There’s a new buzz phrase in the world of marketing  – ‘Content Marketing’. But why do we keep hearing this, what is it and why is it important to your business?

Content marketing may be a relatively new term, but the concept has been around for decades.  In a nutshell, content marketing is about creating content that attracts, delights and retains your target audience.  Think of it as the art of communicating with your prospects and customers.

According to https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/, content marketing is “ a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

The key terms in this statement are ‘relevant’ and ‘consistent’ and to ensure that this is the case for all your content, you need to truly understand your target audience. Think of the content and brands that catch your attention and that you engage with.  In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information, it is only when content is truly relevant and consistent that you fully engage.  In the age of ‘information overload’, content marketing has become critical to the success of your business.

How to create engaging content

  1. Know your customers

In order to create content that attracts, delights and retains your customers, you first need to understand your customers.  You need to know who they are, what they do, where they are and, most importantly, what they value and how you can help educate them.

 

Creating personas for your target audience can seem like a fluffy marketing activity, but they are essential if you want to fully understand your customers and create engaging content.  Hubspot have some great free templates for creating buyer personas.

 

Once you have created your buyer personas you can identify their needs and the problems you’re trying to solve.  You can start to build a relationship with them, create trust and drive profitable customer action.

 

2. Create a content marketing process

Great content doesn’t just happen.  As the saying goes “people who fail to plan, plan to fail”.  To be successful and ensure that your content attracts, delights and retains customers, you need to ensure that you have a process in place.

 

Responsibility – Who is responsible for creating content in your business?  Do they have the time to dedicate to this? Do they have the creativity and writing skills necessary?  Do they understand the search engine optimisation requirements? If you have answered no to any of these questions then you may want to think about enlisting the help of an external copywriter.

 

Research – Figure out what your target audience wants to read about.  What keywords are your target audience searching for? What are the popular discussions in your industry? What news or new features are offered by your industry?  What posts perform well? Remember, that this could all differ for each of you buyer personas.

 

Objectives – What is the objective of your content?  Are you targeting a specific person? Where is your target audience in the buying process?  What do you want the outcome to be? Are you looking to increase awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Build a database?  Without an objective, you will not be able to measure the success of your campaign.

 

Planning – Remember ‘consistent’? In order to build trust with your customers you need to be consistent and to be consistent you need a plan.  Trello is a great tool for planning your content and allows you to create a road map for your ideas. It’s especially great if you have a number of collaborators involved in creating your content, as your Trello board can be easily shared.  Maybe you’re the one coming up with ideas but someone else is writing the copy?

 

Creating – You’ve decided who’s responsible for creating your ideas and content, you’ve done the research to come up with ideas and you’ve planned your posts, now you need to get on and create the content.  Come up with your first draft and discuss this with other members of your team, to get their input. Ensure that your final draft is proofread and free from any grammatical and spelling errors. We’re back to that word ‘consistent’.  Remember your tone of voice and branding. If you continuously change your tone of voice and are not consistent with your brand’s look and feel, your target audience will distrust you and it will be harder to build loyalty.

 

Promoting – Once you have your amazing content, the next step is to promote it.  It’s handy to produce a schedule of when and where you are going to share your content.  Remember to take into account your personas and when and where they are seeking out their information.  Ensure you stay focused and avoid a scatter gun approach.

 

Measuring – Remember those objectives you set?  Now you need to see if you actually achieved what you set out to achieve.  Thankfully there are a number of tools you have at your disposal to help. Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information, but navigating your way around and knowing which are the best reports to use can be tricky.  The Content Marketing Institute provides some helpful advice about how to use the most useful reports.

Failure to create engaging content and a robust process, will leave you struggling to build awareness, loyalty and, ultimately, sales.  Can you afford not to do it? Contact us today to see how we can help delight your customers and take your business from strength to strength.

 

Download our checklist for creating valuable content – Free Checklist

 

Updated 10.02.20