What is content marketing and why is it important?

A relatively new form of digital marketing, content marketing is the practice of
consistently creating and distributing engaging, useful content with the aim of
attracting a clearly defined audience

The importance of content marketing has increased recently
because traditional forms of marketing, such as print and television
advertising or online adverts and banners, are becoming ineffective. Therefore,
marketing professionals have needed to develop a new way of communicating with
customers and prospects with the goal of influencing their behaviour and
increasing profitable customer actions.
Content marketing focuses on owning media and becoming a
source of relevant, valuable information for your target audience. The content
that a business creates and shares should emphasise its expertise in the area
of business and establish the firm as a thought leader.

a content marketing strategy

Developing a plan

Like any other form of marketing, you should begin your
content marketing efforts with a plan or strategy. Key points to consider
include; the purpose of your marketing campaigns- what do you want to achieve?
Identify your unique selling points of your product or service so you can
promote these through your content.
Identify the core messages and values of your business and
ensure that these are promoted through the content created and curated.

It is also advisable to create a content calendar so you can
schedule content creation and identify particular times at which your content
will be most useful to your audience. A calendar will also allow you to take
advantage of specific dates and events throughout the year.

Identifying your

Having a clear target audience in mind when developing a
content marketing strategy is crucial. Spend time developing personas and then
ask yourself what each of the segments want from your business. What questions
do they want you to answer, which products are most suitable for them and what
types of content (ie. Blog post, video, images, inforgraphics) will appeal to
them most.

the right channels

Your content strategy should dictate the channels you use to
communicate with your audience, not the other way around. Whether its social
media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ or a blog on
your website or even a Youtube channel, there a multiple ways to communicate
with your audience.

Consider the best times to post on each channel and the
types of content that will work well. For example many businesses find that
images attract a lot of engagement on Facebook and have built this into their
content strategy.

the content process

From content creation through to engaging with followers and
fans, a well-planned out process with ensure that you keep on top of your
content marketing strategy.

Start by creating content that is informative and engaging
and optimise it so that it is easily found and appears in search results. Then
find some trusted sources with valuable content that you can aggregate through
your channels.

Finally, build in some time to interact and communicate with
your audience. It is important to create a dialogue with your prospects and
customers instead of simply talking at them. Listen to their feedback and
incorporate this into your content plan.

and Analyse

Like any marketing activity, it is important to measure the
results of you content marketing campaign. Most channels have analytical tools
allowing you to measure the impact of your efforts. Websites and blogs can be
tracked using Google Analytics, Facebook has its own insights feature and other
platforms can be measured by monitoring the number of followers and how they
interact with your posts.

Are you using content marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy?
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