Content marketing is an important way to reach out to both existing and potential customers in any business. Your content can help you to build trust within your market. Good content is a central part of your customers’ buyers’ journey. it’s also an important resource that can serve in the role of sales enablement. And the added value that comes through good content can even be a part of developing customer satisfaction.
To be truly effective, though, you have to use your content strategically. That requires a plan. But how do you create a content strategy that will really get the job done? Well, the answer to that question is to answer the following 6 questions.
1. Who will consume your content?
The content you produce and publish must be intentionally targeted if you want it to be effective. That’s because different customers will react differently to different stimuli. Just as your product is geared to a specific customer, so must your marketing efforts. And that applies just as much to organic content as it does to any other type of marketing.
2. What problem are you addressing for your consumers?
Remember that your customers aren’t looking to buy things. They’re looking to solve specific problems or challenges. It may be as complex as improving logistic efficiency in their warehouse, or as simple as satisfying their hunger for a delicious hamburger. The answer to this question will largely depend on the product or service your business provides. But you have to identify it, because you have to send the message to your customer that your product or service can solve that problem.
3. What makes you so special?
This is where you get down to the brass tacks. This is the question that gives you an opportunity to beat out your competition. Remember, you’re most certainly not the only product or service provider out there. But through your content, you can communicate to your customer how your business can solve their problem better, and leave them more satisfied than your competition. And that’s the whole purpose of your marketing efforts.
4. Which formats are best for you?
The list of potential formats for your content seems endless. And some are better than others. But it will really boil down to the answer for question #1, above. The kind of content you produce should be the kind of content your consumers want to consume. Just as you probably won’t grab the attention of a gourmet chef with an offering of fast food, you have to consider what appeals to your audience.
Writing articles and blog posts can be effective for some audiences – especially those who enjoy reading. But other audiences who spend time driving a long commute may appreciate podcasts more. These days, everybody seems to like video, if it’s done well. But you should do your own research here. Figure out what makes your audience tick, and provide it for them.
5. Which channels should you use?
Just as there is a long list of potential formats for your content, there is likewise a wide variety of channels through which you can deliver them. Even amongst social media, there is a variety to choose from. Not all social media channels are equal. Once again, the answer to this question will largely depend on the answer to question #1, above. Who is your audience, and where do they spend their time? Professionals don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook or Instagram. But they do use LinkedIn. Young people, on the other hand, tend to use Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. So, figure out where your target market is, and select channels that fit that population.
6. How will you manage the generation and delivery of your content?
At this juncture, it’s more important than ever to have a plan. You need to know who’s going to create what, where it will be published, and when it will be posted. And once it’s been delivered, you’re going to have to analyze results and respond to new leads in an efficient and timely way. Fortunately, there are a lot of fantastic tools for this. You should definitely choose a good Content Management System (CMS), of which there are many. And just as there are many kinds of customers, content formats and delivery channels out there, there is a long list of Content Management Systems out there to choose from. Here is a good article that ranks the 15 best CMS platforms for 2021 to help you find one that works for you. But be sure to do your own research as well.
In conclusion, your content strategy should be a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website, and to find leads for future business. And, as opposed to expensive advertising campaigns, your content is a tool that keeps delivering results over a longer period of time. So, don’t overlook the value of a well-planned, quality content strategy in your business.