What is the difference between writing a good story and writing an exceptional story?
It’s the content that makes all the difference.
But does just having good content suffice? No.
You have to market your content to the right audience through the right medium to make it a success. Together, these two concepts are called content marketing.
According to content marketing institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
This means that you have to consistently produce content that resonates with your target audience and publish it on the mediums where your target audience is present. It is a long term strategy of building loyal relationships with your target audience by adding value through your content.
Trust and loyalty will give you an edge over your competitor’s. In short, Content marketing is one of the most integral factors of your customer’s purchase journey.
Consider a situation in which you had 1 million dollars to spend. Would you spend it on an item about which you have been reading about from years, know the tiniest of details, the pros and cons or would you spend it on something that you just got introduced to and you know very little about?
I would definitely spend it on my dream car that I had been fantasising all my life. This is where content marketing comes in the “story.” The loyalty of your customers already lies with you when they are making a purchase- remember what we said about building long term relationships.
There are plenty of great examples of great content marketing but one company that has aced it is,Rolex. Rolex watches are considered to be a class apart. It’s a timeless classic which has maintained the same brand images for years with success. Even when they introduced changes in their product or their branding, it has always been consistent. Their product pictures on social media are always minimalistic and sleek. Their Instagram content is high quality just like their watches!
The message is clear- Create high quality content consistently while not compromising with your brand guidelines.
A lot of people misunderstand content marketing to be just online but that’s not the case. Content is created online and offline and likewise it is marketed offline and online both. Although, I will focus on online content marketing in this article but it would be incomplete if I do not write about offline content marketing.
So, Let’s start! Shall we?
- Offline Content Marketing
Do you remember when we used to get yellow pages or catalogues delivered to our post box? Those weekend articles in the newspapers, the opinion posts or the healthy eating articles in your favorite magazines that you used to wait for, were all part of content marketing.If you were someone who used to follow these articles religiously, you would buy anything that they would sell. Aren’t we all guilty of that?!
Depending on your target audience, offline content marketing is still as relevant as online content marketing. There is a lot of noise and being present on all the relevant platforms can help your brand speak louder than others in this noise. One thing that you need to remember is that the content has to be relevant and valuable.
This is “The Furrow” which was launched in 1985 and taught farmers how to be more fruitful. It was written by John Deere who is considered as the king of content marketing.
Now let’s move on to Online Content Marketing
Online Content Marketing– I don’t need to emphasise on the importance of online content marketing but why is it that even though we know it’s importance, a lot of us fail to keep a consistent approach to our content marketing?
The answer is we fail in the last step of content marketing which is the analytics.
There is a lack of clarity as to how much and what kind of content we should be producing and where to publish that content.
Well, the first step is to understand who your buyers are or who your target audience is. Once you have your buyer personas, it won’t be difficult to create content but with the consistency and creating quality content.
Tip: Never compromise on quality over quantity!
There are few vital steps to create high quality valuable content consistently:
1)Create a content marketing strategy: Write it down on a piece of paper or use a content marketing calendar but it is important that you create an actionable content marketing strategy. Not only it will help you in delivering consistently but also analyse what is doing well or what is not. It is a lot of like setting life goals and creating a plan of action to achieve them. When you miss too many deadlines, you know that success is getting further away. So, get that content marketing strategy down now!
Just don’t get too hard on yourself and create an achievable and actionable strategy.
2)Do not compromise over quality: We all are working hard to be heard in all the noise but spamming your target audience will not set you apart. It will only make them unsubscribe, unfollow or unlike your pages. You would say that we all know this but there are still brands that are producing irrelevant content for their audiences. Just don’t be one of them! Thoroughly study who your buyers are, their behaviours, what they like, what they don’t, where do spend most of their times etc. It all boils down to creating relevant and valuable content.
3) Publishing your content: Like I said, study your buyer personas. Do not try to be present on all the social media channels. Being on the channels where your buyers spend most of their time will help you produce quality content and consistently.
Tip: Invest your energy and money in creating video content. It’s the new black.
4) Analyse, Analyse and Analyse: If you don’t analyse, you will never know what is working and what is not. You will never be able to deliver to your audience’s expectations. You can check the effectiveness of your article by analysing your website traffic. Analysing your website traffic after every piece of content will help you understand the effectiveness of it. Some of the other methods are analysing the subscription growth, average time spent on your blog, your social media followers or the leads that you generate.
We will discuss the ways to analyse the effectiveness of the online content marketing in a separate article . Till then, stay tuned for our next article on SEO and Content Marketing.