If you run a business – or perhaps intend to do so, you sure do understand the importance of having an effective marketing plan. You need effective marketing strategies that will take your brand straight to the heart of your targeted audience.
As you may know, the dynamics of the marketplace has changed drastically over the years. In the early days of marketing, companies spent money looking for prospects. Now, prospects spend time looking for companies. This is where content marketing comes into play.
Content Marketing, is by no means a new concept. If you have ever tried building a brand, chances are you have come across the Content Marketing time and time again. But what really is Content Marketing, and most importantly, does it work? If it does, do you need it; what are the best strategies to employ? Are these some of the questions you have been trying to find answers to – good news, I shall be answering all these questions in this post.
What is Content Marketing?
I wouldn’t want to bore you with technical definitions. I will like to create a scenario here that will aid your understanding of the topic.
You run a bookkeeping business. Over the past few months, you have had a difficult time attracting clients. But then you came up with an idea of creating a guide that will help businesses and individuals improve their bookkeeping, without breaking the bank. You share the guide on different social media platforms for free. The internet community finds your guide very useful. At the end of the day, they come to you asking for more. You hook them by offering more useful guides for free, eventually converting them to loyal followers. From loyal followers, they become sales lead and eventually repeat customers. This is the very basics of content marketing. What you are basically doing is educating your potential customers about your product and services.
Do I need content marketing?
Content writing is a marketing technique used by both big and small business. As a small business owner, content marketing saves you the headache of spending so much on marketing ads that in most cases, bring very little results. Content marketing provides you an avenue to build trust with your followers. Customers only buy into brands they trust, and they can only trust your business when there is a personal touch.
Search engines love fresh content. The only way of staying relevant in the fiercely competitive market is by posting fresh contents on your website as often as possible.
How to create a content marketing strategy that works
Success is a function of effective planning, and that’s not new. You definitely need a rock solid plan if you want your marketing strategy to culminate in success. I will like to break this plan into 3 steps:
#Step 1: Have a clear set of goals
While there may not be a common goal for all content marketing efforts, there is always a baseline. Always bear in mind that your ultimate goal is to generate sales, but Rome wasn’t built in a day – was it?
Whatever content marketing strategy you choose to adopt should;
- Raise the awareness of your brand
- Increase the number of online visitors coming to your website
- Convert this traffic to sales lead
- Turn the leads generated to loyal customers
#Step 2: Understand your targeted audience
Of what use will your contents be if readers find them “less” useful. It is all about them, not about you. If possible, reach out to some of them to get an idea of blog topics they will really value.
#Step 3: Craft shareable content
Content can take different forms. The most common of them are; blog posts, info-graphics, eBooks, podcasts and videos. Unless you are a trained copywriter, you will have to outsource this task to a content marketing agency.
#Step 4: Spread your content until it goes viral
Raise some awareness about your content by sharing it on social media. This is the secret smart content marketers leverage on.
Believe it or not, content is still King, and will still be in the future. To get it right, you must do the right thing.