Why does content marketing matter to your business?

As the digital age of marketing evolves, it’s becoming increasingly vital to business survival to have a strong content marketing strategy.

Gone are the days of traditional marketing where marketers would throw advertisements in the face of their audience, whether they wanted it or not. Nowadays, users respond much more positively to useful content that educates them on your products and services.

When you generate captivating content that engages your audience, you can showcase how your products and services can effectively solve their pain points. This leads to increased conversions, improved brand awareness, boosted revenue, and increased user trust.

Sound interesting? I’ve put together the ways that your business can implement content marketing tactics and strategies to connect with your audience. Be sure to check out the full series, which will include:

Content marketing
Brand awareness
Telling stories
Video marketing
Copywriting
Content design

Content marketing

Laptop, notepad, and pen sitting on a desk
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

High quality, regular, and collaborative content should be at the heartbeat of your marketing efforts. This helps to:

  • Show that you are experts at what you do: Being an expert is not something businesses should merely title themselves. You want your customers to brand you as experts in your field — you need to earn that. Creating content that reflects your area of work can help define your business as an expert/thought-leader in the industry you operate in.
  • Build a library of content: The good thing about creating compelling content is that it stays with you. When you post a blog or article, it adds to your existing library of content. After a period of time, these can add up and help brand your company and provide your audience with a high-quality content hub, where they can gain great tips, read inspiring stories, and check out user journeys.
  • Attract new users: Customers like helpful data and are more likely to engage with you if they see information/stories that seem interesting to them.

High-quality content is paramount to marketing

  • The eclipse of digital advertising: Banners, pop-ups, and other intrusive formats are plummeting in efficacy. Ad fraud is rampant, as are ad blockers. Marketers are challenged to reach consumers in ways that excite rather than anger them. Content marketing allows us to inform, educate, entertain, and provide utility. It’s there when our audience wants it rather than when they don’t.
  • Global content: International organisations are challenged to globalise their content initiatives. Attention must be paid to what types of content can be repurposed across channels and cultures, what content must be created and published locally, and what local successes can be amplified, repurposed, and shared in other territories and by other lines of business.
  • Personality and style: Content can easily be tracked and managed. We can measure the success of our content by how well it drives potential customers through a funnel. But there are softer returns on the investment into content. When done right, your content will start to give your product personality. Whatever the personality is, it must be intentional and authentic.

A successful marketing strategy aims to create content and develop distribution channels that:

  • Help to intrigue, captivate, and engage target audiences who may be currently unaware of what your business does and/or who you are while educating them on your product and service
  • Engage with your current audience and/or those who have previously shown an interest in your product and service, while educating them on how your business can benefit them

Content marketing and communication

Content marketing allows you to use relevant customer communication channels and create tactics that support lower customer acquisition costs (CAC) and increase the awareness of your product/service.

You can break up your content strategy into three categories:

  1. Drive brand awareness and awareness of your product/service (ToFU: Top of the Funnel)
  2. Grow your community of customers and enhance organic traffic (MoFu: Middle of the Funnel)
  3. Deliver qualified conversions through trials, lead magnets, and/or promos (BoFu: Bottom of the Funnel)

The purpose of a content strategy is to be informative, appealing, and engaging to your customers. The objective is to create a sticky “gut” reaction with prospects, creating a connection that leads to loyalty and advocacy for your brand.

Building brand trust through marketing communication

Successful brands lean on customer trust. Here’s how your content helps to build that trust:

  • Social proof: It’s been proven many times that the quickest and most efficient way to gain new/potential customer trust is to be social proof. It’s easy for us to speak about how great our service is and how trustworthy we are, but it’s wholly more authentic when like-minded consumers do it. Integrating user journeys, reviews, and ratings have a proven positive effect on sales, so you should creatively implement these methods in your marketing strategy.
  • Video: The content marketing world is seeing a big leap towards video, and this is something you should focus on in your strategy. Promotional video: One that explains the value of your product/service, while remaining fun and engaging and avoiding being overtly advertorial. Establishing yourself as a thought leader/expert in your industry builds trust with viewers. Video also helps with things like SEO; you can introduce ourselves to a new target audience by providing them with the type of content they’re searching for.
  • Evergreen content: SEO plays a big part in online “word of mouth”. Having evergreen content means that you’re always sharing relevant information about your product/service when prospects make those types of searches. This should not be focused solely on self-promotion, you must make sure that you are part of searchable topics. Potential customers who come to you from your content are going to be warmer and more likely to buy than those who were cold-sourced.
  • Discount: If you already run an established company with a large customer base, you’re in a position to run promotional campaigns that allow new customers to apply discounts. For example, maybe you offer 10% off for new newsletter subscribers. Don’t forget about your loyal customers, too.

The content process

Never fall into the trap of creating content for the sake of creating content. Each piece of content should go through a thought-process. It can look a little bit like this:

  1. Plan: Decide what content is going to work for your target audience (brainstorming sessions, user journey planning, user research)
  2. Create: Brief the content piece (stakeholder feasibility, asset planning, style definition)
  3. Optimise: Optimise your content for UX and SEO (editorial/QA review, backlinks where appropriate, insert into the content calendar)
  4. Publish: Publish to the relevant channels
  5. Promote: Market your content (distribute on your channels, communicate to customers, newsletters, paid ads)
  6. Measure: Measure content based on your key performance indicators (i.e. conversion rate, organic traffic, etc.)

Besides your target audience, you can also break your typical customer lifecycle up into three areas, and you should create content focused on those areas too. They are:

  • Prospects: People who are interested in what you do or people who are currently unaware of your product/service
  • New customers: People in the early stages of buying from you
  • Churning customers: People who are starting to look at competitors (maybe their relationship with you has gone stale)

Customer lifecycle content example

When you’re launching a new brand, product, or service, there will be different ways of marketing throughout the customer journey. Here’s an example of how it could look:

At launch

  • Set up a pre-launch landing page on your website to encourage visitors to convert into leads
  • Create an engaging piece of content that aims to inform your audience about what’s new — deter from inauthentic self-promotion
  • Create a video (50 seconds to one minute in length) that intrigues, excites, and captivates your audience into wanting to find out more
  • Use social media outlets as a way to distribute information, and change cover photos to announcement banners
  • Work with influencers, partners, and friendlies to share and collaborate on your announcement
  • Build momentum by emailing your user base and highlight any perk

Post-launch

At this point, you’ve started to gather new prospects and have begun to fill your marketing funnel. You now want to start looking at initiating a round of content marketing that encourages prospects to become long-term customers. You could introduce content, such as:

  • Check-in surveys: Give prospects the chance to share their feedback and allow them to see that you value their opinion — you should act on customer feedback as it helps to detect dissatisfaction and reduce churn
  • Email campaigns: This type of content succeeds because it allows you to be more personalised with your audience and can enable up-selling of different products/services

Key performance indicator ideas

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are how we measure the success of various parts of the business. For content marketing that allows for a URL, you can use a UTM. A UTM allows you to track the performance of each campaign and lets you see which content types are performing best.

KPIs that are useful for content marketing include:

  • Increased awareness of your product/service (filling the top of the funnel)
  • Increased converted prospects (people buying from you or making a commitment)
  • Increased conversion rate (for example, your conversion rate from traffic to buyers increases by 3%)
  • Gaining a good average CPA (cost per action)
  • Promoting brand trust (e.g. track social media traction amongst influencers and coverage in trustworthy publications)

Ready to start planning your content marketing strategy? I can help. Contact me for a free, informal chat.

Photographer and writer. Based in Scotland. Using Medium for opinion pieces, marketing advice, and motivational articles. https://www.laurenmacneish.com/

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