Content marketing is the phrase that’s all the rage but as a technique it’s been around for over 100 years, every since the first cigarette cards were introduced or John Deere launched it’s original catalogue “The Furrow” that was specifically aimed at selling to farmers. So content marketing has heritage and credibility.
The reason it’s become so topical today is because the internet has changed the way shoppers behave, solutions to problems are searched for online, customer reviews and testimonials are actively sought, so even if you don’t sell online you still need a strong online presence. The issue I regularly come across when speaking to business people is lack of time, no one has enough of it but we still need to invest time in creating the content our audiences want.
As time is so important it’s critical that we invest it wisely, so my first recommendation is to start with a plan. When your plan is in place take time to consider the following key points:
1. Know your audience Remember, you’re not writing for your peers so lay off the techie speak or language that you use internally that may not be fully understood by your audience. Make sure you’re aware of the needs and issues facing your audience and the channels they prefer to use to find their content. Knowing this will help shape the conversations and keep you on track. If you’re expertise lies in the travel market don’t confuse the issue by providing a litany on the state of manufacturing.
2. Create content that will interest your audience Some of us forget that it’s not about us, it’s about them. So make sure you are providing what your audience want, not what you want to shout about.
3. Plan your content promotion and distribution If you really want to succeed don’t just create great content and sit back and wait for things to happen. Great content needs an audience so help make that happen by driving people to your content through blogs, enewsletters even PPC advertising and share that content on the social media networks of your choice to increase reach and engagement opportunities.
4. Take a view If you operate in a competitive marketplace and spout the same boring platitudes as your peers, why should anyone listen to you and ignore the others? If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to develop your own views and not be afraid to make them heard.
5. Don’t forget your mobile audience More people will be visiting your website or social media platforms via smartphones and tablets so make sure your website is mobile friendly. Chunk your articles into bite size pieces, people online tend to scan rather than read and they’re used to scrolling. Don’t be frightened of white space.
6. Be careful with image size Not everyone has superfast broadband or 3G (4G) mobile connections so ensure your images are as light as possible without affecting the image quality.
7. Optimise for search All content should be written for your audience but we can’t forget the search engines. Primary key phrases, page titles, meta descriptions etc need to be considered. Make sure your image file name uses the key phrase and you’ve added Alt text to any images in case they don’t render properly.
8. Create an editorial calendar for consistency If people like what you’re producing they’ll be looking forward to more of the same. Develop an editorial calendar to ensure articles are published on a consistent basis. Don’t disappoint your audience.
9. Tell don’t sell People don’t like to be sold to so don’t use any content you produce as a blatant sales tool. The key to success is to help solve a problem or educate or entertain an audience through storytelling.
10. Measure and analyse your results Make sure your site has an analytics package installed (and you use it). Google Analytics is free and provides a great deal of useful information on how people are behaving on your website. Following these 10 simple steps will help you create and distribute content to satisfy the needs of your audience.
If you’d like some more information on how I can help you with your content strategy or setting up and managing your Google AdWords account, get in touch. Rame Marketing also offer one-to-one and group marketing training and workshops to bring you up to date with digital marketing. I look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today on 01803 413481 or email [email protected]