Content Marketing Playbook: 6 Important Steps for Reaching Your Audience
By Dan Fries
The days when content marketing was an exciting new concept are long gone. Today, content marketing is an essential powerhouse for any business – regardless of industry – that wants to achieve awareness, attract quality traffic, boost sales, and most importantly reach the right audience.
Sadly, a majority of businesses do not have a viable content marketing strategy or are not consistent in implementing the best content marketing practices. This means that these businesses are not getting the right message to the right person at the right time.
In this article, we will take a look at what content marketing is as well as present the six crucial steps you need to incorporate in your content marketing strategy to reach your audience.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a versatile marketing medium that involves creating, distributing, and sharing content to engage your audience or achieve other marketing goals. Content in this case can include text, audio, or video.
A viable content marketing strategy is a well thought out plan for building an audience by researching, publishing, maintaining, and promoting frequent and consistent content that adds value to your audience to turn them into customers.The best content marketing uses well researched articles, audio, visuals, or videos to turn your audience into CUSTOMERS. Click To Tweet
Content marketing also goes hand-in-hand with Search Engine Optimization. As such, digital marketers who want to see the best results in their digital marketing campaigns need to learn content marketing and integrate it into their SEO strategy.
After all, you don’t want quality content lying around the internet with no results to show. You need content that will be visible in SERPs (search engine results pages) and one that will generate more leads to hopefully convert into customers.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the tactics you can apply to ensure that your content marketing strategy will help you reach the right set of people to market your products or services.
Six Important Steps for Reaching Your Audience
1 – Define Your Target Audience
One of the main goals of creating content is to solve the problems of your customers or clients. As such, you need to find a way to identify these sets of customers so that you can speak to them directly with your content.
Too many marketers assume that what they have to offer has universal appeal, but the truth is that’s rarely the case. This school of thought can also get in the way of creating an effective marketing campaign by failing to communicate to the right set of people.
2 – Identify the Criteria to Create a Buyer Persona
You also will need to create buyer personas as part of your content marketing strategy. While developing a detailed buyer persona can be challenging, there are several ways to do this based on an almost infinite number of criteria. Remember that your customer base is unique to your business. As such, you’ll need to pinpoint some important factors that will help your business to better connect with the potential needs of your customers
You can start with some basic points such as gender, age, level of education, income, or even location to identify who the best recipients for your products are. But it can also go deeper than that and include a criterion that matches your audience’s attitudes, opinions, or beliefs – based on the message you want to convey.
3 – Identify What your Audience Wants Most from You
As a marketer, one of the main challenges you are likely going to encounter is the feeling of attachment you have to your brand. While this is a natural emotion, you also need to put yourself in a situation where you’ll be able to see your brand exactly how your customers and prospects see it.
Viewing your business as it stands through that lens, you can be able to see the weak spots in your content marketing strategy as well as things that your customers may find offensive or may not agree with.As a marketer, you need to create content that your audience actually WANTS to hear from you, not just what you want to tell them. Click To Tweet
4 – Create Valuable Content
The keyword here is valuable. For your audience to remain loyal, you need to consistently create informative and educative content that solves their problems.
However, it’s not as easy as it sounds in theory. As such, you’ll need to establish several content ideas and this is where your creativity and research are needed. Luckily, you already understand your audience. So, the next big thing is to identify what they are searching for online when they need your product or service.
A keyword research tool can help you identify specific keywords that are worth ranking for and their variations. Start with simple keywords then move on to long-tail keywords and then add them to your list. Once you have these keywords you’ll need to integrate them into your content. This will not only help boost your SEO efforts but will also allow your audience to quickly figure out whether they’ve found the content they were searching for.
5 – Identify the Best Channels to Use to Reach your Audience
With your content ready, you need to decide on the best way to reach your customers and prospects. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to do this. But you can start by identifying the channels that bring you results and then avoid trying everything all at once. For instance, you can start with finding out where your website traffic is coming from and concentrate on publishing your content there.
If you are publishing content on your blog, for instance, you share it on social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Similarly, you can make use of email marketing campaigns to better reach your customers with updates and reward opportunities as they are going about their daily lives as well.
Contrary to what many people think, email is not dead. In fact, some studies have shown that email marketing is seven times more effective than using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn put together. If anything, creating an email list and engaging with your customers via email is even more important now than it was before.
6 – Measure the Results
Tracking and analyzing your content marketing data is quite important. Besides, why go through all the trouble if you are not interested in the results?
You need to know how your targeted audience is responding to your content. For instance, if you wanted to increase your social media awareness you could track likes, comments, and reach. The results will tell you whether your audience likes or dislikes your content. The feedback will also tell some important stories.
The digital marketing landscape is quickly changing. And as a digital marketer, you need to keep up with the trends and ensure that you have a viable content marketing strategy that will help you reach out to your audience. Also take note that every campaign will teach you a new lesson that will help you tweak and optimize your future campaigns, which will help you get better results.