What is content
Content marketing as a term may limit itself in what it actually means/accomplishes. Content has to be looked at holistically, across all platforms, and everything your company/brand says to its customers. Even what your customers say about you.
Everything you put out ties into a larger marketing strategy that encompasses all platforms (plus future platforms) you use to promote your business. Branding and the voice you want to project plays a huge role in this as well.
Why are you sharing content
Think of your business in the context of a relationship. You have to know, like, and trust a person to allow them into your space…customers are no different. Being effective and having a great brand requires a great product and a great relationship with your customers. They want to be informed and they value something they can use. If you know your customers, you know where they hang out online/offline to capture their attention and fit seamlessly into their lives.
Every aspect of social media is content. And your customers are all over the place. The larger the age range of your customers, to more effort you need to be putting into marketing. If you aren’t staying front of mind, your competitor is. The old adage of 7 touch points doesn’t work in an environment where content is oversaturated. As you work through your marketing strategy, the balance of how much will show up through the data and analytics.
Are you effective at it?
The hard truth is most content being produced isn’t effective. Social media doesn’t change the foundational aspects of marketing, it presents opportunities to expand and grow at scale. Conversely, it presents a challenge which is the aspect of 2-way communication on social media. 2-way communication seems to be the barrier to entry with a lot of small businesses on social media.
The content you are producing goes up against hundreds of other ‘like businesses’ in the marketplace. While you may have those diehard fans, customers are easily swayed. Only when you dive into your customers and your unique value proposition can you create amazing content for them.
If you aren’t thinking hard about content, what you are producing is surface level. You can also call it white noise content. When you don’t provide value, no one has a need to listen.
Helping you win
The first step to take is an in-depth audit of your business and the content you are currently producing online and offline. Business goals and plans have a direct tie-in to the brand and content you need to be producing. It’s in this process you have to ask some questions about the business:
- Use your current client/customer base to build out who your ideal customer is. Maybe there are a couple profiles. Knowing these people inside-out gives you the opportunity to identify what they need and what they value.
- Who are your competitors? What does their content look like? Surely you can do better.
- How can you trigger ways to create content around every aspect of your business. How does that content relate to your customer? What are the secondary aspect of your business your customers have needs and questions of? Ex. Realtors talking about lawn care or H.O.A.s
Building a marketing plan
A marketing plan should have highlighted business goals and customer information. Beyond that, your marketing plan is going to be a fluid document you are constantly changing and working over. You’ll have to be auditing your marketing strategy on a regular basis. There are aspects of trial and error which are called A/B split testing in the marketing.
The content you produce is going to vary based on the platform you are working on. Each one lends itself to a slight variation on the language and use of language. Your audience is different on each of the platforms as they are on the platform for different things. Generational aspects create different ways to present your message and content.
Setting yourself up early on, or making changes now will provide you with long-term sustaining growth and adaptability to the marketing landscape. As new platforms come and go, this type of strategy will hold up against any new platform that comes along.