Why do you even need content marketing, as marketing itself takes a lot of time and resources? We will give you some insight. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly networking with different people and learning new things. Why not pass these new learnings on to your customers or potential customers?
Let's take an example: you are a potential customer and looking for a masseuse. You have two masseuses to choose from. One of them is constantly updating their website and Facebook page with different content about health and how to ease muscle pain and the other one has shared only contact info and prices. Which one do you prefer?
What can you gain from content marketing? Even though you are writing your own article or sharing other's content, you are constantly learning from it and also your readers will see that you are keeping up with the changing world. All this makes content marketing very useful - you have to put some effort to research and exploring, get inspired and acquainted with new people and go to different events. We will give you a small guideline, a seven step bridge, to content marketing.
Where should you to start?
1. You should make a plan, starting by setting your content marketing purpose and goals.
The purpose should include three things:
- Who is your main audience? Continuing with our example: people who need massage
- What are you going to offer to them? e.g. useful information about how to avoid back pain, keep up a healthy lifestyle, references about different products etc.
2. Find out who is your audience
Creating more and more useful content, your audience will grow, so you may have to do this analyze again from time to time.
Try to answer these questions:
- Who are they? What do they need, want and value? Here, you should create a profile of their behavior, preferences, current customer status, and what are their defining characteristics.
- You can get help from Facebook and Google Analytics.
- Another way is that you make a survey or call your customers.
3. After you have placed your purpose and analyzed your audience you should think about what to write about, your story.
It’s good to think about these aspects:
- Have some ideas? write them down
- What format should you use?
- Key topics?
- What not to write about?
- How about your competitors? How can you offer a better content that they are?
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is your customer searching for? This is your topic.
- Your customer is looking for this because of something. This is your solution.
Your customers may not be reading your content and that’s why:
- It doesn’t answer their questions,
- Covers the topic too broadly,
- It’s simply boring,
- Sounds like any other brand,
- You are using a wrong format,
- Sounds like advertising.
4. Think about what channels you are going to use to share your content.
This step is quite individual, according to who are your customers and what do you do. You can choose Facebook, your own blog, send via email or even via post etc. Prefer a channel which helps you to get as much readers as possible.
5. Now that you have your content marketing goals, audience, channels and a story you should think about different processes that are necessary for content marketing.
You should think about:
- Whether to create a separate content marketing team,
- If you are not a writer, who can help you?
- How often are going to provide content?
- What specific processes are important for your content marketing?
6. Communication is important.
Does your audience has an opportunity to react to your content? Can they ask additional questions, add valuable information (as you know, you can’t know everything and they may have something to add) or share their experience? If not, maybe you should think how to enable the possibility. This way you could learn from each other.
7. The last step is measuring.
Think about how can you measure how good is your content marketing. It becomes measurable when your audience is taking wanted action. What could that action be? Let's come back to our example. When a masseur is sharing articles about different essential oils and adds that she is using the same oils, which helps to ease pain and relaxes you. After reading the article, some of the readers search the masseuses Facebook page and maybe some of them will go to her to get a massage. This is the main action you want them to take.
Content marketing is a continuing process which everyone learn something about. Learning how to do it takes time and patience and you may feel that the results aren't coming quickly enough. Still you shouldn’t set this aside, because at least this could open some doors to new opportunities, learnings and people.
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