Content marketing is a highly effective strategy to attract and engage customers, increase sales and revenue, and strengthen a business' reputation and market position. However, business blogs will not be effective if the content doesn’t match their target consumers' interests.
When deciding to incorporate content marketing into your overall marketing efforts, you need to carefully design a content marketing strategy that helps you develop the specific content your target consumers are looking for, use it to drive consumers to engage further with your brand, and publish it in a manner that is optimized for search.
Start with Strategy
Before writing your blog, the first step must be designing an appropriate content marketing strategy. A strategy helps ensure your content is consistent in quality, adheres to your brand standards, and aligns with your overall marketing strategy. You can also more easily optimize each piece of content for search to expand your blog's traffic beyond your website's visitors. Aside from keyword incorporation, an effective content marketing strategy lays out the types of content that consumers are trying to find.
Accomplishing this involves learning who your customers are through detailed research. Your key points are determining their interests, pain points, and the steps they take to make a purchasing decision. Use the information you find to choose blog and video topics, so your content will fit your audience’s needs. It ensures that you’re delivering value to your customers, which will help you consistently generate leads who can then convert to paying customers.
For instance, if you’re a pet store owner and you’re trying to expand your customer base, you might find that new pet owners are a viable market for your company. Because these new pet owners don’t know much information yet, you'd want to include blogs to help illustrate pet care. Topics that detail healthy cat diets or how to crate train a dog are likely the information that these pet owners are looking for.
From there, you can guide them towards an online purchase or in-store visit. Producing a steady volume of these resources, with the right conversion strategy, helps you hit your business' growth goal.
Providing Value Through Content
When you provide consumers with the content they need, you begin to gain their trust in your brand, and consumers are more likely to purchase from the brands and businesses they trust. When they read or see an informative piece that helps them solve their problem, they're likely to think positively of the business and engage with it further. Crafting informative content builds credibility and thought leadership within your industry, positioning your business as an authority in your field.
Providing content in various forms and channels maximizes your chances that consumers will find and engage with it. Someone who sees one of your social media posts might be more likely to click on your site if it comes up in search. You can write blog posts for your own or third-party blogs, create explainer videos, or produce podcasts that you can distribute to consumers via email and social media. As you develop your content marketing plan, make sure to produce the right kind of content for each channel and audience.
Make a Cohesive Content Plan
To produce your content in a timely and cost-effective manner while ensuring its quality, you should develop a content calendar and schedule when you must produce and publish content. A content calendar helps keep your content organized across all channels, which is critical if you're running multiple concurrent marketing campaigns. It also helps you publish your content at ideal times to build interest.
As you develop your strategy examine your CRM for customer insights and to inspire content ideas. Conduct keyword market research to learn who is searching for your products, as well as how they are searching for it. Developing insight into your consumer journey tells you where your content will reach your audience when they’re receptive. Plan your content to achieve that and use your content calendar to create the timeline for it.
Once your plan is in place, you need to develop your content. That can be done in-house, but smaller businesses have less time or staff to dedicate to this effort. You can also hire freelancers to complete specific content projects or partner with agencies that offer services ranging from content planning to production to tracking and assessment. With both options, content developers have experience crafting content that speaks directly to the consumer.
While content marketing is a crucial component of many businesses' marketing plans today, businesses often fail to achieve their full potential. By creating content without considering consumer needs, companies often lose the opportunity to build consumer trust, brand engagement, and, ultimately, sales. However, you can generate high-quality leads consistently, support conversion tactics, and grow revenue by developing a strategic content marketing plan grounded in what consumers are searching for.