How often do you post to social media? Write new blog articles? Create fresh content for your email distribution list?
If you’re like many other small business owners, content marketing is something that’s squeezed into your day – often at the last minute (or sometimes not at all). And it’s no surprise why. Continuously coming up with suitable content to publish and distribute takes time and energy, neither in abundance as a small business owner.
But what if there was a way to write, design, and make great content for your target audience that will generate results – and is doable, no matter how busy you are?
Enter: a content marketing strategy.
What Is Content Marketing?
Before we break down a content marketing strategy, we need first to explain the term content marketing.
Content marketing describes the process a business uses when creating valuable content for a specific audience, with the ultimate goal of driving profitable action. It typically involves providing information that answers an audience’s questions and offers an educational value. Some brands use content marketing to provide entertainment value, too.
Definition of a Content Marketing Strategy
Merely producing content regularly isn’t enough. Instead, you need to create and curate content that attracts and retains consumers. To avoid getting lost amongst the thousands of other marketing messages, your content also needs to be engaging.
Instead of producing content for content’s sake, you need to provide useful and relevant information that will help solve your customers’ problems. No matter how you utilize content in your marketing, the information you create needs to be quality. And that’s done by having an effective content marketing strategy.
Creating a content marketing strategy is an entire topic on its own – and one that we’ll delve into in our next blog post. Quick spoiler alert: you need to develop a firm understanding of your target audience’s demographics and know how to deliver your content in the proper places.
The best part about adding content marketing to your strategy is that you don’t need a lot of money to do it – just some time. Sit down at the beginning of each year to complete target audience research, devise a content topic and keyword strategy, and map out which platforms you’ll publish to – and when. Spending the time now to plan out an entire year in your editorial calendar ensures you’re publishing the right content (and type) at the right time to the right audience.
Often, the pressure of thinking about what content you should be publishing can cause you not to publish anything at all. And that’s the worst thing you can do when it comes to content marketing! Planning out your content marketing strategy in advance will prevent that from happening.
Content Marketing Examples
When it comes content marketing types, you have plenty of options. Some common ones include blog posts, infographics, Youtube vidoes, and downloadable guides – but there are easily over a hundred in total to choose from for your business.
Rather than randomly pick certain types of content to use, you need a strategy. Figure out which type of content will help you tell your brand’s story and get you in front of your audience most successfully. Usually, it’s a mix – for example, B2B marketers typically use an average of eight content marketing tactics, including social media content, blogs, email newsletters, and ebooks/white papers.
So all of those times that you open up your email and find company newsletters and advertising campaigns, or see social media posts with links to new blog posts? That’s content marketing at work.
And out of those times, when you click through and engage with the business on their social media or blog? Or – even better – you place an order for their product or service? That’s a successful content marketing strategy at work.
Benefits of Content Marketing for Businesses
Outbound strategies – such as paid ads, outsourced telemarketing, email blasts, and trade shows – were once very effective in the world of marketing. In this strategy, marketers distribute their message to many people, hoping that at least some of the people it reaches will engage with the information.
Inbound marketing is how content marketing works. It involves creating an authentic narrative about your brand and targeting it to a specific group of people who are already interested in your product or service. When you reach an audience in this more natural way – rather than by interrupting them, as in outbound marketing – your chances increase at getting results.
Businesses employ content marketing to achieve one of three main goals: to increase sales, produce cost savings, or build customer loyalty. By creating great content regularly, brand recall can improve, too.
Other benefits of content marketing include:
- Increasing audience retention
- Improving social media traction
- Creating more leads
- Establishing industry authority online
- Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
A content marketing plan can vary widely depending on the business, industry, and target audience. But overall, content marketing is one of the best – and cheapest – ways to reach an audience in a natural, non-intrusive way.
How a Content Marketing Writer Can Help
With the average person encountering at least 6,000 ads each day, it’s getting tougher and tougher to create impactful marketing. Having a content marketing strategy is one of the best ways to provide quality, consistent content that has an opportunity to reach your audience.
Ready to get started on developing your content marketing strategy? In our next blog post, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions to help you. If you’re not already on our blog subscription list, be sure to subscribe.
If you would rather entrust a professional with your content marketing strategy, we’ve got you covered. As Toronto copywriters, we can help you develop the initial plan and help create the content. Reach out for a free consultation about our Toronto copywriting services today!