Many firms are finding that the law of diminishing returns is starting to apply to their traditional marketing activities. Social media marketing agencies will tell you that it’s time for a new approach: content marketing.
Whether you handle your PR activities in-house or contract an outside public relations agency, content marketing is all about the consistent creation and distribution of timely, relevant, interesting and valuable content, targeted at a specific audience, with the aim of engaging and retaining customers.
Sound complicated? It needn’t be. It just means that instead of promoting your actual products and services – sending a traditional sales message – you provide information that addresses what your target audience is interested in.
It helps to take a strategic approach. Here are some questions that will help you create targeted content.
Why are you creating content?
As with so many things, your starting point is to define your goals. Your goal may be, for example, to create – or grow – an email distribution list, to boost brand awareness, or to convert prospects to customers.
Who are you creating content for?
Describe your audience as specifically as you can. You may ultimately end up with several audience profiles, but start with one – the one most closely aligned to the goal of your current marketing initiative – and write content tailored to them.
Where does your audience hang out?
If you’re selling plants and seeds, you need to know where gardeners hang out. Make sure you post and promote your content where they will find it – and make it easy to share. That way you extend your reach exponentially.
Who else do they interact with?
Is there a standout blog or publication that your audience regularly engages with? If so, can you (or your public relations agency) write a guest blog or an article, with a link back to your business? Websites and blogs are always looking for new content, and this can be an excellent way to get your brand in front of more people.
And finally …
The top social media marketing agencies will tell you that content marketing should be an integral element of your overall marketing plan, not something seperate. It’s an ongoing process, a great way to engage with people and to add value – and, in return, to increase sales and customers. Effective content marketing positively affects the bottom line.