The content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy involves creating and sharing media and editorial content to attract and engage visitors with the aim of turning them into customers later. There is only one problem: content marketing can be very hard work.
If you are running content marketing campaigns , you will have realized how difficult it can be to constantly come up with new ideas, maintain initial momentum, and produce truly engaging content. Without considering that, not engaging your website visitors means losing potential customers and, consequently, profit.
If you haven’t created a content strategy for your business yet, it’s time to create one.
Why is content marketing important to your business?
The content marketing is at the center of digital marketing campaigns more successful and has become a necessity for any modern brand to build its reputation, generate more leads and create loyal customers.
To help you better understand the importance of content marketing in Canada, we’ve compiled a list of the main benefits it can provide to your business:
IMPROVE YOUR BRAND’S ONLINE REPUTATION.
Great content can help you build a relationship with your potential customers: the more engaging, educational and valuable the content, the easier it will be to build trust with your target audience.
THE CONTENT MARKETING HELPS TO INCREASE CONVERSIONS.
Content marketing helps to significantly improve your website’s conversion rates by providing consumers with the tools to solve a particular problem or the information they need.
OPTIMIZED CONTENT HELPS IMPROVE SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS.
Content plays a vital role in helping your business build and improve its online visibility. Creating a content marketing strategy is a very effective SEO technique : in fact, sites that publish content constantly, have more pages indexed by search engines than competing sites that do not publish at all.
CREATING CONTENT ALLOWS YOU TO SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERTISE.
The content marketing allows you to demonstrate your expertise in the sector in which you operate. A customer has greater confidence in a company that has demonstrated their knowledge and experience because they feel they are being followed by industry experts who can answer their questions and easily resolve any issues.
CONTENT MARKETING HELPS YOU STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION.
In the crowded digital marketplace, it is imperative that your business stands out from the competition. Creating a content marketing strategy allows you to show what makes your work special and develop the personality and “voice of a brand”. But what should a brand’s tone of voice be like for its content to pass through as effectively as possible? The tone of voice is not what we say, but the way we express a concept. It must reflect the brand and the corporate culture, be human, practical and consistent and above all create an emotional bond with potential customers.
Content marketing strategy based on the Customer Journey.
Have you ever heard of Customer Journey? The Customer Journey is the process that characterizes the interaction between consumer and company towards the purchase of the product and / or service, in every phase.
As you well know, few people go directly from the discovery of a product to its purchase: first they discover that they have a problem, they find a valid product / service for its resolution, they spend a few weeks thinking about the purchase, and perhaps, they proceed with the expense.
It is precisely during this process of product discovery and evaluation that an effective content marketing strategy can prove to be precious and important: your customers want a remarkable shopping experience and, if they are followed with constancy, availability and kindness, they will be more inclined. To rely on you over your competitors.
To improve your understanding of your ideal customer’s journey to buying, you need to create a Customer Avatar in which you define individual wishes, key goals, values, weaknesses and demographics.
With detailed analysis, you will be able to understand your audience so well that you create content for each stage of their journey.
There are three stages that each customer goes through in the buying process, and each stage requires a different type of content marketing:
- Awareness phase
The first stage of a buyer’s journey is awareness of a need. He simply becomes aware that he is facing a problem and is not necessarily ready to rely on someone or something, but begins to inquire about how to solve it.
At this stage, content marketing is perhaps your best ally as people get to know your business and discover that your business has the solution to their problem.
You need to create easily usable content as the customer still has no motivation to make a purchase of your product / service, but is more interested in being entertained, educated or inspired.
There are various types of content that can be used in a content marketing strategy :
- Blog post
- Social media updates
Once a prospect has found an answer to their problems in your business, they will be more willing to evaluate your offer than your competitors’.
To keep the attention towards your offer high, however, it is necessary to build a relationship of close trust with your potential customers and maintain direct contact with them. But how can we create a direct relationship with people we don’t know?
An effective content marketing strategy must include the creation of specific and valuable content for your audience, so as to attract the attention of the potential customer to the point of pushing them to leave their email contact.
In this way you will have the possibility to send additional information, personalized offers, address objections and present the advantages of each solution you propose.
We call this type of content “Lead Magnet ” and they may include:
- Educational resources (case studies, informational ebooks, etc.)
- Practical resources (checklists, swipe files, etc.)
- Webinar / Events
Creating useful and valuable content could build user loyalty as well as develop a relationship that leads him to become an effective customer.
I’m sure this is your favorite part of the buying process; in this phase you have convinced your potential customers to choose your product or your services: you just have to encourage them to become actual buyers.
Although the ultimate goal is sales, content marketing at this stage should still focus on helping the customer. Good examples of content are case studies, customer testimonials, product demonstrations, product comparisons.
An intelligent content marketing strategy based on the customer journey must anticipate possible customer actions and remove as much friction as possible to create a clear conversion path.
Content marketing: where to find ideas and inspiration.
What content should I produce? How can I find new ideas? Many businesses and freelancers feel overwhelmed right from the start.
I’ve often had writer’s block, but finding initial ideas was never a problem. Some methods I’ve tested can be used to develop a blog post, e-book, podcast, or whatever you want to create.
First I would like to make a premise: with your content marketing strategy you are trying to solve the problems of your target customers and answer their questions about your sector so, if you pay attention to the world around you and listen to people, you will have potential ideas. For your content.
Where to find the questions to give the right answers? Here are some examples:
GENERAL FORUMS (EX: QUORA AND YAHOO ANSWERS)
Just type in the topic that interests your readers or the industry in which you operate to find questions that can turn into valid content.
ONLINE GROUPS (FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, ETC.)
Social networking groups are like niche forums where people are interested in a specific topic and constantly ask questions. You can intercept their needs to build content that meets their needs.
GOOGLE SEARCH BOX
When you start typing a keyword, suggestions related to the term you’re looking for appear in the Google search box. Some tips can be really useful to get ideas for your content marketing strategy and are the most sought after by people on the internet.
GOOGLE NEWS AND GOOGLE TREND
Analyzing your industry with Google News and Google Trend will allow you to find the most interesting search trends and topics for your audience.
Amazon is an invaluable source of research. In the bestselling section of the best books related to your industry, you can find ideas you haven’t considered or see which topics people are most interested in.
STEP 1: MAKE SURE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY HAS A CLEAR BUSINESS GOAL (OR MULTIPLE GOALS!)
A goal is a percentage increase in a metric related to your brand or company. For example: increase the number of people who find your brand through organic search by x% or increase your newsletter subscribers by x%.
These goals will help you understand how to design your content marketing strategy , which content formats to use (videos, blog posts, infographics, etc.) and which distribution channels to use (Your website? Facebook? Instagram?).
It is important to identify your target audience and where your content is able to reach the right people.
A content marketing strategy without defined objectives risks being ineffective: it is not reduced to simple activities of creating and publishing content, but it is a work of analysis and strategy, of monitoring and observation of results.
STEP 2: CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR TO MANAGE CONTENT CREATION.
A content marketing editorial calendar is essentially a planning document that provides you and your team with a plan of attack for creating content – from idea, to writing and publishing.
Creating content without a calendar is like driving a car without a steering wheel. It does not work. Let’s see which main aspects must be included in the editorial calendar.
- List of contents to be treated according to your content marketing strategy: this can include topics not yet developed, existing content or content that will be repurposed.
- Personnel responsible for creating and publishing content.
- Creation of content and publication dates.
- Type of content.
- Call to action (CTA) within the content: If the content is valuable to your audience, what action can I ask my users to take?
- List of channels to distribute your content.
- Possible occasions on which to focus your content creation: seasonality, anniversaries, local celebrations and all those events related to your industry that can encourage greater sharing of your content and lead generation.
STEP 3: RESEARCH KEYWORDS
Before embarking on the actual creation of your content, you should make sure you research the most competitive keywords and those that will be typed the most by those interested in the topic you have decided to cover.
Keyword research is really important if you want to achieve a high search engine ranking which results in more exposure to people interested in what you have to offer.
Here are two simple tools that will guide you to compile a quality keyword list.
Google Keyword Planner
The main advantage of this tool is that you will be able to extract information directly from Google such as, for example, the average monthly search for a keyword, competition and other keyword ideas.
Ubersuggest is an SEO tool that allows you to find words that revolve around a topic and, unlike other tools, focuses more on long-tail keywords, that is, keywords composed of multiple terms, more specific and aimed at conversion.
STEP 4: CREATING THE CONTENT
Now that you’ve done all your initial research for your content marketing strategy, it’s time to create the content or hire a freelancer to do it. If you intend to write the content yourself, try to follow these guidelines:
- Create a catchy headline that will entice people to start reading.
- Add an attention-grabbing foreground image
- Create easy-to-use sections of your content such as small paragraphs, bulleted lists, and graphics.
- Invite readers to add their comments and start a dialogue.
- Allow your content to be shared on social media to expose it to a wider audience.
Remember that converting content marketing appeals to human emotions.
STEP 5: ALWAYS INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION (CTA).
In your content marketing strategy you should always ask your readers to learn more, to subscribe to your email list, watch another video, or take a specific action that will benefit them.
STEP 6: TRY, LEARN, MODIFY AND REPEAT.
Your content marketing strategy needs to be constantly evolving and subject to change as you gather ideas and feedback from your users. As in the search for new ideas for content marketing campaigns, even in modifying one’s strategy according to new ideas, one must pay attention to the surrounding world.