When we create marketing strategies and content for our clients, we start by asking these questions: “Who is your audience?” “What problems do they have?” and “How can you solve those problems?”
This is the essential basis of content marketing. Content marketing is simply the act of adding as much value to your ideal customers’ lives by helping them solve problems through the content you share.
Go back to those questions. That’s the starting point. Spend some time answering them to get a good idea of what content you should start producing. Here is where we walk you through this step in more depth.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you can come up with an effective content marketing strategy. By effective, we mean that instead of changing the radio station when your name comes up, people will actually look forward to your marketing messages.
What can content marketing do for me?
Content marketing works no matter what industry you’re in because people appreciate quick solutions, answers, or entertainment value.
That YouTube video you watched to learn how to build a bookshelf was really helpful right? It also conveniently directed you toward where you could purchase the necessary tools and parts you needed. It probably also got you thinking about what other things you could make with those tools and got you excited for when the next video would come out.
You may have googled “how to check if my tire is flat” and landed on a tire company’s website where they not only answered your question, but let you know that they can check for you, and will change that tire if it needs to be changed.
You might look on Pinterest for a great cocktail recipe to impress your friends at your dinner party and find a video or blog post by a cool new cocktail bar downtown. You were not only able to impress your friends with the drinks you made, but also talk them into checking out this cool new place with you.
What kind of content should I use?
Now that you know who your audience is, what their problems are, and have great ideas to help them solve their problems, it’s time to decide how and where to distribute that information.
There are so many different types of content and places to share it in 2019. So how do you choose? Where is your ideal customer seeking help right now? Are they scouring Pinterest, scrolling Instagram, searching Google? Maybe they prefer video content over blog posts because they have limited time and want to get an answer without having to read. Maybe they do all of these things.
Each platform and type of content has different audiences with different goals. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and decide what will be most effective.
No matter what type of content you decide will work best, you need to make sure that it’s high quality. With all the content out there today, producing something average will be like trying to shout the same thing louder than everyone else. You need content that is not only different, but better than what is already out there.
If you’re sharing videos, they need to look great. Viewers no longer tolerate watching grainy, poor-quality videos because they can easily find a video explaining the topic (maybe not as well as you could) with a more pleasant viewing experience. It would be a waste of your time to try to create content that is substandard, and you don’t have time to waste.
Find a method of creating your content that you have the skills to execute, or turn to professionals who can (like us).
What kind of content is most effective in general?
We’ve written about the value of video and photo content on social media in 2019, but like we said above, it depends on who your audience is and what their problems are. Here’s a quick guide to different types of content and what they are best at.
People want enjoyable, original, creative content that adds value and entertains. The best way to do all of this is through video content. On top of that, video is the most favored form of content on social media. It outperforms all other content in terms of reach, share, and conversions.
Photos are a great way to introduce people to your brand and product. Custom photography can tell the right story to the right people about your brand. It can show them how you fit into their lives and invite them to picture themselves interacting with your product.
Photos are also necessary for any social media platform or blog post. If looking at a photo can save someone the time it takes to read 1,000 words, they will be pleased, and more likely to share that content.
Blogs are a great place to share long-form, educational, or informative content. Make sure your topics are helpful and answer questions and Google will reward you. The way you write also gives you an opportunity to share your personality and what’s unique about you with your audience. Is your tone casual, serious, didactic? We help our clients get their messaging right by spending time understanding who they’re writing to.
Podcasts are similar to blogs in that their purpose is to educate and inform, but they can also be a great place to entertain. Podcasts are also much more efficient because listeners can do other things while learning. If your target customer is a busy mom who spends a lot of time in her car or doing other things throughout the day, listening to a podcast is much easier for her to find time to do than setting aside time to read a blog.
Have a lot of valuable knowledge to share? Create an online class that can help walk your customers through using your product. This is a great way to show your customers you care and want to help them as much as you can. It also establishes you as an expert and creates trust.
Infographics can be a great addition to any content marketing strategy. They can deliver complicated information like statistics or benefits into a digestible format.
Case Studies are a great way to establish yourself as an expert and let potential customers build trust in you before making a commitment. They also show the value of your services and how you can help solve your customers’ specific problems.
Books or (lower-investment) eBooks are another great way to distribute informative content and establish yourself as an expert. Collect the great content you already have and compile it in one place where your audience can find the answers to all of their questions. This could be a great option for a restaurant that wants to give cooking tips or recipes to their guests, a photographer who wants to give some iPhone photography lessons, or a yoga instructor who wants to give an overview of the basics.
Creating effective content can be a challenge and requires a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it. If you need help creating any type of content that will work for your brand, or putting together a content marketing strategy, send us a message and we’d be happy to help.