If you’ve ever written anything for your website, dabbled in newsletters, or worked on a social media post for your business, you can safely say you’ve drafted content marketing pieces. Content marketing is just a fancy term for marketing that focuses on creating and publishing valuable and relevant content to a target audience. Now, let’s break it down even more. What is content exactly? Content is any visual (photo, illustration, graphic, video, etc.) or communication piece created for publishing with the intent of consumption by an end-user or an audience.
Content marketing is not new. In fact, it’s been around for years. Even so, it can be daunting to create a content marketing strategy. Have you ever sat down at a restaurant, looked at the menu and was so overwhelmed with the options that you had no idea what to order? Well figuring out content marketing for your brand is kind of the same. Countless types of content have emerged over the years, and the trends keep on evolving.
If you don’t know where to start, start with the basics. The what, why and then the how.
Why do I need to think about content marketing?
Regardless of your business, content marketing will always fulfill the following purposes:
1. Educates: Content marketing is a great way to educate your audience on who you are, what you offer and how you can fill a void they may not have known they had. If you are selling a product, tell them how to use it and help them be creative.
2. Inspires: Content isn’t just a one-way street. The best performing content will evoke emotion and seeks to inspire by doing so. Another way to look at it is showcasing how your brand/service/product can help them feel better. If it makes them feel good, they’ll keep coming back. And this is where you can really form a strong bond with your audience.
3. Entertains: This is what I like to call “thumb-stopping” content. You’ll probably see me use that term about a dozen more times. According to recent studies, you only have 7 seconds to grab a customer’s attention. You know what else is 7 seconds long? The average length of a sound bite in the news (no coincidence there). Content should always be entertaining and attention grabbing that will get your audience to stop scrolling down their feed or hit pause on that video.
3. Sells: Ahh, yes. Sales. It’s what pays the bills and keeps the light on. Revenue is a top priority for businesses, but notice how I didn’t list this first? That’s because you don’t want to come off as super promotional or sales-y in your content. Get creative with how to convince your audience that they need to become a customer. Don’t go for the extremely hard sell unless you’re focused on hard advertising.
Why should it matter to you?
Communication: It helps you communicate to your target audience in ways that will engage them.
Awareness: It helps you establish consistency which in turn increases brand awareness and establishes trust. And depending on the channel’s algorithm, consistent publishing will help your growth.
Audience: It helps you build your audience over time and convert them into a loyal fan base.
Traffic: It will hook your audience and drive more traffic to your website which in turn can boost sales.
What are some examples of content marketing?
How do I get started?
There is such a thing as biting off more than you can chew. Identify 1-2 areas you’d like to hone in on. If you’re most familiar with Facebook and the majority of your customers are on there, focus your efforts there. If your brand is fun and quirky with a younger audience, consider TikTok or Instagram with a heavy focus on video.
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