Watch Your Engagement Rates Soar
Communication is key to being understood, right?! How often have we made instant assumptions, jumped to conclusions or made a judgement based on what we have heard, read or seen?
We know this happens frequently in our personal lives but in a world where information is immediate and consumption rates are fast, this poses a major challenge for brands too.
We think that we have got our message across but in fact all we have done is confuse our customers, or worse still, they have tuned out and moved on. It is therefore crucial for the communication between you and a) your potential customers b) your existing customers, to be clear and relevant to them. One of the best ways to do this is through the development of a killer content strategy and you can watch your conversion rates soar!
What we want to do in this article to define what content marketing means, some examples of this, how to create content as well as providing the tools to plan your next strategy while saving time in the process.
What is Content Marketing?
We have all heard of the word content before. However the exact meaning will depend very much on the context that it refers to. On the one hand, it can imply a substance or material. From another perspective it represents a state of mind (Source: Cambridge Dictionary).
In marketing, it can be explained as written form, visual or even ideas that are consumed and interpreted and absorbed by the individual.
Digital content is intended for an end-user and/or target audience, designed with the purpose engaging, entertaining, informing and educating.
The purpose of executing a proper content marketing strategy is for the following reasons:
- Attracting attention to achieve brand awareness.
- Acquiring new leads to build your brand.
- Nurturing the prospects with a view to converting these into paying customers.
- Generating and improving sales targets.
Having a properly executed content management strategy is there to build trust and credibility, drive quality traffic to your site as well as creating an engaged, loyal community that supports your brand and is motivated to refer you to others.
The point of an effective content management strategy therefore is to entertain, inform but it can also promote your products and services.
Be careful though that you don’t fall into the trap of over promoting your business constantly. It does nothing to keep your audience interested as all they will be seeing is exactly the same content repeatedly.
10 Ideas for Creating New Content
We are all content creators of sorts these days, aren’t we? It used to be that it was only the big businesses who could get their material in front of prospective customers but these days things have changed for the better….or have they?
On the one hand, we have so much more information now at our disposal. For small businesses, this has meant access to markets that weren’t so readily available before.
Social media, for example, has provided opportunities to reach the audiences that we want to communicate with. However, if that communication isn’t well prepared and thought out, it can equate to a lot of time wasted and an unnecessary distraction away from our business.
Creating great content that resonates and that people can connect with is a skilled process but we are about to make it a lot less daunting. Here are our top tips for generating new content ideas.
- Create a list of relevant topics.
- Gather information through your social media followers.
- Review the comments you receive on your blog and/or social media posts.
- Ask prospects and existing customers for feedback.
- Carry out competitor research.
- Use search engines to identify keywords, what’s trending and related suggestions.
- Deploy a real time marketing strategy to ‘listen in’ and be part of (relevant) current trends and conversations.
- Provide product reviews for other complimentary businesses.
- Use generator tools for inspiration such as HubSpot’s blog topic generator or one of our favourite’s the SEMrush Content Template.
- Join social media groups to determine issues with the purpose of positioning yourself as the solution.
As you can imagine, there are plenty of different kinds of content that you can produce. Maintaining your site pages is one way to update your existing content. There are plenty of mixed media options to choose from including:
- Live streaming.
It can also apply to curated material such as:
- Case studies.
- Blog posts.
- White papers.
Content and the Buyer’s Journey
When devising your content, you have to bear in mind not only the niche audience that you are targeting but also the stage of the buyer’s journey they are at. There are typically three to four phases that your content needs to relate to, a summary of these are demonstrated in the infographic below:
Tips for Getting Your Content Marketing Strategy Right
When devising the content for your marketing campaigns, the first action should always be to ensure that your target audience is correct. Make sure that you define who your ideal customers actually are and develop buyer personas.
Use your analytics to determine the characteristics of your niche markets. Your own company insights will give you first hand access into your demographics and other useful information. This will also help you determine where your audience hangs out so that you can use the right channels to communicate with them.
Now you know exactly who you are preparing this content for, you can work on what the content is likely to look like. As above, content comes in many shapes and forms.
For many, video content is expected to be one of the most popular formats for 2022. While this may well be the case, it’s always better to determine what type of content your followers, fans or visitors have been interacting with the most and use that to inform some of your decision making.
Make it interesting! A feed that has lots of mixed media is more likely to retain the interest of people compared with one that is repetitive. You need to motivate individuals to stop and take notice.
Ensure it has relevance – people need to feel a connection with a brand, that it understands them and can meet their needs. This also means taking account of the kind of information you promote and how this relates to their buyer’s journey.
Content management is also highly dependent on how in-depth the information is going to be. If there’s a lot of detail, then a full length video or an infographic may be best to convey detail and get the message over while also being easier to consume by the viewer and reader.