Seth Godin once said that “Content Marketing is the only marketing left!”
And in every sense that statement is absolutely true.
As any business that needs external consumers to buy its’ products and/or services…
Will need marketing those contents to be singularly the most important function of that business.
The problem is, in a highly competitive world with millions of pieces of content being spewed out and consumed each day – How do you get the attention and interest of those that you seek to attract and retain?
For that, it is important to formulate a content strategy fully focused around satisfying the needs of the target consumer.
Essentially this can be broken down into 2 major components:
1. QUALITY –
Naturally, the higher the quality of the content, the higher the Audience engagement value you can expect!
“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” – David Ogilvy
Any piece of marketing material that you create must reflect the needs of the consumer at its’ very core.
Incidentally by content we mean, web pages, blog posts, newsletters, PR articles, videos, Infographics, podcasts and images.
Latest figures show that a buyer‘s journey is often reflected by how satisfactorily the questions that he/she might have; have been clearly addressed and answered.
And oh btw, you can also save a lot of time and effort by re-purposing existing content to extend both the reach and longevity of each item.
BONUS TIP: here are some free and paid tools to help you do just that: Audacity – Piktochart – Animoto – MeetEdgar
The next stage is to diligently identify the right social networking and/or news platforms.
2. DISTRIBUTION –
Identifying who the target consumers are and where they frequent most online, is a crucial step in running successful content marketing campaigns.
Therefore knowing when and how often to promote your content for optimum effect will be pretty important.
Researching the latest audience demographics of each online platform for:
Level of Income
Level of Education
Try digging a bit deeper to further understand how this target audience is likely to think or react by studying:
CONTENT CREATION – Getting into the mindset of the consumer.
Answering key issues like needs, challenges and frustrations your audiences have is likely to resonate more at a deeper level.
In all likelihood, most consumers will buy from a physical or mental perspective and sometimes a mixture of two based upon:
Need > Desire > Aspiration > Impulse > Trend > Validation/Acknowledgement > Brand.
Therefore, understanding what your respective audience’s needs & likely frustrations are will help to change your narrative from one that is want-based –
i.e. How can they help you (“buy my product/sign up for my service” etc.)?
For one instead that is based more on understanding and adding value to them i.e. – How can your business product or service help them instead?
Take a look at this aspirational value proposition advertisement by Versace below.
Versace firmly places the suggestion in the prospective consumers’ mind that it believes this perfume is “key to looking beautiful on a beach”
And yet this is precisely where the perfume is least likely to be used!
HELPING YOUR TARGET CONSUMER – How will your business service or products help your target audience?
Your content marketing strategy can be further improved by highlighting what you have to offer against common criteria listed below:
What major consumer problem will you be helping to solve?
Is it likely to make their lives easier/better?
Will they want to pay money for it?
What drives them to making that final purchasing decision?
Online retailers in particular may well be aware of high cart abandonment percentages and will therefore need to offset this by working out:
a). what persuasions your potential customers may require to induce that final step?
b). what hurdles might prevent or hinder them from going ahead?
Figuring this out will prove to be extremely beneficial in getting your offer propositions spot on before placing your products before your consumers.
However it will not be enough to simply; a) write great copy or b) do an amazing job of marketing it convincingly to generate excitement and buzz.
For, if the content distribution does not reach the decision maker, you may find that your time and energy is wastefully spent with little reward.
This may be particularly true if you are promoting just a service led proposition.
Where you may need to spend a lot of time in demoing your service.
And then following up many times afterwards to close just one sale.
And substantially increasing the cost of new account acquisitions.
Purchasing Habits –
Research your consumer buying habits particularly if they’ve purchased from a competitor.
This will confirm that they have a positive potential interest in your service/products.
And may be open to buying from you or that they may be happy staying with the competitor.
What and how do they consume media?
Are they interested in reading magazines?
What movies and TV do they watch?
The websites and social media sites they often frequent?
On social media, closely monitor the times they are:
i) most active
ii) the content they most engage with in terms of clicks, comments, follows, likes and shares.
How can you adapt to reach your target audience and have you identified your target audience correctly?
Nailing down your target consumer’s demographics will save a lot of the guesswork involved in creating the right persuasive tone and frequency of your advertising messages to them.
Both Google Adwords & Facebook Ads are excellent sources for pinpointing audiences that your products will best serve.
You can also research blog posts, news articles and online surveys to get a better understanding of consumer behaviour within your market sector.
Defining your ideal market audiences can be tough however.
But, when you can narrow down who to target, it is easier to adapt the type of marketing messages that will best resonate with them.
And which are the most effective social media channels at reaching them.
CONTENT MARKETING & SEO –
The synergy between SEO and content marketing cannot be exaggerated enough!
There are many experts who disagree that the 2 are linked at all and happily cite instances where one works completely independent of the other.
We however, believe that in the online domain neither discipline can function effectively without the other, particularly if the need to sell online is paramount to the business.
As SEO sets the parameters on how content should be formulated in order to become searchable online.
Content thus created must then fulfill that requirement through being dispersed strategically across the world wide web.
Ultimately, both disciplines exist to service the needs of the site user and are intrinsically conjoined by this intent.
IN A NUTSHELL…
Content marketing is your outreach activity to attracting your perfect customer or client.
Quality of content and strategic distribution will be key factors in determining the success or failure of your content marketing strategy.
Make sure that SEO is employed at the very start of your content creation phase to maximise it’s impact.
And lastly…try not to work in silos if possible, as this can often breed hostility, entrenchment and lack of co-operation between teams.
Need help with your content creation and marketing? Reach out to our content marketing services team in London – we’re here to help…
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