Content marketing is creating and sharing videos, blogs and social media posts to attract potential customers to your business.
There are billions of websites online. So, how can your business website gain the engagement of your potential customers in this massive pool of websites? Well, the answer is content marketing.
Here is what we are going to cover,
- What is content marketing, and how it can help your business
- Why you must use targeting with your content strategy
- Popular content formats for your content marketing strategy
- Tools to find ideas for your content marketing strategy
- Where you can distribute your content, and how to gain attention
- Best practices of creating a content marketing strategy
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Hey, before we start, I got a question for you. Do you know why people come online?
People go online mainly because of three reasons.
- Have Fun
So, if your website is focused only on selling your products and services, how do you think it can gain the attention of the majority of online users?
Well, it can’t!
That is where you need a content marketing strategy.
What is content marketing, and how it can help your business
Before we talk about “Content Marketing”, first we see what is the meaning of “Content”?
- “Content”, in “Content Marketing”, is any digital material available for online users, in the form of text, images, audio, video etc.
- “Content Marketing” is the process of sharing digital content, in the form of text, images, audio, video etc. to attract your target audience’s attention.
In simple terms, content marketing is creating and sharing videos, blogs and social media posts to attract potential customers to your business.
So, how can a content marketing strategy help your business?
We’ll go through an example.
Let us assume that you have an e-commerce store for pet toys. Now, you need to show your products to your potential customers.
If you recall the three main reasons for people to come online, “buying pet toys” is not one of them.
So, how can you showcase your products to the people, who are here to get educated, have fun and socialize? Yes exactly! You need to show them what they are looking for.
As your potential customers (pet owners) are online to get educated, you can be an educator.
You can educate them about,
- How to safely wash a pet toy
- How to pick the right collar size for a dog etc.
As your potential customers (pet owners) are online to have fun, you can entice them by sharing,
- Funny videos of pets vs toys
- Funny videos of pets etc.
By, creating and sharing digital content, you can attract your potential customers without being salesy. You know, people don’t like to be sold. So, you can use your content marketing strategy to attract them to your brand without trying to sell anything. Once they are around, you can casually show them what is in your store.
And, the most important advantages of a content marketing strategy are,
- You can keep your customers engaged in your business.
- And, you can use your customers to grow your audience.
For example, if you run a paid ad for your products, you will get some amount of sales. Once someone buys from you, they are no need for that customer to hang around. So, they will leave your business. And, if you need to sell again, you have to run another ad campaign. Also, no one will share an advertisement without any value.
But, with content marketing, you provide your customers with a reason to hang around your business. They will stay around looking for more content. Also, they will share your content in their own networks, helping you to grow your audience. So, with content marketing, you can get active participation of your customers to the growth of your business.
Also, according to the 2018-2019 data, 57% of the B2C businesses are planning to increase their content marketing budgets. And, 29% of the businesses are maintaining their content marketing budget. This means content marketing works for 57% + 29% (86%) of the businesses. So, why shouldn’t you try using a content marketing strategy for your business?
Great! Now you know why you must need a content marketing strategy for your business.
Let us move on to the next step. Let us understand the importance of targeting in content marketing.
Why you must use targeting with your content strategy?
We always keep stressing the importance of “targeting” in most of our articles. The reason is, in e-commerce, you should never try to sell to everyone!
The Internet is a vast community. Different people have different expectations and likes. So, it is really ineffective and inefficient to have broad audiences.
As we have discussed in How to pick a target market and target audience for your business, the proper segmentation of your audience can help you to create content to directly address their requirements.
The average time of attention of an Internet user is now just 8 seconds.
If your content is too broad for their requirements, they will leave your website. Remember, internet users have an abundance of data at their fingertips. So, they won’t waste their time on something not relevant to them.
You must have to understand that your chance of creating content that can go viral is a one in a million.
And, there is no point of wasting your time and money trying to create viral content. Instead, you can easily research and create content to a “specific” group of audience to excite and entice only that particular group.
If we rethink about our pet toy store example,
you may not be able to create content to address every pet owner in the world. Instead, you can try pet owners in the US.
You can even go down, and create content for the dog owners in the US. By narrowing down your audience, you can create content that is super useful for the audience segment and be popular among them.
So, how can you pick the right audience for your content?
Popular content formats for your content marketing strategy
Digital content can be in many different formats.
Content formats can range from simple images to 2000 word blog posts to one-hour videos. But they all share one common purpose. That is to get the attention of your potential customers.
Videos, images and text are the most popular content formats on the internet. So, let us talk about these about these formats.
You can create videos to demonstrate how to use your products, unboxings, funny videos related to your business etc. When we say create videos, do not think of a million dollar video production campaign.
Do you believe this video is created with a smartphone?
Be creative, and think simple.
Additional Reading: Free Video Editing Software and Apps
Images and infographics are super useful to present your content on social media platforms. Especially if you build your brand on Instagram, creating and sharing images that can visually trigger the attention can help you to increase the number of your customers.
Check out this Instagram page of Gymshark. They have nearly 3 million followers, all thanks to the images.
Having a blog on your website can serve two purposes. It can help your SEO plan to improve the Google search ranking.
On the other hand, by creating and sharing original blog posts, you can educate your audience and provide them with the content to share across the internet
Now that you know the content formats for your content marketing strategy, next we will see how to pick topics for your content.
Tools to find ideas for your content marketing strategy
Remember that we are living in a world, which is driven by data!
When it comes to digital marketing, knowing the audience insights can help you to boost your marketing strategy to its fullest. So, rather than busting your head trying to come up with perfect content ideas, you can use free online tools to see what is popular among your audience
Let us get back to our example pet toy business. Now, you have decided to create content to boost your sales.
Alright! Then you need content ideas.What if there is a way to see, what are the most popular content topics related to your business.Awesome developers of answerthepublic have created a great tool to see quickly visualize content ideas for certain keywords.
Take a look at below results for the keyword “pet toys”.
There are many different content ideas for your content marketing strategy
So, go ahead to use these free online tools to find ideas for your content marketing strategy. And, if you have anything else to share, please comment below. 🙂
Where you can distribute your content, and how to gain attention
Remember, your content marketing strategy does not end after creating the content
- Owned channels
- Paid channels
Own channels can be your own social media accounts, website, blog, YouTube channel etc. If you have a good number of followers, you can readily share your content on your own channels and measure the engagement
This is where you may need to use paid channels. Paid channels can be social media ads, display ads or even search ads. Sometimes you may be able to share your content in a popular channel to gain more visibility.
Owned or paid, which channels you should use?
To understand the right channel to share your content, first, you need to understand where your audience hangs out on the internet. It can be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or even the online forums.Read How to use social media for business. There we have discussed more the purposes of different platforms.
Best practices of creating a content marketing strategy
- Research, Research and Research about your audience. See what is popular in their world, and understand their interests.
- Try multiple formats of content. See what works well and tweak your content marketing strategy accordingly.
- Do not try to sell with your content. Use a natural language and tone for your content.
- Make your content unique and interesting. Try to use humour, if it makes sense.
- Genuinely try to be helpful with your content. And provide value with your content.
- Follow a schedule when publishing content. Rather than publishing 4 articles in one day and stay silent for weeks, distribute your content.
- Create a realistic content calendar. And, stick to it. Plan ahead to align your content with major events and dates. This can help to create better engagement.
- Content marketing is two-way communication. It is not like broadcasting a message. So, be involved with the discussions.
Do you like to learn how to write an attractive blog post?
Check out How to write attractive blog posts.