03/01/2018 | Digital Marketing | 10 minutes
As customer behaviour changes it's important for marketing to evolve. Content marketing is an approach that addresses customer's increasing distrust of traditional marketing. Instead of the hard sell, content marketing is about giving customers content that has intrinsic value.
The aim? To provide content that raises awareness of your business in a positive way. Good content marketing demonstrates your expertise and provides your audience with useful information. Getting it right will win the hearts and minds of prospective customers and support your business goals.
Customers are losing trust in traditional marketing. They've grown accustomed to ignoring ads and skipping over marketing emails. This makes reaching new prospects increasingly difficult.
All is not lost though...
Customers today put their faith in branded web content and recommendations from people they know1.
Content marketing aims to promote conversations about your business. Great content is shared, linked to and discussed.
By giving your audience useful, relevant, timely content they are more likely to recommend you to others. Through content marketing you can build your profile as experts in your sector. This makes you more likely to be on the list when prospective clients are looking for a new supplier.
Because the content produced as part of a content marketing is relevant and high quality, it can provide significant SEO benefits. As search engine algorithms become more sophisticated this type of content will become more important.
To get the most value from your content marketing you need to know who you are creating content for. User personas and user stories are a great way to define who you're speaking to and can have benefits across your business.
Once you have defined who you're targeting with your content, you need to think about where it should be published and promoted.
Consider where your audiences are. For maximum impact, your content needs to have maximum visibility. If you already have a large customer base on your site it might be the best place to publish your content there. This may also be the best approach if organic search is an important referrer. For some businesses, LinkedIn might be a better platform as it allows you to grow your network at the same time. For others, guest posting on industry sites or in magazines might have more benefit. Wherever you choose, you can use your other channels to promote this cornerstone content.
To get the most value from your content marketing it needs to be timely and relevant. Tying it in with key seasonal events, industry trends and hot topics can ensure it has more impact. Regularity is another key element of a successful content marketing strategy. You need to be creating content on a regular basis to build your brand and keep people coming back for more.
Creating an editorial calendar will help you to plan your content for the biggest benefit. The calendar will allow you to time the writing and publication of your key pieces, helping to manage your resources. It will also help you to schedule their promotion through social media, email newsletters and other appropriate channels.
For content marketing to be effective, you need to produce quality content that has real value to your audiences. This can be a costly process, so you need to ensure you're getting maximum value from your spend.
One way to do this is by planning 'evergreen' content. This answers fundamental questions about your services or industry and is effectively timeless. This allows you to resurface and re-promote this content at regular intervals as it still has value to your customers.
Another approach is to create 'cornerstone' content. This is content that is central to your area of expertise and provides a lot of value to your readers. Typically cornerstone content is long-form and covers the topic in depth – a good example might be a beginners' guide.
You'll typically cover a lot of subtopics within your cornerstone content. Each of these can be spun out into a post of their own where you go into more depth – each linking back to your cornerstone piece. This provides real value to your readers, but also generates significant SEO benefits.
This long-form content also gives you a rich vein of material that you can mine for social media posts – all linking back to the cornerstone piece.
For more information about getting started with content marketing, check out our blog post on the 5 basic principles of content marketing.
To ensure your content marketing has as much impact and value as possible, it's best to stick to what you know. Focus on your expertise and share this knowledge with other people.
Create guides that educate and inform. Your target market might already know all about the topic, but their more junior colleagues may not. Remember that it's all about starting conversations.
Voice your opinions on hot topics in your sector, using your experience to justify your position. It's possible not everyone will agree with your standpoint, but you'll get people talking.
Address the questions that you often get from your clients. Search is where most people will turn for answers. By demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of client issues you can win customers you may not otherwise have had access to.
If you're ready to take your content marketing to the next level, check out our blog post on how to drive engagement with your content marketing.
If you're just starting out in the world of content marketing or want to up your game, we can help.
Urban Element offer a range of services, from strategy and content planning through to fulfilment. We can support your business to create great content that supports your marketing strategy and delivers real results. Call us today on 01993 776 999 or complete our contact form and we'll be happy to help.