Content marketing is one of the most powerful strategic approaches to growth, all industries are increasingly investing in content marketing — but the question remains — what makes content great?
This is one of the most powerful times of the year — where you grab prior year plans and reports and make a plan for the new year. What will you do for growth this year?
It’s the perfect moment to unpack the story of content marketing. My objective is to equip you with knowledge and insights about this marketing approach expanding into a position of dominating marketing strategies throughout all industries as you assemble your plan for the year.
Content marketing is a strategic approach by which you create and distribute valuable, relevant, engaging and consistent content. To what end? To attract, retain and engage a clearly defined audience to influence client action.
At all times, people are seeking answers to questions involving your industry, products, services and expertise. Content marketing is deploying your experience, skills and knowledge to provide easily accessible online answers to those questions. The question to address today is how to deploy content marketing for growth.
Content genuinely worth reading and sharing our laser sharp objective. This article focuses on how to discover what is valuable, relevant, engaging and consistent to your audience.
What is Valuable & Relevant
The first direction many clients take when considering content marketing is to think about what you want to share, what you think is important, how to portray the story you want to tell.
This is the wrong approach!
Rather, step outside of yourself and into the mind of the consumer — what questions might a person ask themselves when making a decision or solving an issue in your industry? What questions do your consumers wonder about? Answer this for valuable content.
Ask your existing clients what kinds of content would be helpful to them now or would have helped inform them as they were seeking your product or service — you may be surprised by their answers!
Make a list of all the questions someone could possible have about your industry, products and services, your processes or people. Use an approachable voice to inform and educate through blog posts, video or infographics.
What is Engaging
Engaging content interacts with and enthuses your audience. Content marketing is about selling without selling, about creating excitement about the story. Creating enthusiasm and inspiring brand advocates can be done by directing attention to your audience. If someone shares your content, or asks you a question — they are giving you the most valuable thing in life — their attention. The way to leverage that attention is to give attention back to them.
Enthusiasm is also created by content driven by purpose. What is at the heart of your mission? What ways do you contribute with the work you are doing? These stories of your brand’s purposes excite.
What is Consistent
Content marketing takes time. Building an audience takes time. Creating good content takes time.
If you’re considering outsourcing — find subject matter experts who can communicate the concepts of your industry to non-experts.
Create a plan — a large majority of your content can be planned in advance. Create a calendar – consider the list of questions your audience is asking and based on the needs and sources of issues, plan pieces of content that show you understand this need and the solution, and how to prevent the issues.
Create one cornerstone piece per quarter, and make it your theme — build off it so that all your activity ties to the theme. You can schedule content alongside advertising and events to enhance distribution.
However a portion of content should address what is happening in the consumer’s world at the moment. Build in a measure of flexibility to engage with what is currently happening. If something happens in the consumer’s world that intersects with your industry, add value to the conversation.
Content marketing is a powerful tool available for you to harness for growth in your plans for this year. Use these insights to make content that is great — valuable, relevant, engaging and consistent.
Irene Karedis Borys