There are myriad resources available to help you create a content marketing plan for your business, but where should you begin? Understanding what content marketing is – and what it isn’t – is a great place to start.
I like this definition of content marketing from Content Marketing Institute (CMI):
“Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.”
So, in a nutshell, content marketing provides value that engages your existing and potential customers. It’s about them, not you. But let’s break it down even further.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” over the past few years and it still rings true. Consumers are seeking information and expertise to inform their decisions, and there is content aplenty for them to consume as they research.
If you’re not producing valuable content, your competitors likely are – which means someone looking for guidance in your industry will find it elsewhere.
It is essential that you create helpful content (whether through blogs, videos, white papers, infographics or other mediums) to engage your target audience(s).
By creating valuable resources, you are building your brand. Your content marketing strategy tells consumers who you are, what you know and why they should care.
A quick fix
Content marketing is about the long game. While the goal is to grow your business by building customer interest and loyalty, it takes time.
You can compare it to living a healthy lifestyle. Content marketing isn’t just something you do for a couple weeks and check it off your list. It’s a way of life. That might sound a bit dramatic, but the gist is that consistency is key to creating a content marketing strategy that works for your business – and that it’s not always easy!
Provides value to customers
Since content marketing is about helping your customers the guides, tips, reviews and other content you create for customers is creating value. And, by providing them with valuable information, you are ultimately helping your business by attracting customers who want to make purchases from a company that cares about them.
Positions the author (you or your business) as a subject matter expert
Content marketing is a great opportunity to let your expertise shine! Dig deep into industry trends and common questions to create resources that show you know your stuff.
Improves search engine marketing
Great content makes search engines happy. Your content helps Google and others know what your website is about; and when you produce good content others will want to reference it with links which can boost your search engine rankings.
Identify your target audience(s)
Develop personas for the customers you want to attract. These personas will help you identify topics that will be of interest, and keep them in mind when writing content.
Analyze keywords and trends to develop content strategy
You must focus on what people are actually searching. While the topic of keyword research is a whole different blog post, there are some free resources out there that can help you get an idea of keyword trends, as well as several excellent paid resources that help you dive deeper!
Develop content that your audience wants to read
Remember the definition of content marketing above? It’s about the reader, so make sure the information you’re producing is interesting and helpful!
The bottom line here is that content marketing is essential for connecting with current and potential customers.
Ready to get started? You can learn more about DIY content marketing with some fantastic free resources from the content marketing thought-leaders at CMI and SEO powerhouse Moz. Or you can give us a shout to see how we can help get your content flowing.