Business Content Marketing is a process of engaging the audience through various mediums such as a blog, podcast, videos, infographics, e-books, white papers, pictures, and case studies to retain existing customers and attract new prospects.
Over the past few years, online marketing trends have continuously been changing, which is why businesses are forced to adopt intelligent customer engagement strategies.
Ever wonder why many companies have blogs?
In this article, you’re about to learn why companies including Facebook, Commission Junction, MailChimp, AWeber, and Mozilla each publish on their own official blogs.
The purpose of this article is to share why companies use content marketing and create content.
Why Business Content Marketing?
NewsCred published an article on the top 25 most influential content marketing brands. The purpose of that article was to describe the importance of content marketing for brands.
Hubspot is a leader in online marketing management services and provides a unique marketing automation dashboard which integrates a list of online marketing services. They published this article explaining the basics of content marketing. It clearly shows how important the understanding of content marketing is.
Brands are curious to find ways of keeping their customers abreast and adding new ones to the list. Content marketing is a way to engage the audience in order to avoid them going off the hook. This infographic from adweek.com explained the ideal size and length of the articles, videos, podcasts, SlideShare decks, and much more.
In order to start implementing content marketing concepts to get your brand off the ground, it’s necessary to understand three basic elements of content marketing:
1. Target Audience
You need to know who exactly you’re targeting. If you know whom your customers are, the rest of the process gets easier. It’s not that difficult to figure out who your target audience is. All you need is to ask yourself whom you want to reach. There are multiple types of audiences out there; you have to pick a certain type of audience in order to reach, communicate, and help.
2. Creation of Content
One of the important elements of content marketing is the ‘creation of content’. You have to create some sort of content in order to communicate with the audience. If you don’t produce any type of content, you don’t have any leverage to approach the audience. Whether it’s an article, infographic, video, or a podcast… It doesn’t matter, what matters is, what are you good at?
And more importantly, what can you deliver in the content?
3. Benefit and Solution
This is something which makes your content really interesting. When you offer some kind of knowledge, information, and benefit in your content, it becomes valuable for the audience because it transforms the time they invest consuming it into value and benefit for them. Make sure you have something helpful and useful to offer.
6 Steps to Start a Business Content Marketing Campaign
Every company uses these strategies differently, but the ultimate goal remains the same which is improving the brand’s image and positioning. Here are the 6 steps which will take your brand to the next level:
Step #1: Identify the Company’s Goal
In order to create a content strategy for your business, you have to sit down and brainstorm a bit. Think about the moment when you’ve had a vision of this business. Recall the very same passion and stance. We need similar energy back in the game. Nothing would help us at that time than the purpose of the company.
What was the mission?
Why was the company created?
When you recall that purpose of the company, you need to use that in the content marketing for your business. When you write a blog post on your official blog, make it worthwhile for the readers, so that it resonates with them, and they think it’s written just for them. When you publish an infographic, the audience must find it useful, and when you release a podcast, listeners should find solutions in it.
Lauren Kaye, the Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. also believes that the strategy should be built to make those goals happen. She wrote a blog post about this.
“Once you know your goals and how you want to measure them, you can start to build a content calendar that supports those objectives and targets the results most important to you.” says Lauren Kaye.
Evan LePage, the Blog Specialist for Hootsuite also agrees with me. He wrote a detailed blog post on the official blog of Hootsuite and explained how to align the content marketing goals with business goals.
Step #2: Choose the Target Audience
It’s extremely important to know who is the target audience. The purpose of the content is to establish a connection between the prospects, customers, and the brand. The creation of the content without knowing the target audience is like shooting without an aim.
Have you seen skeet shooting?
It requires a skillful hand and a good aim to hit the target.
In content marketing, a business might have launched its blog to publish content, but the story doesn’t end here – even if the content is being published on the regular basis. Business content creators must know the following things:
- Who are they writing for?
- Who is going to get the benefit?
- What does company want to achieve?
- What is the purpose of content creation?
When the content creator team focuses on these points, they are in a better position to reach the audience through their content.
Kevin Cain wrote an article in which he emphasized the buyer’s identification. He believes that you should thoroughly understand who your buyer is. He described the way a brand needs to create the content to drive success.
Step #3: Understanding Conversion Factors
Conversion factors educate the content crafters and marketing experts on the identification of the signals that describe the conversion. Normally, brands measure conversion rates as either leads generated or sales increases after implementing any outreach or marketing strategy.
Every business might have its own agenda to achieve when it comes to a content marketing plan. This case study tells us how SAP’s landing page optimization strategy lifted their lead-generation by 32.5%.
The clarification of the purpose drives the strategy to achieve the conversion rate that a brand likes to see. It specifically depends on each brand’s goal that what it wants to achieve. A brand which starts email marketing might want to build an email list of prospects while another brand might want to increase the leads their sales department uses to deliver B2B customers.
The point is, it should be crystal clear on the brand’s end precisely what the brand wants to achieve as an organization. The coherence of the marketing strategy and company’s goal help the brand grow at a faster pace.
Step #4: Set up Engagement Channels
The whole content marketing process is a way of engaging the audience through information, data, articles, videos, audios, and graphics. At some point, we would have to go one step ahead of everything that we already know. It’s not about discovering the new methods in content marketing, but certainly we have to put things together and do something practical in content marketing.
The engagement requires three important factors to be taken care of in order achieve positive results:
1. Identifying the target audience to help them. Make sure you know who you want to help and who should be looking at your tips, suggestions, and solutions.
2. Creating something beneficial for your selected audience so that they get attracted towards you. Finally, you have something to offer to someone.
3. Reaching to them (audience) ultimately becomes possible when you have something in hand to share, deliver, and give it away.
The setup of an engagement channel is something really important. You deserve to know that it’s extremely important to learn the strategies over the course of time. One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is tonever go for multiple audiences at the same time.
Use these engagement channels:
For instance, Leah Kalamakis runs a Facebook group called Freelance to Freedom Project. It’s a community of freelancers where freelancers get together to discuss, share, and learn from each other. It’s a quite engaging and helpful freelancers community. Members of this group share freelancing jobs, and interested freelancers try to get their hands on those opportunities.
2. YouTube Channel: A YouTube channel is a fantastic way of building an engaged community. Create videos in your niche (for your specific audience). Make sure that your videos are helpful for the audience.
It all begins with the topic/title and it goes all the way to the value of that video. The point is, you have to have some useful message in the video.
For example, Derral Eves is a popular YouTuber. He creates videos on YouTube tips and tricks. He helps YouTubers who want to create YouTube channels or to expand channels they already have to greater success. You might find him on other platforms, but he focuses on YouTube because that is his main concern and engagement channel.
3. Twitter Chat: Many of you might not be well-aware of the Twitter chat concept, but trust me, it is gaining so much popularity. Different brands set up Twitter chats using their own hashtags, and then publicize:
- Their Twitter chat hashtag
Specific day and time of the twitter chat
- Some have special guests each week
- Others select a sub-topic for each Twitter chat
For example, SEMrush schedules #SEMrushchat on Twitter every Wednesday. The Online Marketers, Bloggers, SEOs, and SEM experts wait the whole week for this chat. They regularly remind their Twitter followers about the Wednesday chat and the guest in-line for the chat.
Above mentioned channels show us different types of engagement strategies. You can create your own ideas to start engaging the people; it will work unless you forget who to target and why.
Step #5: Build a Community of Common Interest
Your brand’s voice should be loud and clear. One of the important steps to be taken care of is developing a community with common interests. The people who like to listen to you and want solutions that you have in mind should have a platform to interact with you.
Aha-Now is a popular community of bloggers where bloggers interact, share content and make friends. Again, the point isn’t about making a platform, in fact, it’s about making the mindset of the community.
Disqus could be another solution for bloggers and online marketers who want to engage people because Disqus has a profiling system which allows you to follow people and be followed by others.
Meetup is another community building tool which works on the grouping system. You can create your own group or join others’ groups.
It should be your content that engages people to stay connected with your platform. It is one of the perks of writing great content. When people like your content, they know that such a high-quality content will keep coming on your blog, so they stick around to read it.
Step #6: Make Your Brand a Giver
The success of content marketing depends on the utility or benefit which is being delivered to the audience. The value could be delivered by linking the most relevant article or by mentioning helpful tools in the content.
In order to build your community based on your good-quality content, Triberr could be another platform you should check it out. It works on the sharing of others’ content, and in return, your content gets shared.
But, somehow you need to be a giver in order to achieve success. When you openly share people’s content through Triberr, you’ll surely get more followers, which will result in more sharing of your content.
Adam Grant’s bestselling book ‘Give and Take‘ emphasized the same thing which is GIVING more than you expect in return.
CitrusBits is a San Francisco-based App development company. I liked their strategy of publishing industry relevant news and gossip on their official blog, just to help raise their audience’s awareness.
When a brand comes forward to help and educate the audience, not only does it get more traction in the industry, but it also increases the brand’s recognition.
Business Content Marketing Wrap-Up
When a business talks about helping the right audience. It finds prospects.
And, when prospects find the brand’s content valuable, they get closer to the brand, hence, the relationship builds up between the brand and the audience.
Use your content to turn your brand into a pool of solutions.
It’s your turn to share your views.
Do you think your business needs a well-organized Content Marketing Plan?
If yes, then what are you doing to create that plan?
I’d love to read and reply to your comments.