I mentioned in my last blog post “Don’t leave your marketing communications to chance” that I have two young children and that when the schools broke up for the Christmas holidays, the kids were at a loose end. My children are very active and if left too long to their own devices I know I’ll get home to find that they’ve decided to redecorate their bedrooms. Luckily my wife does a great job of keeping them occupied and ensures that never happens.
The attention span of today’s shoppers and searchers is reckoned to be less than 10 seconds, I don’t think that’s too different to my own children’s behaviour and I reckon there is a content marketing lesson to be learnt here.
The one thing that never fails to catch the attention of my children and keeps them enthralled for hours is a great story. Whether they’re reading on their own or being read to, it’s the one time that I can guarantee peace and quiet throughout the house.
Most businesses play the numbers game and market their products and services to one large homogeneous mass of people on a transactional basis making it extremely difficult to engage with them. So they never reap the benefits that an enthralled audience can bring.
Rather than the traditional method of targeting the many in the hope of converting the few, it makes much more sense to concentrate on the prospects who are actively searching for what you have to offer (but perhaps not finding you).
Implementing a content marketing approach will help those searchers find you. Identifying topics that your audience are interested in, creating content around those topics and distributing this information across the web and social media platforms, increases the odds of your business getting found. Rather than view the content in isolation it should be planned as a story as part of a content strategy, perhaps through a series of articles, blog posts and even video that focuses on the searcher not on your own company.
This approach offers many advantages. The keyword rich content attracts the searchers, the visitors to your website are more engaged, you get more quality inbound links to your site and improve your search rankings. By keeping your visitors interested in what you have to offer they are more likely to return to your site. If you have a permission based programme to exchange high quality, relevant content in return for some contact details then you can continue to market to those prospects and attempt to move them further along the buying cycle.
There are 7 key stages to consider:
- The content audit
- Developing your content strategy
- Implementing your content plan
- Creating and distributing your content
- Using content to generate demand
- Monitoring and measuring results
- Nurturing and scoring leads
Read my new ebook: 7 stages to online marketing success.
Businesses of all sizes can gain from from having a content strategy. Depending on the resources available to your business, you can implement this content marketing process in full or cherry pick the sections that will bring in the best return within the constraints you are operating under.
Take a minute to think about your own shopping and search experiences, how many times have you come home empty handed because you couldn’t find what you were looking for or how often have you bounced out of a site or deleted content that disappointed or failed to keep you interested, why would your experience be different from anyone else’s?
If you would like more information on how to use content marketing to generate quality leads, contact Rame Marketing on 01803 413481.