Many business owners are familiar with the term, others are engaged in content marketing but haven’t put a specific label on it but without exception it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective means of marketing your business.
So, what is Content Marketing? We think this descriptions sums it up perfectly.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.The Content Marketing Institute
The content created by your business may be in many forms including but not limited to blog posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, social media updates. We touched on this in a previous blog post, ‘Content Marketing And Why Your Business Needs To Think About It’ – worth a read if you need more detail on the topic.
In today’s post, we’re sharing a selection of ten tips to help you with your content marketing whether you’re still thinking about it, getting started or you’ve got a strategy in place that might just need a bit of adjustment.
Have a plan – in an ideal world you have a strategy but we know that for many small business owners who are our audience, one document doesn’t specifically exist, often because there isn’t a dedicated resource on the team. This doesn’t stop you from having a plan, however, a place from where you decide what content is to be created and whether for example, it’s to be used as part of a newsletter or an ad campaign too.
Know who you’re talking to – all marketing should start with your audience, understanding who you’re selling to is crucial to the success of content marketing because if your audience is more tuned into YouTube you’re not reaching them as effectively as you could through a podcast or blog posts.
Ensure it’s measured – define what your content marketing is designed to do and ensure it’s working, analytics will tell you if your site got extra traffic on the basis of a blog post, your online sales will reflect content that was designed to sell products.
Be consistent in your approach – a random blog post or podcast once in a while is better than nothing, frequently updated content is better for your business on search engines who like you to stay relevant and up to date and for an audience who over time learn to expect updates from you.
Keep all content on brand – your brand should have a voice or tone, a style of language perhaps, or even a dedicated person(s) who takes care of your videos. Whilst variety is always welcome as it enables you to test different styles of content if yours is a quirky brand and you put out a very formal post it may well stand out for the wrong reasons. As a business you’ll have decided what’s right for you, all content should fall within what’s right for you whether that’s written brand guidelines or what you know works for you.
Answer questions your customers have – if you know your audience always asks a certain question about a product, save them the email or call by addressing it in a blog post or video which shows you to be helpful and informative as opposed to just out for a sale.
Be unique – by all means, keep an eye on the marketplace and see what’s working for others but imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery when it comes to marketing. Your brand has its own strengths, work with them to make the most of your marketing, and don’t feel influenced to jump in with whatever the latest trend is just because you think you should.
Link back to other content – links within your site are good for customers and for search engines but don’t link back to previous content just for the sake of it, refer to appropriate content where it’s relevant but don’t try to force your audience to see everything you created just because you go them this far. You can also link to third parties if you’re including content from research another organisation completed for example don’t just borrow the headline facts, credit them in your content, and allow your reader to follow through in the event they’d like more information.
Think about keywords – when you’re writing a piece of text or tagging a video, for example, ensure that you focus on keywords or phrases that are right for your business and your audience.
Re-purpose your content – a blog post can become a video, a podcast can become a blog, a report can become an infographic, a white paper might become a newsletter. When you’ve done the work and created the content use it where it’s appropriate in other formats, providing of course it’s suited to your audience.
Outsource – you don’t have to do it all yourself and if the very thought of writing a blog post or creating a video isn’t in your comfort zone or takes up time you could use more effectively, outsourcing can cost a lot less than you might expect and where an expert is on board will ensure your content marketing makes more of an impact too.
We know when it comes to marketing there always seems to be something more to add to your list and that it can be challenging when you don’t have somebody to manage it specifically for you. At The Marketing Shop we’ve created content for brands in dozens of very different businesses and we can manage content for you, or indeed, teach you how to do it more effectively.
Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to arrange a no obligations consultation on Content Marketing or any of our other services in Marketing, Social Media or Web Design,