There are many buzzwords that marketing professionals are faced with during their day-to-day activities. In the world of digital marketing there is a seemingly endless supply of them. However, amidst all the noise there are important terms that require our attention and deeper understanding. One of those terms is content marketing. Not only is it essential to understand what content marketing is (and not in a general way), but to know how it drives results. To help readers understand how to implement an effective content marketing program, here is a list of the top three areas to focus your content marketing efforts on.
- Know Your Customer – It’s almost impossible to develop a content marketing plan if you don’t have a deep understanding of the services your company offers and why customers buy them. In product sales it’s much easier to understand the customer than in a professional services firm. For this reason, it’s important to spend time with the people who know your target client and their industry to gain a deeper understanding of the customer’s psychology and needs. Only then can content be developed that speaks to them. Creating a niche brings this expertise over time.
- Create Customer Based Content – Once you have an understanding of the customer then you can develop content that speaks to them. For example, if your company is an accounting firm that provides international tax services, you need to provide content that deals with issues that prospects are facing. An article topic might be the 10 Things to Consider When Doing Business in the United States, or Key Tax Concerns for International Professionals. In this content, you are not just describing a service rather you are taking the prospects viewpoints and developing content around the issues and challenges they are facing. Our experience says that the more the content focuses on customer needs the better it will perform.
- Know the Sales Cycle – This is probably the most important part of content marketing. Timing is everything so if you don’t know when what parcels of content should run at what time of year then you are diminishing the opportunity to drive results. As such, it’s important to spend time speaking with understanding your target market’s business cycle and others to assess when is the right time to run and feature specific types of content. Over and over again we have seen that when sales cycle appropriate content is featured it out performs and increases the number of conversions the website receives.
Content marketing is a comprehensive process that requires a deep understanding of the company, industry and services offered. Without these foundational items in place the other work and effort expended will have only a limited value.