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Marketing Strategy: Make content marketing work for your business

Consumer expectations are changing. It seems like in past decades, all a company had to do was come up with a catchy jingle and suddenly they could be a mainstay in the average American household. Today, in the fast-paced arena of the internet, businesses compete for the wandering eyes of potential new customers.

What is content marketing?

One marketing method has quickly become the bedrock of virtually every digital marketing strategy: content marketing. The idea is simple: create informative content that educates while demonstrating the value of your product or service. “Content” can take many forms—the most common one being an article or the blog post. However, other types of content can include e-books, how-to videos, infographics, comics, and webinars.

How can I create an optimal content marketing strategy?

There’s no doubt that content marketing requires a lot of planning, critical thinking, risk taking, and phases of refinement. Who your content is aimed at, the form it takes, and how it gets distributed will all change based on your business and your audience. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Set measurable goals. Are you looking for a short-term sales boost? Or are you seeking to improve your brand awareness? Is your goal to showcase a brand new product or service? Or, are you looking to build an informative relationship with your consumer base? Each of these goals will define your content marketing strategy.
  2. Understand your audience’s needs. By taking the time to research and define your buyer persona, you will be able to answer questions including: What problems are they facing that you can help solve? What topics are they curious about but may not know where to start researching? How much time do they have to read? What is their reading level? What is their sense of humor like? Of course, there are no shortcuts here. Luckily, the answers to these questions can be found in your audience’s social media profiles—it’s up to you to listen and adjust accordingly.
  3. Maintain a steady stream of cohesive content. Content marketing is about building up legitimacy by aggregating quality content. Sporadic posting schedules and inconsistent formatting are telltale signs that your brand is out of touch. Consider maintaining a content calendar weeks or even months in advance.
  4. Utilize visual content. The numbers show this leads to higher engagement. When people think of content marketing, they tend to think of articles, but in reality, your audience will spend more time engaging with infographics, and instructional videos.
  5. Adjust your content according to your distribution platform. Does your blog post have a bunch of images that would make more sense as an Instagram slideshow? Are your Facebook captions getting so long that they should be articles themselves? Different online platforms are governed by different algorithms and have different audiences. For instance, we know that Instagram loves pictures of people and hates images of text. In content marketing, one size rarely fits all.
Content marketing can be more costly and time consuming than more traditional forms of product marketing but its ultimate value is much greater. Content marketing should be viewed as an opportunity to engage with and give value to your customers. When you make your marketing strategy customer-centric you can gain valuable life-long customers.

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