Content Marketing is the new must-have in your Marketing Department. This post explains why.
Isn’t it a bit scary how much have we become attached to our smartphones? It’s the first thing we look at in the morning. It has replaced our conversations with colleagues and friends. It eliminated our need to go shopping, pay bills, watch the news and the weather cast or read books and newspapers or magazines.
Our smartphones have become everything to us.
Now imagine what that means for a business: if everyone owns a smartphone, and spends most of their time searching on a browser, wouldn’t you want to be there?
Of course, you would. And to be there, always on top of every relevant search result and adding some meaning and value to your searchers’ lives, you need CONTENT.
Whether you’re an online retailer or you are offering a specific service/product to your audience, you want to have a website. It’s as simple as that: without a solid website, it’s like you don’t exist in today’s digital world. And probably, your marketing sucks.
A web site has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience and with that came the rise of Search Engine Marketing – people turn to mighty Google to search for a solution to a problem they have, and your content should provide that solution.
And that’s how they learn about you, how they connect and engage with your brand, and how you eventually, become their go-to for specific problems and topics.
However, producing high-quality and relevant content is hard.
It’s a noisy world the digital one; people don’t want to be sold stuff, and they most certainly don’t want to be nagged with long speeches on how good your product is or how much your service will increase their well-being. They want to be told a story; a relevant, exciting, unique story which will stay in their minds, be shared with their friends and talked about for days to come. Eventually, end up with a sale.
Welcome to the 21st century, where brands are nothing without a cool story to tell and their marketing efforts are money thrown down the drain if not invested strategically.
What is Content Marketing and why do you need a content strategy?
Content Marketing is the bloodline of Search Engine Marketing – without it, when people search for information or ways to buy stuff, all they’ll get are ‘plastic’ sites and pages offering very little to satisfy their needs for knowledge and information.
CMI (Content Marketing Institute) defines content marketing as it follows: “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”.
It’s a strategic marketing approach, which means, the content you offer to your audience needs to be chosen carefully: relevant, useful, valuable and consistent.
Why, you may ask?- Because as Hubspot’s recent marketing statistics report shows:
- 47% of buyers read 3-5 pieces of content before they decide to engage with a sales rep
- Average B2B marketers allocate only 28% of the total marketing budget to content marketing
So, from here, make sure your content covers the following areas in your content strategy document:
- Your reasons for creating and publishing content and your vision of success;
- A goal to pursue with your content marketing efforts – if you can monetise it (and you should, always) the better;
- Your target audience in details: how do they make decisions, what are the communication channels they prefer, what are their spending habits etc.
- Your brand story – what differentiates you from your competition?
- A list of platforms you’ll use to publish your content on and a budget plan for each one;
- Finally, clear KPIs – how will you measure results and what are the contributing factors to achieving them? Do you have a proven formula?
You would initially create a draft version of your strategy. As you refine the characteristics of your audience, and their likes and dislikes, this strategy will change until it’s shaped to hit the right spot with your target readers.
Common Misbelief: content strategy is just for big brands
On the contrary; content marketing is a marketing approach that works for businesses of all sizes, simply because every business out there has a story to tell people and a solution people are searching for.
After all, that’s why you exist as a business, don’t you?
So, if you want to:
- Establish your brand identity
- Build trust among existing and potential customers
- Promote your business effectively and
- Maximise your ROI
you should make a content strategy and document it well. Also, get familiarised with content marketing tools that will really make your life easier and your content production smoother.
Tools the content strategist uses: The power of the company blog
The most utilised tool by content strategists here is the company blog. It’s the perfect way to put your most relevant content in front of your most important audience – the people who are actually there, on your website!
The company blog is the perfect place for the core pieces of your content marketing strategy to find their place; telling your story loud and clear.
However, in order for a company blog to be successful, consistency is key. Readers are always searching for something specific and relevant to your area of expertise, and trust me, you want to be there to answer those questions.
That’s the surest way to building awareness about your brand, boosting engagement and adding that recognizable mark next to your name.
Consistency is key: if you can’t DIY, find dedicated resouces who will do it!
One of the key elements of successful content marketing is consistency. Remember, it’s a noisy world the digital one, and if you can’t compete in it by offering fresh perspective on an issue, new information and stories that can help your readers, it’s better not to bother at all.
If you’re at a stage where you simply can’t afford the time to create content for your audience and can’t really hire someone to do it full time for you, try resourcing content marketing services.
There are tons of content marketing agencies and professionals who can take your project on and contribute towards growing brand awareness for your brand.
And if you don’t feel comfortable entrusting your work to an outsider, look for alternatives to classic resource staffing services.
For example, we at Causeway Connect assist you in finding a content marketer or writer who will suit best to your needs and who you think will fit the role most perfectly. It feels much like in-house hiring, with higher cost-effectiveness. If you want to hear more, call our offices to talk to one of our sales representatives.
Finally, content has always been king and it will continue to do so. It’s important not just for your website’s SEO, it contributes to your entire marketing efforts and most importantly, for your brand popularity.