It’s important to ensure that you are keeping on top of current trends and developing your digital presence. But while content marketing has begun to carve out its place in the marketing mix for many major brands, how do you actually make it work for your business?
Content marketing isn’t advertising. Confusing the two is one of the biggest ways to waste your efforts and put your customers off. Rather than using content marketing to simply sell your products, it must add value and enrich your audience’s experience.
So think tips, advice, tutorials, recipes and genuinely interesting news and insight rather than sales messages and product information.
Great content marketing starts with telling great stories. Good story telling uses creativity, tone, emotion, suspense, humour, and shock-and-awe to captivate the audience and make them respond.
Keep your stories authentic to your brand (never be tempted to dupe readers into clicking) and don't be afraid to add some personality. Don’t forget about structure either, and remember to write well.
Content doesn’t have to be written. The staggering growth in popularity of YouTube and image sharing sites (e.g. Instagram) is testament to the power of pictures and video content.
Consider photos, infographics and short videos - the bonus is that this form of content can actually be very fun to create (e.g. http://instagram.com/p/xTJA2WCter/?modal=true) and is often more shareable that more traditional forms of content.
It’s important when you start a content marketing programme to know what it is you want to achieve. Some of your content may be geared towards conversions (for example your landing pages), while it’s likely that other content will be designed to build brand awareness or educate the audience.
Each business will have different objectives, so set goals that are of most value to you - be it page views, conversions or social media likes.
In the crowded online space, how you promote and amplify your content is just as important as the creation of the content itself. There are so many channels out there that it’s important to understand what works and resonates with your customers - be that Twitter, LinkedIn or specific forums.