Increasingly people turn to the internet to find their information. Whether it’s looking up reviews about something you’re thinking of buying or learning something new, there will be content out there to help. This change in the way people find their information has paved the way for Content marketing. Content marketing gives small businesses the opportunity to become their own publishers and allows them to compete with much larger companies online. Creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content forms an online marketing strategy designed to attract and retain loyal customers. You can position yourself as an expert in your industry and increase your sphere of influence. In short, you can position yourself as the go to person when someone needs something in your area of expertise.
However, it’s not as simple as throwing things out there and hoping people find them. For your content marketing to be successful a workable content marketing plan is crucial.
Here are 5 key ingredients for achieving success with content marketing
1. Identify and Understand Your Audience
Before you write a word, you need to know who you are writing for. It’s very likely that you have multiple sets of buyer personas (the types of people who buy your products and services). Identifying your target audience using buyer personas will enable you to understand their problems and challenges. Your content can then speak directly to those challenges, helping your potential customers to solve them.
2. What, Where, How
With an understanding of who your content is addressing, you can now start thinking about how you will reach them. Think about writing styles and content formats. You may end up with different formats for different types of customers. Where are your customers online? Knowing whether they use social media or prefer to read a newsletter or blog will help you work out the best places to post your content to achieve maximum impact. Finally, the big question – when to post? There is no right or wrong answer; it is totally dependent upon your customers. The key is to make sure you are consistent with the frequency of your posts. Don’t be afraid to test and try different times and days of the week. Once you’ve found something that works well, stick with it.
3. Quality Matters Most
When it comes to content marketing quality definitely beats quantity. It’s the quality of your content that will determine how much it is viewed, shared and commented on and those factors have an effect on where it is positioned in the search engine results. If you only have time to get one quality piece of content written each month, that’s fine. Your customers will know that each month they will have a good piece of content to look forward to and come back for more.
4. Stay Organised
Producing and publishing a steady flow of valuable and relevant content needs to be organised. You need to plan! A content calendar will allow you to coordinate your publishing schedule, manage any team contributors and meet deadlines. Whether it’s just you writing and publishing, a team of internal staff or outsourced copy writers it’s essential that everyone knows their deadline dates for writing and publishing.
5. Review, Measure, Improve
Proving the effectiveness of content marketing can sometimes seem elusive but there are tools out there that can help. The key is to set your objectives, establish your key metrics and then measure the engagement. Where are people reading your content? Are they commenting? Are they reading other posts? Use the data to learn what works best and how to make improvements.
If you would like to position yourself as an expert and increase your sphere of influence by launching an effective content marketing plan for your business, get in touch.
Image: Todd Quackenbush