In order to understand how content marketing can impact a business, we need to understand what content marketing is and the benefits it can have on business owners.
What is content marketing?
According to the dictionary, content marketing is defined as: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Another way of looking at it, is how the Content Marketing Institute put it: 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.
The main thing to remember is that content marketing is about being educational and not all about selling a product.
What is content marketing good for?
The reasons we look to content marketing is not ultimately to promote a product but about building a brand and reputation. Here are some other reasons:
- To build an engaged and interested audience – making sure that you’re taking the people that you want to speak to and not generalising at anyone that will listen.
- To educate customers – teaching your customers or potential customers about your business or industry.
- To increase sales in the long-term.
- To build a loyal customer base and create a brand that people will know, love and trust.
What do people know about your brand?
If you search Google or the search engines for you / your business, what do you find?
This can be a great exercise as you get to see what other people can find out about you.
Do you like what you find? Are you surprised by the results that you find?
By building on your content marketing, you can start to create a base and substance for what people are going to find when they do their due diligence and research your business. You can start to get control over the content people find about you. And the more good content you create, the more reputable your business will become.
Practice – Patience – Persistence
It can be easy to get worked up when you don’t get it right all the time but that’s just part of the process (and a part of life!). Not everyone is good at creating great content, but you will get better if you keep practicing, have patience and are persistent in your approach.
Results will happen when you have patience. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Don’t forget that if you really find that you’re not great after all at content marketing, there are people there ready to help. Outsourcing marketing is a common occurrence and just means that you’re looking after the interests of your business, focusing on what you do best and allowing an expert to take care of the other stuff.
Understand your business goals
Producing content for the sake of it will not get you anywhere fast, it will just increase stress, workload and worry about not producing results. Every piece of content should be created with a business goal in mind. Although this may seem a long process, for everything you produce, ensure that it aligns with a business goal and establish how it is going to benefit your long or short-term goals.
Consider your business goals, where do you ultimately want to get to, and think about how your content can contribute towards achieving them…
- Raising brand awareness
- Build an email list / customer base
- Provide a good customer journey and experience
- Upsell existing customers
- Help customers to be an advocate of your brand
Understand your mission and values
Just as you did with your business goals, each piece of content has got to be in line with your mission and values. There is absolutely no point in creating content that goes against what you believe, or doesn’t sit right with the people you want to reach, or even with the values that you promote. Your content needs to true to what your brand is about.
Consider your values or mission and how your content can contribute towards aligning with these:
- Who can you help the most with your content?
- What type of information can you provide?
- What is the desired outcome with the content that you’re producing?
What type of content can you use?
There are a wide range of resources that you can use to create your content marketing ideas, way to many to list but back to what we said at the beginning, all content must be educational or informational – not selling a product. Therefore the list can begin with:
- Books / ebooks
- Webpages / websites
- How to’s
And the list can go on. There is so much content that you create to build your brand, without directly selling.
But the question may come down to what you love to do, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile and sits right with you personally. Looking at the list about, what jumps out at you and makes you think “yes I can produce that”? These are the things you need to start with. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be true to your brand.
The more you start to think about writing or creating content that adds value rather than selling, the easier it will become. In all you do, the audience should feel like they’re receiving value, or being looked after.
Implementing the process
Once you’ve established what content marketing is how you can add value to your audience, it comes down to implementing it into your marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in today’s society in reaching a wide and engaging audience and is often the best way to market to your customers. Build your content ideas into your social media strategy, creating a solid foundation for your business to gain respect, become reputable and trusted within your chosen niche. The more solid and authentic your content is, the more people will become to trust you, in turn becoming loyal and valued customers.
As we mentioned before, great content can increase your brand awareness, it can help build an audience that is interested in what you are about and ultimately it can lead to long-term sales and business growth.
If you’d like to get started with content marketing but are still unsure of how to get off the ground, or would like to look at outsourcing, we’d love to chat with you. Contact us today – let’s talk marketing!
And in the meantime if you’re looking to create engaging content around some of the issues that are important to your audience, why not download our free 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – it’s always good to have new ideas to share!
We look forward to hearing from you.
When we think about promoting a business, we should consider every factor, and this includes actually telling people what we do!
Do we take for granted that people already know us? Do we assume that our audience already have a good perception of who we are and what we are capable of?
Never make assumptions!
When it comes to marketing, whether that be offline or digital marketing – spell out the message you’re intending to say and stick to your message and mission.
Start With The Basics
- Who are you and what is your business about?
- What do you offer – what services or products do you provide?
- How can people get in touch with you?
- Where can people find out more about you?
These are all questions that we need to start with when marketing a business. Make it easy for people to find out about your brand, your values, your products, your way of doing things. Your customers are your life line to success. Without them you won’t succeed!
Dig A Little Deeper
Now you’ve established your presence and people are starting to know more about you, it’s time to go deeper into what you can do for them.
Do your customers know that you can offer XYZ? Are they aware that you can solve X problem?
What is it that your audience is looking for, and how can you put across a message of hope and solution?
Take time to sit in your customer’s shoes for a moment, what would pull you towards your services and what would you be looking to get from it?
Think as a customer and write your marketing directly to them.
Embrace Your Strengths
Everyone has things they are better at and prefer doing over other tasks – embrace those strengths and allow your customers to get a glimpse or taste of those strengths. People buy from people or brands that they trust, by giving them a taster of something that you’re really passionate about, they can ‘try before they buy’.
Learn From Your Weaknesses
On the flip side of your strengths, everyone also has weaknesses. But this isn’t something that shall hold you back. We learn from mistakes, we learn from trial and error and the more we do something, the better we become.
Sometimes we need to step out of the comfort zone and give ourselves a challenge – as hard as that may be to do, it gives us courage, confidence and new strings to our bow. And this is applicable in marketing – social media is a life line for businesses to embrace and to use as best as possible to grow their brand. What could you do to step out of the box, out of your comfort zone and to build relationships with your audience?
For some people the thought of being on video terrifies them – but video is one of the best forms of social media marketing and it gives direct access for clients/customers to see behind the brand, who they’re dealing with and to learn more about a business. Have you tried it?
Create An Event
Another great way for your customers to get to know what you do is to create an event. This could be a physical ‘go to’ event, it could be a networking opportunity, it could be a webinar or even a podcast. But whatever it is, it’s something tangible for people to get to know you.
Again this may be stepping out of your comfort zone but does that matter if it means your business may grow, you’re raising your brand awareness and people are starting to like, know and trust you? It’s a step toward success. It’s a path to growing a business and it’s great for you personally as you get to meet new people and your reputation grows.
The main point is that it’s good to make clear what you do and what you can provide for your customers.
Get to know your ideal audience, get yourself well established within the right circles and the right networks, and become a person of interest in your local area. The more you get out there, the more your business will flourish.
If you’re looking to raise your profile and create a better awareness of your business, we can help! You don’t have to go it alone, and we’d love to chat with you if you’d like some direction in getting started or building on what you already are doing online. Get in touch today!
As a brand we hope that you are using social media in some form or another, for those that are still to discover a social media presence – we need to talk!
But for many brands, social media is the best form of marketing and advertising that their company can use in order to gain the attention of their audience.
Building a social media presence will not create a magical income stream straight away and as with anything it needs to be built upon and content carefully crafted and planned out. Businesses that hope for miracles when they post sporadically often give up at the first hurdle when they don’t see results straight away. However, building a marketing strategy that can be followed in order to achieve certain goals and increase sales, raise brand awareness and build a solid foundation for customers to get engaged with WILL get a business noticed.
As a business, you need structure and a plan – you need a marketing strategy.
Start with a SMART marketing goal
Decide what’s important to you, what goals you want to achieve and then how you’re going to achieve them.
An example of a good SMART goal for social media marketing would be something like “Increase our Pinterest response rate by 50% by the end of the first quarter.”
Specific: “We’ve specifically identified the social channel (Pinterest) and a metric (response rate).”
Measurable: “The response rate can be measured from Pinterest for Business analytics dashboard.”
Achievable: “It’s a realistic goal that with focus and creativity, can be achieved.”
Relevant: “Our goal will have an impact on our overall social media presence, making it very relevant.”
Time-bound: “The goal has to be met by the end of the first quarter.”
Now, Pinterest as an example is a very positive social channel that when used correctly can drive traffic to a website in the hundreds! We love Pinterest but choosing a platform that works in line with your business is essential for the strategy to work and be productive.
By making SMART goals for each step will give it purpose and a relevancy, aligning it with your overall core values. Does your goal fit with your business plan? Does it reach out to the audiences that you want to speak to?
Grow your audience
Now you’ve got the strategy and plan on what you want to achieve, it’s time to put that into practice and grow your audience using social media.
We may have chosen Pinterest as our example, but many brands will start off in Facebook as their chosen platform of choice, so thinking about using Facebook, what can you do to see results? The main point if anything to take away today, is that you need to ‘show up’ every single day and you need to show your audience that you actually care about them. Use your business page, create a members groups, reach out to individuals through your personal profile – as long as it’s in line with your SMART goals, go for it!
By using great content, experience, expert knowledge and advice all coupled together, it will help to build your audience. And you want to be right in front of them, to be there when they need you and ready to answer and engage at the most crucial times.
Strategy comes from vision
The idea behind putting a marketing strategy in place is so that you can achieve the goals that you set out to achieve when you started your business, these goals come from visions and dreams that you may have had for many years. Lay out all your visions, decipher your dreams into segments and create a brainstorm of everything that is important to you. You’ll be surprised at everything that comes out from a simple exercise like this! Start with one point, one idea and the rest will flow.
What lifestyle do you want to be living? Will the achievement of your dreams have an impact on your lifestyle? What financial goals do you want to achieve? Be clear on all that you dream of – it will make it so much easier to create a plan if you know what you want from it.
Ensure that all your plans align with your core values and your personal vision.
Some people lack the confidence that they are worth what they want to charge in their business. They see the experts charging high ticket prices but when it comes to their own self-belief, can often hit barriers that do not allow them to charge their worth.
Remember that you are an expert in your niche – that’s why you’re doing what you’re doing.
From your goals you will already be aware of what you need to achieve financially throughout the year. This figure then needs to be broken down in segments of the services that you offer.
How many XX services do you need to sell to achieve £XX’s? You can have different levels of pricing / packages depending on who you work with and the level of service or support you offer but create a pricing structure that works with your goals.
You may not think that this will directly grow your business, but by knowing what you need to charge and sticking to those prices, you will gain confidence and assurance in what you are doing. When someone asks you “How much do you charge for XX?”, you will be able to answer straight back with a price, rather than lacking in confidence to quote the price you know it should be. Confidence shines through in all areas of your business and being clear on pricing is a great place to start.
Speak directly to your audience
Do you know that what you’re offering is hitting the pain points of your audience? Is it actually going to serve a purpose and create solutions? That needs to be a deciding factor on how you market your business and which direction you take it.
Everyone needs something, and researching your product or services will determine the people that are looking for you – the people that you need to reach.
Using a simple keyword tool will help you determine what your audience is searching for. When you understand specifics, then you speak directly to them and relieve their pain.
Gain customer feedback – are you approaching your idea from the right angle? Are you dealing with a problem that is real?
Even tapping into your competitors social feeds can give you insight into what works and what people are seeking.
For example, someone may be searching the internet for ways to keep up to date with social media planning. Now for us here we could dive straight into connecting with the people who are looking for this, build a relationship with them and then offer our social media planner as a solution.
People won’t buy from the first introduction but by creating a relationship with them and giving them a reason to trust you and your brand, it becomes a whole different story. Recommendations and word of mouth advertising is valuable and still extremely powerful. Learn to love and nurture your audience and provide value in every conversation and people will learn to love you back, and in turn recommend your services.
One of the most important aspects of your marketing is the positioning of your brand in the market. It needs to be built into the marketing strategy not used as an add on at the end. So how do you position yourself in a busy and competitive online society?
Focus on one or two things – not multiples. It’s better to do one thing well and be successful than try to do everything and do them badly.
We’ve all heard this before but it’s true in marketing also. It’s true when it comes to your social media marketing, it’s true in your services, it’s true for everything that your business offers. Focus on what you can do well and then position yourself in the market as an expert in that niche.
Be more user friendly. A customer wants a good journey when they interact with your brand and for everything to be one click away. Searching for a button to be able to contact you, or not knowing how to find your social channels, or when they do, not gaining a response… it’s all comes down to a customer’s experience and how easy it is to do business with you. Make this a pleasant experience and one that’s easy to travel down and you’ll find more people will engage. Make everything clear and transparent, even if it looks over simplified to you. Not everyone knows the business as well as you and it’s better to spell everything out in plain sight and with clickable actions for each part of the journey.
At the end of the day, you have to love what you’re doing. You have to be able to inspire yourself to do well and to succeed. When you have a passion inside of you that just wants to see results, all the above will fall into place.
If you’re new to business and have not put a marketing strategy together before, we’re here to help and your success is our success! We want to see you grow your small business online, we want to help you implement strategies and tactics to see results.
Use our contact form to get in touch and let’s see your business booming this year!
You can also connect with us on our Facebook Page and get to know us a little better too – we hope that your customer experience with KJP Creative is a good one!
Look forward to hearing from you.
Grab your copy of our 2020 social media awareness days calendar – and get organised with your social media marketing…