On content marketing.
For many an everyday concept, but for perhaps 'just as many' a bulk term with little substance behind it. In this blog, we will tell you about content marketing, what it is and what you can do with it.
Content marketing as your new ambassador strategy
The goal of content marketing: to make your target audience ambassadors of your brand. Another mouthful, but in short, content marketing involves the following: 'connecting with your target audience with the aim of attracting and connecting them by offering relevant information (content). Ensuring that your target group catches on to your brand, without directly putting your product or service first. That you point out to your customers how to fix a bicycle tyre, while you might be selling new bicycle tyres (you get me?).
If you were to look for organisations using content marketing yourself, you will probably soon come to the conclusion that those 'big guys' you are looking at have mastered it quite well. You will read blogs about articles that might be relevant to you, but which have an organisation behind them that has something to offer that you might also be interested in. This is no accident: this is a thoughtful move in content marketing.
What can you do with it?
Times have changed. The Tupperware Home Parties of yesteryear are giving way to pretty pictures and talk on Social Media. The sales guys who steer some 50,000 kilometres a year in their always just-washed station wagon are giving way to targeted SEO and SEA campaigns that inspire, influence and perhaps prompt you to buy.
Content marketing can ensure that your brand takes big steps towards a large customer base, loyal ambassadors and a successful business. And, should you be in that target audience who, upon reading, thought: content marketing is new to me? That's fine, but content marketing has been around as long as the road to Cologne. What makes this an effective marketing tool anno 2020 (and slightly earlier) are the online media that can ensure that content can be found, shared and consumed virtually free of charge.
How to get started with content marketing?
After you read the above piece and think, 'I want to do something with this', we'd like to tell you a bit about the basics of content marketing in the form of 3 pillars. Let's start with the concept of content: the form and content of a message and the first pillar. First and foremost, we should not push content like a Tupperware party, but make people want to find it themselves. Read that twice: the essence is that you don't bother people with it but that it is found when people search for your content. Relevant content, therefore, according to your objectives (more about this later).
The second pillar is the medium on which you place the content. Here we distinguish between owned media (own media, such as your website, e-mail and social media channels), earned media (editorial attention such as an (online) newspaper) and paid media (such as Google Adwords but also billboards, radio or TV advertising).
The third pillar: search engine optimisation. Making sure the target audience comes to you, that your content can be searched and found. So don't go calling and imposing, but publish content with policy that you can be found on.
Targeted content marketing
Pouring money into a well nobody likes, unless you are with your future wifey or hubby somewhere in a picturesque town in Italy where you are eager to cash in on your love. But then a euro, maybe two, is the max. Let's be clear: a targeted content marketing campaign takes time, patience and a bit of expertise. We too don't reinvent the wheel twice and get inspired about content marketing, in this case has Shane Barker created a nice infographic of this. The biggest 'motivator' is at the top: 29% of all marketers are successful in content marketing. In critical communication: 71% so are not. Wow, that's promising, don't you think? And another critical note: content marketing can make or break your business. So rhetorical too!
But do we say yes to the dress? Yes, content marketing is still the ultimate marketing tool to make that hit of the century, provided you do it right. We give you five steps you can follow to be among those 29%.
1: Measuring is knowing
At number one: research and planning. We share the view of Shane Barker, who argues that it starts by analysing your target audience on your own media. How much interaction is there, what is your target audience doing and what do they think of it now? A survey of your current target audience allows you to develop a targeted content strategy. That strategy includes concrete descriptions and goals.
- Set realistic and time-bound goals
- Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure those goals
- Create personas to describe your target audience
- Choose a tone of voice
- Choose content type (photo, video, blog etc.) and formats
- Develop a content marketing funnel, describing the process your target audience should go through
2: Content creation
Step two: start creating relevant content for your target audience. Look for relevant keywords, make a list of relevant topics around your brand or industry and start creating your unique content. Use a content calendar, indicating what content you will post and when. This gives you something to hold on to when creating your content.
Getting stuck in creating your content? Let our image and talk creators help you and boost your content marketing!
3: Planning and publishing
Once you have developed relevant content for your target audience, start planning and publishing your content. This is how you do it:
- Select the platforms where you will publish your content
- Map out how those platforms can reinforce each other in publishing that content
- Where desired, use a scheduler tool to have your content published automatically (this saves a lot of time and makes it a lot more efficient)
- Customise your content for each platform (¡muy ímportante!)
- Publish your content on a frequent basis and at the right times (no one looks for bicycle tyres at 3am, we think)
4: Promoting and distributing
Just publishing is not enough, your content needs to be seen. Promote your content by sharing links on social media, optimise your blogs for Google, share your content on platforms like Mention, use email marketing and see if you can get your content in prominent places on the web.
5: Analyse and adjust
Measure the performance of your content and adjust accordingly. And no, you don't do this once, but this becomes your 'way of life'. Use the analytics tools within social media or Google Analytics for your website. Take a look at the previously set KPIs and see if you have achieved your goals, get to know your target audience better and be critical of where you can improve.
Killing your babies
No, don't really do it of course. But, even we at On The Rocks sometimes experience that our nefarious plans don't quite turn out as we thought they would. This is not a bad thing and is part of the game, but don't put time into creating content that doesn't work for your audience. Also, don't stare blindly at the formats you have used and focus more on the platforms that are scoring well for you.
We hope we have been able to inspire you to apply content marketing for your organisation. You can still be that sales riser with a foot in the door, but people just don't swallow advertising as well these days. There's gotta be another way, and luckily for you there is: content marketing!