Yes, yes – content marketing is allll about creating fun graphics and videos, collecting followers, and landing customers…OR IS IT? Keep reading to unpack the fundamentals of content marketing –and how the right strategy can help you attract a pack of loyal fans that can’t wait to buy from you!
Ok, so what is content marketing?
I’m glad you asked! Content marketing is an approach in which you create and distribute valuable and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. These efforts build likability and trust –which ultimately, drives profitable action.
Why is content marketing important for my business?
Marketing is impossible without great content! Not only does it drive inbound traffic and leads, but it’s an opportunity to STAND OUT from your competitors and tell them why YOU are the go-to person for answers.
Good content marketing has a clear brand strategy and uses high-quality content to connect with your target audience and build trust –so you’re front of mind when they need you. (aka, when they’re ready to buy!)
What type of content is most effective?
There’s so many options for you to get creative with this! And in such a saturated market, it’s important that you experiment with several types of content that will not only suit your brand style, but so you can see what your audience likes, too! Here’s some effective options that many marketers incorporate into their content plan:
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Email newsletter
- YouTube videos
- Press Release
- Case Study
How do I get started with content marketing?
One of the most important steps you must take before you lay out a content strategy is to have a clear picture of your brand idea and your target audience!
Your brand idea should nail down your “why” and is essentially how people will feel from your brand experience. Understand your brand values and voice, your business goals, and USP (unique selling proposition) before you dive into content.
You’ll also want to have a good idea of who your target audience is before you create your content plan. This means knowing WHO they are, WHAT they need help with, and asking yourself HOW you can help. This will allow you to come up with a content strategy that is intentional and in alignment with your company goals and audience’s needs.
What does a content strategy look like?
Your content strategy is essentially the framework you’ll use to achieve your content marketing goals. Consider how your content can tie into the customer journey (aka content mapping). Below is a brief overview of how a basic content marketing funnel looks to give you an idea:
- Awareness – This is where you want to focus on creating high-quality and valuable content to attract your target audience. The best channels for doing so are organic searches like Google, social media, blogging, podcasts, YouTube, etc.
- Consideration – Here, is where you want to nurture those leads by fostering connections, delivering value, and presenting a solution to their problem. Email is a great place to do this!
- Decision – Once you’ve built that likability, you can deliver social proof, a special offer, free trial, or anything to develop trust so they can’t help but buy from you! This is also quite effective via email, paid ads, and organic search.
Once you’ve determined the type of content you’ll be creating and what channels you’ll be using to drive your messaging, you can then start thinking about a content plan to execute all the tactical functions that go into production and delivery.
Here, you’ll outline detailed plans for your marketing deliverables and data-generating tasks that work toward the goals you laid out in your content strategy. Furthermore, you’ll also want to decide on how you will measure performance so you can give your strategy a tune-up when needed.
New to content marketing?
Here’s some quick tips for getting started:
- Remember – Great content starts with understanding your target audience. Clearly define who they are, their needs, pain points, and how you can help them.
- Be Intentional – Make sure your content is in alignment with your brand goals and your audience’s needs. Keep in mind, you’re creating for THEM, not so much you.
- When in Doubt – Educate, entertain, and empower your audience. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
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