With the rise of social media, personal brands and instagram influencers, everyone is ‘marketing’ themselves these days, from the neighbour’s dog, to, well the neighbour’s cat.
But content marketing, now that sounds a lot more serious doesn’t it? Well the truth is, it isn’t really.
I’m not going to go into what content marketing is and isn’t right now – thats a story for another time, but let’s just say in it’s simplest form – if you own a business and want customers to come to you first, and keep coming back every time – then you need to be content marketing.
Its that simple, and of course, that hard.
What I am going to talk about today, is how to strategically generate content, so it’s most valuable to your audience and hits three key areas:
Raises brand awareness
Creates and keeps loyal customers
Solves a problem or need
Those smarty-pants at Google, have come up with some very clever alliteration to help us remember these three points:
Raises brand awareness – Hero
Creates and keeps loyal customers – Hub
Solves a problem or need – Help
The first step to epic content marketing is to develop your strategy – just think of it like a mini version of your overall marketing strategy.
So, you’ll need to set a vision for your content marketing and then define goals, before splitting these goals into smaller, manageable tasks.
And there you have a very loose strategy, and now onto creating content that resonates.
For this we use the hero, hub, help approach.
Get yourself a digital content calendar , split it into the different areas of content marketing you are going to focus on (i.e social media, ebooks, white papers, blogs, video, podcasts – whatever works for your business and audience) and then come up with content that fits into each of these areas, categorising it ‘hero’, ‘hub’ and ‘help’.
I know what you’re thinking ‘come up with content’ is far easier said then done, but I promise if you keep hero, hub and help in mind, it’ll become a lot easier to populate your calendar with content your audience will actually want to read.
If you do need a little extra help, here are my top tips for generating engaging and shareable content:
- Look at what your competitors are doing. If they’re doing it well then don’t be too proud to take heed, but just give it your own brand spin
- Use Feedly. The great thing about Feedly is once it’s set up, it can be collating content for you. That way when you come to populate your calendar, there’s loads of articles ready for the picking. Use it for original content inspiration too, not just sharing industry articles
- Answer the public I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you HAVE to know what your target audience are searching for online and be relevant in order to produce valuable content. If you haven’t developed target audience profiles yet, you might want to get onto that sharpish
- Look at your analytics . If your business is in commerce, what are your customers buying, not buying and why? The ‘why’ in most cases can point to some great content i.e they’re not buying that gadget because they think it’s too complicated to install – voila a how-to install video can go straight in your content calendar.
My final thought is this; content marketing doesn’t need to be overly complicated, you’re probably already doing it and doing it well, but of course there’s always room to be doing it better.
Final, final thought – expect a lot more content from me on content marketing, it’s my jam. What’s yours?