Content marketing is the most effective long-term marketing strategy around, but we all have to start somewhere. A fruitful content marketing plan is built on scrupulous research, with information gathered from surveys, studies, social media and SEO tools.
Wherever the information comes from, you will have three main areas to consider:
Before you begin, you need to be clear about your goals. Think what you want your content to achieve for you.
With clear goals, you can create a targeted content marketing strategy to help you to build your brand in exactly the way you want.
Now think about you content's target audience, your 'buyer persona'. This is particularly important if you're only just starting out.
By knowing your target audience, you can make sure that your content is relevant to them and therefore more likely to be read and shared.
Now it's time to eyeball the competition and consider these questions:
Understanding your competitors will help you to locate your brand in the market. It may allow you to spot opportunities and help you learn from others' mistakes.
Your content marketing strategy should be based on your answers to these questions. And remember, you will have to do a lot of research. This research will determine what content you will create, how often you will do this and where you distribute it. To help with site analytics, consider using some of these tools:
Buzzsumo – search for the best performing content for a specified keyword. This allows you to see what has previously done well and what types of content work for particular social networks.
Talkwalker – a social media analytics site. Give it a set of keywords and you will receive an alert every time one them is mentioned online. This means you can monitor other brands to see how successful their content is; you can also follow trends around particular topics, allowing you to connect with news events.
The most common mistake that companies make is thinking that just creating great content is enough. Your content could be absolutely fantastic, but if it doesn't interest your audience then it won't be read.
Equally, your content could be tremendously engaging but fail to connect with your company's goals and objectives, in which case it isn't building your brand.
A good understanding of your audience is vital to ensure that you get your content in front of the right people.
For a combination of style and substance, take a look at online dating agency OkCupid's dictionary of modern dating terms. Caution: some of the material is a little racy.
Here's the entry on sexting:
Sexting (v.): a fun way to turn the eggplant, peach, splash, and saxophone emojis into a dirty conversation
Partner: Stop sexting me at work.
Me: I'm not, I'm just trying to hammer out plans for tonight. Should we ?"
This sort of carry on may not work for your brand. But what it shows is that OkCupid know their people. They have found a way to deliver to them that engages, entertains and cements their position as a fun, flirty dating agency.
Content marketing is about achieving well-defined business goals. Once you know what those are, understand your audience and your position in the market, you're well on your way to producing quality content that will build your brand.