How you can create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience
Content plays a key role in your inbound marketing strategy because it attracts potential customers to your business. Content can be in the form of blog posts, podcasts, webinars and so much more – essentially, any material that consumers find valuable.
While it’s true that almost anyone can write and share blog posts, it takes a skilled marketer to understand the elements of content marketing. Here is a breakdown of the eight content marketing elements and how you can apply them to ensure your inbound marketing efforts are successful.
- Topic and idea generating.
In order to reach customers, you must know your buyer personas. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are their reading habits? What type of information will they find useful? This will help you create content that engages your readers. Try brainstorming for content topics. In a group, it’s helpful to use a moderator, allow a free flow of ideas, incorporate visuals and maintain the goal of finding a solution.
In a crowded marketplace, having a strong story makes your business stand out. Build a relationship with your potential customers with a business story they relate to or identify with. Keep in mind the elements of a great story while creating your business story: conflict, character and resolution. Explain why you're doing what you’re doing in your industry. Add emotion so your story resonates with people and they share it with others.
- Using a long-term content strategy.
Create a long-term content strategy that aligns with your company’s goals. Write the content plan with specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals. Perform content audits every quarter to ensure your organization's initiatives and assets are on track for the content strategy. Identify the journey your buyers move through when doing business with your company to help them make a purchasing decision. Create content to specifically fit each segment of the buyer's journey.
- Having a reliable content creation framework.
Make sure your team has a clear and consistent process to create content. Document the steps to conceptualize content, plan timelines, maintain a workflow, review content, publish and promote content and analyze your content-marketing results. Having a process allows you to consistently publish quality content and maintain the objectives of your overall content strategy plan.
- Effective writing.
Think of ways you can reach your buyer through your writing. Anything you publish should support your brand messaging and fit your company. Always stick with a core idea that provides a solution for your reader. Be sure to include a keyword-rich headline and a relevant CTA (call to action).
- Promoting content.
Once you are creating content consistently, promote and share it with the world! HubSpot recommends you spend 40 percent of your effort creating the content and 60 percent of your effort promoting it. The platforms you use to share will vary based on your audience.
- Measuring and analyzing content.
Planning, writing and promoting content requires a tremendous amount of effort. To make sure it’s paying off, you must measure and analyze it. This way you can be certain your content marketing is driving sales and goals. Track and report the progress and performance of your content to identify weaknesses, so you can adjust all future content creation. Compare the overall results to your documented content strategy goals.
- Repurposing content.
You can extend the value of content that performs well by repurposing it. For example, turn a blog post with a “top 10 list” into 10 separate posts. Or, compile multiple pieces into one list for consumers to easily use. E-books are a great long-form content resource to offer for free to consumers who sign up.
Free inbound marketing guide
Content marketing is a process that grows with your business. As your company offers new products and services, revisit your content marketing strategy and adjust it. Pay attention to changing technology and new SEO practices to be sure your content creation and promotion methods stay up to date. Download Axia Public Relations’ free e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to take your inbound marketing strategy to the next level.
Katie Boyles regularly creates PR and online content that is engaging for target audiences. She improves clients’ online presence and search engine optimization through premium content like e-books and webinars as well as social media posts, blog posts, online articles and more. Katie has been with Axia since September 2015. Learn more about Katie Boyles. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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