To understand how content marketing can be used to grow your business, you first have to understand what content marketing is. Content marketing focuses on the development and distribution of content assets to a defined audience. The strategic use of these assets, such as to attract, retain, or drive a user to perform a profitable action, are outlined in a content marketing strategy.
According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of the UK businesses they targeted are using content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, but only 38% of these respondents use a documented content marketing strategy.
Without a content marketing strategy, you may just be creating content for the sake of it, rather than for a specific purpose. If you want to learn how to use content marketing to grow your business, take a look at the questions below that will help you devise a content marketing strategy.
What do you want your content to do?
This is the first question you have to ask yourself. Rather than developing content because you think it’s needed to bolster your marketing efforts, really think about what you want your content to do.
This can be anything from attracting new customers, retaining the customers you already have, or driving users to perform a specific action, such as making a purchase. Once you define the objective of your content, you can start developing a content marketing strategy in order to achieve it.
Who is your target audience?
Now that you know what you want your content to do, it’s time to consider the people you’re making that content for. As a business, you should have a good idea about who your target audience is, but in order to get additional insights to get a clear persona of your target audience, there are areas you can look to within your business.
For example, if you have a sales or customer service team in your business, speak to them to discover what makes a customer convert, or the pain points that potential customers may be facing.
What type of content should you develop?
Knowing what type of content you need to create all depends on who your target audience is, and what you want them to do. Many marketers only focus on the content medium, rather than considering what message they convey, and who that message is for.
Think about your target audience, and investigate what content they are searching for online using keyword research and trend analysis. You can use these insights to develop content and resources that meet those requirements.
When it comes to the medium of the content, aim for the format serves this content to your audience in the most effective way. This could be anything from a how-to video on YouTube that answers a question that users are searching for, to a white paper aimed at your target audiences industry sector.
Where will you distribute your content?
Now that you have your content, you need to decide where and when to publish it. This all revolves around how your target audience finds and consumes content. There are a variety of platforms at your disposal, such as your website and social media accounts.
You can also feature your content externally through outreaching it to online news outlets and websites. If you want to extend the reach of your content even further, you could amplify the content you post on social media using paid social.
How will you measure your results?
In order to ensure that the content you’re producing and publishing is performing against your objectives, it’s essential that you monitor and measure the results of your marketing activities.
A simple way to do this is to ensure that Google Analytics is set up properly on your website, including goals to track the actions that users make off the back of engaging with your content. If you’re using your social media profiles to distribute your content, ensure that you have Facebook pixels added to your website. Pixels allow you to track any conversions on your website that are attributed to Facebook.
If you’re using paid Facebook ads, the Pixel enables you to target users that have interacted with your website. You can also use the analytics dashboards provided by the social media platforms you use to measure results.
Once you have answered these questions, you can start using the information you’ve gathered to develop a content marketing strategy that will outline what content you will produce, when, and how it will be distributed to your target audience.If you have any questions or comments about using a content marketing strategy to grow your business, you can contact us here, or tweet us at @WilsonCooke.