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As you read the title of this week’s entry, you may be thinking, “What is content marketing?” Simply defined, it is a technique of creating and distributing timely, relevant, consistent content to attract and acquire an audience of buyers with the objective of driving consumers to act. What does that really mean?
The truth is, we live in a world where consumers are constantly hit with more and more advertising and after a while, it becomes marketing noise. The consequence is the messages are less and less meaningful thus ignored altogether, hence the uprising of DVR and satellite radio. Statistics are even showing consumers skip the ads at the top of internet searches. So, how do you cut through the marketing noise to get your message heard and reach your customers and potential buyers? Content marketing.
Now, don’t get ahead of yourself! You don’t have to spend countless hours creating content, but you need to be smart about how you use your content, how you repurpose it, and where you use it. Whether you realize it or not, you are probably already using content marketing to reach your customers. So, how can you make a splash this summer with content marketing? Here are five tips to get started.
Define Your Content
In order to effectively market to your customers and potential prospects, you first have to figure out what type of content resonates with them and you can do this in a number of ways. First, begin with soliciting feedback through your social media channels. You can start by posting other people’s content and studying how your social community responds. Another way to gauge your audience is to utilize email to deliver your content, and then see which links are clicked the most and how many click-throughs the pieces generate. This type of initial strategy will help you determine exactly what type of content you should continue to produce to increase engagement and build a loyal audience.
Customize Your Media
Once you have determined what type of content best resonates with your target audience, then you’ll need to understand what type of medium should deliver your message. Typically when we talk content marketing, we automatically think about written content, but it doesn’t have to be. Content can come in the form of infographics, memes, videos, guides, reviews, blogs, ebooks, testimonials, podcasts, brochures, photos, webinars, vlogs, white papers, etc. The list could go on for days! You’ll want to select a medium that is easy for your team to produce and is well received by your audience; this should include a strategy leveraging multiple media. You’ll want to continually test the engagement of your chosen medium and tweak accordingly to receive maximum results.
Learn to Repurpose
One of the best things about content marketing is you can repurpose it over and over again. For example, this blog you’re reading today will be repurposed as a video script, then as content in our company newsletter, and again as social content. Each medium will have a different look and feel because the content has to resonate with the appropriate audience, but the overall theme will be the same. Being able to repurpose content saves your team time, money, and resources.
Produce Quality Content
The biggest struggle most companies have with content marketing is finding the time to do it. The truth is, you don’t have to do it every day or every week, but you need to produce enough so you’re relevant to your audience. You also want to make sure your content is consistent, so if you do a newsletter, for example, try to reach your audience at the same time each day, week, or month to increase visibility. With that being said, you want to make sure you produce quality content and try not to worry about the quantity. A really well done content marketing piece received less often will always produce better results than a not-so-well-done content marketing piece received daily.
Document Your Strategy
A really effective content marketing strategy can be difficult to produce. One simple way to keep your ducks in a row is by creating an editorial calendar, which is basically a monthly planner of all your marketing efforts and when each item is due. This will not only keep you on track to delivering consistent content, but it will also ensure you have a cohesive marketing plan for a given timeframe. Plus, by developing an editorial calendar, you have a very easy way to share your efforts with your entire organization so everyone is involved and understands the marketing focus.
The world of marketing is changing and blasting ad after ad at customers and potential buyers will simply not get their attention anymore; you’ll get lost in the chaos. You have to begin to think about how content marketing will fit into your overall marketing plan and then start executing one piece per month and slowly figure out the rest. A good content marketing strategy will increase sales, retain customers, and build brand integrity.