What is content marketing and content strategy?

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Why do you need content marketing as part of your marketing mix in 2017?

Content marketing is the process and art of creating content that resonates with your target audiences in tandem with your business goals and objectives. The primary goal of content marketing is to attract, engage, acquire and retain your target personae.

Content comes in many forms including video, audio, infographics, etc telling a story to acquire new customers and also to retain existing ones. It is a marketing technique of researching and creating valuable content that is relevant to the needs and expectations of your prospects.

This is 2017 and content is out there in abundance target some if not part of the same demographics you are looking to attract and retain. Therefore it asks for thought leadership and a greater understanding of what your target personae wants.

You need to understand the importance of standing out from the rest. The reason is that the same people you are targeting are constantly being bombarded with marketing content than ever before from the time marketers came to understand that; content marketing has become a significant part of SEO and link building.

With this type of bombardment, it has become very daunting for them to filter out and such more than half of the content produced by marketers is hardly read irrespective of whether the content is of high or low quality. The goal here is to catch their attention within the first few minutes of having landed on your pages.

So, can content marketing actually help to drive forward your marketing activities? The simple answer is yes provided it has been done and done the right way, using the right tonality. It is a marketing elevator and the driver of your brand equity and engagement with your customers.

To do this successfully, we’d previously talked about your content being able to resonate with your target audiences. Therefore, you will need to create something of great value as a free offer as a means to show your subject expertise. This could include;

  1. White papers
  2. Ebooks
  3. Webpages
  4. How tos (video, audio, write-up)
  5. Case studies
  6. Webinars and the list continues

So, what are the secrets?

Secrets and ingredients of content marketing

The primary goal of content marketing is to educate first, before trying to make sale. Period. Nothing more. If you are unable to educate first, then you’d better off digging toilets for a living.

It is very paramount to build trust and rapport. Have you ever dated a woman or a man? The methodology is no different.

The first and foremost step is to create content that that will help your audiences in solving an identified problem. Once you have created rapport and trust by creating content that is jam-packed with value, deemed as very resourceful, they will become very receptive and willing to buy even without a sales pitch. Trust is a very powerful marketing tool and should take it on board.

There are six steps to creating content marketing that includes;

  1. Strategy
  2. Planning
  3. Design
  4. Creation
  5. Deployment
  6. Measurement

This is the foundation for any content marketing program irrespective of your industry. These six stages will help you to raise your content marketing game above your competitors and empower your audiences. If you work with content marketing service providers, make sure they have covered the above.

However, it is worthwhile mentioning that, it is imperative to share to share your content marketing strategies with everyone in your organization irrespective of whether they are part of the marketing team or not especially in large and multi-national organizations

Content marketing strategy

Content marketing strategy is very important during your marketing mix and should be documented and shared with your entire marketing teams. Your content marketing strategy is a synopsis of pivotal business and targeted customer needs with a detailed plan on how you are going to address their needs with content. A good content marketing strategy should include the following:

  • Business case
  • Business plan
  • Target personae
  • Demographics
  • Brand story
  • Target channels

Within your content marketing planning, identifying key contributors and singling out what and when what is done is very important. However, this is where a content marketing calendar becomes handy. There is no right formula for creating a content calendar. If you work in an agile environment, then having in place quarterly content calendar is ideal.

Brand Voice

This is where most businesses get it wrong. Brand voice is very important. However, writing in clear and plain English is never to be ignored. You do not want to get your customers to scratch their heads while reading your content. It does not matter whether you are creating content for your blog, social media, website, guest publishing content, your writing style should be on par and eventually to become the voice of your brand.

The moment you have defined and refined your voice and tone, you will need to maintain it across various channels though you may have a different one for a platform like Twitter due to its nature.

Talking about brand voice consistency may sound easy but it is not especially when you have team members with diversified skills and qualifications. If you are using external content providers, you will want to make writing for your brand is closely aligned and one other way to handle these crises is sometimes bring together your internal and external teams to brainstorm, review and improve on this topic.

 

A digital marketing specialist with past experiences running and managing multi-million Pound companies. Studied Digital marketing and graduated with an MSc in Digital Marketing Birmingham City University, England, United Kingdom

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