3 Essential Tips For A Successful Content Marketing Strategy
You’ve probably heard the term “Content Marketing” everywhere lately.
Here’s the definition:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
While “Content Marketing” may be a buzzword, it certainly isn’t a new concept. This kind of smart marketing can actually be traced back to 1895, when John Deere published the first issue of The Furrow, an agricultural magazine that published print advertorials. With in a few decades, each issue reached millions of customers. The Furrow is still in print today, making it not only the pioneer example of content marketing, but the longest running branded magazine in publication.
Today, audiences are more connected than ever, prompting an explosion of content across channels and platforms. At the same time, content marketing professionals are getting more pressure to prove their efforts equal results—and dollars—that are as memorable as the stories they share. There are three key benefits for businesses that use content marketing, including: Increased sales, cost savings and gaining loyal customers.
Content is the past, present and future of marketing. Here are some key things to consider while putting together your content marketing strategy:
1. Tell a Story.
People remember stories, not facts and figures. Storytelling forges an emotional connection, too, which can influence brand loyalty and repeat purchases. So, how do we define storytelling from a content marketing perspective? This is still an intimidating concept for many people tasked with driving their company’s bottom line.
For example, rather just advertising the food at a restaurant, you could tell the story of how a particular recipe was invented, or talk about the fantastic service, or the memories families will make in a restaurant.
Effective content marketing takes what’s most meaningful and allows the audience to consume and place themselves within the resulting narrative. It helps them overcome whatever hurdle prevented them from purchasing the product. It drives them to a solution that makes their lives easier or happier or more meaningful. Maybe it helps them choose the right blinds or shades for their home, where previously they felt paralyzed by the quantity of window treatment choices available online.
Crafting your story isn’t enough; you also have to bring the right audience to it. Successful content marketers understand where their audience seeks information and when they’re in a learning mindset. Then they bring targets to the best place for them to learn: their brand’s content.
They also understand that content marketing is not a zero-sum game. It’s unlikely that you’ll drive a sale the first time a person visits your site or engages with your content. You also need a well-planned retargeting strategy built to move targets through the customer journey.
2. Create Conversations, Not Campaigns.
When content marketing fails, it’s often because the company executes it as a campaign with specific start and end dates, instead of a continual effort or conversation with a defined audience. These companies aren’t truly invested in content marketing. They don’t make it part of their marketing DNA. They decide they need a content marketing program, so they create a microsite and drive traffic to it for a month or two. Then, they stop adding new content. Their products change, and one day they take the site down. Content marketing needs consistency.
3. Be Patient.
Understand that you won’t see results immediately. To translate your content marketing strategy to sales dollars, you may have to inspire your audience to want something they’ve never owned or educate them on a purchase process they don’t understand. These aspects take time, but they have big potential. Content should always educate first and sell second. Above all, it should communicate your unique solution in a compelling fashion that’s also engaging, authentic and actionable.
Remember that consistency is key. Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the words relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day. An effective content marketing strategy takes time, but in the end a little patience and effort goes a long way.
Ready to get started? Contact us today and we’ll do a complete audit to determine what drives clicks to your site. We’ll go over the process with you and explain where a solid content marketing approach can fill in the gaps. We’ll recalibrate your content and your advertising according to how people are using your site. It’s what we do.