When people think of marketing, they tend to think of PR or advertising, and while these are both important tools to use in a holistic marketing campaign, it’s important not to forget content marketing. Now, more than ever, when faced with the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, content is king, and one of the best tools at your disposal for getting key information to your current and future customers. In this blog, we’ll talk about what content marketing is, and how you can make the most out of it for your business.
What is content marketing anyway?
It’s okay not to know! In simple terms, ‘content’ in the context of marketing is anything that you create that you can host yourselves – usually on your website, or on social media platforms. This could be anything from blogs to whitepapers, videos and podcasts.
In a time where people are having to make cuts, this might sound like a lot of work and something you might not want to dedicate time towards. However, using content can be one of the best ways to reach your audience, and use your business expertise to impart the information that matters the most.
So what content should I produce?
No matter what your business might be, you’ll have a message. We’ve spoken before about how to communicate during a crisis, and you can read more about that in Nikki’s blog here. Let’s dig a little deeper into two of the most useful ways of producing and delivering your content.
Having a blog on your website is a great way to get information to your target audience. Blogs can cover just about anything that matters to you, and this is especially important right now when what matters most is fluid and changing day by day.
By utilising a blog, you can produce pieces of content not restricted by length or format, tailored to your audience and delivering the key messages of the moment. This could range from helpful tips and advice (just like the blog you’re reading now), business updates, resource links, and special interest pieces that would be relevant to your audience.
Using video gives you access to a different audience that might not engage so readily with written content. Video also has the added benefit of ranking higher on social media platforms when used, as visual content is favoured over text on most social media platforms. With people going outside less, and engaging with people in a different way, video is a welcome connection for people to feel closer to others, and engage in a way that feels more personal and direct.
How can content work for me?
Right now, the way people operate is different. With people not going out, usage of online resources is at an all time high. People are finding new ways to engage with the world around them, and there has been an understandable spike in engagement with online resources. People want to feel connected and reassured, and there’s no better way to do that than to share information from the experts – you!
The brilliant thing about content marketing is that it can drive new traffic to your website. By making sure that your content is SEO friendly, using key words and phrases, your content will rank higher on Google searches. You can also utilise digital marketing tools to get your content in front of a new audience and drive traffic not only from existing customers, but also potential future ones too!
It’s not all about sales!
An easy mistake to make would be to think that all content you produce needs to be about making a sale. That isn’t the case, and especially now when people are concerned about coronavirus (Covid-19) the content you produce should be tailored to the most important needs and desires of your target audience.
Make it helpful! – Think about each piece you produce and imagine you’re the target audience consuming it. Is it interesting to you? Is it something you would share with a friend or colleague? Is it something you care about, or makes you interested to learn more? Does it impart knowledge that the consumer is eager to find out?
If it does none of these, then is your content valuable? Will anyone care about it? If they won’t, then it might be time to rethink whether you are producing the right piece at the right time.
What have you got to say?
From lawyers to manufacturers, photography brands to supermarkets, every business is different, but every business has something to say. Though the messages will be wildly different the methods stay the same. Let’s have a little look at some examples of pieces of content as we discussed in the blog section above.
Tips and advice
This can range from anything from how to use a product, to how to navigate legal changes. Remember, whatever your business offers, you are the expert in your field, and you will have information to share that people will find valuable.
Have things changed over the last few months? Is there information you might be sending out in email communications? Consider doubling up and putting this on your website too. Look at how companies such as Tesco have created clear information hubs to impart to their customers the most important and up to date information.
Do you have a list of third party people who are offering services or resources that might help people? Consider putting together a page to share these with your customers.
Special interest pieces
For example, if you’re a company selling photography equipment, you can engage with your audience by having ambassador photographers produce content for you that you can use. Videos and blogs that will both inform and entertain your audience.
Above all, remember to make your content relevant and helpful. Ensure that you include a clear ‘call to action’ on anything produced to make it easy for people to contact you and continue the conversation.
To talk to us more about content marketing, SEO and digital marketing strategies, get in touch with us today.