By Jill Riddiford, B2B Marketing Consultant at Carpe Diem Consulting.
Producing quality content on a regular basis is vital in marketing today but you need to make sure it’s reaching the right people.
So after all the hard work you put in to ensure your content is relevant and interesting to your target audience, consider how to make your content work for you.
1. Find your niche
Reaching a smaller number of the right people for your content is generally a more effective strategy than broadcasting your message out to the widest possible audience.
The good thing about niches is that a greater proportion of members are likely to be active and therefore the more impact your content will have. From there it’s easier to engage and build a reputation as an authority within your space.
For super sharp targeting, know your buyer personas (a representation of your ideal customer) – where are they hanging out and getting their content from? Make use of online communities such as LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups to help locate your best targets.
2. Share it
To start with, publish the content on your website blog and then share it in social media channels:
• Post on LinkedIn – be mindful of the best times – generally late morning is good
• Use Twitter to tweet a snippet of your content and link back to the blog
• Add a link to your blog in your email signature
3. Recycling is in
If you have great content to start with it can be reused and repurposed many times across various mediums. (It’s a good idea to aim for evergreen content that can be used for months or even years.)
For example, maybe you’ve invested a significant amount of time into creating a whitepaper that includes the results of research you’ve conducted into your customer base. Think about other places where you can reuse that content.
You could prepare a summary of it and turn it into a slideshare presentation. Or maybe some of the statistics would work well in an Infographic.
A good principle to keep in mind is that different people prefer to consume content in different ways. Some people are more visual and enjoy video presentations, others prefer text, and for those who spend a lot of time commuting, podcasts can be ideal. There’s also the time factor; for example, personally I usually prefer reading as I can quickly scan the article to find relevant information, which is not so easy with a video.
Why not include a question about preferred content consumption in your next customer newsletter or survey.
4. Quote sources and experts
Mentioning expert sources in your content increases credibility and the authorities you cite may also reshare in their network. Look for experts in topics that complement your area of specialty.
5. Media and other influencers
Think about the wider media sphere when preparing your content. Who are the influencers in your industry that carry weight – perhaps a journalist in your trade media or mainstream media, or an influential blogger? Remember these people are always looking for good content – keep a list of story ideas and build relationships with these influencers.
6. Email marketing
Content marketing involves more than social media channels. Make sure that you leverage the people who already have a connection to your business – your database of customers and others you have built a relationship with. These people have “bought in” to your messages so include carefully targeted email campaigns or newsletters as part of your content marketing program.
7. Getting real
We may live in a digital world but live events are a powerful marketing strategy as you can share content and interact directly with your audience. People remember experiences longer than what they recall from reading on social media. And of course you can continue to engage your customers with content after the event is over.
8. It’s all about the journey
Ideally your content should lead the buyer on a journey, perhaps starting by reading a post on LinkedIn, clicking through to read your blog and then downloading a whitepaper. From there you need to have the processes in place to contact your readers and stay in touch.
Keep in mind how the type of content maps to the buyer journey. For example, to reach customers who are unaware of a problem, use a piece of content that will shock them out of their comfort zone e.g. a webinar or video, but if you want to reach them when they’re searching around the problem, perhaps a ‘How to’ guide is best. See the guide below for how different types of content can work at different stages of the buyer journey.
With a distribution plan in place, you need to set objectives and measure the effectiveness of your content marketing. Start with basic free tools such as Google Analytics for your website and HootSuite for social media.
10. Do you have content confidence?
Not sure where to start with a content marketing strategy? Complete this content self-assessment to see how you rate: