Today’s consumers aren’t interested in traditional advertising – in fact, they’ve perfected ways to shut it out of their lives altogether, through ad blocking software built into their browsers, and DVR machines that allow them to skip TV commercials with the single push of a button. In other words, if you want to reach out to your audience in a way that they’ll actually hear you, you need to be willing to take a different approach.
Content marketing differs from traditional marketing methods by offering value to a customer – rather than simply attempting to sell to them. By creating a value for value relationship, where information and entertainment provided by a brand is rewarded with loyalty and commerce, content marketing has changed the way most companies approach online advertising. However – as with any other strategy – there are factors to think about if you want to get it right.
What’s the Point of Content Marketing?
On a basic level, the purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain crucial traffic and customers, by constantly curating and developing valuable, relevant content that drives a particular behaviour. For example, most content strategies are established in an effort to prompt people towards purchasing a product, contacting a company, or subscribing to a page.
Content marketing is an ongoing process that can be infused into every aspect of your marketing strategy, and it works by communicating with your prospects on a friendlier level. Instead of grabbing your customers and asking them to buy from you, you stop pitching your products, and instead deliver information that helps your customer to decide that buying from you is the best course of action – pretty smart stuff.
Why Should I use a Content Marketing Strategy?
All of this content marketing information sounds promising – the only problem is that it can only really work if you have a strategy in place to maximise its effectiveness. Without a plan of action to guide you through which content to create, and how to create it, you’re simply throwing information out into the abyss and hoping someone will notice it.
A strategy gives you a focus, and a set of goals to work towards, so that you can carefully plan for, and promote, a series of beneficial outcomes designed specifically for what your brand needs. What’s more, by monitoring that strategy through the careful consideration of metrics, you can actively adjust and improve your content marketing solutions as you progress in your business, removing factors that don’t work, and building on the ones that do!
What to Watch for in Your Content Strategy
The chances are that your first strategy won’t be the one you stick with for the entire time you’re marketing online. The changing digital atmosphere and the different tastes of audiences mean that content marketing will always be in a state of flux. However, try to remember that even the mistakes can be informative in prompting future success. Try to make sure your strategy:
- Has a precise focus towards a particular audience – the “spray and pray” approach to marketing is rarely effective, particularly for people new to the digital world.
- Uses reliable, relevant data from factual sources – your audience wants to know that you’re an authority in your niche, and using false data can damage your reputation.
- Constantly updates to follow the latest algorithms and changes in the digital world – staying static in a time of evolving technology is a good way to lose customers.
One final tip; before you publish that blog or article, ask yourself a question. If it was on someone else’s site, would you actually read it?