Content marketing: more than just a tactic

For any astute business owner, being concerned with the level of return generated from an investment on any given project – whether it be a marketing campaign or an upgraded telecommunications system – is essential. Unfortunately, as marketing evolves with the demands of the online world, not all of its forms offer a clear cut return. Content marketing is one such example.

Why content marketing is a philosophy

Content marketing is a long game, one that must run continuously alongside, and integrate with, all other marketing efforts. Frustratingly, there are no quick wins here: the idea is to build a range of interesting, useful and engaging content both on your website and externally, which in turn serves to present you as an authority within your market.

Content marketing is not designed to bring in enquiries the way a PPC or advertising campaign might. Modern day consumers are all too aware of the tactics used by marketers to draw them towards a product or service, and clever content marketing is a way to speak to your demographic without the hard sell, to enable them to trust your brand and choose to engage with you on their terms.

What your content marketing should achieve

As with any marketing campaign, content marketing needs to have a clear purpose. Before starting a piece of content, decide what it’s for: to educate your audience? To encourage them to interact with the brand? To generate leads? Secondly, decide on the goals for your effort; whether it’s to generate a percentage of new enquiries or to achieve a higher position in the search engines, thus making your business stand out above the competition, you can only measure its success by setting objectives.

How to succeed with content marketing

Naturally there are some rules to play by if you want your content marketing efforts to succeed. Firstly, you have to create with your consumers in mind. Who are they? What sort of things do they like? It’s not an easy thing to hear, but with content, you often have to put thoughts of instant profits aside and simply create something that is relevant and engaging to your audience.

Deciding what you want your content to do is essential. Are you refuting an argument, perhaps from a competitor, or upholding certain values of your target market? Perhaps you’re looking to start a discussion or debate? Either way, you community needs to be at the heart of your strategy.

Keep sharing

Next, it’s important to keep marketing it. If you’ve put time into the production of a piece of content, don’t simply share it on your social channels once and then forget about it. Share it over a number of weeks, outreach to influential people in your sector and ask them to share it (but make sure you build a relationship with them first), refer to and link to it in other content pieces such as blogs, repurpose it for a whitepaper or SlideShare. That way, you can encourage visits from both people with an existing interest in your content as well as people who might be new to your brand.

Getting a commitment

Convincing the CEO of your company to back content marketing can be a challenge, but in order for it to be successful, a commitment from the very top of the tree is required, as you’ll need budget and resource. Think about using case studies to help your superiors to understand the value in investing in this long-term philosophy and present some content ideas and ways they could be marketed. In many respects, it’s a leap of faith for the executive echelon, but plenty of businesses have seen it pay off.

In summary

It’s true you won’t find users converting the first time they engage with a piece of your content, but you’ll have planted a seed that leads to familiarity with an undercurrent of trustworthiness. When the consumer needs the product you sell, they’ll come to you.

For more information on how to successfully market your business and draw the attention you and your product deserve, contact Xander Marketing today on +44 (0)330 223 2770 or request your free one-hour consultation.

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