Helping your target group with relevant information and content without expecting anything in return. Waste of time? Absolutely not! Content marketing is the art of staying top of mind with your target audience without losing that relevance. By investing in effective content marketing, you do exactly that. As a result, the conversion rate is increased, brand awareness is improved, sales are boosted and much more.
Whether you're just starting to devise a strategy or refreshing an existing strategy. It never hurts to re-evaluate your process and come up with new ways to create and share content with your audience. In this blog you can read more about what content marketing is and how to get started.
These topics are covered in this blog:
What is content marketing?
The process of publishing written content and visual material online with the aim of attracting more potential customers – or leads – is called content marketing. Think of blogs, website pages, white papers, infographics, videos and so on. The list of possibilities is endless.
Some content marketing cannot is throwing a random piece of content online in the hope that people will find it. It's about tailoring your content to the audience you're targeting. That way people come to you (inbound) and you don't have to go to them (outbound).
Nowadays, outbound is no longer as effective in addressing and converting your target group as it used to be. Now you can reach your target group much more effectively in a way that is relevant to them and feels natural. You do that by telling a story. You do not directly create extra sales with this, but you build and maintain a relationship with existing and potential customers. Your goal is that your target group will see you as a valuable source of information and someone who helps them solve a problem in a valuable way.
How does content marketing work?
The starting point of content marketing is to be found by your target group at the right time and to provide the right information at that time. That may sound like a coincidence, but the opposite is true.
Content marketing is a strategic and systematic approach. You meet the information needs of your visitors who do not want to buy at all at that time. But slowly but surely you know how to interest these visitors in your products or services with your useful and relevant content. You use a marketing funnel for this. You guide potential customers through the customer journey without trying to sell anything directly and help the potential customer in his or her search for information. You share valuable knowledge and prepare them for the next step in your funnel until they eventually convert from visitors to leads and from leads to customers.
Why is content marketing important?
Because you help your target group, you as a company have more value for your target group than a company that has not shared relevant knowledge. Because of the bond you have built with this, leads are more likely to choose your company. In short: when used in the right way, content marketing proves itself time and time again. The numbers don't lie either:
- Companies with an active blog get an average of 67% more leads than companies without;
- 47% of online leads view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with sales;
- Companies with a content marketing strategy grow on average 30% more than companies without;
- 72% of B2B marketers say content marketing increases engagement and leads.
This is how you start with content marketing.
You start with content marketing with a solid plan. It happens often enough that someone starts content marketing by starting a social media channel and occasionally throwing a blog online. That way it will take a long time for those extra visitors to come to your website. Without results, it's easy to quit before you've noticed the real benefits. That is why we will help you on your way in 5 clear steps below:
1. Set goals and define KPIs;
- The first part of your content marketing strategy consists of SMART objectives. These are unique to your business and often complement your broader marketing and business objectives.
- You then set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each SMART goal. KPIs are, as it were, intermediate stops on the way to the final goal. You use them to measure actual performance against the target.
- Example: your goal is increase conversions. KPIs that fit well with this are: Conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, associated shipping rate trends, competitive price trends.
2. Define your target group(s). It is impossible to create relevant and interesting content if you do not know what concerns your target group. Therefore, first map out the wishes and needs before you even think about content. For example, are there challenges you can help them with? What is the tone of voice they like? To keep things clear, we recommend that you focus on 1 or 2 segments of your target group and clarify these profiles with a persona.
3. Choose the right tool: there are countless ways to use content. Determine which asset best fits the previously defined personas. It makes little sense to create content in a format that your target audience is not interested in. Also think beyond standard resources such as videos, photos and blogs. Checklists, white papers, e-books or manuals are sometimes just as effective - it depends entirely on your target group. Do you like to go a little deeper? Create content based on the phases of the customer journey. People at the beginning of the customer journey are often better served with an informative e-book. When they are ready to buy, a product video and customer reviews work better.
4. Determine the channel: creating and publishing content is 1, being found by your target group is 2. The channel you use has all the influence on this. This comes down to where your target audience is located. For example, which social media do they use – if they use it at all. Or is SEO optimization on existing blogs more interesting? In addition, it is useful to map out the easiest way for your target group to bond with your company. So what does it take to get an email address; A newsletter? Download a white paper? This information makes it easier to enter into a lasting relationship.
5. Make a (feasible) schedule. Try to stay realistic and see how much you can produce per month for the first six months. You then have some experience and know better how long it takes to create a certain piece of content. But also what works well and what less. And of course how much time and money it takes to get your content to the right people.
Our extra tips: learn from the best practices that exist because you really don't have to reinvent the wheel if you get started yourself. But remember that the success of your content and its quality go hand in hand. Sloppiness and mistakes do not make your company and brand an authority. Therefore appoint or hire someone as the person with ultimate responsibility who monitors quality and consistency. The four-eyes principle is always recommended, no matter how experienced you are.
Analyze the results.
Perhaps the most important step. Measure and analyze the results of your content marketing strategy. This way you can make the necessary adjustments to find an even better connection with your target group(s). Take a look at your previously set goals and KPIs and see if you have already achieved them or if your estimate was too high.
You can find more information about data tracking and analysis in our Data tracking 101 blog. Packed with tips and tools to help you on your way.
Content creation is a process of researching your audience, optimizing content and wanting to help your audience with relevant information before trying to sell them something. Then there's only one thing left! Take these tips and get started creating the best possible content for your target audience. Not finished yet? Check out more here inspiring blog articles.
Need help with your content marketing strategy or content creation? Take contact with us! Social Brothers is a Digital Agency, we work with and for our clients. As a team we are driven by the challenges of our clients. Growing together is something we get excited about. Our team of consultants, designers, marketers and developers is fully focused on online growth. We have been on a playing field that changes daily for more than a decade. With new channels, changing resources or innovative techniques.
Every day we help our clients with the foundation of their business. A little better every day, that's what we stand for. Curious about what we can do for you? Click here .