Of course, content that needs to be signed up for is not visible to search engines, so you need to consider your approach carefully in this regard – if SEO is more important than data, you ought to make content freely available. That being said, content that comes with a price tends to be more highly valued. You just need to find the right balance for your organisation – the great news is that it is easy to test different tactics and quick to change them if they are not working.
Like any marketing strategy, the first step in the process is to understand why you are doing it – this will enable you to establish the business need behind the marketing activity. Questions need to be answered. What problems are you trying to solve? What do you want to achieve? How much are you prepared to invest? Good quality content takes time and effort to produce. You need to have the resources in place to make sure you can deliver the goods on a regular basis.
The next step in the process is to establish who your target audience is, what types of messages you wish to communicate, which media are the right ones to use to create it in and to promote it through, and how frequently you wish to create content – finding the sweet spot in this regard will always become clearer in the fullness of time.
Defining your target market will require an understanding of their demographics and psychographics, which in turn will enable you to create customer segments and customer personas. Messaging will be determined by whether your audience profile is a prospect or a customer – and where they sit within these two camps.
Are they a cold suspect, a warm lead or a hot prospect?
A first-time purchaser, a repeat customer or a long-term buyer? Are they interested in all your products and services or just one or two of them? It’s useful to map out a content delivery plan that bears these things in mind. It’s not just about wasting effort. It’s also about getting more personal and developing a trusting relationship with your database.
Content marketing provides you with the perfect opportunity to tell your brand story too. Do you have a strategic brand proposition in place? These days, more than ever before, people buy into a genuine brand story. With the growth of social media, corporate reputation can be quickly and easily affected by bad customer service, poor product quality and questionable business practice. The strategic brand proposition needs to be lived and breathed throughout an organisation at every customer touchpoint, and content marketing is one means by which key messages about your organisation can be shared with customers in an authentic way, so that communications are always engaging, relevant and useful.
The long term goal of a content marketing strategy is to increase sales. That is why a successful content marketing strategy needs to be integrated in nature. It’s a numbers game, of course, so you need to make sure you are getting plenty of leads if you are going to generate plenty of conversions.
A good content marketing strategy is an integrated one, which means all your communications need to be consistent, cohesive and congruent. Whatever media format you use – be it a blog, social media, newsletter, video, podcast, webinar or white paper – make sure that it supports the overall strategy.
Looking for a content marketing agency in London? Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about who we are and how we can help. We offer a two-hour marketing consultation without cost or obligation at a venue of your choice to discuss any marketing challenges you are facing.