There are many definitions of content marketing. For instance, Content Marketing Institute suggests that “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.“
We see content marketing as a way to create and deliver value through visual, written, audio and video formats, in the form of making an impact on consumer behavior in the process. The last one is valuable if you are a trailblazer or dealing with advanced techs like AI, VR or blockchain.
Goals Of Content Marketing
You can find a lot of goals for content marketing, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness;
- Building credibility, trust, and loyalty;
- Educating your audience.
When talking about huge brands, companies with history on the market, differentiating such goals seems relevant. However, when you are a young SME, a startup with a relatively small team but great aspirations it looks like outlining too many goals may be harmful.
We believe you will be more interested in the following two primary goals any content marketer should take into account:
- To increase market coverage.
- To increase conversion.
On the most basic level, by repackaging information about your product/services in many different ways , content marketing can help you to communicate with your clients, spreading the word, contributing to market coverage, and leading them, in the end, to take that one action you desire, i.e. convert.
Start with these goals in mind, and by moving forward, you will have the ability to develop micro goals based on the feedback you get from the main ones. Moreover, the goals mentioned will be more or less easy to measure using tools like Google Analytics.
What To Do Next
What should be your next step after you have outlined your primary goals? Sometimes, content marketing is perceived as SMM. (It’s not the same, it will be covered in later in our blog.) This confusion leads to creating accounts in all social networks and chaotic posting across the board. Well, it’s the wrong place to start.
We suggest you focus on two key aspects:
- defining your client’s persona profile (one or several, depends on the types and amount of products/services you are offering)
- making a content plan
Understanding your client, their needs, troubles, interests will help you address these clients with relevant content. Moreover, the characteristics of your client will help you define how they consume information (through watching Youtube videos or reading hard print Forbes), how to distribute your content, what channels to use. Let’s say you are creating a trading software for banks that are using AI to define the best moment to trade and you are creating the account in Instagram, the platform that works best to promote visual content. In this case, you understand that it’s not the brightest idea, it seems obvious.
So, what about your clients? Are you targeting them through the right channels?
While creating your client’s persona profile gives you the information about who your client is, a content plan is your roadmap on how to attract their attention. I In general, a content plan looks like a table, with the types of content you want to publish for what stage of your client’s journey, places where you are going to release it, content formats (we will talk about it in more detail in the next posts), etc. As obvious as it may sound; many young companies neglect to create such a table. While creating a content plan for your business, we suggest you keep in mind several ideas.
- Think about the most relevant topics for your client; brainstorm several of them, but start with the one, that solves only one problem of your client. Later you will add more topics, but it’s better to start with one, firstly, not to lose focus, secondly to get some initial feedback.
- Include in your content plan several forms of content,e.g., a series of posts in the blog addressing one problem of your client and popular events that your client may find relevant and interesting, share it on your Facebook page. Adding in your plan such situational posts relevant to your audience will bring diversity. Once again, don’t try to add everything at once. Add as many forms of content, as you will be able to support on a regular basis. If you are not ready, it’s better to start with one, e.g., blog posts.
- Balance the information. Posting a lot of marketing content at the beginning, will contribute to neither of your goals, as your clients won’t find anything useful for themselves and won’t visit your blog/Facebook page, etc. again and nor will it increase your credibility and your potential clients trust in you and your brand. When you have a lot of forms of content, you will be able to find the best ratio between marketing and non-marketing materials (in the next posts we will discuss it in more detail).
We acknowledge that planning can be a monotonous and tedious process, but it unlocks the power of your team/yourself to see the big picture beforehand and to see the result. For sure, this first plan should be precepted like a draft with the main pillars of your content marketing. Try to make a content plan for 1-2 month with several posts a week for the beginning to get the market feedback and make necessary adjustments. **
** This strategy won’t shoot for companies, that are going for an ICO, as they have a relatively short time frame to launch. More information about best ICO marketing strategies can be found here.
Don’t forget that content marketing is not a one-day activity. The secret to a successful content marketing campaign is consistent collaboration with your audience. You will need time to create your audience and make your content noticed. Content marketing is not a sprint, it’s a continuous journey to your success, and every great journey starts with the first step. Hopefully now you know where to start.