Most businesses are starting to realize that in today’s world, it’s easy—and often inexpensive—to get content “out there.” So, full speed ahead with marketing! Wait. Do you really want to plunge into blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, brochures, radio spots, and more without an underlying strategy? The negatives associated with poorly planned and executed marketing can far outweigh the fact that you have a presence on Facebook.
So how do you make a strategy? Start with the content.
Wikipedia states that “content marketing…involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.” Content marketing’s basic premise is to “provide some valuable information or entertainment —content—that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence a customer in some way.”
Step one: content hunt
Do your homework and go on a search to see what content you already have: in print, scribbled on a restaurant napkin, or in an audio file somewhere. Check actual file cabinets and computer files as well as your desk drawers. What have you already done or thought of that has merit? Compile it; mine it for little gems; repurpose it.
Step two: identify your favorite customer
Figure out who your audience is and how to reach them. What drives your potential customers—their motivations, interests, needs, and areas of persuasion? Each piece of advertising you do, no matter what format—should satisfy the following questions:
- Who is your core audience?
- What niche (need) can you fulfill for them?
- What outcome can your audience expect?
Step three: talk to them!
It’s not all about you or your company. Your advertising content should talk about what really matters to your potential customers and the customers you already have. Focus on sharing what you do, know, or have that benefits and serves your clients. Does it sound like an ad? Rewrite it so it is fun to unwrap, holds valuable information, and is friendly and helpful.
Step four: focus
What are the best ways to reach your audience? Focus your efforts and your budget in those venues. What if you’ve done steps one to four above, and you know content marketing strategy is important, but you can’t find the time, or words are not your specialty? Then…welcome to the Write Place! Our writers will take the time to get to know you and your audience so that we can create relevant, valuable content.
And, yes, we can help with the graphic design and distribution part, too!
photo credit: Strategy via photopin (license)