The solution is content marketing –
and 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers are already doing it.
Let’s begin by answering this question: What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
The next question is: How do you do it effectively?
Here are five tips:
1. Begin with a plan. Though it’s possible to have some accidental success with content marketing, if you’re going to do it well, you need a plan. The plan should include your goals, resources, budget and the specific strategies you will use.
The foundation of your plan is to identify your target audience. Know who you are trying to reach and what you want them to do, then build on that information.
2. Create a publishing calendar and stick to it. Regular publishing is important. Before you produce your next item, put together a schedule for your content. How often will you blog? Or publish e-books, white papers or special reports? What about your social media efforts?
A publishing calendar lets you plan for seasonal content and schedule themed messages that may involve external resources. It also makes it easy to identify gaps far enough out to fill them with quality content, not something created on the fly at the last minute.
3. Answer the questions your customers are asking. Your content should give your customers and prospects the information they really want – not just the marketing message you’re trying to deliver. Make a list of the questions your customers ask your sales and customer service teams, then create content that answers those questions.
Don’t be afraid to address sticky issues like pricing or the circumstances under which your product might not be the best solution. There are positive ways to handle these types of topics that will set you apart in the eyes of your customers – and the search engines.
4. Choose quality over quantity. It’s not about volume, it’s about value. Your materials should be well-crafted and attractively designed.
Be sure to allow adequate time for proof-reading. At best, content mistakes make you look careless; at worst, they can damage your reputation and create liability issues.
5. Get everyone involved. Share your content marketing plan with everyone in the company and encourage them all to be involved in some way. The people who are on the frontline dealing with customers every day have a great perspective for coming up with content ideas – take advantage of that resource.
In addition to suggesting that team members submit topic suggestions, photos and videos, remind everyone that they can share your content through their own social media networks. Of course, it’s up to you to be sure that content is high quality and relevant so your employees will be proud to share it.