Content marketing is a hot topic. Its purpose is to attract, convert and retain customers by regularly creating valuable content that motivates a change in behaviour.
Ideally the content should be guided by your customer’s needs and wants as a powerful way of targeting and engaging with your prospects.
Since many businesses are getting in on the strategy, here’s how to get competitive.
Analyse your audience
Who are your existing customers and what kind of people do you need to draw in? Before you begin planning your content marketing campaign, you should be analysing your audience, their interests and online reading habits to gain insight into what content they like and their needs and demands, says Weave Strategic Content founder Susan Cowan.
Like a curator in an art gallery who needs to examine the context of each work in relation to the other, you need to think about where to hang your content.
Knowing who your potential customers are will help you select what channels of communication to use, what message you want to convey and where you could potentially attract the most customers.
Think ‘bite size’ consumable content
While social media is now a proven method to acquire customers, at the end of the day people need content to share – and it has to be shareable. As a content marketer, you need to be able to generate a relentless torrent of worthy ideas. Many small businesses are time poor, so this process can cause a lot of stress, especially if you don’t consider yourself a writer.
Try to focus on targeted, solution-oriented content for your ideal buyer personas. Online readers have even shorter attention spans so precision is a must, which can be encouraged with the use of sub-headings, bullet-points or lists for easy scanning.
Once you’ve committed you’ve got to be consistently active on your platforms. Question how often you really can write a useful blog or newsletter.
“Be really clear on that you want your schedule to be. Even if it’s just once a month or every six weeks, hit on that schedule and make sure you can do it. If you can’t commit, there are thousands of copywriters online,” says Cowan.
Get across platforms that suit your business
Once you have an understanding of who your customers are, it’s important to tailor your content and messaging to meet their current and future needs, says Cowan.
For instance, social media is one essential platform for promoting your content, but what you choose will depend on whether your business is service based or product based.
“Twitter is much more about hard news, hard issues, and these sorts of communities of interest. If your audience is mothers with young children, or people on social media because their kids are there, Facebook is probably the place to be.
“But if you’re a hardware store, most of your audience is going to be on YouTube looking at How-To and DIY videos.”