Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
What makes it work? Content marketing works by offering help rather than selling; by telling stories and teaching something new instead of self-promoting; by giving shout outs and thank yous to others as opposed to talking about yourself.
Build your content strategy with specific goals in mind: - increasing your number of Facebook “likes” or growing your database of email addresses. Once you have decided on your goals, you need to work out how you will track and measure your performance against those metrics.
Most successful content does one of two things: Introduces a brand new concept, idea, or news story to your audience (existing or new), or Repurposes an existing idea into a new format. There are pros and cons to using other people’s data vs. collecting your own. If you use other people’s previously gathered data, you can lose the immediacy of producing something unique and newsworthy.
However, by repurposing data, you can help expand its reach to new audiences — and if the original content author likes what you’ve done, they may even promote your content in return. Once you have your data, you are free to create your content in any way you like.
You aren’t restricted to one piece of content either, as you can create a wide range of content depending on what you are looking to do with it. The topic of content creation is worthy of a number of posts all of its own, but for the purposes of designing your strategy, you should ensure that every piece of content is professionally created by someone who specialises in the particular content format you are working with.
For example, press releases should be written by copywriters, and designers should be responsible for infographics. One of the biggest problems encountered with content marketing is that once content pieces are produced, they can exist in glorious isolation on the website on which they are hosted.
Distribution is everything, so you need to make sure that you forge a clear path for those you want to engage with your content.To do this, look at your existing routes to market, and analyze the weaker areas.
Can you utilize social media, the press, or your existing visitors?
Can you leverage industry authorities to share your content through their own networks?
Could you approach the authors of your data and encourage them to promote it?
CONTENT MARKETING IDEAS:
1. Tap the wisdom of your company’s own crowd
No, not your customers —you’ve already got an arsenal of case studies and testimonials. But your staff —those on the front line of marketing, can be your greatest resources. Garner feedback from engineers, product developers and other key users and service-oriented company personnel who can speak to your product suite’s true value from a use-case scenario perspective. Use that feedback as fodder for your next content campaign.
2. Develop an “About Us” campaign based on buyer personas
Modern content marketers are equipped with an arsenal of customer demographical data — so use it! Leverage the hard work and knowledge you’ve put into developing your buyer personas and create content collateral that focuses specifically on user case study examples. While many marketers have done this generically (i.e. “Meet Jane, the Director of Demand Generation”) you can create custom “About Us” profile to demonstrate how a particular line of business title (i.e. CMO, sales person, etc.) maximizes their work by using your product or service.
3 Maximize your event footprint:
With more than 3 billion check-ins happening every day on the location-based social network, it’s a goldmine for engagement. During your next physical event, integrate Foursquare calls-to-action into your pre and during event collateral to encourage prospects and customers to check in and become part of your company’s community. Even more fun if you’re hosting or sponsoring a meal or reception event.
4. Maximize your metrics
Decide the most relevant stats to your user base and incorporate them into your content. For instance, if you track customer service response times or set customer service target, don’t relegate them to a formal press release. Pepper those figures in all your campaign collateral. If you can’t share hard numbers, focus on momentum and value-based information, such as how your new customers are leveraging the solution for specific tasks.
Any effective content marketing strategist keeps one theory close: that we’re all consumers. We all like to laugh, and imagery that conjures up emotion hits close to home. Happy conversions are the best kind!
6. Implementa system for connecting the dots of your content across all marketing channels
Some sophisticated marketers have this strategy on lock, but it is truly critical to understand not only the hard metrics of marketing channels — such as social, web, mobile, email — but also soft metrics like engagement, time spent, shares and comment quality.