Content marketing has the power to attract audiences, build awareness for your brand and keep customers returning. But there’s no doubt that some industries have an easier time creating great content to use in their content marketing practices already.
For some industries, creating a content marketing strategy can be a struggle. When you aren’t selling exciting products or services, finding creative ways to market your brand through content can feel like you’re pulling teeth.
But you can’t just ignore content marketing because it isn’t easy. No matter what industry you’re in, here are eight content marketing practices you should be using:
1. Know Exactly Who Your Audience Is
Content marketing begins with the audience. If you have no clue who you’re creating content for, you have no chance of it being read. You need to tailor each piece of content you create to meet the needs and questions of your target audience.
Begin by creating a customer persona. Through creating an ideal representation of who will read and interact with your content, you can tailor each piece to fit their unique needs. Know their questions, problems, struggles and what solutions they’re looking for. Then, focus your content on addressing those needs.
2. Focus on Your Customer
Many companies fail at content marketing practices because they focus on themselves, rather than their customer, with the content they create. If you’re only creating content around your products or services, you’re not providing valuable information to your audience.
When creating your content, make sure it has your customers’ needs in mind. It should answer questions, provide solutions and address relevant issues or topics. Listen to the questions they’re asking or searching for when deciding what content to create.
3. Include Different Kinds of Content
A strong content marketing strategy will include a healthy mix of content types. Rather than only focusing on blog posts or e-Books, your content marketing strategy should include everything from entertaining articles to informative videos.
Creating multiple kinds of content gives your brand the ability to be seen at all stages of the buying process. Be sure you’re creating multiple forms of content, including blogs, articles, videos, news, infographics, testimonials, product descriptions and more.
4. Understand the Buyer’s Journey
Your buyer’s journey is the unique path your customer will take between discovering your company and making a purchase. For the most part, a buyer will need to go through an awareness stage, an interest stage, a consideration stage and a purchasing stage.
Your content should help push your customer through each stage until they make a purchase. Even after they’ve become a paying customer, you should continue to create content that brings them back into the sales funnel and pushes for additional purchases. Create your content with a specific buyer’s journey phase in mind to ensure there aren’t gaps in your strategy.
5. Use an Editorial Calendar
If you’re trying to implement a content marketing strategy without an editorial calendar, chances are good you’re going to fall behind quickly. Without a clear schedule that tells you what to upload and when, you may forget or lose focus on your content marketing goals.
Using an editorial calendar to map out your content marketing strategy will help you envision the big picture for your articles, videos and posts. You can develop a plan for mixing up your content and ensure you’re consistent with uploading new blogs or social media content. An editorial calendar can also help keep your entire marketing department on the same page.
6. Put Your Content out There
After you create content, you can’t expect your audience to come rushing to it naturally. While some brands may have the benefit of users seeking out content on their own, you typically won’t find this in non-exciting industries. If you want your audience to view your content, you need to lead them to it.
There are multiple channels that will allow you to spread your message and share your content with your audience. The easiest and most cost-efficient way to do so is through your social media channels or email list. If you’re looking to expand your network and get more eyes on your site, you may want to consider giving a post a paid boost on a social media platform.
7. Repurpose Your Content Whenever You Can
Creating content takes time, but you don’t need to create a completely unique piece of content each and every time you need to make a new post. Repurposing or recycling content can be a great way to reach a new audience while saving time on research or content creation.
Content can be repurposed in a number of ways. A blog post may be turned into a video, an infographic, a slideshow or an e-Book. Try to see if you can reformat each piece of content five different ways for maximum reach.
8. Track, Measure and Adjust
Once you’ve created a content marketing strategy, you need to measure whether or not it’s helping you accomplish your goals. Establish some clear and specific objectives for your content marketing strategy and track your analytics to see whether or not you’re getting the results you’re after.
Remember that content can take time to catch on. You may need to try different channels or content types before you find the mix that works best for your audience. If you don’t see results immediately, keep pushing through, making adjustments and trying new forms of content your audience might enjoy.
Regardless of your industry, you need to be using most if not all of content marketing practices listed above. As one of the best ways to establish trust and build a relationship with your audience, the right content marketing mix can bring loyal customers to your business.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.