Welcome! Here, In this content marketing guide , we’ll look at why content marketing is important, and how you can use it to engage with your audience. We’ll also talk about some best practices to help you create your own content marketing campaigns.
So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience and ultimately drive traffic. When done correctly, this helps you build a relationship with your audience, which leads to trust. And more your audience trusts you, they’re more willing to do business with you and ready to make a purchasing decision.
To communicate and build a relationship with your audience, you need to produce content. Content has the very important role of attracting people from one stage to another. Your content should pull the right people to your site, convert those people into leads, and help to convert them into buying customers. But it doesn’t stop here. Your content should also delight your customers and turn them into promoters of your business or brand.
In a nutshell, content marketing is the art of communicating with your prospective customers without having to sell to them. As opposed to marketing your products and services, you’re creating helpful, relevant content that your prospects and customers can enjoy and want to learn more.
The Value of Storytelling
Why Your Business Needs A Story?
Everyone loves a beautiful story. People want to feel connected to a group, to belong. Great stories give us a reason to communicate and relate with. Stories are attractive and give us something to believe in. Stories make us feel better, smarter, or even loved.
Business storytelling is quite similar. It’s about building relationships between your business and your prospects and customers.
But telling your business’s story is more than what you write on your website, your blog, or even social media. It’s your value, your mission, and how you engage your audience on a regular basis — wherever they are.
How to tell a great story?
With every good story, there will be characters. Every story moves around at least one or more characters. And you need to introduce the people involved. With content marketing, the people that are involved are your audience. Storytelling can’t happen without understanding and valuing your audience. You should always be listening and answering to your audience’s wants and needs.
If audiences can get the answers to their questions and find themselves as characters in your story, they’ll be more likely to engage with your product or service and experience the happy ending you offer.
To make sure you’re focusing on the right characters, start with your buyer persona. This can help you to understand the goals and challenges that your character will face.
Is your buyer persona a busy parent? Well, you might know that they don’t have so much time and they would describe themselves as busy. You should keep this in mind for your storytelling.
Or is your buyer persona a business owner who is looking for a better way to communicate with his team members? he’ll likely see himself as the character if a team is used within your stories.
Or maybe you’re an educational institute looking to attract new students who want to take online classes. They might want to learn about success stories of students that are just like them.
No matter who your buyer persona is, the art of storytelling is making sure you understand and relate to your audience.
Once you have an idea of who your buyer persona is, it’s important to understand their problems.
As important as it is to understand your buyer personas, it’s equally as important to understand their journey and the problems that they face at every stage.
What problems are your audience facing in the awareness stage? Those should be included in your story.
Spend the time finding the problems, solutions, and products or services for the different buyer’s journey stages and you’ll have a better idea of their problems you can use in your storytelling.
Last element is the solution.
Where there’s a problem, your audience will naturally want some sort of solution. But what happens next? How does the story end?
It doesn’t always have to be a happy closing. Every good story has an ending, so the idea of the solution is to provide context and emotion for the audience to relate and process the story.
The solution should wrap up your story but should also clearly call your audience to action. It fulfills the purpose behind your all story.
For content marketing, a resolution could be next steps or even a call-to-action for more content. Either way, you don’t leave them hanging.
To help make your story great and match with your audience you need to create emotional attachment, be consistent and authentic, and keep the story clear and concise.
Plan a Long Term Content Marketing Strategy
So you want to create a long-term content strategy for your business. You’ve come to the right place. By the end of this content marketing guide , you’ll understand the importance of taking the time to plan a long term content strategy. You may be hungry to get started with creating content, but if you don’t plan a strategy in place, then you shouldn’t expect to be successful in the long term. Knowing how to plan and organize your content will set you and your business up for long run success with your content strategy efforts.
To start, planning provides a road map for your content strategy. You’ll be confident regarding what topic you’ll be talking about, what format your content will take, and when you’ll be publishing it.
Let’s review three things you need to do to set yourself up for long term success; setting marketing goals, auditing your organization’s initiatives and assets, and identifying the buyer’s journey for your buyer personas.
First, let’s start with setting your marketing goals.
Setting marketing goals provides you long-term vision and motivation. It helps you organize your time and resources so that you can get the most of your content creation efforts.
Each piece of content created for a marketing initiative should be focused to a goal that is also directly related to your overall goals of the organization. Structure like this creates purpose and focus with each piece of content you create.
The second step in creating a long-term content plan is auditing your organization’s initiatives and assets.
Your goal with the content audit is to analyse all the assets your business uses to attract and engage your audience. Your goal here is to find gaps or opportunities in the content your business is currently using to help turn your audience into prospecting customers.
By doing your content audit, you’ll be able to use resources that you already have, which could save your hours of time for content creation in the future.
And don’t forget to stay organized when doing your content audit. To keep things structured, organize your content audit by these categories: content title, buyer’s journey stage, content format, targeted audience, topic, and any additional resources that provide value or context.
There’s one last important step needed to create a sustainable long-term content marketing strategy, and that’s identifying the buyer’s journey for your buyer personas.
Remember, you’re creating content to attract and engage your buyer personas through their buyer’s journey: from the awareness stage where your audience has a problem or a list of questions that they’re trying to learn more about, through the consideration stage where you’re suggesting possible solutions to their problem or list of questions, and ending in the decision stage where you’re motivating your audience to take actions.
The consideration and decision stage is generally where you’re talking about what you have to offer, while the awareness stage is more about topic information.
Know Your Online Customers
Everyone is different, so when it comes to creating content it’s good to think about who your audience is, and what they want to learn. This is where audience segmentation can help you.
In this content marketing course, we’ll explain what audience segmentation is and how it can be used to improve your content marketing efforts.
Segmentation includes dividing your audience into groups of who they are and what they want. Rather than spending time and money targeting a wide range of audience, segmentation helps to identify the groups most interested in your topic. The result is a more effective and short way to connect with potential customers.
By knowing your audience and segmenting them into groups, you can then create specific content for your prospecting customers.
But is audience segmentation really so important when it comes to creating and distributing content?
Answer is yes!
Understanding the interests and preferences of your audience can help you target content directly to that specific group of people.
To get insights into what your target audience search for, try free online tools like Answer The Public and Keyword Planner. You also can utilise analytics features to get a glimpse of audience demographics and behaviours. Experiment with a variety of tools and compare results to get a better picture of who your audience is, and how they behave online.
Choose the right format for your content
Online content can take lots of different forms: from case studies and blogs, to infographics, images and video clips. Each of these different formats comes with its own benefits; whether it’s to inspire, educate or help.
Whatever format you choose, the purpose of your content is always the same – to match with your audience. This audience, in turn, will engage, share, tell, and perhaps even convert into prospecting customers.
Let’s start by exploring some popular content forms.
Blogs are basically published as a subsection of a website, and can include informative content or guest-authored content. Writing unique, quality blog posts can help you increase your publicity and give you interesting content to share across other channels, like social media.
Infographics are informative and a great way to present information visually. They work well online due to their eye-catching format and can help present complex or unusual content in a creative way.
Ebooks are educational, easy-to-read and focused on a specific topic. This format provides readers complete knowledge about the topic and will help you stand out as an expert in your field.
Videos can include anything from product features to tutorials and customer testimonials. They allow brands to create more engaging, entertaining, and useful content that can be consumed on the go. Know more about video creation & marketing.
When auditing which content formats are the right fit for your goals, think about the ones you can easily produce yourself. Know the purpose of your content, and then choose the formats best suited to that goal. Finally, when designing your content, keep in mind to consider your audience, and describe their specific needs in a format that will wow them.
How to Effectively Promote your Content?
After all that work, you want to make sure it will be seen by as much of your target audience as possible – which is where promotion can help.
Before you start creating a content promotion plan, it’s important to identify the channels available. dividing channels by Owned, Earned and Paid categories is a great place to start.
Owned channels directly refers to the marketing channels you manage, like your own website, blog, and social media profiles. Distributing content over owned channels is a great starting point because it’s a typically flexible and low cost option.
Earned channels include anything that’s picked up by a third party, such as guest blogging. Earned channels can boost the reach of content and add authority.
Finally, paid channels refers to marketing you pay for. This can allow you to target campaigns to a specific audience, based on your goals and budgets. you could invest in advertising your blog post over social media or google ads, and reach more potential readers who regularly browse those channels.
Once you know which channels to promote your content through, it’s time to make a content calendar. A content calendar is a detailed timeline that organises your content marketing efforts. By clearly adding what to publish and when, it can help make your content process consistent and efficient.
Now that you know how to promote your content online, think about which channels would work best for your business or brand, and consider how a content calendar can maximise the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign.
Measure your Success in Content Marketing
While it may be tempting to focus on creating as much relevant and exciting content as possible, it’s important to regularly sit down and analyse your goals. This ensures the time you are spending on your content is well spent.
In this content marketing guide we’ll explore tools and software that can help you measure the success of your content marketing, as well as identify key metrics to help you improve your campaigns.
Whether you want to increase sales or spread the word about your business, if you don’t review your progress against your goals, it will be hard to know if you’re doing good.
To start, by finding your goals and objectives, and make sure they’re measurable and trackable.
Once you identify your content goals, it will be easier to track what you want to achieve.
Next, let’s explore specific metrics that could help you improve your content marketing strategy. Consider where your visitors are located, their age and gender demographics, how long they spend on a specific blog post and what they search for when they land on your website.
Try comparing your metrics to past results, such as the number of page views the blog receives – the number of transactions made on the site during the last quarter. Tracking against previous results will give you a clearer indication of whether new strategies are truly working or not.
Now let’s explore some of the online tools available to monitor your success of a content marketing strategy.
Many social media platforms include detailed information about the people who follow or subscribe to business accounts. These metrics include gender, age, and location, as well as which posts receive the most engagement.
Such data can give you a clear indication of which content is the most effective at meeting your goals, and which provides you with the best result on your investment.
Analytics can also show you where your readers are coming from, such as from social media or a search engine, and how many of your readers made a decision after reading a blog post. By looking at the metrics available, you could refine your content marketing strategy as you go, ensuring you meet your company goals and objectives.
Take some time now to think about the analytics tools at your niche, and consider which metrics could help you measure the success of your content marketing campaign.
Now, try brainstorming how content marketing can be used to engage your audience, and consider what goals it could help you achieve. Next Chapter; Email Marketing