Digital marketing is changing...fast. Marketing success is no longer solely dependent on the size of our wallets but increasingly on how willing we are as business owners to spend time researching our audience, developing our buyer personas and offering them information that they find relevant, educational, helpful and shareable. This is Content Marketing.

1. Research Your Audience

Before you start creating content and sharing it you need to understand who you're
creating content for and what they really want to know! Take some time to research your buyer personas, on which social media platforms they spend time and what type of content they would benefit from. Are they searching for answers to questions, solutions to problems, tips on how to use a product that you happen to sell or even things to avoid when choosing a particular product or service?

2. Content Ideas

One of the most common questions I'm asked is 'How do I come up with ideas for content?' Sites such as Google, Quora and Yahoo Answers are fantastic resources for this. For example, if you're an interior designer, search for results around 'How to choose an interior designer'. Yes, the answer to that question might already have been addressed but could you do it better? Maybe your content could be entitled, '10 Questions To Ask When Hiring An Interior Designer'? Creating content needn't be difficult. Look for questions, issues, problems or tips that real people really want to know the answers and solutions to in relation to what you do!

3. Be Helpful not Commercial

There's not much worse in the marketing world than being on the receiving end of a hard sell. Don't use your content as an blatant advert for your brand; you will put people off. Placing your audience at the centre of your content marketing strategy from the outset will earn you trust and encourage customer engagement with your brand.

4. Choosing Content Types

Content Marketing isn't about writing essays so let's dispel that myth right now! If a paragraph is enough for what you need to say then that's absolutely fine! Other types of content include video, images, infographics, question and answers or even a 'Top 10 Tips' post.
Most importantly, only create content types that you feel comfortable with. If you're not a natural in front of a camera then keep away from video blogs and webinars. On the other hand, if you feel at home in front of the camera then go for it!

5. Quality Control

Before you press the 'Publish Now' button there are some quality control checks that you should complete. As well as checking your spelling and grammar read/watch/ look at your content and decide whether it ticks the following boxes. Is it:

  • Relevant?
  • Interesting?
  • Thought provoking?
  • Valuable?
  • Engaging?
  •  Educational?

Finally, does your content demonstrate passion for your business as well as a willingness to engage with and learn from your customers? It does? Great - press that button and good luck!

Note: Deciding how regularly you should be creating and sharing content is entirely up to you. For some, once a month is a realistic goal and for others, every day. Put some time aside each week dedicated to content whether it be research, curation or creating.

Article by Helena Hill, Director of Digital Marketing at 49digital Ltd.

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