I have always told my clients that the key to effectively connecting with their target audience is to create and publish contents that are useful, relevant, and resonant with this audience wherever they are in their decision-making journey.
Marketers use content marketing primarily to boost website traffic and to generate leads. Let us look at some good practices you can implement for a successful content marketing:
Know your audience
As the starting point, thoroughly understand the needs, problems, and pain points of your target audience which your product/service is supposed to address. The only reason for the existence of your product/service is that it offers utility value to a specific market.
For you to connect effectively with your audience, deeply familiarize yourself with their personas, particularly the psychographic aspect. Connecting effectively entails connecting emotionally with them. This involves knowing their values, beliefs, preferences, and behavior. It includes knowing what they want (aside from what they need as mentioned above) and what they care about.
Create good quality contents
Good quality contents are useful, relevant, and resonant with your target audience and appropriate to the respective stages of their buyer journey. Good content offers genuine value.
Contents are useful if these answer important questions of your audience relevant to their needs, problems, and pain points. It should also be educational or informative by providing knowledge that is critical in making an informed decision.
Contents are relevant if these provide insights into the pros and cons of purchasing certain product/service and other issues that are usually not discussed in the features and benefits of the product/service.
Contents are resonant if these can evoke positive images, memories, or emotions that more often than not help bring about a favorable impression or decision about a product/service.
Creating content is not only about stunning images or videos, entertainment, or humor. Although these are all helpful, good contents should be developed and presented in a way that are useful, relevant, and resonant based on a thorough understanding of your audience and their journey stage.
Come up with contents that answer your audience’s questions and presented in a format (written, audio, or visual) appropriate to each stage of the decision-making journey – initial awareness of the product/service, interest buildup, considerations and alternatives, and final purchase decision.
Help them move from top to bottom of the marketing funnel not only by the information you provide but also by using a variety of content types such as blogs, instructional articles, infographics, statistics, testimonials, case studies, and others appropriate to each stage.
Good contents bring people to your website, generate leads, convert them into customers, and make them loyal brand advocates.
Good contents put you above the noise and clutter. Marketers are pushing to generate tons of content daily believing that quantity makes a good content marketing strategy. Many of these marketers usually demand several content pieces daily from a content writer and pay them a pittance. Do you think the poor guy can come up with good quality contents?
Promote your content
Your content cannot serve its purpose if it does not get read. Obviously.
With millions of online contents generated and published every day, your content cannot see the light of the day if you do not promote it.
Publish your content on different platforms where your target audience spends their time.
Post your content on your blog page, post a listicle version on Facebook, post snippets on Twitter, and post an excerpt on LinkedIn. It gets liked, shared, or commented on. This is then a great opportunity to engage with your readers.
If you do a good job of search-engine-optimizing your content, it can get found and read on search results.
If you send out newsletters periodically, your content can be read (including your other contents done earlier) by your email subscribers and probably get shared with others.
You may also consider reaching a wider audience through paid promotion.
There is nothing like being unique, innovative, imaginative, original, and visionary in order to rise above the crowd, the clutter, and the noise in the sea of online contents.
You can do this by thoroughly understanding both your target personas and the benefits your product/service can provide. Find a connection or a common ground between these two and present it in a way that has never been presented before. It can be by way of a unique benefit, content format, or content tone. Think deep, work hard, and be different to make an impact.
Keep in mind that your contents should provide value to your target audience. It should inform and educate them so they can make an informed decision about your product/service.
While the ultimate objective of your content marketing efforts is to drive sales through a favorable audience action, your content should not be salesy nor pushy.
Be truthful, refrain from overblown or unproven claims, and do not use sensationalized contents and visuals.
It is always better to show proven metrics, real customer testimonials, well-documented case studies, or even videos of behind-the-scenes or actual customer experiences (even including some mistakes) of cases using your product/service. Do not be afraid to mention or show some shortcomings.
Be human. Inject some humor. Being down-to-earth and honest can build trust and initiate engagement with your audience. This is usually the start of creating a favorable action on your product/service.
What is important likewise is to project your subject matter authority or thought leadership. Be confident about what your content says.
Use content marketing tools
You can use a number of SEO, web analytics, and content creation tools for more efficient and effective content marketing.
There are a lot of good SEO tools available and many of them are free. Use these tools to improve the ranking of your content on search results.
While SEO brings visitors to your website, web analytic tools on the other hand help you analyze visitors’ behavior. These tools help you know which pages (and therefore content) are visited most thus giving you insight on what kind of content you should be focusing on. There are also many good and free web analytic tools the most popular of which is Google Analytics.
You may also use tools such as those recommended by HubSpot to make content creation easier.
What I have discussed above are some of the more effective ways you can improve your content marketing efforts and achieve your objectives. You may also visit our website for more information and guidance on content marketing.