As consumers, we’re exposed to advertisements thousands of times a day. You’ll see adverts anywhere and everywhere nowadays, and it can feel hard to escape the constant marketing noise that appears to be part and parcel of the modern world. Similar issues arise when trying to market your business, too - how do you break through the barrier of advertising fatigue and get your business in front of your ideal audience? Content marketing is just one of the ways you can cut through this constant advertising clutter.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves creating valuable online content like blog posts, whitepapers, videos, social media content or newsletters with the intention of connecting with your target market. This content might exist on your website, social media platforms or on other relevant sites. Content marketing focuses on providing your customers with relevant, valuable information in a way that suits them, at a time that’s convenient for them.
Why bother with content marketing?
Being bombarded with thousands of adverts every day has resulted in most consumers blocking out anything that resembles an ad. Banners are being ignored, ad-blockers are growing in popularity every day and many services now offer “premium” subscriptions which focus on removing advertisements from the user experience. Done correctly, content marketing can help engage these customers who might instinctively ignore “traditional” advertising, providing you with an avenue to expand your reach and increase your customer base.
Content marketing not only helps you build awareness for your brand, it also goes a long way in establishing your business’s authority within the market that you operate in. By highlighting the areas of strength and knowledge possessed by your startup, you can create a level of trust and understanding that traditional advertising can only dream of. Valuable, relevant content marketing will help you connect with your audience and strengthen those crucial customer relationships.
It’s also a cost-effective way to use your budget - great content doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to create. Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of content marketing, and your startup could be one of them.
Using content marketing for your startup
There are a few key points to consider when implementing an effective content marketing strategy, and what works for your startup might not be the same as what works for others in your industry. Most importantly, you have to set clear intentions for what you want your content to do. Do you want it to entertain, educate or impress your customers? Conversions will be a key part of your marketing strategy, but content marketing is about more than just driving sales. You have to think about who your audience is and what they want. What does their customer journey look like? What are their pain points and problems? How can you solve those issues and answer their questions? Understanding who you want to read your content, how you want them to engage and what you want to tell them will guide your strategy.
Further reading: Getting to know your target audience
Top tips for content marketing
- Set clear goals - having a defined purpose for your content strategy will help you stay focused and on track
- Think about search - search engines are a huge part of the customer journey with many customers looking to these as part of their information search. What sort of things would your customer be searching for, and how can you create content that is optimised for these key terms?
- Offer value in your content - sometimes, you have to give a little to get a lot. There is a lot of noise out there, so why should someone listen to what you have to say? You have to make it worth their while by providing some sort of value. This might be in the form of information and assistance or explicit monetary value like discounts or exclusive deals.
- Think about where you’re posting - where you post your content is just as important as what your content is. Pay careful attention to where your target audience spends time online and how you can get your content in front of them. There’s no point spending hours crafting brilliant blog posts and expecting your audience to stumble across them on Twitter if they spend most of their time on Facebook.