As the Content Marketing Institute defines it, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Well In theory, that seems to be an obvious statement. Content marking suggests that to attract customers online, you should provide them with content that is interesting for them and that gives them some kind of added value. In practice though, making good content can be a really tricky and dicey exercise to do. We all know that the web is a huge worldwide market place where millions of companies try to sell their goods and services. Competition is huge and every company needs to differentiate itself in order to not be flooded in that ocean we call the Internet. This differentiation will therefore mostly come from the ability to create good content.
In this article, I will give you some insight on the questions you should ask yourself when elaborating a content marketing strategy and that you should keep in mind as you go along with that strategy.
1.Know your brand
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First thing you need to do is to work on your brand identity. When you start a company, you might know your products and services very well, and know the benefits and the purpose of it, but the most important thing is to make consumers and people who come across your website understand very quickly what is the identity and the personality of your brand. Because that is not something obvious for them. After you have settled that, you need to create an environment that reflects your brand as a whole. Consequently, all the content you create has to match with your values, personality and identity. I will explain that in the following points.
2. Know your customers
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Knowing your customers is the second thing you should focus on. Remember, the content you create should address one or more categories of people well determined. Your target will impact not only the types of content you generate but also on the platforms you use. Therefore, the following variables must be considered:
- Professional status
- Sens of humor
3. Don’t look like you’re selling something
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The time is long past when brands would set their diktat. Today consumers have changed. They want to be more implicated in what they buy, they want their purchases to reflect who they are: their values and beliefs. Even more noticeable, consumers don’t want brands to sell them things just for the sake of selling. When we talk about content marketing, it is not proving how wonderful your product is, it is creating an environment where consumers would find answers to their questions, entertain themselves, meet people that share same interest and have the feeling to be implicated. Consumer nowadays want to be part of an adventure. For instance, the content you create should focus on giving some advice or expertise, interacting directly with consumers, or reacting to the news and social events.
4. Know the platforms you are using
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It might seem obvious as well, but when you use one platform for your content, you need to make sure to understand how it works before engaging people on it. Content you put on your website will not be the same as the content you put on Social Media. Content you will put on Facebook will differ from content you put on Instagram, or on YouTube and Tumblr. Those platforms have their specific audience and different codes that you need to respect. Yes you heard it, you won’t just be able to “copy paste” all of your content on all of your platforms. In this article (article to come), I will go more into details in what are the specificities for every social media and how companies use them.
5. Be close to your customers
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The same way consumers like to be part of the brand adventure, they need to feel special about the brands they like. One of the way to create that kind of connection is to have a great consumer service that is accessible and benevolent. To be close to your customer you need to interact with them and to make them feel like they are dealing with a human being and not with a robot. That is what Nike managed to do for instance. They have a Twitter account (@NikeSupport) that is dedicated to help people on whatever concern they may have, and in a very short time.
This small list of advice is not exhaustive, but they are 5 major tips that will allow you to start or restart a content marketing strategy by knowing what is important to be taken into account and to avoid clumsy mistakes.