Content marketing is an essential communication tool for all businesses - no matter what their size. But as consumers now have more control over what media they are exposed to (DVR handsets allow consumers to skip adverts, add-ons enable surfers to block banners and handy websites are reducing the number of people buying printed advert filled materials), marketers are having to get more creative.
However, rather than baulking at the idea of parting with big bucks), simply consider working smarter. After all, smart strategy isn’t only reserved for big businesses with money to burn.
Given that the sole purpose of content marketing is to provide engaging and informative content that will generate loyal customers, with the right moves any company can produce media content that can help grow their business.
Content that links to the product but refrains from advertising it explicitly is much more effective when it comes to building lasting relationships with your client base. Use content marketing to establish your position as a knowledgeable source and a trusted expert in order to build brand allegiance – such loyalty far outweighs the lifespan of a single sale. Read on for a few essential steps for implementing a content marketing strategy that will build trust and expand your client portfolio.
1. Invest in talent
Whether you want to build knowledgeable in-house team or plan on using a digital content marketing agency, the key to producing consistently high quality content is talent. Building your small company up with dedicated and knowledgeable individuals will not only ensure a steady stream of efficient content, but help to make sure the team keeps focus.
2. Understand your customers
Whilst spending time and money researching your potential clients’ behaviour might seem excessive, it is an investment that will save you hundreds in the long-term. By using database marketing to understand the needs, habits and interests of your target market, you will be able to fine tune your campaign and identify the best way to reach out to clients successfully.
Carrying out this research upfront will also allow you to recognise trends, putting put you ahead of your competitors by allowing you to tailor your marketing approach. One crucial piece of advice: never underestimate your target audience!
3. Find your USP
Customers aren’t necessarily interested in gimmicks and belly laughs. Find an authentic point of interest between you and your desired clients and do your best to build on it. People are interested in people – their passions are rarely for products. Once you have found an angle, develop a brand voice that resonates through all your content, giving careful thought to the character of your brand and how particular channels can be best utilised to emphasise the positive qualities of your company.
4. Develop a content marketing strategy
After you have developed your brand voice (but before a single piece of content has been produced) you need a watertight content marketing strategy. This will help to structure the execution of your social media content, email advertising, telecommunications and phone calls with the aim of increasing traffic and leads. By working out how to best utilise your resources, you will improve your chances of landing new clients and consolidate your reputation as a conscientious and organised company.
5. Stick to a calendar
Constructing an editorial calendar helps to scale your campaign. By looking ahead to big dates in the business year you can decide where best to allocate your budget, anticipate how your content might need to change and work out what events your company can capitalise on.
6. Decide on what channels are best for your company
Ensuring that your business stays at the top of its game takes dedication. With the birth of new technologies and apps occurring every day, it is important to ensure that your SME is taking advantage of every possible outlet to approach new custom. Is developing a dependable voice on Twitter going to work best for your company? Would an online magazine convey the knowledgeable and authoritative tone your business wants to establish? Are you concerned about overheads and want to keep content generation in house with a well-designed blog? The point is, depending on the goals of your brand, its content solutions will be different. This is no bad thing; take the time to decide and keep your strategy on course.
7. Track the success of your content
In line with the development of new technology, comes new ways to moderate it. Invest in trackers to see which pieces of content generate the most click-throughs, registrations and traffic. This will make it much easier to know where to invest your time and money in future campaigns and help your brand to develop its own unique voice.
8. Rediscover your own passions
Never forget the importance of your own opinion. Which companies do you respect and why? Chances are, if their content marketing sparks your interest, it’s going to appeal to others too. Think about why you look forward to receiving their content marketing and how their approach might be adapted to work for your small business.