StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

In a nutshell, content marketing is all about taking control of your communications.

Instead of communicating through someone else’s channel, it gives you the freedom to own your content from creation through to distribution, to build your audiences and grow your business.

But how do you make sure your content marketing strategy is a success?

Putting together a plan that will delight your audience takes time and resource. On average, around a fifth of total marketing budgets are being allocated to content marketing.

Content marketing can help build close relationships with your audience and boost your business.

To help get you started, we’ve put together our top 5 tips on approaching content marketing:

Tip #1 Find your sweet spot.

Or in business terms, know your USP. What problem does your product or service solve for your customer, what knowledge and skills can you offer to stand out?

Knowing this will help give you the edge over your competitors, differentiate you as a business and gives you your ‘content tilt’; the point at which you can lead and ultimately own your niche.

In order to find this sweet spot, make sure you understand exactly what your audience is buying. Just translating your message into a story isn’t enough.

Creating engaging content means understanding your value to your audience, and how best to communicate it. It’s the old features versus benefits rule – your audience isn’t buying a product or service, they’re looking for a solution to a problem.

Take a moment to ask yourself four simple questions:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What exactly am I offering them?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • Why should they choose me above other options?

Once you’ve nailed your sweet spot, you’ll find it much easier to develop a tailored content plan.

Tip #2 Commit to your content plan

Firstly, agree how and where you should be talking to your audience. For your B2B market for example, your language has licence for business terms if needed. This isn’t the case with a consumer audience; here the point is all about getting the right sentiment.

Listening to the conversations taking place will give you the ability to present your content in the right tone of voice – whether that’s knowledgeable, humorous, educational – the choice is yours!

When it comes to putting your plan together, start with content that’s known to have the highest ROI, for instance lists, feature articles or videos. Remember, valuable content must be focused on answering a problem, not pushing a product. Keep your focus on creating value first and foremost, helping build a loyal audience which will later translate into revenue.

Whatever channel you choose to share your content (e.g. blog, email, newsletter) should be consistent and regular. Agree how often you’ll publish content, plan your content calendar and make sure you stick to it, also allowing some flexibility for reactive content if needed.

Tip #3 Encourage your audience to share

Place easy to use sharing buttons on every piece of content – focused on the channels your audience uses most often. Don’t forget to share any content on your social channels, and ask your team to share on theirs too, helping your content go far and wide.

Use these channels to boost and share your content, but remember social algorithms can change their behaviour at any time, affecting your ability to reach your audience if you are reliant on this space.

A loyal following who share your content frequently are worth their weight in gold!

Tip #4 Don’t forget about the value exchange

From an audience perspective, good content is worth parting with your contact details for. Your audience will happily share valuable information, provided what you are publishing is of enough value to them.

Think about whether any of your content will be strong enough to be provided on a gated basis – giving your audience the benefit of a useful piece of content, and additional information for you that can be used for follow ups or building audience insight.

Tip #5 Try social listening

Pushing out content is the easy part; making sure people engage with that content? Not quite so easy.

Observing the language used by your audience and other channels they follow will give you a great head start in being part of the conversation. Again, a story isn’t enough – you’ll need to understand the context of the discussion and tailor your content accordingly to make sure it’s a success.

By putting these tips into practice, you’re sure to give your content marketing a boost – helping reach your audience and grow your business.