Wednesday, July 10, 2024

3 Ingredients of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

By David Ronald

Content marketing increases demand for what you are selling and should be a key component of your business strategy.

What is content marketing? Content marketing alters the way you sell—it shifts the focus from hyping your products to adding value to prospects’ decision making. Content marketing is about creating relevant, informative and unbiased content that attracts buyers and converts them to loyal customers.

Do you want to make content marketing work for you? If so, here are the three ingredients of a successful content marketing strategy.

1. Help, Don’t Sell

It’s a harsh truth that nobody is interested in you and your business—they are interested in themselves and their own problems. The starting point for your content, therefore, should be “how can we help our customers?” not “how can we sell to our customers?”

Share your expertise freely and be generous with what you know. A good starting point for creating helpful content is to begin with the questions your customers ask you. Answer those questions with your content. Blog about it, make videos about it. The format isn’t the most important thing; it’s the intention that matters more. Use what you know to create exactly the kind of content you know your customers crave.

You can’t separate content marketing from social media, they’re inextricably linked. Social media is one way you share your content – your blogs, your guides, your videos, but your social media updates are content in their own right too. Make them helpful, human and tone done the hype. Share other people’s content, if you know it will help your customers. Share it even if you think it’s too good, and you wish you’d created it yourself. Share it even if it’s so fantastic it hurts.

The biggest thing content marketing can do for you is to build trust in you and your business. Having your customers’ best interests at heart at every stage of the content process—from the subject you choose to write about, to the way you behave online—is the way to build trust, so keep this secret mantra in mind.

(Click here to read our white paper on content marketing: http://bit.ly/1GHDSxB.)

2. Know your content sweet spot

In my experience the number one place where people go wrong with content marketing is by failing to map their content sweet spot—which lies at the intersection between content which helps your customers and the content which will help you grow your business. 

There will be an infinite number of things your customers are looking for online. On the one hand you could share videos of cats doing funny stuff and gain hundreds of social media followers, but it won’t win you any business. 

On the other hand you could talk exclusively about your business and its sales messages and probably nobody will listen. The content sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Not cats, not self-interested sales promotion. 

The best type of content marketing increases demand for what you are selling. So, focus on talking about applications of your product, instead of focusing on how it works. 

Wistia, a video hosting services company, is a good example of a B2B vendor doing great content marketing—the company has created a series of educational videos that teach viewers how to be better video marketers—each short lesson is a microcosm of some concept within video storytelling, including bulleted lists for easier retention of the subject matter.

By producing videos like these, Wistia has shifted from pitching its products to delivering content that makes its prospects more informed before they buy. And like all good content marketing, these videos are helping Wistia to increase its addressable market—someone not necessarily thinking about creating corporate videos may be excited by this content and embark on a journey that ends up with her signing up for a subscription.

3. Good content marketing is good business

People rarely write letters of complaint these days. 

Instead, they leap onto X (formerly Twitter) and expect you to sort it out. So content marketing isn’t something you can leave to the marketing organization, the whole team has to share the mission. These days, it’s as much a part of customer service as it is a front end marketing issue. 

You need to be a good business—one that acts in the best interests of its customers—through and through. If you’re doing content marketing well, you’ll be creating content and sharing it on social media platforms. 

Being a successful content marketer doesn’t mean creating the shiniest , glossiest, most amazing content and pouring it into the world and waiting for the results. It means using that content to help customers, and start the conversations that develop into long-term relationships. 

A big part of content marketing success is down to what you do with the content once you’ve created it—how you build content creation, distribution, and relationship building into your business model.

Thanks for reading. 

Let us a comment if you found this information helpful.

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