Content marketing is one of those things that we know we should be doing. But with all the noise in an increasingly digital world, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s likely that you’re doing it already in some shape or form. However, to get the most out for your marketing, it is important to establish goals and measure your progress. So, where do you start?
What is Content Marketing?
The first thing to clarify is what content marketing refers to. This form of marketing is about producing, curating, and distributing content. The content needs to be relevant to your target market and should have value in some way. Content can be text, images, videos, blog posts, infographics, gifs, social media posts, etc. The ultimate goal is to generate or increase sales.
The first question to ask yourself when you’re embarking on any marketing campaign, is what is the purpose? What are you trying to achieve through this? What is your intended outcome? The ultimate goal of most marketing is of course to increase sales. However, you need to be much more specific. For example, it could be to grow your audience by 5% in a particular area. It could be to increase engagement around a certain topic in one of your social media channels. Set out very clear parameters from the outset, and identify how your efforts will be measured.
With any marketing strategy, you need to be very clear on your target audience. This may involve looking at gender, age, hobbies, locality, etc. It is important to segment your customers and provide each group with targeted data. One size fits all won’t fly. You need to be specific and content needs to be tailored, personalized, and targeted.
When you embark on a content marketing strategy, it is important to carry out a content audit. This involves identifying the content that is already at your disposal. You may be surprised at what you have already. There are lots of content templates you can use for this. Depending on the size of your organization and the amount of content you have, a simple Excel spreadsheet may suffice. Once you have completed your audit, this will identify any gaps. From here you can work out what content you need to create or curate.
When you are planning your content marketing, it is also important to determine your distribution channels. How will the content reach the end user? This could be through your company blog, email newsletters, video channels, and social media, etc. Social media communication is a useful way of talking directly to your customer base. If you have several busy channels, it is advisable to obtain software to enable you to manage these communications in one interface.
Content marketing is no different to any other form of marketing. It is important to establish your purpose and audience in the first instance. Set out what you want to achieve and how you intend to do this. Segment your audience so that each campaign is highly targeted. Develop content that is tailored to a particular group or groups. Make sure that you measure everything. This will tell you what is working and where you need to make adjustments in the future.