Blogging, sharing stories about your brand across a number of channels (offline and online), creating social media posts and even tweeting about your brand. These are all actions that brands have completed for a long time, but now we use a special term. CONTENT MARKETING.
So what exactly is Content Marketing? The Content Marketing Institute uses this definition to define Content Marketing:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
You continuously communicate information about your brand to a targeted audience with the goal of a transaction.
How can a marketer ensure that they are continuously releasing relevant information to their audience, and how can you define who your audience is and what they find relevant? This can all depend on what your company is communicating about – i.e. What do you do? Are you a new-mum website that has all types of products that a new-mum may need? How do you bring that new-mum to your website in the first place if they have never heard of you? Can you purely depend on a Google search or word-of-mouth advertising when you know that any mother could be visiting your information to find out about your product, and if so, how can content marketing fit into your marketing strategy?
You cannot use the idea that you can create one blog post a year and this will be enough to help build your brand. Brands should be aiming for a MINIMUM of one blog post per month to keep your audience aware of who you are. You should include your blog in your eDM marketing and always publish to your social media. This will also help with the consistency of your other digital channel communications. By communicating with your audience consistently, you are allowing yourself to be seen in a number of different ways (and topics) by your audience. Content that interests one reader may not interest another so keeping the content diverse but in-scope is important.
Once you have your blog created, how are you going to distribute it to your audience? Does your blog regularly attract thousands of views so that you can let it be shared organically? As you are starting out, the answer to that question is quite likely going to be: No. There are a number of ways you can distribute your content. Publish it onto your Facebook or LinkedIn page and boost/promote it by around $10-$20. You could reach thousands of people and attract them to your website.
If our new mum website was to create content about the Best Ideas to Help your newborn sleep, and describes certain remedies that are available on their website, the content will link directly to those products and the new mum may be inclined to make a purchase. Would you have made that sale without your social media channel push? Maybe not! Another way to distribute your content are through content publishers that you can target specifically to your audience.
3. Writing Style
A blog post should sound personal! When you are writing your content, think of yourself as having a conversation. Your content should be inviting. The reader should WANT to read what you are writing about and should be able to relate. Talk to your readers, not at them! The new mum website is aiming to attract new mums. Their content should be focused on the likes and interest of this audience. If you were to read content around lawn bowls or sport on this website, you would probably skip it. When writing content on the new mum website, your content will be focused on the life of a new mum, their needs and wants and how you can help them. The writing style should show that your brand understands the pressures of being a new mum and how you can help them.
What are your goals? Sure, you are writing content, but is the end-goal clearly defined? How do you know that the purpose of what you are writing is meeting your content marketing goals and how can you refine them to meet your strategy?
Of course the most important part of Content Marketing is the content itself! What is your brand doing that justifies WHY you are writing content regularly. Do you find that customers are often asking you the same questions that you could answer and direct them to? Has there been a new product/announcement you would like to share with your audience? While content marketing is going to be about the end goal for your business, there has to be SOMETHING in it for the reader. Are they going to learn something after reading your content, will they have an answer to a question answered? Engaging content is the number 1 tool in implementing a successful content marketing strategy!