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Content Marketing: Getting Started

At a Glance

  • Content marketing has several benefits and can improve the effectiveness of other marketing efforts
  • Generalized content is expensive and ineffective…
  • So prepare your content around your “ideal customer”
  • Make your Call to Action (CTA) clear

The Benefits of Content Marketing

If you’ve been trying to boot-strap your marketing efforts, you’re probably familiar with content marketing. You know that it’s expensive, time consuming, and that the ROI can vary wildly. And…that’s all true.

However, when done correctly, the benefits of content marketing greatly outweigh the investment.

Why Content Marketing?

Quality content marketing is really effective at three things:

  1. Engaging existing customers. Your content gives your existing customers a chance to learn from, be entertained by, and engage with your brand.
  2. Getting in front of new customers. As your customers share and forward your content, more and more people (i.e. potential future customers) will have the opportunity to learn about your brand, your service, or your product.
  3. Developing authority and loyalty. Content marketing done right can help establish your brand as an authority in it’s market space, and loyalty will increase as your audience gets to know your brand’s personality.

Don’t Be Random

Your content shouldn’t be random posts, articles, factoids, tips, etc. about your product/service. They should be a part of, and serve, your overall marketing strategy, and should align with your business goals.

By ensuring proper alignment between your content and your business goals, you also ensure overall consistency in the goal and the message of your content.

You also need to ensure that you are producing quality content that provides real value to your audience.

Content and Other Marketing

Content marketing that aligns with your business goals also magnifies the effectiveness of other marketing efforts – especially SEO and Social Media.

For example, you can tailor your quality content to match SEO-focused keywords. You can then use social media as a distribution channel for that content. As your audience engages with, and shares your content, you build high-quality backlinks.

The Problem with General Content

In this article, I advocate creating highly-targeted content. You may wonder why that is. After all, if the content is more generalized, shouldn’t it be relevant to more people?

Actually, yes. But that’s not always what you want. Generalized content tends to attract a general audience that may view your content out of curiosity, rather than attracting qualified leads.

Would you rather have your content viewed by 1,000 random people, or by 100 qualified leads?

Producing generalized content also tends to exacerbate the existing challenges of content marketing – that is, it usually requires more time, money, and effort to produce.

A Better Approach to Content Marketing

The better approach to creating your content, is to focus on your ideal customer. What are their needs? How does their current process fail them? How can your offering better serve them? What type of content are they most likely to engage with?

For example, if you own a health-focused food delivery service, and your ideal customer is a busy stay-at-home-parent with a mini van, you will probably find recipe gifs shared on Facebook and Pinterest to be more effective for engagement than scientific nutrition articles shared on LinkedIn.

How to Create Your Content

There are wide variety of content types that you can (and should) create: blog posts, info-graphics, newsletters, reviews, case studies, a podcast and of course recipe gifs and scientific nutrition articles, as well as several others.

Whether through words, images, sounds, or implications, your content should clearly convey the following:

  1. That you understand the customer’s struggle, and that you (or a past customer) have been through the same thing
  2. That you (or a past customer) were able to overcome that struggle
  3. The specific process or solution that you used to overcome the struggle in a beneficial and successful way

Lastly, your content should contain a clear call to action. Whether you want your audience to schedule a consultation, make their first order, subscribe to your newsletter, or follow you on Twitter – your intent should be crystal clear.

In Conclusion

Content marketing can be intimidating. After all, this very post started life – as all content does – as a blank canvas. Don’t let that stop you. As you practice creating and sharing your content you will grow in both ability and effectiveness, and you will be able to realize the many benefits of (and high ROI) of content marketing.

And Speaking of a Crystal Clear Call to Action…

If you know someone who could benefit from this or any of our articles, please share it with them!

You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like help with your content marketing efforts, or have any questions or comments please contact us.

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