research Your Audience
Researching your audience makes targeting far easier. An effective technique is to develop a customer avatar, so each piece of content can be targeted towards this ideal customer. To develop your avatar, look at audience demographics within your niche, focusing on age groups, income, and other useful information. Next, look at the information you have about your existing customers, finding similarities between them. Finally, survey your customers to gain a deeper knowledge of the type of content they respond to.
Choose Content Channels
There are many different channels that can be used for publishing content. Blog sites, both your own and external properties, can be effective. Social media channels will almost always be used, but they can be a primary or secondary focus. If you are developing video content, YouTube is the most common platform to target. You will ideally be focused on the channels that your ideal customers already use, so you can tap into an existing audience.
Determine the Style of Content
The style of content will determine the engagement levels you can expect to receive. For example, you may choose to write a blog post to introduce a concept to your audience. This blog post can vary in length, making it important to factor in what your audience responds to. You can also adapt an original piece of content into other styles, such as a video post, podcast discussion, and more. Creating content in a style that doesn’t suit the idea will be a waste of resources.
Build Your Calendar
The most effective campaigns are carefully managed, allowing each piece of content to get the most exposure. Developing a content calendar ensures you stick to a long-term plan, with content being produced at optimal times. You may also have a team of people working on your marketing push, so it helps to have everyone on the same page. An effective calendar should see new pieces of content produced in advance, with syndication partners aware of when articles and videos are released.
If you want your content to get noticed, it is important that it offers something different or superior. You may have a different take on a subject, a view that is not typically being expressed, or you may offer more detail or value than most competitors. When you can offer something different from the crowd, audiences will be drawn to you and your content can resonate. Content can be developed by a business owner, a content marketing team, or outsourced to talented creators.
Simply publishing content on your website will not produce the best results. If you have a large audience already, followers can ensure that everything you publish gets a push. However, most businesses don’t have this benefit, so they need to work with others. Look to build a database of contacts within your niche who will be willing to promote your output. This promotion may be a post on social media, a mention on their blog, or they could produce content that continues the conversation.
If you don’t analyze results, it can be hard to determine the level of success you have achieved. Look back at your original goals, thinking about what you were aiming to gain. You can then look at the number of social shares, likes, reposts, and comments, analyzing whether the content cut through. From this point, you can look at the main goals, such as new subscriber numbers or direct product sales, and work out whether they were reached. Each time you analyze a new campaign, you grow your knowledge and are better placed for the next set of goals.
Content marketing is one of the key methods of brand building for most successful online businesses. It can be hard to develop trust and engagement with consumers using direct advertising techniques. Content marketing, though, lets you educate and entertain people, so they continue to want more. By providing this content on a consistent basis, consumers will keep on returning to your business and can become long-term customers. When you develop an effective content marketing campaign from the start, you stand the best chance of your brand cutting through the noise.