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Content Marketing is a really smart way to increase brand awareness and customer engagement; but how can we use Content Marketing as a strategy?
The concept of using Content Marketing as a strategy might seem a little too narrow on the surface to have a worthwhile effect on sales & enquiries but, particularly as the increasing use of mobile technology continues to shift the focus of marketing to reflect a more personalised need, investing in Content Marketing is most definitely the way forward.
With its benefit-led approach – offering readers helpful information about a product or service, and showing them how it may enhance their personal or working lives – Content Marketing is the perfect way to engage new and existing audiences, increase the value of your brand, and ultimately drive sales & enquiries through your website.
What is Content Marketing?
When it comes to digital marketing, content is king and a tool that should always form the very backbone of any campaign, generally; it’s the crucial element that really informs all of your work – from the way you communicate with your customers, to the platforms you use to reach them. This, in essence, is what we mean by Content Marketing.
Content Marketing is the way in which you talk about your product or service, and then where you present that information; talking around your offerings in order to present the benefits – as solutions to your customers’ problems or interesting snippets of thought leadership no-one else has ever really considered.
Content Marketing as a strategy and stimulating interest
As opposed to a traditional advert in a magazine or a series of remarketing campaigns which exist to directly increase sales, Content Marketing serves to spark interest. But why is content so important?
Without content you can’t have any of the following wonderful things:
- Press releases
- Editorials & advertorials
- Case studies
- Web pages
- Influencer outreach
- Link building
- Social Media
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s when we start to break it down in this manner, that we start to see the value of content; why Content Marketing is important, and can then start to think about how we use Content Marketing as a strategy.
How would we use Content Marketing as a strategy?
Now we’ve broken down what Content Marketing is, what content does, and what it’s used for, we’re getting to the easy part: how to use Content Marketing as a strategy.
- Align your content with your business plan: content, and particularly rich content, often falls by the wayside as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘need to have’, but it should always drive your marketing campaigns, and should be closely aligned with your business plan. Think logically about what you want to achieve this financial year and plan your content accordingly; if you want to increase brand awareness, for example, you’ll probably want to plan for lots of press activity and thought leadership pieces in trade and specialist magazines. Whereas, if you want to increase traffic to your website, you’ll want to create a blog and look at influencer outreach.
- Go where your audience is: there’s no point in creating a series of quirky videos for Facebook if your audience is most likely to use Snapchat. Similarly, if your audience is most likely to find you through specialist magazines or newspapers, you’ll want the majority of your content to appear in these publications. And if you’re trying to reach out to new customers or appeal to a different demographic, you’ll want to identify where they are, and target publications and platforms in exactly the same way.
- Create achievable goals and stick to them: content, and the marketing behind it, can’t be created overnight; these things take time to create, and so do the responses to them. Create realistic, achievable goals around your Content Marketing. For example: you’ll create 4 pieces of original content – 3 for your blog and 1 for an external online platform – to be published over the next 4 weeks and expect to see an increase in traffic to your website of 100 sessions per week. Simple!
- Take the holistic approach to Content Marketing: don’t just write a blog, share it on one of your Social Media platforms, and consider it done. Think about content as a dynamic creature that can shape shift; content in its many forms can be really effective, so make sure you change it up often – create the videos, share the pictures, as other businesses and high-profile individuals to fly your brand flag and get involved, and spread the love on as many different platforms as possible.
- Have fun with it: don’t forget to have fun! Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to be different. Especially if you’re aiming to appeal to new audiences and a different demographic, you might want to go all out and do something you’ve never even considered before. Stand out, show your brand personality, and let your USP shine. Particularly for Social Media, audiences love short, snappy videos and other short form content. If you’re smiling whilst you’re making it, your audience will be smiling whilst they’re watching it, which means they’ll be likely to share it…
What do we think about Content Marketing as a strategy?
Using Content Marketing as a strategy is a really effective way of engaging audiences, driving traffic to your website, improving brand awareness, and ultimately increasing your sales.
We highly recommend it!
If you’d like support with creating Content Marketing as a strategy, contact us today.