What Kind of Content Works?
If you’re ready to make the investment in a Content Marketing program the first step is figuring out what content you can credibly produce that will create value for potential customers. How can you use your expertise to educate or entertain and build trust ? You can waste a lot of time and effort creating something but if it’s not what your customers are looking for, you’re not doing them or yourself any good. We can guide you through the process and teach you the methodology needed to determine what content will be most effective for your business.
The first rule of Content Marketing is, Be Useful. Whatever you choose to make must provide value to your target audience. It can do this in many ways. It can provide answers to questions that potential customers are explicitly searching for online (e.g. What are the pros and cons of selling my own home vs using a real estate agent?). In some cases, if you know your customer well enough, you can even anticipate their needs and provide answers to questions they haven’t even begun asking yet (If I get in a car accident but it’s not my fault do I need to call my insurance agent?).
Surprising and delighting your customers and prospects by providing them with useful information is surprisingly effective at building trust and loyalty. Good content can also provide value through education, such as providing tips or delivering unique insights on a particular topic (Did you know dark-roasted coffee actually has less caffeine than light-roasted coffee?).
Effective Content Marketing can also be purely for entertainment, as long as it is relevant to your industry. Be Relevant, is the second rule of Content Marketing. If you follow the first rule, you will necessarily be relevant, to your audience, but you also have to be relevant to your business. Your content has to be related to your products or services, in some way, so it connects you with your audience and begins to establish your brand as a trusted source of useful information. Striking this balance is critical to the success of your Content Marketing efforts. If you just talk about yourself or are too promotional, nobody will listen, and they definitely won’t seek you out in the future. If you produce content that your audience loves but it has nothing to do with your business, it generates no value for you. So how do you know what’s right?
What To Expect
Our approach involves activities designed to get to know your company and your customers, and where your expertise overlaps with their informational needs. Most of our engagements begin with a short workshop. This includes an assessment of your brand (positioning, messaging, value proposition), a review of your current customer base and any aspirations you may have for growing your base.
Then we’ll do a deep dive into the topics that your target audiences are researching and discussing online. Using both primary and secondary research we are able to develop a hypothesis around a broad set of topics that your company can credibly publish on that also align with the informational needs of your target audience.
We then put those potential topics through a rigorous testing process, using keyword popularity, social mentions, and social sentiment analysis to validate which of those topics are of the greatest interest to your customer base. We then use keyword cost analysis and a review of the competitive landscape to determine where the “white space” is, i.e. less competition so your content is more likely to be seen and shared.
The result is short list of highly relevant topics that your target customers are actively searching on and discussing across social platforms. We rank prioritize these topics and the top 2-3 become your core pillars of your Content Strategy. Your Content Strategy defines the fundamental and instructive themes that will inform numerous specific topics that your content should focus on.
Developing an evidence-based Content Strategy is critical to the success of your Content Marketing initiative. Creating content takes time and resources. Using a data-driven strategy ensures that you will publish content that will create value for your customers and prospects, will be found by your target audience and will establish trust and interest in your company or brand.
To learn more about how to Content Marketing can build your business, feel free to contact us with your questions.