Content marketing has become the number one tool in the process of promoting products and brands on the Internet market. It came to replace the intrusive, ubiquitous direct advertising, the effectiveness of which is rapidly falling.
Those companies that have already implemented this tool at home, actively blog, develop communities in social networks, make regular email-mailing. However, not all content marketing “shoots”. Filling out a blog with articles, recording hundreds of videos and casting subscribers with letters is not enough for a good result.
Therefore, many are concerned with the question: what should be done to make content marketing bring money? How to attract real customers and increase sales with the help of content? We’ll discuss the ways to make your content marketing effective.
What is content marketing, and why is it necessary for your business?
First of all, we should understand what content marketing is, and what functions it performs in the business system.
Content marketing is a special tool for attracting, warming up and retaining the target audience, increasing recognition and sales. This content: articles, posts, letters, video, audio, photos, infographics, the content of which is interesting and useful to your client.
If the task of direct advertising is a one-time sale, then the task of content marketing is to build trust relationships with customers and sell them again and again. It is not necessary to explain that keeping an existing customer is much cheaper than attracting a new one. In addition, the banal “banner blindness”, which arose among users against the background of constant information noise, significantly reduces the effectiveness of such a touch. Therefore, it is obvious that content marketing wins in opposition to direct advertising.
Now let’s consider what tasks content marketing solves in the framework of promoting products and business. So, this tool performs 4 important functions.
Attraction of traffic to the company’s website
First, useful content is a magnet for the audience itself. The amount of informational waste makes people appreciate really high-quality materials that meet their needs and solve problems.
Secondly, regularly updated, relevant and seo-optimized content in the blog helps to improve the company’s position in search results and, accordingly, to increase the flow of real traffic to the site.
In addition, social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) quickly and fairly easily distribute useful content, thereby increasing the reach of the audience and gaining additional traffic and, as a result, new potential customers.
People come to the Internet for information. Moreover, they are looking for serious, educational, and entertaining content. Everything depends on their goals. In addition, quality content marketing not only involves the user, it keeps him on the site, not letting go. The concept of “audience retention” has two facets: keeping the visitor on the site for a certain time and keeping the client in the stage of activity.
For example, we have an article. Let’s suppose you took it from the search engine, exploring the issue of content marketing. In this material, you find references to other publications on the topic that interests you. You go to the next article, then watch the video on the channel, then you go to the social network – and so on. That is, instead of reading the material and leaving, you continue to get acquainted with the content of the company for some time.
From the other point of view – content marketing helps to keep customers and convert them into a re-purchase. With the help of a series of letters, articles, posts, videos and other types of content, you train customers to properly consume the product and get the maximum result, support their interest in the company.
Closing of objections of clients
Too expensive or vice versa – suspiciously cheap. Can you trust to an unknown company? Will you get the result? Almost any objection of the client regarding the purchase of a particular product can be “overtaken” and worked out in its own content.
Target audience is being scared off by the high price? Write an article on the blog explaining why your product costs so much, what are its differences and benefits, what benefits the client will receive by making a purchase from you.
What if people do not understand how to use the product correctly? Create a vivid video with a demonstration of all the features of the product in practice.
That is, competent content marketing can turn a doubting potential client into a motivated buyer.
Formation of loyalty of target audience
As already mentioned above, content marketing equally takes into account both the company’s business goals and the needs of customers. Useful, interesting and relevant content that meets the specific needs of the audience, builds trust and loyalty to the brand.
With the help of social networks and blogs, you can tell your story to the target audience, communicate values and views, show expertise in any field, answer user questions, engage in dialogue, give advice, train, etc. Thus, you build relationships with potential customers, warm them up and lead to a decision about buying.
However, in order for content marketing to successfully perform these tasks, you need to understand that the content generated by you must be selling.
Content and content marketing. What is the difference?
Content and selling content are two different things. Content, as such, is simply information, a set of words and pixels. The man consumed it and went on.
The global task of content marketing is to sell. Therefore, the selling content, in turn, requires the user to perform a response. In addition, here it is important to understand that in this case “sale” is any target audience action in relation to business. It can be like: comment, repost, go to the link to the landing page, subscribe, add a review in the product card, participate in the contest and, of course, purchase your product.
That is, the task of selling content is to stimulate a person to perform a specific targeted action. Accordingly, any information unit, whether it be a post in Facebook or a video on YouTube, should urge the target audience to respond to you.
The selling content must be:
- relevant – that is, to reveal the client’s pain, to correspond to his interests, desires, requests;
- useful – to solve a problem;
- unique – contain new information for the audience;
- and most importantly – motivating to commit you need a targeted action (like, comment, transition, purchase, etc.).
However, in order for the content marketing to produce the desired results, in addition to making high quality marketing content, it is necessary to follow certain important rules.
The rules of content marketing
Many companies have their own groups in social networks, channels on YouTube, blogs, etc. Some of them are quite successful and regularly generate new clients for the business. However, let’s be frank, most communities / blogs / channels exist for a tick. They are inactive or completely “dead,” intuitive, and filled with irrelevant content. Such actions have nothing to do with content marketing, which we are talking about.
Effective content marketing should be well organized and systematic. Therefore, we recommend that you follow the rules to “squeeze” out a maximum of this tool.
Rule # 1. Build content marketing around the “Big Idea” of your company.
Big Idea is a key message that the company broadcasts to audiences in all its marketing activities: advertising, packaging and product design, articles, posts on social networks, videos, etc. It combines content into a single whole, makes it logical and memorable.
Without Big Idea, your content marketing will look like an exploded puzzle – there is information, but there is no obvious connection between it and the company. It will be much more difficult to form a correct idea about your business.
Therefore, before implementing content marketing, you need to develop the Big Idea of your business. This idea needs to be systematically broadcast in all its content, so that in the minds of potential customers, step by step a correct picture of your brand is created.
Take, for example, the Volvo company. What associations do you have with this brand of cars? Certainly “security”, “reliability”, “protection”, etc. This is how millions of people around the world think. Why? It’s all just in the Big Idea of Volvo brand. For many years, the entire marketing of the company revolves around one idea – “a feeling of complete security”. Each video on TV, banner on the Internet, poster in the magazine, every advertising campaign of any model of the Volvo car carries this message.
Due to such large-scale implementation of Big Idea in marketing communications, the necessary association has firmly established in the minds of people that Volvo is the most reliable and safe car in the world.
Rule # 2. Describe the goals and strategy of content marketing.
Content marketing should be a continuation of the company’s key marketing strategy. For example, you need to improve brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, increase sales by X percent for Y days, rebuild from competitors, return lost customers, etc.
That is, on the basis of the company’s overall marketing strategy, you need to set goals for content marketing – what results should it ultimately bring in the business? Then, considering these goals, you need to formulate a strategy for your content marketing – how you will achieve these goals.
Rule # 3. Examine the needs and desires of your target audience.
Without a perfect understanding of your audience, you create useless content that will not bring the expected result. The essence of content marketing is the generation of information that is sufficient, useful and interesting to a specific target audience. Remember this.
Rule # 4. Do not try to reach the entire audience at once.
Addressing the content directly to the entire audience, you generalize the problems of Central Asia and, in the end, do not give it a concrete solution. In addition, this means that interest in content is reduced to zero.
For example, all people are concerned about the crisis in their own way. For some, it is important to find out in which currency it is more profitable to keep bank deposits, for others – how to find a decent job, and for the third – whether it is worth taking an apartment in a mortgage now. Each segment has its own pain. Your task is to “get” into this pain and give a concrete solution.
Separate your CA and work with its individual groups, appealing specifically to their pains, desires, interests. Focus on the segments. This will help create more accurate, meaningful and valuable content.
Rule # 5. Make a clear content plan.
Effective content marketing is impossible without an approved exit plan for publications. Without it, your actions will be inaccurate. In other words, you will not understand what exactly is to give the audience, where and when it is more preferable to post your material in order to get the maximum result.
The content plan should contain a clear schedule of publications, headings, topics and channels for promotion. Due to this, it ensures regularity and systematic content marketing.
Rule # 6. Engage in SEO.
Do not forget about the possibility of attracting additional organic traffic. Be sure to write seo-articles to the blog, but not a set of phrases for search robots, and quality, useful materials for your target audience, using relevant keywords. Also, optimize your videos on YouTube to see more users, post tags to posts.
Remember that high-quality content is a must have, and optimized quality content will provide an increase in organic to your sites.
Rule # 7. Learn the analytics.
Analytics is necessary in order to correct the strategy in time, to strengthen the content plan and get the maximum ROI. Ignoring the data, you are blind and waste resources.
Analyze the activity of consumers of your content. At what time they are more inclined to open letters, watch videos and keep up their positions? Based on the data obtained, develop an improvement strategy and test it.
How effective your content strategy is and what results it brings, you can measure by 3 key metrics:
- social inclusion – coverage, number of likes, comments, reposts, graph of the greatest activity of users;
- traffic growth – the number of unique visitors on the landing pages, the sources of the transitions;
- Conversion of traffic into a targeted action.
It’s important to keep a firm grip on the pulse and keep track of which types of content work best with your audience, conduct surveys, get maximum feedback from subscribers, analyze the data received and flexibly respond to changes in content marketing.
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