Content Marketing

Here’s why you should be using content marketing

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategy that involves the creation and sharing of relevant content, which can include articles and blogs, videos, podcasts or print media across channels such as social media networks, websites and streaming platforms. A successful content marketing strategy can effectively attract, engage and retain customers for your company in a number of ways: you can establish your expertise, boost brand awareness and top-of-mind recall, as well as building relationships with your customers that promotes trust and engagement. You will also find that creating content will have the additional benefit of helping you to think more strategically about your business, your customers, your products and services and your brand proposition.

It is important that your content is valuable and relevant to your customers and their needs, as well as remaining true to your brand values. This is where having a robust understanding of both your commercial proposition and brand philosophy will come in handy to provide a framework for what kind of content will work best for your company. With the right content, you can reach potential customers more organically without it feeling as though you are directly marketing towards them, which will resonate better and be less likely to get tuned out. For your existing customers, you can offer valuable insights that both help them and reflect your expertise.

Why is it important?

Content marketing can provide your company with a wide range of benefits to support your goals as you cut through the thousands of marketing messages that are distributed every day. You are more likely to attract more relevant customers who are genuinely interested in your company, and by educating potential customers about what you offer, you can convince them of how you will help them and provide value. This engagement will encourage loyalty and trust to improve sales and retention.

The efficiency of a successful content marketing strategy will save you money by boosting conversion rates to mean that for every pound you invest, you will get out a lot more.

Having a range of content that covers both the value of your offering, as well as showcasing your knowledge about the industry, will create a range of content that establishes you as a leader in the market.

Content marketing ties into many other branches of a marketing strategy including social media marketing, SEO, PR and pay-per-click. SEO is particularly boosted by content because Google actively favours companies that regularly provide fresh content on their website. Whilst it is option to paywall your content to generate leads, you need to weigh this up against the benefit of providing freely available content that is visible to the search engines. This will largely depend on how important natural search is to you in comparison to lead generation.

How can you use it?

If you’re not sure how to go about setting up a content marketing strategy, we have a few tips to help you get going. First of all, make sure to set goals so that you know exactly what you want to achieve: these might include improving brand awareness, boosting sales and revenue, or building engagement. Set up measurement criteria to have markers of whether you are achieving your goals, and by how much.

Once you know what you want to achieve, decide which channels you are going to use to share your content. It is almost essential to ensure that you have a strong presence across social media platforms, as these are where many potential consumers will search for information and come into contact with your company. For more information on how to use social media in your marketing strategy, you can read our blog on it here. The channels you use may also depend on what kind of content you want to produce: some examples are infographics, informative videos and podcasts. If possible, try to produce a variety of content types to keep things interesting for your audience. This will increase engagement and make people want to consume it –  rather than avoiding it or getting bored. A range of content also enables you to utilise a number of communication styles: for example, infographics are valuable for short, effective communication whereas blogs offer greater scope for creativity and more in-depth discussions around topics. Podcasts and videos can add a more human feel to your communication and can be particularly engaging for discussions or product information.

Practical guidelines to have in place once you have decided on your goals, channel and content are budget and frequency. These are important to make sure you stay within your means whilst establishing a fairly frequent posting schedule, which is useful to keep your marketing channels up-to-date and engaging.

The final stage is to actually create your content and share it. This should be an ongoing process that is responsive to feedback from your audience. As time goes on, you need to be dynamic to produce content that is proven to work.

The bottom line 

Content that is valuable and relevant should be at the core of your content marketing strategy. To achieve this, you need to have a strong awareness of who your customers are and what their needs are, as well as your brand philosophy and commercial proposition. Building your content plan on these fundamentals will enable you to create content that will actively add value to your audience. Your content must be high quality to provide any value, so this should be your priority: anyone can create content, but the way you showcase your expertise is by creating valuable content.

At Abacus, we have worked in partnership with many of our clients to establish successful content marketing strategies. If you would like further advice or support with your own, get in touch at stephen@abacusmarketing.co.uk. We offer tailored packages to create strategies that are specialised for each individual company to ensure you get the maximum return from your resources.