“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action” – Source: Content Marketing Institute
In the digital era, we have a new currency. No, I’m not talking about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies – I’m talking about attention. With an almost limitless number of distractions online, it is more and more difficult to acquire this currency. And yet, it is more important than ever. Practically every other metric you can think of – conversion rates, click through rates, number of views, length of site visits etc. – comes back to targeted user attention. More importantly, if you are consistently able to catch the attention of the right users, then you can practically convert attention into dollar amounts.
So how can you acquire this much sought after currency?
The first step is to define your business goal – are you trying to sell a product, raise brand awareness, or simply provide thought leadership in your industry? It is important to start with this, because poorly defined goals will inevitably lead to poorly targeted content. This leads us to the step two: figure out exactly who you want to be paying attention. Define your target demographic based on your ideal customer base and then figure out, at an even finer detail, who exactly is likely to be engaging with your content (i.e. the CEO or a manager?). Step three is the harder: write the actual content. Since the core of content marketing is the value provided by the content, you need to give this some thought. Just because something is relevant to your industry does not automatically make it valuable to your customers. Think about how you can easily add value to their lives (e.g. new regulations, checklists, online tools, white papers, etc.) and build content around that. Then, think about your organization’s role in your industry and build resources to solidify/manipulate that role as you see fit.
Content marketing isn’t just a fad that is likely to go away. The internet has brought with it an abundance economy that all of us live in. More than ever, people EXPECT to be given things for free before ever having to engage in a monetary transaction. Keep that in mind as you provide content, because your customers likely see what you write as an extension of the product/service you provide. Above all, keep things light-hearted and have fun writing!