A key part of content marketing is delivering relevant content that will attract potential customers and build relationships with them.
Content marketing is a “soft sell” medium that communicates and delivers value without selling. As a result, storytelling plays an important role to engage, educate and entertain customers. It means brands must think and be like publishers.
Like publishers, brands must:
Define target audiences
A key part of content marketing is delivering content not about the brand but the needs and interests of its target audience. This ensures that you are providing the audience with value-added material that meets their needs. As suggested by Donna Papacosta, you want to to share what you know to help solve their problems or meet their needs. In other words, the content has to focus on what the consumer wants to hear, not what the brands want to tell them.
Decide on content strategy
There are two approaches brands can take for content marketing: create or curate. Creating original content requires writers and a small editorial department, but you don’t have to hire writers to create branded content. In many cases, you can find writers and editors within your company. Use people from sales, marketing, communications, customer support and even the CEO to create content. It also helps to develop an editorial calendar to ensure timely and relevant content.
Curating content is a different kind of activity because it requires someone to sift through pre-existing content that will be packaged and re-published (with attribution, of course!). This is a great option for companies that do not have the resources to create original content on a consistent basis.
There are many ways to deliver content: Websites, blogs, videos, newsletters, webinars, case studies, whitepapers, etc. How a brand delivers their content is determined by how target audiences want to consume content and the way they like to get it.
Brands need to measure how their content performs to see if it is being successful and, if not, what can be improved. Through analytics and feedback, brands can build upon successes and learn from failures. Content, particularly online, can always be revised to generate better responses. Evergreen content (content that will always be relevant and never expire) is even better.
With content marketing proving to be effective and relevant, brands must change how their marketing campaigns are planned and launched. Since brands need to think and act like a publisher, they have to communicate with their target audiences on a consistent basis with high-quality content. This will keep brands close to their target audiences and, as important, help them build long-term relationships.