Beginning with Content Marketing

The Path to Digital Marketing Success

Beginning with Content Marketing

By Harry Phillips, for Edwardsturm.com.

The past few years have been huge in the world of digital marketing. With content marketing becoming the solid foundation of many successful strategies, it’s all about creating and sharing high quality, relevant, and consistent content to your target audience.

80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content.”

Every social media outlet is a platform to share knowledge and answer all questions your customers are asking. By providing informative and helpful content, you will gain the trust of new and existing customers. However, without knowledge of your buyer personas or without a content plan, you will be left behind in the race that is digital marketing.

A visual and very artistic illustration of digital marketing

Getting Started

Getting everything started can seem daunting, however, it’s simpler than you think. Start by having a good brainstorming session about:

  1. Your company’s target audience.
  2. What questions your customers are asking.
  3. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to see what they want.

This is a brilliant place to get started and will help you create different pieces of content for customers and potential customers.

A bullseye with an arrow in the center of it

I’ll use my website, Itas, as an example. Our specific audience is Sage 200 (enterprise resource planning application) users, and appropriately, we have several pages dedicated exclusively to this. We provide informative content in a variety of different media such as blogs and how-to guides. With this media we answer important questions, concerns, and thoughts that qualified potential customers or existing customers have.

We use article marketing to make ourselves an expert in our space, target different users along the buying funnel, improve SEO, and convert prospects.

The sales funnel. Consisting of the awareness phase, then the opinion phase, then the consideration phase, then the preference phase, and then finally the purchase phase.

So ask yourself, “What content does our target audience want to see?”

Brainstorm

It’s time to come up with some ideas. Sit down with your team (or alone) and start thinking of content you could produce. For example: if customers keep asking the same question a number of times a day, perhaps you should make a blog or a guide explaining the answer for all to see.

RELATED: HOW WE USED THIS FREE SERVICE TO FIND OUR CUSTOMERS’ EXACT QUESTIONS AND THEN INCREASE OUR SEARCH TRAFFIC

You will want to consider all types of content. Here are my top 5:

A group of businessmen brainstorming and coming up with a brilliant idea

  • Blogs.
  • Guides.
  • Infographics.
  • Podcasts.
  • Monthly/Weekly Email Newsletter.

If this sounds like a lot of work, consider the fact that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.

Plan

When it comes to planning content and when to share it… things get a bit trickier. You need to put together a solid content calendar while still keeping the editorial consistency of your posts. Consistency is the key to building brand awareness, growing your audience, and earning the trust of customers.

Content marketing editorial calendar template

We’d recommend this free Content Marketing Calendar Template to get started. Assign team members pieces of content to create, set publishing dates, and off you go!

When it comes to planning exact content release dates, make sure to properly research and learn from your previous actions. For example: we use Twitter Analytics to see which days and times brought back the highest impression/engagement rate. I always post a blog at 10 AM every Wednesday, as I know that is when most of our customers will engage. Don’t worry about failing- this stage is trial and error so it may take a few weeks until you find the best times.

Twitter analytics for a highly performing Twitter account

Another great tip for planning content is to look up national holidays or events that will be trending on social media. Common ones to look out for are #MondayMotivation and #FridayFeeling. Use these to your advantage by altering your open graph tags, which apply to both Twitter and Facebook, making them relevant to these subjects.

Ensure that you keep up with the plan you have created, otherwise, you won’t see the same effects. If done correctly, after a few weeks you should see a big increase in your followers, engagements, and brand recognition!

The Days of Direct Sales are Numbered

Practice Makes Perfect

As touched upon in the last section, don’t get down on yourself if nobody pays attention to your content the first few times that it’s published.

Content marketing takes practice. It takes time to learn how to write for the web. It can be frustrating, but if you study the right sources, then get enough experience with writing, you will make content that’s shared, ranks well for keywords, brings in traffic, and converts leads into customers.

A boy practicing his piano skills

Let’s Recap

  1. You know the importance of content marketing and what it will bring to your business.
  2. You understand the target audience you are looking to reach and the questions they are asking.
  3. You have a bank of content ideas, in all forms i.e. blogs, guides, and podcasts.
  4. You have created a content plan and assigned people to the pieces of content they will be creating.
  5. You have set dates to publish content in the content calendar.
  6. You have published your content and are on the path to success!

‘The most important rule of any… have fun!’

A hand waving goodbye with a smiley face drawn on it

Harry Phillips

Harry Phillips

Harry Phillips is the CMO at Itas.
Harry Phillips

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