A Starters Guide to Content Marketing By Nicola Heath

Content, it's at the centre of your inbound marketing

How does content help your marketing?

Content is at the heart of the marketing strategy of many businesses and small businesses should be no different. Businesses use content marketing to generate awareness for their brand and demonstrate expertise in their industry. Well produced content can makes a vital connection between your brand and your target audience, whether this be existing customers or prospects. Determining the right messaging for the right people, and delivering this in the right medium at the right time, is the fundamental key to successful content marketing.

The goal is to offer tips, help and education that will be insightful and beneficial to your audience and draw them towards your business. In order to do so, your content needs to be meaningful, relevant and deliver real benefits to your recipients. Once you’ve determined the right messaging, you’ll need to consider where best to publish your content. The online environment offers many opportunities for the publication of content from your own social media channels to third party websites, so most marketers choose just a few channels to focus on.

When choosing where to put your focus, it’s critical to pick the channels that’ll offer the most value or the best access to potential customers. In other words, the goal should be to be ‘fish where the fish are’ that is, go where your prospects go. Your information can be shared in many forms including blog posts, web articles, white papers, infographics, webinars, videos or social posts. Repurposing content to enable publication in different formats and different mediums is crucial to delivering an improved return on investment as you’ll reach a wider audience with reduced additional cost.

How do you start?

First, start by revisiting your business goals, who you are targeting, what value you will offer the customer and what value you’ll deliver back to the business. Then consider what information you can provide that will truly be of benefit your customer.

To do this, you need to build a real understanding of the needs of your target audience to appreciate where and how you can help them. Start by talking to your frontline staff, reviewing email and phone queries and speaking directly with your customers. Identify some common demographics and common needs and focus your content accordingly.

Some options for content could include educating your clients, offering advice on best practice in your industry, warning them of common pitfalls, sharing valuable tips for achieving success, answering their questions, opening their eyes to new trends and innovations or sharing relevant case studies of other customers’ success.   Creating and distributing relevant, valuable and compelling information will help you to reach prospects, turn prospects into buyers and buyers into long-term supporters.

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