Nobody likes pushy sales tactics, do you? Do you enjoy seeing adverts for products or services of no benefit to you?
It is one reason consumers the world over have tuned out of traditional advertising and progressively link to their social networks to guide their own purchasing decisions.
Instead of being pushy and trying to force customers to buy from you, smart business owners and marketers use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy to drive brand engagement, build brand loyalty, boost sales and marketing.
You need to use your content as part of your marketing strategy to make a connection between your brand and your target audience. You need to provide valuable content to your target audience at the right time and through their preferred channels.
However, your content no matter how awesome cannot do all the work alone by itself. This reason is why connecting with influencers on social media is so essential for business owners.
Who’s an Influencer?
Influencers are individuals with significant networks who can talk about a wide range of services and products with the capability to sway the opinions of people in their favour.
However, you need to be cautious about the influencer you connect with because not all influencers will be suitable for your brand.
Each Influencer has a unique audience that they can influence, but that does not mean that their audience will be right for your brand. Be cautious of so-called social media influencers.
For business owners to find success in connecting with the right Influencers, you need first to have a clear description in mind of the influencer that will be a good fit for your brand.
Describe Influencers to reach out to on your industry. Follow them on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and see where one can strike up a conversation.
See the discussions they carry out with their followers and target audience on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the choice and tone of words they use.
Does it resonate with your brand? Does your brand fit in with the content the Influencer shares and promotes to his/her followers? Is their target audience the same as yours?
Take all these into consideration before you commit to anything. For best results, I would suggest that you discuss with a reputable digital agency to help you find the right influencer.
Drive Content Marketing Leads to a Funnel
Creating or curating high-value articles is one thing. However, if you do not have an efficient content strategy, then you are in trouble.
If you are not building an effective content marketing strategy that carries on building a rapport with prospects in your target audience in the appropriate manner using your content ideas, then you are leaving money on the table.
If you’ve invested time and resources to produce a great piece of content for your content marketing campaign, don’t just sit back and let it go to waste. You need to promote your content when and where appropriate for it to yield results.
Let’s take B2B brands as an example. Promoting your content and other marketing messages on LinkedIn or Google, for instance, is a good funnel for you to attract quality leads in the form of professionals and business owners.
When your content is doing great organically on search engines like Google and Bing, and on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YoutTube, that is a good signal for you to invest in promoting that piece of content to reach a wider audience and improve your chances of getting good returns.
Even though the CPC for advertising on Linkedin is considerably higher than other platforms, the quality of the leads you are attracting is better.
How Content Marketing Builds Your Business
Okay, let’s get practical. Let’s say – for instance – you wanted to get a new pair of running shoes. You do a Google search for running shoes. Google returns a tonne of results of running shoes for you to select.
However, what strikes you about the brand of shoes that rank in the top ten positions in Google’s search result page? In most cases, you’ll find famous brand names like Nike, Adidas, Puma and so on.
Why is this so? It’s just because these companies have spent many resources on building their brand and marketing strategy over the years. They have become known and trusted by their customers for making great running shoes.
They have also invested a lot in their marketing strategy and content strategy, particularly in creating great content with running shoes on their websites. Look at their sites and Facebook pages. They don’t just slap on a picture or video and price of a pair of running shoes and call it a day. For these brands, content marketing is not a joke. They don’t joke with their content marketing strategy.
Instead, they invest a lot of resources into content creation. They give you plenty of content about each pair of shoes. They focus their content strategy on helping to inform, educate and also entertain you besides creating brand awareness. They have mastered the art and science involved in content creation.
You get a pleasant experience from exploring the content they have on their site. The content you consume empowers you to select the best pair of running shoes that you can afford.
What can business owners learn from this? Focus on building your brand. No, I’m not just talking about a fancy logo or business card. Although, these are a small part of it.
I’m talking about building a brand that people know, trust and love to associate with the brand. A brand that fits resonates with the ideals and lifestyle of its customers.
I’m talking about building your reputation in the minds of your customers as the best source for your chosen product or service.“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” ~Doug Kessler Click To Tweet
Another thing that business owners can learn is that these brands all have lots of content on their sites. Yes, content that informs educates and entertains their prospective customers.
As a business owner, you need to understand that content marketing has a vital role to play when building your brand.
These days, information is critical, and knowledge is power. Position your brand as the number one source for content in your chosen niche.
Everyone in your organisation has to understand your brand culture fully.
Everyone in your organisation builds your brand not just the management staff or those in the marketing or advertising department alone.
All employees need to understand that it is their collective effort to provide consumers with a beautiful experience that helps to build your brand.
Using content marketing to build your brand is not a walk in the park. Remember, you are not just creating content for content sake.
Instead, you’re creating content that will add value to your consumers and position your brand as a thought leader in your niche. Your content needs to satisfy the needs of your consumers for information, education and entertainment.
How Can You Create Such Great Content?
To create great content business owners need to take the following steps:
Know Your Customers
To create content that resonates with customers, you need first to know your customers. Do you know your customers? Can you describe your ideal customer?
I don’t want to go into using unnecessary marketing or tech jargon that may be over your heads. However, at the elementary level, you need to know the demographics (age, gender, legal status) and psychographics (likes, interests, challenges, motivations) of your ideal client.
Use data from your website and social media analytics to create a customer persona of your ideal customer. Then use the same data to create content that will resonate with your customer persona.
Use your analytics, surveys, polls and so on to know what your customers like, to find their pain points. Create content that is trustworthy and provides solutions to those pain points.
Do Your Competitor Research
Check out the customer experience with your competitors. How is their customer service? Is there any room for improvement? Learn what gaps exist regarding their customer service and see how you can fill those gaps. No, I’m not suggesting that you copy your competitors. What I’m saying is, see what is available in the market and make yours 100% better!
A Comprehensive Review of Past Efforts
Review your past marketing and advertising campaigns and results from previous years. This review can help you see what was most effective, what wasn’t, and develop a program to improve for next year.
Use Benchmarks to Determine Future Campaign Success
Business owners have limited financial resources and are often in haste to see results. You need to remember that building a brand takes time. The likes of Coca-Cola has been at it for over a hundred years! There’s no silver bullet.
How To Measure Content Marketing Success
Marketing takes time. Having a clear comprehension of what you would like to accomplish and what it will look like is critical. Know what KPI’s you’ll use to measure the success or otherwise of your content marketing campaigns. Every metric practicable can measure the success or otherwise of your content marketing efforts.
Metrics like video views, the number of emails opened, amount of your tweets retweeted, how many of your posts were reacted to or shared, the ranking of your posts in search engine results for your topics or keywords, content syndication and the all-important amount of products and services sold! We can combine all these to show how well (or not) your content marketing efforts are performing.
Associate each piece of content you create to a particular goal and have a call to action. This association makes it easy for you to know if your content is yielding the desired results and to measure the results.
The mention of tweets and posts above brings me to another vital piece of your content marketing. Business owners need to understand that social media has a crucial role to play in your content marketing.
There’s no point creating content if no one sees it. Since your potential customers are on one social network or the other, your content must be there too.
How Can You Use Social Media Effectively in Your Content Marketing?
You need to give your brand a face and voice on social media. As the business owner, it is best for your audience to associate your face and voice with your brand and content on social media.
Be sociable. Don’t be afraid of showing the human side of your brand, its quirks, and all. Learn what to post and how to post on the various social networks.
These are the things that will make your brand to resonate with your audience. Engage with your followers on social media. Give them a glimpse of behind-the-scenes.
Have you noticed in some Hollywood movies how at the end of the film after they show the credits, they also highlight some clips of the actual making of the movie? These type of behind-the-scenes clips help to make the audience to relate more to the characters in the film and to get a glimpse of all the hard work that the cast and crew put into making the movie. You need to adopt this strategy too by using social media to give your audience a glimpse into your brand.
Over to You
Content marketing is difficult. It requires a serious investment regarding time and money.
Do you need a specialist in digital marketing to show you the ropes or guide you in your content marketing campaigns? Alternatively, do you need someone to take up the burden of creating a robust content marketing strategy and good content on your behalf?
Let’s explore the possibility of Mauco Enterprises helping you craft your content marketing strategy to grow your business and become more successful.
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- The Best Advice about Content Marketing You Have Ever Heard
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- What Is More Important: Product or Customer?
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