‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action’ (Content Marketing Institute).'
Once you have your marketing strategy you will know who you want to target and what you need to say. The next step is to create your content....
Your content is the writing, photos, videos etc. that you will put out there either online or via more traditional methods such as press articles or newsletters. Once you have decided on the type of content you want to produce, you can choose the most appropriate way to publish it. For example, you might want to write a blog which appears on your website, you might want to put out short pieces of information on twitter or create a video for You-tube. However, choosing the appropriate platform is best done after you have created the content with a specific customer group in mind. You need to focus on the relevance and the quality of what you put out there. The platforms such as Facebook won’t automatically get you attention. The content need to genuinely be good.
Firstly, you need to get to know your potential customers and consider what type of content would really interest them. For example, if you are a nutritionist, perhaps your customers would be interested in healthy recipes. If you are a clothes retailer, your customers might be interested in how to style their clothes and create different outfits. If you sell eco-friendly products, your customers might be interested in reading about environmental issues. If you don’t know what your customers are interested in, you might need to go back and do some market research.
Your content should always entertain, inspire, educate or convince your potential customers. It’s much more than just advertising, it should provide some intrinsic value to your audience rather than just asking them to buy your product or service.
If you have an interesting story about yourself and how your business was created, you might want to think about using this to create content. Keep in mind the brand you are creating and the messages you want to portray about your business.
Consider creating videos if it is appropriate. Youtube is increasingly becoming the first place that people search and therefore can be good for SEO by attracting people to your website.
Try to create something original. Make sure you are careful about copyright if you want to use ideas from elsewhere.
Finally, here are some ideas for formats you could try:
- Interviews with customers or experts in your industry
- Q & As or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Infographics showing interesting statistics
- Before and after photos
- Useful guides or templates
- Instructional videos