Not sure where to start with content marketing or how to manage it within your business?
Before you jump to the conclusion that you don’t have the knowledge, skills or time to produce regular and valuable content to your customers, take a moment to read through this article and familiarise yourself with some simple ways to get started (without feeling overwhelmed!).
What is content marketing and why is it vital for your business?
Content marketing is an important activity for any business online.
Traditional marketing is now considered outdated and uninteresting whereas content marketing is more valuable, educational, and can create a genuine connection between your business and its customers.
Content marketing is about providing value to your customers and providing unique solutions to help them solve a question or challenge.
Why is content marketing vital for your business?
- It showcases your brands credibility and expertise within your industry
- It builds trust and connection between you and your potential customers through a two way communication channel
- Content marketing provides value, education and inspiration to your customers, showing them that you are the brand to be working with. If you can help them solve a question or challenge, you’re half way there!
Did you know that a whopping 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing on a regular basis? Yep that’s right! If you haven’t yet joined that boat, it’s definitely the time to do so!
Savvy customers are stalking you out without you knowing it
With modern day content marketing, the customer is super savvy. Take a moment to think about this for yourself – when was the last time you rang a business directly before knowing anything about them? For most of us, we do our initial research of a brand or company by looking online, either searching on Google or through their social media channels.
Customers today are savvy, switched on, and pride themselves on doing the research thoroughly on a brand or company before even reaching out to contact them at all!
Did you know that almost 60% of the buyer journey is complete before the customer even considers contacting the potential business? It’s now more important than ever to get involved with effective content marketing, so you can provide solutions to your savvy potential customers.
The three phases of content marketing
Before we jump into our two essential steps to start content marketing, familiarise yourself with the three phases of content marketing, as this will help you with getting started and knowing when to provide the right content.
A clever content marketing strategy focuses on meeting customers with valuable and relevant content at the right time in their buying cycle.
Generally the three phases of content marketing are:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU) – this phase is where you are talking to the largest pool of potential customers. The content in this phase should be all about providing answers to general industry questions your customers are asking
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU) – this is when you have the chance to further engage with potential customers whose interest you’ve piqued. Now is your chance to tell them exactly how your solution works and why they should be interested.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) – this last phase of content marketing is the really detailed stage where you can truly connect with your potential customer and engage and educate them more directly and in a more sales-oriented way. At this stage, they are likely very interested in your business, so the content in this stage should focus on case studies and addressing and niggling objections they may have.
Get started with content marketing with these two key steps
So, you’ve made it this far and you’re likely convinced that content marketing is THE way to go for your business!
But where do you get started? These two steps are designed to be simple but highly effective and will make the start of your content marketing activity both exciting and effective.
Step 1. Research and connect
The first step to start content marketing is to get to know your customer directly by creating a buyer persona. There are several ways you can do this, but the below methods are most effective:
- Talk to your potential customers directly by calling them or surveying them. Yes, this may seem traditional but these methods are so effective at getting real, honest answers. Ask your customers what their concerns or challenges are within your industry and note down any questions, key words, or phrases you hear more than once.
- Use a free tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Google Trends and start to research the search volume for these key words or phrases you’ve heard your customers using. Familiarise yourself with the questions and key words that have a lot of search traffic and start to build your content marketing around these concerns, questions or challenges.
Remember, when you meet your customer where they feel at ease and solve their problem for them with free, valuable content, you’ll be much more likely to have successful business with the customer in the future.
Step 2. Start creating content that provides insight, value and connection with your customer
Now that you’ve researched your customer’s wants, needs and challenges, it’s time to get creating! This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming thing. Try this simple method:
- Write down a list of all the challenges, questions and key words from your research and assign two or three blog titles for each topic or area
- Start by writing one or two new blog articles per week and getting these articles in front of your ideal customers. These blog posts should provide an overview of the question or challenge, some interesting and helpful ways to solve it (with proof that it works), and finally it should end with a call to action, sparking your reader to engage further.
Once you get started with these effective blog posts, you can branch out and continue to innovate with unique inspiring content. Some other platforms and methods you may use include:
- Social media channels
- White papers
- Video tutorials
- Case studies
Content marketing truly is the way of the future for savvy businesses. What steps will you implement to achieve an effective communication channel between your business and your potential customers?
Before you head off to create awesome content, don’t forget the key rule – always provide valuable, engaging and educational content that helps the customer solve a question or challenge. If you can do this, you’re going to truly see success with your content marketing.
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