We’re sure by now you’re familiar with the concept of content marketing; creating engaging content to help establish your brand as a key player in your market, to attract and convert potential customers.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, in 2016 only 37% of UK marketers had a documented content marketing strategy or plan, but this number is continuing to rise as more businesses see success from implementing the strategy.
So, how do you create a consumer-focused marketing plan that works?
Decide what success looks like
A successful marketing strategy will look different for every business, and it is important to understand what your goals are before embarking on any activity. Whether it is raising awareness amongst a new audience, supporting the launch of a new branch, or looking to increase revenue from existing products; the goals for your business should be established before you start pulling your content marketing plan together.
Having clear goals will help you to understand what’s working well, and what isn’t, later down the line. You’ll be able to monitor the impact of your content marketing against your objectives, KPIs, and budgets, highlighting success and spotlighting where improvements can be made.
When it comes to creating marketing material it’s important to remember one vital rule, the best content doesn’t feel like content at all. There is a wave of sentiment building momentum amongst consumers on social media, focused against any content that feels forced, or comes with an obvious sales message.
Instead of trying to fervently push the benefits of a particular product or service to a consumer, make your social content just that, social. Encourage your followers to engage in debates that are happening in your industry or offer advice, in the form of blogs or video tutorials, and use feedback from your current followers to inform future updates.
Understand who your buyers are
You may be lucky enough to know your customers inside out - everything from their age range to their family situation. You may understand their issues, know the tone they adopt in their language, and even which other brands they love.
Unfortunately, for most businesses this is not the case and most find they have a wide variety of different audience groups - or buyer personas - they must understand when planning and creating content. It’s worth remembering that your content won’t be relevant for everyone, in the same way that every product or service you provide won’t always be of interest to every customer.
Knowing your audience will also help you to identify where your content should be distributed, by helping you understand where your ideal customers hang out both on and offline - and the channels which are most likely to reach them- so you can focus your efforts in these areas.
As a final piece of advice, we’ll leave you with this… Once you have your plan in place, stick to it. There should always be an element of flexibility, and the best plans move forward based on solid evidence, but the best consumer content marketing is consistent. Consistency comes in the amount of content produced, the platforms used and the format the content takes. Content marketing is not a quick process, results can take a while to gain traction, but they are worth the wait to build a strong, established, lasting relationship with your customers.
If you need support to create a content marketing plan that works, and generates great content that drives business, talk to our experts.
You may also find our ebook on the subject helpful - discover content ideas and techniques that increase traffic, leads and ultimately customers.