What is content marketing? it seems to have become a buzz word of late with the evolution of digital and the mass of online content now available. In truth content marketing has always existed in various forms but what is it and how can it help you?
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content for marketing purposes. the content must be relevant, and consistent and add value to the intended recipients. The objective is to drive the customers to take action with a profitable outcome for your business.
There are many types of content marketing from magazine articles to online newsletters – it all counts but how can it help your business and what should you be doing?
Unfortunately there is no magic formula. Every business needs to find their own particular methods, that when used together, increase brand awareness, engage customers and drive more sales! Here are just a few forms of content marketing that you should consider:
Of course your website is important – it is where most of your customers will go to learn more about your business. It is the content of your website that really matters though. Yes it needs to look good and be easy to navigate but it needs to have substance. The content needs to be enough to give your customers the information they are looking for and easy for search engines to recognise.
You can enhance your website content by the addition of a blog. A blog allows you to write and produce regular content that you can push out to your audience via your newsletter and social media channels. In fact if you are serious about marketing and growing your audience then a blog is the best place to start. not only does it give you more content, added exposure, and a place to share your knowledge it also sets you up as an authority in your industry.
Social media can be a minefield and many businesses don’t know where to start. Starting with a strategy will help you decide where to post, what to post and when. Identify your target audience and where they spend time. If they are young then it may be platforms like snapchat and Instagram that you need to focus on. if your audience is more mainstream then it is likely that Facebook is where you need to be. For B2B companies then LinkedIn and Twitter can be really useful. the key to social media is consistency. If you are going to post, you need to make sure that you are posting regularly. The content you post needs to be relevant and engaging. Social media is not a platform to just keep sharing your product range. Sharing your blogs on social media is a good way to drive traffic to your website.
A regular newsletter is a great way to target your message at a specific audience. If you have a database of existing clients then you can target them with loyalty discounts, new product news and seasonal messages. For those that aren’t already customers you can encourage them with teasers, valuable information about your products etc. Consider how you will collect the data. You must also have permission to use it! You also need to consider what data you will collect. Data is extremely valuable and if used correctly can offer so much. Imagine being able to send a different message out to men and one to women or being able to send a Happy Birthday message to clients. Again you can link your newsletter to your latest blog and promote your social media pages.
How much does content marketing cost?
You may think it is going to cost a fortune but the good news is that most of it can be done by you or your team. If you already have a website it is quite easy to add a blog. If you have some technical knowledge you can do this yourself and post regular blogs yourself. MailChimp is free for a certain size of database and it costs nothing to use social media channels. If it all seems like it is going to take too much time and your time would be better spent on other things then you can hire people to write and schedule blogs for you or to manage your newsletters and social media.
If you would like to discuss ways in which we can help your business get in touch. We would be happy to offer a free consultation.