There is no denying the importance of good content in almost all forms of marketing. As a marketer, you might be trying to keep up with producing enough content that can be distributed across both online and offline platforms.
While it is common to spend most of your time on the content creation front, you should also consider whether your customer is going to care about the content. Especially when there is so much content vying for consumers’ attention at the same time, as more brands embark on content marketing.
A 2016 content marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that only 30 per cent of respondents rated their content marketing efforts as effective. While it seems like there is a lot more content being produced, simply producing more content isn’t enough when it is not effective.
Let’s take a step back and run through these three important questions which will make your content marketing efforts more focused:
1. What’s in it for your audiences?
All effective content marketing campaigns start with the audience in mind. One key way to differentiate your content from the rest is to target a niche group or a highly-specialised segment. Understanding this specific group of audience means you should know several things:
• What motivates their buying behaviour
• Knowing which types of content they prefer
• How and where they want to access it
Speak to customers or prospects, or your sales team who interact closely with customers to understand customers’ issues and motivations. Invest time to understand your audiences so that you can be confident about developing personalised content that really matters to them.
2. What is the purpose of your content?
Before you think about what type of content you want to create, define what you want to achieve with the campaign. At the end of the day, you need to have a reason for creating content in the first place.
With a better understanding of your audience content needs (point 1 is key) and clearer objectives, you will be able to decide on a suitable content mix. Not all content have to take on every shape and medium.
Content can be powerful in answering your customers’ common questions and problems. So in this case, you could offer How-To or Top Tips type of content. On the other hand if you offer a more niche product, in-depth and long-form content such as e-books, demos or webinars may be more relevant for your audiences.
When it comes to industry-specific content, a useful approach we use across the brands we work with, is to involve customers in the content creation process. Through short Q&As, interviews or brainstorming sessions, we gain valuable knowledge from them to make our content more credible.
3. Which are the channels that will let you reach your audience?
Nothing drives this message stronger than ‘Content is king, distribution is queen’. Now that you have your content mix and targeted audience, sometimes the challenge is getting the content in front of your audience. So how do you plan how to distribute your content, and across what type of channels?
Firstly, consider your existing internal platforms – social media, email newsletters and existing visitors. You can also look at your web analytics or social media properties to see where customers are frequenting your pages, and where they are coming from.
If you already have a list of customers’ emails, you can look into creating email newsletters – email marketing remains an inexpensive and effective way to reach out to consumers on mobile. It is also customisable and can be integrated into almost any marketing campaign.
Don’t lose focus!
As a marketer, there seems to be many tools and strategies in creating content. But it’s not just about producing content but doing content marketing in the most effective manner.
A lack of focus could be the biggest issue you have to fix when you start rolling out your content marketing campaigns. When you have focused content, it’s easier to create more consistent content and link back to previous content – this is great for search engine reasons or introducing new readers to old content.
To end off, I’ll sum up the three questions in this article with this key take-away: Have a clearly defined group of audience, content mix and distribution plan in order to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and to provide audiences with a more satisfying experience with your content.