About eight years ago, digital advertising was probably the most talked about marketing tactic in history. It was new, flash and sexy and it made brands fall over backwards thinking about the high level of exposure they could get from it. But there was a HUGE problem with it. Digital display advertising was everywhere. The market was saturated. Every website was covered in ads and people grew tired of it. Their answer? Ad blockers. Over 200 million people were using ad blockers on their browsers in 2015, forcing digital display into spiral of success deterioration.  

It was quite tragic for the advertising industry, but this led to something great for advertisers and brands alike – content marketing. Content marketing wasn’t driven by the ‘spray and pray’ methodology like display advertising. It was driven by the need to connect with consumers on a more meaningful level.

Content a brand distributes should be valuable – to the reader and to the brand. Content marketing costs far less than outbound marketing (62% less, in fact) but generates over three times the leads. Website conversion rates are also six times higher for content marketing adopters than they are for non-adopters. So, it goes a long way.

Content marketing does a few different things…

1. TRUST

By sharing things that people find value in for free, you’re creating trust with potential clients without actually working with them.

2. BRAND RETENTION

When customers have a need for your services or products, brands who use content marketing are likely to be front of mind, they’ll already have a perception of your brand and (hopefully!) will want to buy from you.  

3. CONNECTION

Because you are talking to the customers and giving them value that is relevant to their needs, you are building a connection that will develop into a relationship with them.  

But how do you do it?

A content marketing strategy is relatively simple. You want to answer a few key questions and then put it into a plan! The questions are…

  • What do you want to say? What is the message you want to get across and what can you say that is useful and helpful to the customer?
  • Who do you want to say it to? What do they look like, what are their needs and interests?
  • Why do you want to say it? What is the altruistic reason you are sharing such valuable resources and information with them?
  • How often can you say it? How frequently should they, or would they like, to consume content from you?
  • How do you make sure people read it? What media does your market consume? What media platforms do they engage with or on?

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s easy to kick your content marketing off. Put those answers into a logical plan (call me if you need help with that step!) and you are good to go.

But if you want your content marketing to really have some PUNCH and make an IMPACT, you need to do three key things…  

 

BE RELEVANT: Your biggest inspiration source is in front of you…

If you’re creating content regularly, it can be hard to stay inspired and know what to share next. but if you’re running a business there is likely to be an untapped inspiration base right in front of you… Your clients and customers! Listen to their feedback, write down their problems, queries or questions, follow their dialogue about your products or services and use this to create content - simple! This blog is coming directly from a discussion with one of my clients who wasn't sure how or where to start blogging but knew they wanted to! Listen to what your clients want to know and answer it. Find the pain points your customers or clients have and solve the problems.

 

HAVE REAL VALUE: The failsafe way to making content actually valuable… 

What people perceive as ‘valuable’ varies from person to person. Because of this, it can be hard to hit the nail on the head when it comes to delivering real value. But here’s a tip for you… If you can do one of the three below things with your content - it will always be perceived as valuable. 

  • Make the reader feel something positive (give them something to stir emotion be it happiness, nostalgia, inspired, motivated, enthused) this is why quotes and feel good Friday posts are so successful! 
  • Educate the reader and teach them something new that they can go away and use. For a makeup business, teach them a new technique, for a real estate business, give them home improvement or beautification advice. Right now I’m giving marketing advice to teach you (my readers!) something new that you can use.
  • Engage them. If you provoke the consumer to respond or take action, you’re changing the dynamic from a monologue to dialogue. It’s one of the most valuable aspect of branding - you make people feel like they can have a say and be heard and they’ll become your most loyal customers. 

 

BE SEEN: Get your content out there in front of the people you want to see it… 

Don’t just post a blog and walk away from it. Share it on social media from your business pages and your personal pages - this showcases your expertise and builds your personal brand. Send it to your database, if you’re blogging weekly and don’t want to email too much, send a monthly emailer with a round-up of blogs or send it as a personal email with a simple link to your contacts who you know can benefit from the information. If you’ve got the budget, then promote it on social media and select your targeting carefully to match it to your dream customer or client. On social media use the right blurbs - make them engaging and interesting without being ‘click bait’ - you wouldn’t believe it but Facebook knows when something has a click bait title and actually changes the algorithm to prevent people from seeing it! Consider guest blogging and leverage someone else’s network to give you exposure. Find ways to reach the right people and your audience will always be growing.

 

And there you have it - three steps to insanely successful content marketing. Give them a go and tell me, what are your biggest marketing problems? What would you like to know more about? 

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