Sometimes the best way to advertise your business is to not really advertise at all. While that sounds like a strange and fairly boring Confucian trope, it is actually the core of content marketing. The theory behind content marketing is pretty simple – build a relationship with your potential customers by providing valuable and relevant content so your brand is top of mind when they are ready to take action.
As the name implies, the key to successful content marketing is content — and lots of it. But, before you start cranking out content, there are a few things you should consider to help ensure that your content marketing program can be as successful as possible.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but if you carefully identify your target audience you have a much better chance of pleasing the right people. In order to help ensure that you are able to pique the interest of potential customers, first figure out whom you want to target and where they are in their decision journey. It’s critical to communicate the right message to the right customers at the right time. Determining the customers’ needs will help to assess your content creation needs.
Once you know what customers need, how will you measure the success of your content marketing efforts? Are you simply looking for awareness of your business and services or are you trying to encourage visitors to fill out a form or sign up for a newsletter? The goals may be different at each stage of the customer decision journey, but once you figure out how you want to measure success, you’ll have a much easier time determining which content is most effective in helping you reach those goals and you can optimize accordingly.
It’s not enough to just create great content, you have to figure out how to make sure your audience sees it. This is best done through a combination of promotion and optimization. Create a solid distribution plan using both social media and email to promote content to your existing audience. If the content is helpful and interesting, your audience will share it out to their network and increase your reach. For those who might not find your content through your other distribution channels, ensuring that they can find it through search engines is key. Make sure SEO is a priority in your content creation process to make the content do the work for you.
If executed correctly, the return on investment for content marketing can be phenomenal. It can be the tie that binds all of your other digital marketing channels together and increase your SEO efforts all in one swoop.
Let’s get to work!