If you’ve spent any time researching the best marketing techniques for your business, then you’ve probably heard of content marketing. Content marketing aims to attract customers by providing useful, relevant information that appeals to the customer and draws their attention to your business.

Content marketing is especially useful in building the reputation of your business as one that understands its customers and can help solve their problems and has become an essential part of a successful modern marketing strategy. While what is necessary to develop a solid content strategy will vary for each business, here are some fundamentals that will be true for almost any business looking to get started with content marketing.

1. Understand your audience

As I’ve said before, understanding your audience is essential. The audience you are appealing to will drive the style, placement and format of all the content that you create for your content marketing campaigns.

Most of all, know why your customers come to you. Think of the problems that your business solves for your customer, big and small. Content marketing is your chance to showcase your business’ expertise by showing that you can make life easier for your customers.

2. Identify key platforms

Knowing where your customers spend their time online is the next essential part of making sure that your content will be seen, and that it will be relevant. If your target market are heavy users of social media, then you should be posting on the sites they use. If they rely heavily on search, then making sure your content ranks highly on search engines should be a focus. Always remember that the key to content marketing is to reach your audience when they look for answers; don’t try to find the easiest or the most fashionable platform to use, look for the one that your audience is using.

3. Create relevant content

The content that you create must be relevant in two ways. First, it must be relevant to the audience. This means that it needs to be concerned more with meeting their needs than in being an advert for your business. Audiences interact with content marketing because it is of use to them, not because it promotes you. Make sure that the majority of what you post addresses customer issues – keep any overt marketing efforts to a ‘call to action’ in the content that encourages your audience to take the next step and connect with you.

Second, the content you create must be relevant to your platform. Shorter form or graphical content for sites like Facebook and Twitter, engaging videos for YouTube or Instagram, longer form content for blog posts or LinkedIn… whatever platform your audience is using will shape the kind of content that they are most likely to engage with, so make sure that you are posting the right material.

4. Post regularly

You’ve probably seen it yourself at some point – you find some interesting content created by an organisation or an individual, and you click through to look for the rest of their content, only to find that their last post was weeks or months ago. If you’ve been in that situation, the chances are that you didn’t return to that site.

Irregular content updates make your content marketing look neglected and leads the audience to ignore you. Make sure that you have a schedule to post to and stick to it. Creating a content calendar, with updates planned in advance, helps both with determining what content you are going to create and in keeping your content on track.

5. Measure results

As with any marketing efforts, don’t let posting your content be the end of the job. Monitor the metrics of your posts, tracking how people have come to your content, how they are interacting with it, whether it has been shared, which parts of your audience the post most resonated with; there is a wealth of data available through Facebook, Google Analytics and social analytics tools. Use the data to help identify top performing content and shape your ongoing strategy.

Content marketing is never a quick fix. A successful strategy takes time to develop, and time to build the results, developing an audience and building up your brand as a source of valuable information. But the results are invaluable, giving a return on investment that is almost impossible to achieve with traditional marketing. Ready to take your content to the next level? John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help your business develop a content strategy that will work for you. Book an appointment at jrdm.com.au today to get started.

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

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