The term Content Marketing is getting a lot of buzz these days, causing many businesses to wonder if they should get busy creating a plan.
So what exactly is Content Marketing? In its simplest form, the term refers to the strategy and execution related to distributing marketing messages across business websites, through email and on social media. This doesn't necessarily exclude traditional forms of media such as direct mail, print and broadcast, yet the conversations around content marketing often refer to digital marketing specifically.
Consumer behavior has undoubtedly gone through a significant shift in recent years. Consider our use of Internet search tools such as Google and Bing. When we perform a search query, we are most likely looking for an answer. Content marketing presents an opportunity for businesses to satisfy querying prospects with answers to the very problems they are trying to solve.
Here's how it works - by providing valuable and relevant content, businesses can equip customers to market FOR them. A better experience will increases positive referrals, and since 82% of customers find small businesses via word of mouth, this certainly will generate positive results.
What businesses choose to present should be closely tied to their offerings with a focus on providing real value to customers.
Ready to get started? Here are 4 steps to help you launch your content marketing strategy:
- Set A Goal - We get too easily distracted or overwhelmed with tactics that we forget to set realistic goals. As a matter of fact, 80% of marketers incorrectly do so by focusing more on tools instead of devising a feasible plan. Meet with your team and begin to set goals that are achievable both short term (gather information, assess what is working) and long term (start a new email campaign, revamp the website).
- Create a Calendar - Your content marketing efforts should mirror your "real word" activities. Create a calendar that includes all of your annual events, sponsorships, milestones, etc. This is a great place to start when building content to disribute among your digital media channels.
- Measure - What channels are providing the best return for your ? Stop guessing, use tools like Google Analytics to measure the impact of your marketing efforts across all channels. Focus on the channels that provide the best return.
- Ask Questions - Your loyal customers are your best asset, for more than the obvious reason. Speak to them frequently and ask them for feedback. You may be surprised at what they tell you about how you can improve your content marketing.
Though a Internet search query may ultimately result in making a purchase, keep in mind that many people often start their process motivated by a need to solve an problem. Businesses can provide relevant solutions to win loyal customers.