A little introduction:
The means used to communicate your message and inspire your customers and prospects is what we call content marketing. Nowadays consumers have at their fingertips a whole range of different types of content – texts, videos, photos, infographics and podcasts. Your content can be spread out across several platforms to reach your audience.
- Social media
- Print distribution
- Website page
- Blog posts
- Email 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.
(Content Marketing Institute, ‘What is Content Marketing?’)
To knock any confusion about advertising on the head now, before we get into the bones of content marketing – we’re not talking about advertising. In advertising, we’re usually talking about directly promoting your products, services or business. The aim of content marketing is to show customers what your company is passionate about and how learning from you will be valuable for them. People are fed up of being sold to, how about you help them instead?
Learn your audience, find your niche:
Before engaging in content marketing you must have in mind the needs and challenges of your target audience, otherwise the odds are that it won’t appeal to them. Think about who your ideal customer is, and try to form a list of questions that they’re going to want answering from you, the expert.
Develop content about your business that is relevant to your audience and you’ll be easily found by customers and prospects – How? Well, SEO is one way, if your blog article or website page matches the key words better than other websites, congratulations, you’ve got another reader. Don’t underestimate the strength of being straight to the point in your wording, especially when writing a blog title.
If you provide the information your customers are looking for, your website will start to become a home to potential customers that are eager to be educated on your niche. Link your socials and stick a contact form, or button leading to it, directly under the blog post. Start a conversation.
By both interacting and communicating with customers, you will start to create a customer relationship that helps builds trust with your business. Now, you’re one step closer to a purchase.
Social Media Content:
Start creating social media content. Post at least three times a week – but realise that anything more than daily is going to get very old, very quickly for your target audience – unless it’s literally gold dust.
Don’t talk about your business, talk about the things your audience needs to know. For example, let’s say we open up a barbershop.
Barbershop example – poor content:
- Our opening times
- Client review
- Photo of a haircut
Barbershop example – great content:
- The best beard trimmers for home use
- How to trim your beard
- How often you should shampoo your hair
- The haircuts that are trending in 2021
Use a content calendar and scheduling tool to make content distribution easier – you can roll it out across all of your social media platforms simultaneously. Our favourite is Hootsuite, but it’s one of the more expensive. Alternatives include Buffer and Later.
Standing out and sparking emotions:
You simply have to stand out from the crowd, it’s not an option to blend in if you’re looking to build a successful content marketing strategy. Share your mission, share your values – show how you’re different.
For example, let’s look at how the Identity Agency’s values make us different from a traditional creative agency:
- Fun. Have fun, and if working stops being fun, stop working.
- Care. Care about your clients, care about the community, care about the world.
- Affordability. Make our services affordable as we can, so that as many businesses as possible can afford and benefit from them.
By sharing what makes us different, it shows who we are, why we’re in business, and gives both existing and potential clients a reason to care about our business. So, share who you are and what you stand for.
Customers are sick of being sold to:
As customers are constantly plagued with strategies to push them to buy products, it is important to adopt an inbound marketing strategy that appeals to the needs of customers, by attracting, engaging and delighting them. Content marketing falls on the ‘Attract’ stage as creating (and consistently developing!) valuable content that pulls your audience towards your business. Go ahead and let them know how you can help solve their needs and challenges!
Your customers and prospects are already using social media networks. Taking advantage of those platforms to publish and share your content is an easier (and cheaper!) way to reach and captivate your prospects than using traditional advertising methods. Interact with your audience, listen to what they have to say about your company and show them you are by their side.
So, to summarise:
- Content marketing can be used across a wide range of digital and traditional platforms and materials
- Don’t sell, just help your customers
- Share what makes your brand different
Book a free one-to-one appointment with an Identity Agency consultant by getting in touch. Just let us know a time, and a member from the team will be in touch with you very soon!