How to use Content Marketing to Engage your Audience
Media is stalking us at every turn – from billboards on our commute, to sales calls on our phones, to endless commercials interrupting our favorites shows, to junk email piling up our inbox. We are exhausted with the traditional push marketing, and now more apt to ‘block’ it out. What instead if our content was being sought after instead of shoved in people’s faces? What if the content made them laugh, feel inspired, answered their questions or motivated them to read more? Hence, this is where content marketing comes in and saves the day for our brand.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
It is the process of promoting your brand, your experience and your product without the sales pitch. It’s about creating interest by writing content that not only people want to read but they will search for. *See video below.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – Content Marketing Institute
HOW TO IMPLEMENT CONTENT MARKETING
There are several channels to publish and promote engaging content through your website, your blog, social media, bookmarking sites, and guest blogging. Content Marketing can also include workshops, presentations, podcasts, video series, interviews, infographics, networking events, live demonstrations, entertainment, magazines, email marketing and anything and everything else that includes the transfer of quality content without direct advertising purposes.
Think creatively on how you can engage your target audience, try new things even if it takes some time and experimentation to get it right. Don’t dismiss if it your idea seems too outlandish or is somewhat untried by your competitors. Your content is much more likely to go viral if you or your company appear to be an innovator in your field.
For example, have you ever tried a live Q&A? Try out the new Instagram Live Stream, which is similar to Facebook’s but their live video is only viewable while streaming is in progress. And while the streaming is going on, you can have questions or comments pop up on the screen so your audience can become part of the action.
“Users can share anytime, anywhere with their friends and followers who will be alerted to tune in to watch the stream, but as soon the video ends the footage will disappear immediately — poof! — kinda like real life.” – Bustle
WHERE TO IMPLEMENT CONTENT MARKETING
Where to implement content is more about where your target audience is. Research where your customers are currently being referred from. How can you expand on those areas? Check your website statistics to see where your backlinks are working and where they are not. How much organic traffic is being generated? How successful is your other channels of information – emails, print materials, workshops or networking? Do you see areas that need work? Think about your product and your area of expertise and ask yourself how can you share your specific message in a forum that will attract attention?
If you’re not seeing traffic sourced from your social media, you’re doing something wrong. Why? Facebook is the number one for referral traffic at 40%, just 2% higher than Google. That is a huge statistic because it shows that many users are using Facebook to click for more information (your website or blog). If you provide a well thought out teaser to your blog or webpage, an engaging image and a shortlink, you will definitely earn more visitors, but if you get them there and there is nothing worthy of anyone’s time, you will lose readers as well as repeat visitors.
So the first step is writing good content, before you can begin promoting it on social media and other channels. What do you write about? How do you write to engage, interest and convert your audience to customers? What topics are appealing and searchable to your target audience?
WHAT TOPICS OF CONTENT ARE MARKETABLE
Basically you are providing information that fills your customer’s needs, solves their problems, answers their questions, or even motivates or entertains them. It’s not about you or your product or service, it’s about the consumer – what they’re looking for, what they need, what keeps them up at night. You can use your expertise and experience to answer their questions but remember it’s not just about you.
So ask yourself: What specific need does my target audience have and how can I provide a solution … via content? Here’s an example:
If you provide services of home construction or remodeling, you could answer the following questions: What home improvement will bring the greatest return on my home value? How do I build a green home? Why are tiny houses so trendy? How do I get the farmhouse look in a city home? What are some creative uses for my basement or attic space? How can I create more storage in my small home? What is the biggest trend in kitchen redesigns? How can I repurpose vintage pieces for a new look? How much square footage is enough for a family of four? etc…
Many of these topics do not directly address the services the company provides but these are all topics their target audience would be interested in. Think of all the goals, concerns and questions someone looking to build or remodel a home would be considering. They’re not only looking for a builder or contractor, so put yourself in their shoes and think of the process from their point of view, they want to decorate that space, get the most return on their investment, be comfortable in the space, and desire functionality, adequate storage and appealing design in that space.
How can you assist them in their quest? So when you dissect the wants and needs of your potential clients, can you start to imagine topics that would interest them? Also consider the time and season, recent news events, economic forecasts, and recent trends when you write your article. If your content is cutting edge, current, and on the crest of the wave, you’ll definitely create more buzz.
Looking for more examples on what to write about for your particular brand, industry and target audience? Contact Startup Production for content writing, training and consulting.
What is Content Marketing?