Content marketing is the latest marketing buzz word, lots of businesses are producing as much content as they can with the aim of marketing their businesses. The trouble with content is simple, it’s just content and without a well-defined purpose all it does is add to the plenitude of content already on the Internet.
Give content a purpose and tailor it so that it achieves that purpose in the eyes of your audience and it stops being just content and suddenly becomes a business asset as it magically helps your business achieve its long term goals.
How do you give your content a purpose that helps you achieve your business goals?
The first thing you do, as with all marketing is work out who your target customer is (click here for an article on working out who your target customer is), once you understand this you should have answers to the following questions.
- Problems: What are three or more problems or issues that your best customer dedicates time, budget and energy to solving?
- What does success look like: What does success look like in the clients’ eyes, this could be revenue growth, or personal development such as a promotion?
- Road Blocks: What could prompt your best customer to question whether you can help them achieve their success goals? This is where you begin to uncover the hidden objections such as office politics, prior experience with a company likes your, a lack of trust, etc.
- Purchasing Cycle: What process does your best customer follow in exploring, evaluating and selecting a solution that can overcome their perceived road blocks and achieve their success goals?
- Decision Making: What will your best customer think about the products offered by your competitors? What aspects will they like, find useful, decide are better than yours, worse than your own. If you really push the boat out you should aim to find this information out from those that purchase from a competitor and those that decide that no solution is right for them.
Once you understand who your best customers are, we can then relate this back to the content that you can create.
Different Types of Content
There are basically four different types of content you can create for content marketing purposes.
- Written Content: Anything that you write can be considered as written content, be these short, medium or long blog posts, eBooks, eReports.
- Video: Educational videos, hangouts, webinars, how to videos are all useful to the content marketing marketer.
- Graphics: Things such as images, memes and infographics fit into this area.
- Audio: Podcasts and all audio content fit into this category.
The Purpose of Content
Now that you understand who your target audience are and what they are interested in, the problems they have and the things that influence their buying decisions, all we have to do is create content that meets these needs. Do this often enough and couple it, with some good call to actions and you’ll generate subscriptions, leads, opportunities and sales.
Let’s list some of the purposes behind the content we create.
- To attract our target audience to you
- To educate you audience about the niche you operate in
- To explore the pain points of your audience are and to demonstrate how your products and services help solve them.
- To explore the benefits of your offerings.
- To demonstrate how your offerings help your audience achieve their goals.
- To demonstrate your expertize within your niche
- To build your audience base
- To help generate new customers and then to turn these into fans and sources of referrals
- To build trust and a sense of community with your audience.
- To build your reputation as the go to person within your niche.
Now in theory if you create enough content with due respect to search engine optimization you will eventually attract organic visitors through the search engines. This typically take about six months or longer depending upon how often you create and post content. If you promote your content and by that I mean actively promote it via your social media channels you can start to attract your audience from day one.
You should therefore promote your content as soon as you can to maximize your investment in the whole content marketing process. If you need help with your content marketing strategy or implementation please feel free to contact me for an initial discussion.