Content marketing according to the Content Marketing Institute is
“a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
It may sound complicated but it’s pretty simple. You as the marketer must create successful, creative, relatable and useful content. If your target market or your community finds it useful, you’re assured of customers who in turn will drive more customers.
But why content marketing? What does content marketing give that other marketing efforts have failed to provide?
It gives awareness. There are a lot of things a customer like me and you need. But when you think like a marketer you’ll provide the customers with awareness about what they need showing that you as a brand can provide the solution.
It makes them read on. Awareness stirs up consciousness which makes the customer want to know more. And when the customer wants to know more, they will take it into their hands and research and read on. When they start reading, they will know which brand provides the best for them.
It makes them consider more. Once they know more, the consumers will start comparing the products and / or services considering the quality, price and performance.
It will make them buy. This is the point where the consumer has weighed all the pros and cons.
This is what content marketing does. It has the power to make you decide. It has the power to move you into doing an action or even not doing an action. What the consumers like about content marketing is unlike traditional marketing, the consumer is not forced to watch a commercial, close pop-up ads or read a billboard. We all hate interruption marketing, apart from being too costly, it makes the consumers irritated instead of interested.
The power of content marketing is that the decision to watch, read, and hear content is on the hands of the consumer. All the marketer has to prepare and focus on is the content itself.
If you’re a marketer, here are some benefits you’ll enjoy once you create and implement a content marketing plan:
Build a strong relationship. You’ll develop a stronger relationship with your target audiences because you’re not forcing your product or service to them. Instead, they have the power and control to check your product or service out and they will feel the genuineness of your goal which is really focused on helping them.
Well-earned reputation. When your company starts the innovation, you will become a big player and thought leader in your industry.
Higher web rankings. Because you create great content, all the rest will follow. Once your content gets seen, the web traffic will increase along with your SEO rankings, inbound links and social media shares.
From customers to brand ambassadors. Social media and the web is such an influential platform. When you have a satisfied customer who’s educated and empowered because of the effectiveness of your product or service, they will start advertising your brand to their social circle. This means you’ll be having third party brand ambassadors.
Fewer complaints. If you’ll start giving what the consumer wants and not actually bugging them and interrupting them, complaints start to lessen.
Bigger market reach. In content marketing, you don’t only reach your target audience but also invite new prospects seeking to educate themselves and learn more about what you could give.
Now that you know the benefits that come with content marketing. It’s always easy to stay, I’ll start immediately. But I don’t recommend it. It’s easy to start unplanned, but it makes the job harder. What I recommend is for you to know how you should create a content marketing plan that’ll be successful. Here’s how you could craft successful content marketing plans:
- Prepare the building blocks of the content marketing plan.
This is the foundation, if this is shaky, there’s a possibility that your content marketing efforts would fail. So, what are the building blocks of a content marketing plan? It includes the executive summary. The executive summary answers one question “What are the critical parts of the plan that needs to be known to make a decision?”
This includes specific goals and objectives, the types of content to be distributed, the topics where the content will be created around, which channels shall be used to publish it and the resources required to carry out the plan.
The goals and objectives should be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. Be honest in acknowledging the company’s strengths, weaknesses, points for improvement and be sure that the goals you set are realistic and achievable, again, SMART.
The types of content to be distributed should be helpful to the target audience. So before content, we should know and fully understand our audience and what makes them tick. Once you know how your audience beats, you can choose topics for the content creation.
You can never create good content without a good editorial board. A good editorial board knows their functions and brings to life every topic thought of for the content.
- Organize your editorial team.
To have an editorial team is great for content marketing. You will need an energetic and passion driven team to carry out content marketing plans that people will actually like.
- Choose channels for circulation.
Choose which social media platform or network your content fits best. Know that it’s not about how many networks you have, but how effective these networks are to boost your content. Keep in mind also what types of networks your target audience goes into.
You can either create a blog, use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare or Publishing Workflow.
Want to be successful in your content marketing plan? Follow the steps provided above. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments below!