Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on communicating valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience, and to drive profitable action.
Content marketing is critical because people care about their own problems much more than they care about your products and services. When you are able to communicate your company’s expertise in a way that brings value to your prospects and helps them do their jobs, then you are likely to gain attention. With research suggesting that average B2B buyers are 57% through the decision making process before they contact you, the content you communicate is critical to business success.
With this in mind, there are some important considerations:
- Clearly define your content marketing objectives and prioritise. Is this about building brand awareness, cross-selling or up-selling, generating new sales leads or engaging with all influencers?
- Define and understand your target audience. Once you have defined your target segments, you will want to research the key decision makers and influencers at your prospects, and create marketing persona to reflect these. Understanding the issues that these people face and what is important to each of them is imperative before starting to create content.
- Create content that your target audience wants and is useful to them. Content should build trust and move a prospect to the next stage of the buying journey, using AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) or alternative buying stages if you prefer. Information about your product and service, is important in the early stages, particularly why what you offer is different to your competitors and how this brings them value.
- Create a content marketing plan. Audit the content you already have, identify the key gaps, and plan how you will fill each of them. Create a list of topics and decide the best format to communicate them. “How tos”, “top tips”, “expert interviews”, “opinions” will all be useful and decide on the best media for each – blog post, white paper, video, infographic etc.
- Communicate widely and consistently. There are numerous channels you can use to promote your content, and your target audience will be key in determining the priorities. There is little point in developing an extensive social media strategy across 10 or more platforms, if your target audience only really uses 3 of them! Once you have a piece of great content, turn it into several related pieces, which can be used on different media. A research piece could be turned into PR articles, blog posts, an infographic, email series, slideshare presentation, social media posts and a video, to name just a few!
Regardless of what marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of the process, not something separate.
Birch Marketing provides part-time marketing services to help businesses grow. To discuss how we can help your business, please call Julie on 07833 227975 or contact us.