Are you looking to connect with your target audience in a way that helps them truly understand who you are and what you do? Content marketing may be your answer.
When deployed alongside a multi-channel media plan and relevant brand, content marketing allows you to regularly reach out to your target audience and say “hi.” Content marketing is the soft sell, the nurturer, the “we’re here for you when you’re ready for us” approach that makes prospective customers more comfortable with the sales conversation.
An effective content marketing campaign is long-term and time-intensive. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow the five steps below to launch your content marketing strategy this week.
1. Define your content marketing objective.
Like all marketing, content marketing should never be performed without a purpose. Before taking a step further with planning out your content calendar, make sure you know why you want to launch a content marketing campaign. What purpose will it satisfy? How will it track to your larger marketing objectives and business goals?
In general, content marketing is a door-opening approach. Content marketing works well at the top of the funnel, allowing you to reach many prospective consumers in a nuisance-free manner. But content can also be used to help consumers make purchase decisions. Different types of content fulfill different types of marketing objectives.
2. Define your target audience.
Hopefully you already have your target audience well defined from other marketing initiatives, but you may need to further describe your audience’s knowledge base and areas of interest to be successful in target marketing. What makes your audience tick? What do they need in their personal and professional lives? What does your audience want? Think about this from a products and services perspective and a content perspective.
3. Identify knowledge gaps for your target audience.
Don’t put yourself in the position to compete with the New York Times for eyeballs. Effective content marketing strategies work because they fill content and knowledge gaps.
What content is your target audience consuming on a regular basis? What topics do they cover? What topics aren’t covered? What information can you provide that your competition cannot? This is what you want to report on.
4. Identify people on your team who can fill knowledge gaps.
Now that you’ve isolated the knowledge gaps your audience needs filled, you need to identify experts who can provide that content. Look internally. Since the content you’re creating should be generally related to what you sell, you probably have subject matter experts on your team. Tap their expertise. But don’t assume they can write.
Most subject matter experts are not expert writers, even when they think they are. Plan to interview your experts, and then distill what they say into something palatable for and consumable by your audience. Use language your audience can understand.
5. Start developing content and getting it into the hands of your target audience.
Once you know why and what you’re writing and who will be reading it, it’s time to get to work. Write that first article. Today.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the need to have lots of great content right away. Begin with what is manageable for your team, and set expectations internally and externally. Be consistent, even if consistency reduces your initial volume. Outsourcing content development can help you scale, as long as you have an internal team acting as your gatekeeper to ensure the content is polished, on point and on brand.
Content marketing requires a long-term, multi-channel distribution strategy, but many content marketers start with distribution solely via email and social media. Both of those channels are easy to launch, allowing you to commence your content marketing strategy this week.
Are you ready to launch your content marketing strategy?
The SEO and content experts at Digital Media Solutions can help you get started. Contact Team DMS today.