There is no doubt that content marketing has become an essential part of online marketing, both for ecommerce businesses and other organisations that require an online audience. This thing is, we’re getting flooded with the stuff! So how do you ensure that your content stands out in a very crowded market and achieves your objectives? Here’s a number of top tips that might help you to get focused and truly effective in your efforts.
What are you trying to achieve?
Don’t carry out content marketing for the sake of content marketing! Have a plan and within that, have a goal. Do you want people to register with you? Do you want to lift your profile? Are you purely looking for sales conversions? Whatever it is, be clear about it and consider how your content might help this.
Who is your target audience?
You might consider that your key audience is your customers. We would in fact suggest that you contemplate establishing a relevant prospective customer and industry audience as your number one priority. Know who you are trying to attract and understand where they are most likely to be interacting online. Take some time to check out the competition too. Are they trying to reach the same audience? What are they doing well and what could you do better than them?
What does your audience need?
Don’t write what you want. Consider what your target audience actually wants to read, hear or learn about. If you are in a very technical industry then clear advice and guidance might be worthwhile, establishing your business as an authoritative and knowledgeable source. Alternatively, your audience might prefer to hear about issues that relate more widely to their lifestyle – your products and service being just one potential part of that. Think also about what problems they have that you might be able to solve; further building your relationship with this important audience.
Have you got a style?
Is your business formal, corporate, lively, cheeky, alternative or something else entirely? What type of language do you like to use and do you have a list of words and phrases to avoid? Be clear from the start and set out to establish a consistent and clear style for your business – whatever that might be.
Looking for inspiration?
It can be quite a challenge to constantly develop new ideas for relevant and useful content. We know, we’ve been there! So use any tools and logic that is available to you. Start with a brainstorm amongst the team at every level – you’d be amazed what you can uncover. Also try out Google’s keyword tools to identify phrases that might be thought provoking in addition to being useful for your SEO efforts. Get used to planning ahead and not just writing something on the spur of the moment.
Make it your own
Never, ever swipe content from another source in its entirety. Whilst someone might have written about the same subject that you want to discuss, you might have a different way of doing it to make it stand out. Add your own ideas and thoughts and be original.
Keep focused on your SEO
Good content marketing can clearly help your SEO efforts and rightly so. Plan carefully and incorporate keywords and longer tailed phrases into your schedule. If you get it right, content marketing can actually help you to optimise your online presence for those all-important keywords that bring in traffic to spend money with you.
Quality and not quantity
Bad content just looks terrible. We’re talking terrible grammar, bad spelling and poorly put together thoughts. Don’t even go there. Far better to spend the time that you have on constructing well thought out and perfectly targeted content that your audience will admire and want to digest. If you’re struggling for time, involve a freelancer or agency with your content marketing – they’re doing it well every day of the year. Alternatively, keep it in-house and just produce a few high quality pieces when you can.
Are you communicating at the right time?
Whilst businesses might be more receptive to content during the working week, consumers might prefer evenings and weekends as a time to interact. Know that your effort is being put in to the correct time frame. Of course there are many tools to submit content and so there is no need to stay up til midnight, should that be the best time to talk!
How far can you stretch your content?
You might write a useful advice article and choose to communicate it across a number of different platforms, from social media to email, PR and of course your blog. But think about if you could develop that content into a graphic, video or even a quiz should you wish? You have a whole new piece of content to work with!