When you hear the word "marketing," what do you think of?
Chances are high that your answer had something to do with sales.
There is no doubt that we hope our marketing efforts will someday make us some money. In the age of traditional marketing, where commercials, flyers, and print advertisements were the way to sell products, we measured the return on our marketing investment in our sales.
But somewhere along the way, customers caught on to our advertisements. They realized that brands may not have been completely genuine in the way they pushed their products... and they got annoyed.
So, we marketers needed to find a new - different - way to sell our products. Introducing content marketing.
However, a content marketing strategy can't be created in the same way you would create a traditional marketing strategy. With content marketing, you're not looking to be disruptive or pushy. You want to be helpful, informative, and patient.
If you're creating a content marketing strategy, here are three questions you need to ask yourself.
1. What value will be content bring?
The basis of your content marketing strategy is your value. The value of your services, products and company will serve as the fuel for your content marketing strategy.
Determine what your company can provide that your competitors can't - the reason that potential customers will choose to come to you instead of going to the business next door. What can you help your customers accomplish? How can you help them accomplish this differently?
Infuse your value into everything you do. It should be in your blog posts, in your white papers, in your email campaigns, and in your social media posts. When the value of your company is clearly apparent, you won't just be selling your product - you'll become a valuable asset to your customers and clients.
2. What questions do my audience need answered?
Through content marketing, you want to become a resource for your audience. But you can't become a go-to resource if you're not providing new and useful content for your readers.
In order to always provide information that they need, you need to consider what isn't being answered. What gaps are left open by your competition? Where is your audience confused? What questions are they asking?
By finding an opening in the mass of content online, you're providing useful and valuable information to your audience that they need.
3. How does my audience communicate?
Now that you've decided what content you're going to share, you need to determine how your going to share it. When creating a content marketing strategy, you can't just create any content and hope that your audience will find it. You need to consider where your audience is reading.
Blogging is a universal way to reach your audience. It provides content that can be shared on just about any social media platform and your posts can be tailored to fit the needs of your audience. However, you also need to consider the language that your audience will use.
Knowing your target audience is crucial for this step of the content marketing strategy process. Clearly define the age group, location, and education level of your ideal client. This will all come into play when choosing your words and language.
While these three questions are just a small step in the complete process of creating a content marketing strategy, knowing these answers can help you develop a more complete look at who your audience is and what kind of content they're looking for. The easier you can relate to your readers, the better chance you will have at converting them into a sale.
If you need help creating a content marketing strategy for your small business or law firm, I provide consulting services through my Advanced Blogging services. Send me an email to begin discussing what I can do to help you grow your business through blogging and content marketing.