You’ve probably heard about this thing called content marketing and been told you need to be doing more of it. But what exactly does that mean and how can you go about creating a content marketing mindset for your business?

First off, what is content marketing? Content marketing can be defined as the practice of creating and distributing relevant content to attract, acquire, and retain a target audience that is critical to the on-going success of your business.

Content marketing has been around for over a hundred years. Content marketing is really the art of telling your story in a compelling fashion to your audience. So there’s a good chance you’ve already got a start on doing content marketing. What you are probably lacking though is a a strategic plan that outlines the content you will create, how you will distribute the content to your audience and how you will measure the results of your efforts.

Your strategic planning process should include the business goals you intend to achieve with your content marketing program. This could include:

  • Reinforcement of your brand – this is the most common goal for content marketing, which is creating a more effective way to increase awareness of your products or services
  • Conversion and nurturing of leads – no matter how you define a lead…i.e. signing up for a demo or subscribing to a newsletter…once you have a prospect’s permission to engage with them, you can use content to help move them through the buying cycle.
  • Customer conversion – this is the area you should already have a lot of content that demonstrates “proof points” for the sale. Case studies and testimonials are a good example.
  • Customer service – while creating content to bring in new customers is crucial, it is also just as important to use content to reinforce the customer’s decision to purchase your product or service.
  • Customer loyalty and retention – a lot of hard work was done to bring in your current customers, so you don’t want to lose them. Newsletters or webinars are a great way to keep your customers engaged.
  • Upselling to current customers – by continuing to engage current customers, you can more easily upsell them with other products or services you have.
  • Creating a community of evangelists – the ultimate goal in content marketing is having a group of loyal and satisfied customers that will go out and share your story with others.

Many marketers get caught up in focusing on the channels they should be using to get their story out and thus forget to focus on putting together great content. This is backwards. Your initial focus with content marketing should be on creating great content, then figuring out the best channels to deliver it to your target audience.  Once you have great content in place, you can repurpose it in many ways. For instance, perhaps you already have a number of white papers you’ve created. The contents from these white papers can be a great place to start in creating blog posts or for emails that are part of a lead nurturing sequence.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about how to put together a content marketing strategy for your business.