First things first…let us explain a little about content marketing. Content marketing is the practice of creating and sharing media (media being photos, videos, words, illustrations, etc.) and publishing that content (on a blog, Web site, magazine, newsletter, brochure, etc.) to gain or retain customers. The most successful content marketing strategies are those that carefully craft a brand’s story and share it in a creative yet effective manner.
So, what is YOUR story? What do you want people to know about you and your business? Have you helped someone? Have you made someone feel good? Have you helped someone to be healthier or happier? Maybe you should think about sharing the stories of your customers in order to tell your story.
Content marketing is not new. It’s actually been around since the early 1900s, but the Internet gave content marketing a larger stage. Social media made it easy for us to publish large quantities of content and, hence, it’s also made it necessary to compete…no matter your market.
Developing a content marketing strategy should be an essential part of your marketing plan. Once you’ve laid out all your goals and objectives, it’s vital to your success to develop a content marketing plan that will help you with execution. We personally like to organize our content plans in a spreadsheet so we can keep ourselves organized. It also makes it easy to see where we need to be repeating some information. Remember, it takes a minimum of seven times of hearing something for someone to remember it, so any place you can repeat your message is a good way to reuse and recycle your own content!
One of the best additions to your content marketing strategy should include testimonials. Make sure to gather testimonials and ask customers to post their reviews on your Website and social media platforms. Facebook provides a great place for reviews! Just download and install the Rating/Review App. Ask customers to be specific about what they like when giving you rating. These reviews will help future customers to decide if your business is a right fit for them.
If you’re going to use testimonials as part of your strategy, think of your customers as characters in a book. Only sharing their specific testimonial won’t matter much to prospective customers, but if you describe these “characters” and how they relate to your market, customers will feel connected and more likely to act. First, think about your product and/or service. Now think about the features of your customers that might be important to sell your product. Is it the way they look? Feel? Is it about their age? Gender? Is it for people who live in a specific area? Or those who make above or below a specific income? Is it for pet owners? Married couples? Home owners? Whatever the case, make a complete list of the demographics that best represent your customers and make sure to focus on these descriptions and a few more when sharing your “character’s story” (customer’s testimonial).
Once you’ve put together a good character sketch to use in your content marketing, think about how you’ll both educate and entertain your target market with information about your products and/or services. Education and entertainment are the two biggest reasons people take to the Internet so you have to craft your message in a way that answers questions and gets people excited about what you offer.
How will you get this information out there? Will you use social media or your Web site? Will you create new collateral materials? Whatever you choose, make sure that one platform works in tandem with the others. You want all the pieces and parts of your plan to complement each other and guide your prospective client to YOU!
Once you’ve had time for this new content to circulate, ask questions of your customers…how did you hear about us? What was your initial impression based on what you first saw, read, or heard? Did your experience with us meet your initial expectations? These answers will help you to hone in on and refine the current content marketing plan as you go.
Also, make sure to keep that spreadsheet of your content handy. You’ll want to repurpose the content you’ve created on multiple occasions!
If the thought of creating a content marketing plan is overwhelming, call us. Our content marketing specialist is happy to work with you on building plans that will get you recognized in your community!