Getting Started with Content Marketing
Content Marketing is the technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Simply put, it involves the strategic creation and distribution of digital content to achieve an outlined goal, more often than not content marketing is intended for lead generation and brand awareness and credibility.
I have seen a lot of people jump into content marketing with the “Get Rich Quick” mindset, and have watched them fizzle away in the first few months when creative frustration hits.
Content Marketing is a MARATHON and not a Sprint! It involves research, testing and tweaking. It is a journey that must be followed through with so much patience and intentionality. Whether your business offers products or services, if you are looking at creating a lasting legacy and long term impact, you should definitely consider embarking on the journey of Content Marketing.
Here is why Content Marketing is important and some tips on how you can get started!
The Importance of Content Marketing
Imagine you were out with your friends and an absolute stranger walks up to you and says…
“Hi, I am XYZ, I make amazing peanuts, and they are more delicious than any peanut brand you have had in your lifetime.”
I am very certain you would be like, “Excuse me, who did you say you are again?”
That is exactly what many brands do to customers, you think by running ads targeted at potential customers they will simply jump on your band wagon and start patronizing your business. In as much as online ads when done strategically are not an entirely bad idea, the Return on Investment (ROI) can be greatly improved with a little bit of intentionality.
Content Marketing helps you to build the KLT (Know-Like-Trust) factor to further enhance and grow your business, so when you advertise you are able to leverage your KLT.
Make people KNOW your brand:
By simply putting out a chunk of amazing content on specific channels, you are gradually positioning yourself in the minds of your target demographic and you gradually move from being that stranger that rudely interrupts amazing conversations to an acquaintance that people look forward to hearing from.
Make people LIKE your brand:
People only buy from those that have gained a place in their hearts.
One of the most amazing things that the right Content Marketing strategy helps you do is that it helps you earn a soft spot in the hearts of prospective customers.
Make people TRUST your brand:
One of the perks of strategic content marketing is that it positions your brand as an authority in whatever subject you constantly talk about. This is turn earns you the trust of your regular audience and long-term influences their decision when they have to choose between you and a competitor.
So let’s get to the meat of it — How do you get started with Content Marketing?
Have a clear defined GOAL:
What do you hope to achieve at the end of the day? What would success look like to you? It is important that you do not shoot aimlessly, know exactly what you want.
Find a niche:
For instance, if one of your marketing goals is to grow the sales of your product by 70% in the next 18 months, then the next question should be, what niche would help me achieve this?
Remember to build your KLT (Know-Like-Trust).
Choose a topic that helps position your brand in a unique way — Let’s say you sell cashew nuts — everyone knows that cashew nuts are really healthy, so you can create content with a healthy living (Fitfam) angle.
Have a Content Marketing Mission Statement
A clearly defined mission statement helps you ensure that all your content is in line with your overarching marketing and business goals.
The ideal content marketing mission statement should answer three questions
- Who is my target audience?
- What is the value that my content will deliver to the target audience?
- What is the desired outcome?
When creating your content — you need to take note of the following:
a) Content Format:
What content format is most appropriate for your business — Audio, Text or Video or perhaps a mix?
Now that you are clear on what format your content will be in, it is key to select the appropriate channel to distribute it on, which is heavily influenced by the type of content and your target demographic. Here are some channels that work wonders:
Text content should be published on your owned digital assets, such as your website or your blog (Medium is really great for this) and can be further distributed on 3rd party platforms to get a wider reach. Once you publish you can use snippets of your long-form content to create social media posts.
Audio content is perfect for podcasts and online radio shows, so start thinking about what strong platforms are out there that you can leverage.
Video content is great on YouTube, Instagram (IG TV) and Facebook.
Your Content Marketing journey will only be successful if you are consistent. Choose a posting frequency — daily, twice weekly — whatever you decide — but the key is to keep at it.
d) Patience Is A Virtue:
This marketing approach takes time! Research shows that the shortest period of conversion is nine months, but if you can follow through and keep at it, you will certainly strike gold.
e) Optimize your content
Search Engine Optimization techniques and promoting your content across all your digital platforms as well as distributing it on 3rd party platforms will help increase your reach.
Feed them into a funnel:
Now that people are familiar with your brand, it is time to reel them in slowely. Gated content is a great way to do just that — create an amazing landing page where your newly won potentials can sign up for a free product, maybe an e-book and get them to leave their email address so you can start targeting them in a more structured manner — (Email marketing is evergreen and can never be overemphasized — here’s a great post on 5 Reasons your Business should get better at Email Marketing).
Time to sell:
You now have prospective leads that know, like and trust (KLT) your business, so it’s time to pitch your products to them in the most amazing way.
If you got here, I am pretty sure you found this to be a good read. Kindly share and like, and if you have any questions, please leave me a comment!
Let’s get cracking!
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