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  • Jul 24, 2018
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Team TIS

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According to the internet, content marketing is a certain type of marketing involving creating and sharing of online materials like blogs, videos, posts, etc., not necessarily for the promotion of a brand but simply for generating interest in its products and services. It is a focused marketing targeted at a specific audience.

Traditional methods of marketing are getting uncommon by the day where instead of advertising the products and services, the prospective customers are provided with relevant and useful content to solve their nagging concerns.

Research shows that content marketing is used by popular, well-known organizations of the world and by small, independent businessmen alike. It is used by 86% of businesses all over the globe.

Content marketing strategies are very popular for online customer engagement and also to create impressive brand recognition. When done in a right way, customers will be loyal to a brand and they will prefer to buy its product over others. It also helps in:

  • Increasing site traffic
  • Boosting social media awareness
  • Influencing customers’ interest

Most of the marketing strategies today fail to make a mark. This is because of:

  • The absence of a clear plan
  • Using old, unimportant data around strategies
  • Low-quality content
  • The absence of a clear goal and no plan of action
  • Targeting the wrong audience
  • Poorly used SEO
  • No performance review

A typical customer’s journey to buying a product consists of 4 major steps. First, he has a need which creates awareness. This puts him to the next stage where he goes searching for information. The second, the customer’s interests are evoked and he finds the information about brands, the products he needs and the services. Next comes the consideration part. Here, the customer does comparisons and reviews the information provided to him. He makes a decision. Finally, he now becomes a customer. As a prospective customer, he now enters the interest stage.

This is where businesses get the opportunity to engage the customers and influence them with content marketing strategies. The customers need to be provided with unique content that will keep them glued and elated. In the present day, it is all about customer satisfaction. Prospective as well as the current customers will appreciate when brands give importance to their satisfaction and this satisfaction can be created by content marketing by addressing the pain points of customers.

But first of all, the audience needs to know that you and your brand care for them. Only then will they lend an ear to your offers, deals and discounts. Once you answer their questions about cost, how to make a purchase, why and where, how you fare compared to your competitors, other features, the benefits, how it will help in reaching a goal, etc., they will start trusting you over the short and long term.

How to create an effective content marketing strategy?

The many factors that are responsible for creating successful content marketing strategies are:

  1. Plan

Careful and accurate planning goes a long way toward ensuring a success. For a strong plan to be implemented, these steps need to be taken:

  • Set a specific goal. It is not just about growing your business. It is about what facet of your business you are looking to target.
  • Set a fixed budget. Content marketing needs finances. Setting a fixed budget will give you an idea of what to do and what not to do.
  • Gauge the trend. Get creative and produce some interesting and novel concepts.
  • Give a direction to your campaign. After considering the trends, identify the target audience and contemplate where you want to drive the campaign.
  1. Decide

Taking a decision is not so easy. Just perusing data and trends is not sufficient to come up with a decision. Apart from this, you have to:

  • Know the audience and their searches. Write content to help them with tips rather than definitions.
  • Finalize a format. You should know the medium that will be implemented in the content. Choose from several options available like text, video, sound, graphics, etc. Take a decision based on the intended audience.
  • Choose a unique topic. Search for topics online and come up with topics and titles that are not commonly available online. Make your content much better than your competitors.
  1. Create

Since you have the framework ready, start working on the content. Pay attention to these:

  • Employ a good amount of resources. Have good content generators, images, videos, articles at your disposal.
  • Keep it interesting. Make sure that the text does not get repetitive or lose its trail after a while. The text should engage the audience throughout. Use catchy titles and sub-headings.
  • Typeface and colours. The colour combinations of the website must complement your brand. It must be simple and pleasant rather than look over the top.
  • Use visuals. Graphics and visuals have a deep impact on the human mind. Make appropriate use of them and enhance the user interface of the website.
  • Include a CTA. Now, this is important. Give some initiative for the readers to take. Give reasons as to why they should do it and its benefits.
  1. Marketing

After the successful creation of content, comes the next significant part of marketing it.

  • Generate a sitemap and submit it to the Google search console. If you skip this, the website won’t show up anywhere in the search results.
  • Optimize your page to rank better in the searches. Use the tools that are available. Do you know that creating videos is the best for SEO? A video included content has 53 times more chances of showing up on Google’s first page.
  • Use social media generously. Create a social page, communicate to followers, post latest updates, get as many followers as possible.
  1. Evaluation

The job is not yet done. The success of the content needs to be measured. When you do not have an idea of how your content is faring, you cannot avoid mistakes or repeat the things that are working fine. If there is a positive change in user behaviour due to the content, the strategies were a success.

An important fact to remember in content marketing is that it is done to provide information and educate the customers. Do not go all out in selling your products or services. Create content to educate the customers, not for selling stuff. As an example, if someone is looking for some advice on an air conditioner and your company sells them, just them all the information they need to know. Do not suggest that you can sell your air conditioners to them for the best price, etc. Talk about temperatures, ducts, cooling, and latest technologies being used, give them your visiting card and make an exit. They will come back when they need you.

What role does paid advertising play

Content marketing strategies are essentially inbound marketing strategies. But as usual, the demarcation between inbound and outbound gets hazy and it vanishes. This happens because content can be created and then through advertisements, traffic is driven to it.

It is very common to see inbound content combined with outbound marketing. It attracts a lot of people to your website. The confusion many faces here is why to do something when the people are not paying you?

When you have a relatively new business with low numbers in the audience, then you need to increase the numbers by advertising about more significant content. If you are not too keen to grow the audience numbers, you can still drive traffic through paid advertisements.

Social media comes very handily and useful for these tactics. Utilize Facebook, AdWords, Instagram abundantly and create content. After all, an advertisement to is content creation. Initial days of any business are hard, but with paid advertisements, things do not look so grim.

Generating content marketing tactics requires inbound marketing to go hand in hand with content marketing. Organizations have adopted these because they aim to influence the customers in all stages of buying. The numbers are proof enough that the strategies work.

Effective content marketing strategies do not work today without great and intriguing content. Irrespective of the marketing strategies that an organization uses, content related marketing should be an integral part of it. There are 3 good reasons for you to put content marketing to use:

  • It makes the most of the existing customer behaviours. It is a human tendency to gather information and if you find it useful, you share it with others who you think will also find it useful.
  • It starts conversations. Brands and organizations are in a win-win situation when their published content creates word-of-mouth discussions, leading to more brand awareness and possibly sales.
  • It makes emotional connections. The brands that make a place in the customers’ heart are capable of turning those customers into customers that will contribute to the brand’s revenue.

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