Content marketing is vastly different from other traditional methods of marketing in that the tool used to get your company’s message across isn’t an advertisement or a clever gimmick. Instead, you are concentrating on producing high quality, informative and entertaining articles, opinions and posts that promote your business without applying a hard sell approach.
Internet users are now wary of the wheeler dealer type of sales patter and would rather read an article about the benefits of a product. The more savvy consumer wants to know how and why a product will make their lives better or easier or more convenient. Launching into a sales pitch puts your potential customer base off and sees them venturing into the arms of a competitor. Whereas this sort of sales technique may still work in-store, on the street or face to face at a trade show, the digital world is an alternate realm where different marketing techniques need to be employed.
Although there is still room for traditional marketing and advertising within a business strategy, content marketing is becoming the go-to cost effective way of promoting your business and its products or services. As with any aspect of your business, you need to plan and prepare if you are going to embark on this approach to marketing. Take a look to see why it is vital that you develop an effective and comprehensive content marketing strategy that will enable you to measure its impact and adapt as necessary.
Manage Your Online Voice
Content marketing could encompass email marketing, webinars, blog posts and social media feeds. Although there may be some overlap, each of these avenues will see a different audience being targeted with your high-quality content. It’s imperative that you find a consistent online voice across all media. If you write posts on your business blog in a witty, sarcastic and engaging way, make sure you emulate this across your Twitter feed, Facebook page and in your emails to customers. You may want to take a more formal approach depending on your niche. The important thing is to ensure consistency for every aspect of your online presence. You don’t want each part of your content marketing to sound like it has come from a different person or company.
You could also use your content marketing strategy to keep a record of the articles that you have written to ensure that you don’t repeat yourself. You could create articles in two or three parts, with each one leaving your potential customer wanting more. Implementing teasing cliffhangers, as they do at the end of each episode in a TV series, ensures repeat traffic for your next installment of the article.
Formalise Your Approach
Content marketing should be no different from your financial forecasting or business vision in that they are working documents that are constantly referred to, updated and analysed. If you hit a bump in your finances and you have not generated as much revenue and made as much profit in a particular month, you will grab your financial forecasting document and analyse what has happened and try to mitigate the monetary blip through an alteration of your strategy.
Content marketing is no different. If you have both Facebook and Twitter channels that are regularly updated and provide high-quality content, yet 80% of your traffic is coming from Facebook with very little traffic from Twitter, you need to work out why that is and adapt your approach. You may need your Twitter feed to link to your latest blog posts or have the odd promotional offer as a pinned tweet to encourage visitors to your site. If you find managing your social media accounts a particularly laborious task, you may want to consider outsourcing this function. Specialist companies like this one here, will control your content, keep it engaging and increase the number of followers to your brand. They will enhance your online presence and keep you competitive amongst your rivals.
Traditional advertising and marketing can be costly. It can also be trickier to analyse as you may find it difficult to work out whether a sale was generated through a billboard, print advert or promotion. Content marketing can be ridiculously cheap. If you have a flair for engaging an audience, have a well crafted and thought out marketing campaign and can initiate it effectively, the return on your investment should be much greater.
If you want to generate an online buzz about a new product that you are launching, you cannot simply flood the Internet with content. You need to be measured in your approach and set a timeline for your content dispersal. You may initiate a campaign three months before your product launch to generate the all important anticipation amongst your customer base. You can spend this time drip feeding the benefits of the new product, show snippets of it in action and encourage further engagement with new potential customers through innovative marketing techniques. How many times have you seen a promoted tweet offering a prize for a person selected at random who has retweeted the promoted tweet to their followers? This exponential marketing is invaluable and can see your new product generate a following all of its own. The three months pre-product launch can influence your financial forecasting, and you can anticipate how many sales you may achieve in the first quarter post-launch.
The Bigger Picture
Your content marketing strategy is a small piece in your company’s larger jigsaw. Without it, the vision for your business would be incomplete, and you would be reliant on the more costly traditional methods of marketing. In the twenty-first century, it’s vital that you are ready for the continued development of the digital age and a fundamental part of this is enhancing your online presence through high-quality content marketing. By making sure that your business is at the forefront of technological developments and emerging marketing strategy methodologies, you reduce the risk of being left behind. Hone an effective content marketing strategy that cohesively fits within your business vision and the future for your company will remain bright.