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.
The underlying goal of content marketing is to attract an audience with whom you can create a relationship, and then convert that relationship into customers or clients. In order to do this effectively, you must first establish trust with your audience by providing them with helpful and informative content that meets their needs. Once you have established this trust, you can then work on converting your readers into paying customers or clients.
There are four key pillars of successful content marketing:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these pillars:
Understand the profile of your targeted audience
You need to understand who your target audience is. What are their demographics? What are their interests? What motivates them?
Understanding Your Audience: The first step in any successful content marketing strategy is understanding who your target audience is and what they want or need from you. This requires conducting market research to identify their demographics (age, gender, location, etc.), interests/needs/wants, and pain points.
Once you understand these things about your target audience, you can begin to create content that will resonate with them. And when you create content that resonates with your target audience, they are more likely to consume it – and even share it with others.
Here are some tips for understanding the profile of who you want to consume your content:
Understanding the profile of who you want to consume your content is to define who your target audience is. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to be as specific as possible when defining your target audience. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating content that appeals to too broad of an audience – and thus isn’t effective at reaching anyone in particular.
When defining your target audience, consider things like age, gender, location, interests, and even income level. The more specific you can be about who comprises your target audience, the better off you’ll be when creating content for them.
Create compelling content and have a plan for publishing it
Make a plan for what you’re going to publish and when. This doesn’t need to be complicated – a simple editorial calendar can do the trick. But without a plan, it’s all too easy for content marketing to become a haphazard affair that doesn’t achieve anything.
Publish Consistently: A key part of any content marketing strategy is consistency. That means publishing new content on a regular basis – whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Of course, quality is more important than quantity, but even the best quality content won’t have much impact if it’s not being seen by anyone.
Think about SEO: One of the great things about producing quality content is that it can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). That means more people are likely to find your site when they’re searching for information on the internet – which is exactly what you want! So when you’re planning your content, make sure to keep SEO in mind.
“Content marketing is all about creating pieces of content that support and promote your business or brand”.
Distribute your content and continue building your brand
Just because you’ve published something doesn’t mean people will automatically see it. In today’s noisy online world, you need to actively promote your content if you want it to be seen by as many people as possible. There are lots of different ways to do this – from social media and email marketing campaigns through to paid advertising and PR initiatives.
To really succeed at content marketing, you need to understand the pillars upon which strong campaigns are built:
Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors and gives your audience a reason to choose you over them. It’s much more than just your logo or tagline – it encompasses everything from the way you speak and communicate with your customers to the overall look and feel of your website and collateral.
Your brand should be reflected in every piece of content you create, whether it’s a blog post, an infographic, or a social media update. Consistency is key when it comes to branding – make sure all of your content adheres to strict guidelines in terms of voice, tone, style, etc., so that your audience knows exactly what to expect from you every time they see one of your pieces.
SEO (search engine optimization) should be front-and-center in everything you do when creating online content – after all, if potential customers can’t find your great articles/videos/etc., then what good are they? Make sure you’re including relevant keywords throughout all aspects of each piece (titles/headlines, meta descriptions/tags.
Measuring your results so you know what to improve on
Key Performance Indicators (KPI) – Keeping track of performance is a must. You can’t know what you need to improve on, if you don’t measure results after content has been published. This can be achieved using simple analytical tools, watching traffic levels, impressions, clicks, conversion rate and ultimately, total sales/revenue.