The fact that Content Marketing can help marketers and enterprises accomplish multiple business goals at once makes it the smartest choice for every enterprise. And for organizations with robust marketing teams, this is usually done in-house. The trouble is, not many marketers know exactly what it is they are doing, and so they produce sub-optimal results. But have no fear my dear DIY people; we are here with the basics to help you kick off your content marketing on the right foot.
We have talked about what Content Marketing is and why it can be valuable. Now, we will address how it should be executed; the what, who, how, when and where of content marketing.
The first question to answer is: What kind of content should be created? Content marketing is the creation and sharing of relevant content in order to engage current and potential customers, thereby building trust with the audience and subsequently driving sales. This definition spells out the required type of content to be produced for a marketing strategy. The key phrases are relevant, engaging, trust-building and sales-driving.
Every piece of content created must have a minimum of one of these characteristics. Based on your industry, content ideas can come from a multitude of source: industry analysis, industry/company keywords, client questions, social media conversations, or the news.
To build an effective strategy, having an in-depth understanding on whom you are creating the content for is extremely important. Mind you, a vague demographic tag does not do the trick; every content marketer needs to get into the minds of their target audience to know what they think, how they feel, what they want/need and how they react. Building a persona profile is the way to go about this. This persona profile should include information on their:
- Typical schedules
- Trends and tendencies
Building a persona profile cannot be done by mere speculation. It should be the result of thorough research or you just might end up creating content they don’t relate to or distributing through media they don’t use.
Next question is how to get started. After determining what content you will be creating and for whom, you need to set the scope of your content marketing strategy. This will be done in the form of an editorial brief. An editorial brief includes details on the frequency of creation and distribution, the tone of voice to use, the language, colours, and other important information the entire content marketing team needs to know to be on the same page.
An editorial calendar should then be created detailing what type of content to be created, when, by whom and for what results. Editorial calendars are the backbone of a well-organized content marketing strategy. Also, decide on how your content is going to be created. Your whole plan rests on this. Great content creation is a full-time gig, so assigning your PA 5 hours a week to produce content might not get you the results you need. Get an in-house content producer, a content marketing agency, or a freelancer.
When do you produce new content? It is best to produce fresh content as often as possible. But creating content just for the sake of content is counter-productive. Aim at creating a lot of content. But ensure that it is quality content. Set a high goal for yourself. If you fall short, so be it. But let your goal be a stretch. And remember; the content you create must be relevant, engaging, trust-building and/or sales-driving. Anything less than this is a waste of valuable resources and actually sets you back in your marketing campaign.
Finally, where does the content go? The first place your content should go is on your website. Every piece of content you distribute should lead your audience to your website. But where do we market content? Everywhere! Distribute content through email newsletters and social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Whatsapp. It should be sent to journalists and influencers, and included in comments on other articles and discussion groups. Be everywhere and remember to make your content shareable.
It is important to remember that marketing today is hardly ever about raising awareness, but about becoming a preference. With technological advances, customers can get goods/services from anywhere in the world. Hence, brands are competing to become customers’ preferences. And to become a preference, a brand must build trust with their customers. By becoming a trusted source of information, you not only demonstrate expertise, but also begin to break down any obstacles to making the sale; you are building trust because you are “giving away” your knowledge. This is where you win with Content Marketing.