Content marketing is used by the world's leading brands
The best type of marketing creates a community of loyal customers for products or services and, ultimately, the brand behind them.
Traditional marketing uses formulas and ‘interrupts’ people with messages to win them over – which we now know is the least effective way to sell services and products.
Content marketing creates, distributes, shares and publishes content with the aim of reaching a target audience. It informs, educates, entertains, builds loyalty and creates a community.
This marketing method is used by world-leading companies such as IBM, L’Oreal, Random House, LinkedIn, Xerox, Goldman Sachs, Rolex, Nike and IKEA.
How do you content market? You develop a strategy and then use online methods such as blogs on your website, social media, podcasts and videos to reach your existing customers and attract new ones.
The key to good content marketing is a clever strategy, awesome content, clever and tested distribution methods and an insightful way to measure its success.
Four steps to your content marketing success
1. Develop a content marketing strategy
A strategy includes your business plan for content marketing; that is, your goal and aims, and any hurdles or opportunities you might encounter.
You also need a comprehensive description of the audience you’re going to create content for. What are their needs and expectations? In addition, you analyse your own brand and decide what concepts and messages you want to talk about.
Lastly, you include the platforms you want to use and your objectives and processes for each one.
2. Create your content
There are two essential components of content development: topic research and finding the best long-tail keywords to optimise your content for Google.
Then there’s a third – the magic sauce. This is the unique storytelling that enthrals and entertains your readers, and keeps them coming back. Solid research and keywords are vital, but you also need to be a competent writer who understands what readers are looking for.
Don’t make the mistake of delivering only the content you want them to read.
3. Distribute your content to your target market
Content marketing is distributed via the client’s own media channels (website, email, newsletters, podcasts, webinars), their social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and paid promotion via the web.
There’s a strong argument for having a planned approach to distribution, rather than a ‘spray-and pray’ approach.
Match your content to the best distribution channel by working out who the content is for, and what you want it to achieve. The current most popular strategy is through influencer marketing.
4. Analyse and measure your results
How do you know if your content marketing is working?
You create a measurement process that tracks, analyses and reports on your content marketing performance.
It’s important not to get too caught up in vanity metrics, such as the number of followers or website traffic.
While this data can be informative, also focus on conversions to email subscription, comments that inform you about readers’ expectations and the number of readers who contact your business.
Your certified content marketing partner
I manage Textshop, and was recently certified in content marketing by the world-leading software company, HubSpot.
This means I’m qualified in best practice, long-term content planning, content creation, promotion and analysis. I create exceptional content that is fully optimised for search engines, and that will be read and shared by your readers.
Storytelling has been used to promote artisans, businesses and organisations for hundreds of years. Textshop, on the other hand, has been around for just a few years, but we’re 100 per cent onboard.
I provide an insider’s grasp of content creation. The writing I deliver is crafted with a wordsmith’s expertise and the research skills of an academic.
Talk to me about developing content for your website and blog and I’ll show you Textshop’s own personal stamp of creativity, along with the full optimisation that Google loves.
If you’d like to read more about content marketing you might also enjoy my blog post How to do content marketing.