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Content Marketing Strategy Development for Your Business
“Content is King” – and it has become a critical consideration for any business’ marketing strategy. From blogs to videos, brand partnerships to influencer marketing, there is such a diverse range of content that businesses can leverage to promote their brand, products and services. The trick, however, is developing a thoughtful and effective strategy that makes the most of the content you’re posting, caters to your audience, and adds value to your service beyond just promoting what you offer. The next time you’re reviewing your business’ marketing strategy, take some time to consider how content marketing fits.
Understanding Your Audience
Content marketing puts your audience first – after all it’s to them that you’re promoting your products, services and brand. When you start developing your content marketing strategy, they should be top of mind, including what they like, what they might find useful or interesting, and what will ultimately lead them to engage with your brand and messaging. Thoughtful and powerful content adds value to their work life, personal life, social life and more, so try to put yourself in their shoes to create content that is relevant to them. Take into account your current customer base and your ideal client type, and then create a profile for them. This includes demographics like age, gender, income and more; as well as their goals and aspirations; current needs; and anything else that you feel is relevant. Once you have a clearer picture of your ideal client, and therefore who you’re targeting with content, you’re on your way to a successful content marketing strategy.
Choosing Your Channels
A critical part of deciding when and where to promote your content within your marketing strategy is finding your audience where they are. That is, put your content in front of them where they’re likely to already be looking. If you profile your ideal customer, analyse any existing lead and conversion data you may have, and apply a bit of critical thinking, you should be able to determine with some accuracy where your messaging will be most effective. Select a medium that suits your audience. There will undoubtedly be some trial-and-error in your approach in the early stages, but soon you’ll find the right marketing mix. Juggling various platforms can be a challenge, especially if you have limited time to spend on marketing. You might consider developing a marketing calendar in Excel or on a whiteboard to find consistency with your content, and to jot down ideas for future content as they come up.
Creating Your Content
When you’re ready to get into the creation of content within your marketing strategy, your options boil down to two main sources – creation or curation.
Creating your own content brings authenticity, opportunities for direct and pointed calls to action, and fits seamlessly with your brand. This could include long-form blog posts, custom infographics, podcasts, and videos. An upshot of making your own content from scratch is that it can put a face to your brand and humanise your business. In a competitive marketplace, building trust with your audience from the outset is key.
As good as creation is for your content marketing strategy, many business owners find themselves too time-poor to focus on making everything from scratch. This is where curation comes in. You might re-post relevant articles from reputable sources to your social media (referencing where appropriate), or take advantage of the numerous content & communication subscription services that provide content for you to share with your audience. These are less time-consuming ways of building out your content while also providing added value for your customers.
No matter the source of your content, it is important to tie it in with your overall marketing and business strategies, ensuring consistency. Consider the following example. Tony runs a small supermarket, and is passionate about protecting the environment and reducing waste. He writes and posts an article on his website (and links it through his socials) espousing the benefits of recycling, and providing practical ways that readers can up their recycling game. In his store, he sets up a composting station for his customers’ vegetable scraps, and promotes the re-use of cardboard boxes from his stock as an alternative to selling paper bags, tying in nicely with the article he’s written. Tony talks the talk, and walks the walk. The consistency of his message with what goes on in his store is something to which customers respond positively, improving the likelihood that they become valuable word-of-mouth marketers.
The importance of content marketing and its ability to add value to the experience that your customers and prospects have with your business means that it’s no longer just something that big businesses look at. Content marketing can, and should, form part of every business’ overall marketing strategy. While it can sometimes be time-consuming, putting your brand and business at the top of consumers’ minds with thoughtful and relevant content can prove incredibly powerful for your bottom line down the track, with relatively little financial outlay to begin with. That’s why they say “content is king”!
When was the last time you reviewed your business’ marketing strategy? At McKinley Plowman, our Brand Plus Division helps clients with branding and marketing health checks, leading to important changes that promote and grow their business through sound marketing strategies, branding, content marketing, website development, digital solutions, and much more – all supported by an experienced network of professionals. Call today for a FREE no-obligation consultation on 08 9301 2200 or visit www.mckinleyplowman.com.au/contact-us/.
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