Imagine you search online for an item or some information, but the results that come back were not relevant or valuable for what you were searching for – frustrating, right?
The purpose of content marketing is to create and share relevant written media and content so that your target audience can learn about:
- You and your expertise
- Your brand
- Your products or services.
In this article, we will look in more detail at what Online Content Marketing includes, including:
- the benefits
- different types of content marketing,
- and how you can develop and tailor your own Online Marketing Strategy.
What exactly is Content Marketing?
You may have already noticed that more traditional marketing strategies are becoming redundant as more of the market turns online. In addition to this, an increasing attitude of “how much can I trust this company and their products?” and a permanent online presence from customers is making Online Content Marketing more relevant and important than ever.
Content Marketing is a longer-term strategy where you engage with your clients and provide them with high-quality content and relevant to them over a long period. This results in almost a ‘relationship’ with the customer, where they prefer your products over your competitors. This marketing strategy implies that you ‘care’ about your customer, so they pay you more attention – a valuable resource in our modern society where people are bombarded with options.
The benefits of this are your customers’ loyalty over a longer period, which results in higher user engagement. This loyalty should further translate into financial benefits, cost-savings and a larger and more reliable customer base. The downside is that Online Content Marketing often requires consistent input and creation of content and material to ensure your online presence stays relevant – which can end up being very time consuming if not done efficiently.
Types of Content Marketing
The most common types of content marketing include:
- Case Studies;
- User-generated content;
- How-to Guides/Academies;
- Influencers/Paid Ad Content.
Depending on the aim of your Content Marketing and target audience, you can use one or a combination of the above types of media formats. It is usually beneficial to use various content types, as publishing in different formats reaches a bigger audience.
It also allows you to ‘spread’ yourself more over the internet – so even if your customers don’t see your latest Instagram post, they may see your blog post on Facebook or hear your Podcast while driving home. It, therefore, appeals to a broader client base, who will all have different preferences on how they receive information.
How to develop a Content Marketing Strategy.
So what can you do to ensure that you have an effective, efficient and focussed Online Marketing Strategy?
The first thing you can do is consider the following W’s and H:
- WHY – your business goal and your aims – why are you using Content Marketing?
- WHAT – what are you marketing, and what is your message?
- WHO – who is your audience and customer base? What is the best way to reach them?
- WHERE – which social media platform are you going to use? Where are customers going to see your content?
- WHEN – when are you going to present your content to your audience? When is the best time to reach the highest customer engagement?
- HOW – How are you going to present your content? What type of format should you use?
And once a framework has been created based on the above points, you can generate a more in-depth Online Content Marketing Strategy to ensure you are making the most of your online presence.
We suggest considering the following points:
1) Work out what your Business Goal is.
For example, if it is to increase the awareness of your brand, you will need to develop a Content Strategy that focuses on SEO to increase user traffic to your website. Or it might be to sell a product you have created – in which case blogging or posting customer reviews could be your best strategy to increase the level of sales.
2) Who is your target audience?
With any content creation, keeping in mind your target audience is crucial. Do you have a single customer base in mind or a range of audiences? Most businesses might have more than one type of customer, so you need to decide whether you want to market to all of them – or your primary target audience, therefore influencing the kinds of media formats you choose to use.
3) Decide on your main content type
Once you have worked out your business goal (what you want to do) and who your target audience is, you can decide on the format you want to use. That isn’t to say you will use this type of content marketing only- but it may be the one you focus on more than others.
To work out what is the best type of content marketing for your brand, you need to consider the following factors:
- What format works best for what you are trying to sell?
- What formats are your customers already using?
- Play to your strengths – create content using skills you have (and don’t be afraid to ask people to help if you want to branch out and are unsure where to start!)
Market research, in this instance, is crucial, as it will help you narrow down what format will suit your brand the best. But in the end, you have to choose the type that works best for you, and you feel comfortable using it.
4) Identify gaps in the market
To ensure that you stand out in a saturated market, you need to find out where there is a gap and utilise the potential. Therefore, if your target audience spends a lot of time reading blogs, you should still put the time in to produce some quality blog posts. But, you could also explore other content types that your competitors don’t use as much or even a platform that your competitors are not active on. By doing this, you should be able to secure new customer attention as you are marketing your product differently to your competition. Once you have identified the gap in the market, use the opportunity to create something different and unique.
5) Don’t try and expand too quickly
It’s a common mistake to expand too quickly into other formats or platforms before you are ready. If you have a small team, it will be challenging for them to become an expert in multiple platforms or content types – and could harm your business if not being done correctly.
If your Content Marketing strategy is working well with only 1-2 formats, then use this opportunity to move these formats onto other platforms. Then, you can invest more time in learning how to use this new platform, as well as slowly increasing your audience base. Once you have built up your customer engagement in this new location, you can then try using other types of content – and doing this over a longer period should result in a strong online presence on various social media platforms.
By using this strategy, you can also try what is known as ‘Content Repurposing’ – a.k.a, turning one high-quality piece of content into multiple types of media. This could mean turning a popular blog post into a video, or a video into a podcast, and vice versa. You can then adapt this repurposed information for the new media type you want to use, and even make it more specialised – aiming to keep the overall message of the original post. Therefore, you should minimise your work, but hopefully increase user engagement by presenting it differently, or even making the content more specialised.
These are just a few helpful hints and tips on how to increase your user engagement and customer base by using Online Marketing Content! For further guidance and help on how we can help you improve your Online Content Marketing or help you to create content for your business, contact Design Grid today!