A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing in 2023
Traditional marketing is on the way out. People are tired of unimaginative ads that they find unrelatable. To stay relevant with modern audiences, you have to engage in content marketing. If you do this well, you will not only increase sales and save on costs but also cultivate loyal customers who will return to you time and again. But what is content marketing?
Put simply, it is how you use content to promote your brand online. This content can take almost any shape or form; blogs, social media posts, videos, podcasts, emails, and newsletters are a few examples, but the list is endless. Regardless of which channels you choose, you need to make your content relevant and valuable to your target audience.
The Content Marketing Process
1. Identify Your Audience
You cannot make relevant content without knowing who is going to consume it! So, the first step in your content marketing strategy should be to draw up an outline of your audience. A great way to do this is to create one (or multiple) buyer persona(s) of your ideal customer(s). Along with sending out questionnaires to your customers, you can use data from your previous sales to bolster these profiles. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to understand your customers better:
- Why do they need your product or service?
- What difficulties are they trying to overcome?
- Where do they spend most of their time?
2. Set Your Goals and KPIs
Once you know who your audience is, you have to decide what your goals will be. In addition to this, you need to have a way to measure whether or not you are reaching your targets. You can do this using KPIs or key performance indicators. There are several different goals that you can choose to pursue. Here is a list of some, along with their related KPIs.
- Increase brand awareness: site traffic, followers on social media, sign-ups for subscriptions
- Boost revenue: daily sales, site traffic Increase conversions: shopping cart abandonment rate, conversion rate
- Improve brand loyalty: product reviews, referrals, repeat customers
- Increase customer engagement: follows, likes, shares, mentions
3. Decide on the Type of Content
You have to tailor the type of content you create to your goals. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness on social media, you have to create eye-catching content that will make someone pause while they are scrolling. You also want to include links that lead to your website.
In addition, your choice of content has to depend on where in the sales cycle your customers are. The three stages of the sales cycle are – awareness, consideration, and closing. At the awareness stage, you should focus on your audience’s pain points and show them that you can add value to their lives. At the consideration stage, you want to educate your audience about what they should look for in a product. You can do this in the form of how-to articles and case studies. Finally, at the closing stage, you want to convince people why they should choose your brand. In addition to displaying your expertise in the field, you can also use ratings and reviews to show prospective customers that previous ones have been satisfied.
Your goals are inextricably linked with your sales cycle, and you have to figure out which will work for your business at what time.
4. Choose Your Channels
You need to deploy each part of your content marketing strategy differently. If you create text-heavy content, you could use a blogging platform like Medium or WordPress. On the other hand, if your content is mostly graphics, a social media network like Instagram is where you should put it.
The channel you choose will also depend on the demographics of your audience. If the majority of your prospective customers spend all their time on Facebook and rarely use Instagram, it would make sense to focus the bulk of your strategy on content for Facebook.
5. Distribute the Content
Once you know what and where you are posting, it is time to share your content! The best way to keep track of this is with a content calendar that outlines when and where each piece of content will go out. Several tools can help you schedule your posts and streamline your entire content strategy.
6. Analyze the Results
Your work does not stop once you have posted your content! You need to monitor and analyze how your communication is received. If one type of post gives you more engagement, you can tweak your content strategy to include more of that kind of content. With social media particularly, you need to engage with your audience and make sure that you promptly reply to any messages, comments, and mentions.
A very important part of content marketing is SEO or search engine optimization. This is a vast topic within content marketing that can easily span multiple articles, so we’ll just stick to the basics for now. In addition to your content being engaging, you have to ensure that you use keywords that people often search for. You also have to ensure that your website is clean and easy to navigate. If you outsource your work to a content marketing company, make sure that they have a good SEO track record.
Let us now take a quick look at how you can make sure that your content marketing is effective.
Effective Content Marketing Needs to…
Be valuable to your audience. If your customers do not find your content interesting or helpful, there is no reason why they will engage with it.
- Target specific demographic segments. Not everybody is interested in everything! You have to tailor your content to the tastes of your prospective customers.
- Show off your brand’s personality. Digital marketing in general (and content marketing specifically) is the way your brand communicates with others. Your messaging should be true to the values of your company.
- Be timely. Based on the solutions you provide, you need to share your content when it will be most useful to your audience. For example, you could publish a blog post about budgeting at the start of the financial year.
Here’s Why You Should Outsource Your Content Marketing
It is no easy task to ensure that the communication of your brand is consistent and of high quality. Many brands decide to pay for digital marketing services from a third party. This allows them to focus on what is most important – running their business.
iTrobes is one such company that offers its content marketing services all over the world. Write to us today to learn more!