In order to prepare a great meal, you must first start with a great recipe. While a few chefs may be able to throw things together, there is still a science behind how the meal is created. In marketing, in order to create great marketing, you must start with a great content marketing plan. Content marketing, like food, attracts people to the table. The decisions that you make and the content that you generate are the ingredients that will determine how successful you are in capturing the attention and satisfying the cravings of the audience you are targeting.
Content marketing is the entrée for most people. 61% of users prefer companies that create custom content and content generates 54% more leads than traditional marketing. Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and engage an audience. The objective is to attract the right audience, or the ones you created in your personas, and drive them into action, moving them over time through the buying cycle from a prospect to a lead to a sale and then to a returning customer! If you want to produce content that your audience can’t wait to consume, you need to properly prepare your plan and orchestrate the content in a meaningful and impactful way.
Here are four key ingredients needed for effective content marketing:
1. Understand the profile of who you want to consume your content
First and foremost, segmenting your audience and delivering customized content is critical to engaging them. If you do not customize your content, you’ll miss opportunities to connect with people, raise brand awareness and boost your business by building credibility as a thought leader. What is your audience interested in? Try to understand what is driving their hunger for more information.
2. Have a plan for publishing
You have spent the time and effort writing insightful content so make sure to publish it where it can be consumed. It is beneficial to utilize planning tools that create an outlined plan for different marketing efforts such as a content calendar and social media calendar. Be sure to take advantage of your website and social media profiles to share your expertise and continue to build on your online presence.
For example, post your content to a blog and then tweet the link to your business’s twitter followers with the appropriate hashtags. Studies show that tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without. It is also noted that engagement drops if you use more than two hashtags, so use them in moderation.
3. Make your content meaningful, useful and interesting
All of your published content should be “shareworthy.” That means it needs to be relevant, useful and/or interesting to your target audience so they will want to share it with their colleagues, peers and other connections. The more meaningful the content is, the more someone can form an emotional connection which is key to continued sharing of your content.
Start by planning your content well in advance. Having calendars or additional planning tools will allow you to do this. Consider important events or trends within your target industry. For instance, October is Women’s Small Business Month. During that month, focus content on the advancements made by women in business and celebrate women business owners. For additional tips on creating useful content look here.
4. Continue building your brand
After you’ve created content, share it with prospects and clients through a wide variety of channels including email, social media and on your website. Then what? Maintain your new level of engagement. Your content should continue to reflect the company’s philosophies and practices. Consistently maintain and create new content that is reflective of your brand, directed at your target audience and is useful for those that consume it. Investing in your content marketing strategy allows your business to continue building your online presence and ultimately earn more exposure and business.
Are you ready to elevate your content marketing strategy and plan but don’t know where to start? Register for the Marketing Pro Series Build a Breakthrough Content Strategy and Plan course. This course guides you through the creation of a content marketing strategy tailored to your business and a ready-to-execute plan that drives interest and action for more leads—moving more quickly—through your sales funnel. It also includes one-on-one expert coaching.