We’ve all heard the term “content marketing” at one point or another, B2B sales professionals swear by it, companies grow on it and we probably look at it every day. But what exactly is content marketing? Despite the popular catch phrase and the various principles floating around, this business savvy concept has remained somewhat vague to the general public and startup companies alike.
To break it down, content marketing is an advertising/ business method that concentrates on making any business content more exciting and attractive to its audience, it gives all the relevant details in a higher definition; more colour! Better deals! Bigger prospects! And a wider coverage, the point? To show why doing business with that specific company is in your best interest of course.
However, as fun and creative as it may sound, creating a fluid content marketing approach is in fact a tried and tested science that takes a few tricks and more than a little ingenuity.
The All-inclusive Content Marketing Checklist
Ensuring success has always started with a healthy amount of planning and direction, therefore it stands to reason that every company should have a profitable and solid marketing plan put in place. Sadly though, this is not the case for many companies around the world.
Statistics released earlier this year suggest that as many as 63% of companies do not currently have a tried and tested marketing plan set in place, a travesty to be sure. But do not fear, the all-inclusive content marketing checklist is here!
Below are a few tried and tested steps all content marketing plans should have in place, and if you find your current plan does not include these, feel free to add them in to the betterment of all involved.
Build Your Future on Solid Ground
Before you can create a single piece of content your first thoughts should always be “where is your content going to live and thrive?” As vast as the internet may seem that specific territory has more borderlines than America! So, finding your own little piece of heaven is essential. The pieces I’m referring to are called domains, and whether you like it or not, this is where most of your ideas will get created and expressed, especially if you’re wanting a wide impact. (Everyone is one the internet these days)
A common service offered is the ability to “rent” domain space from other users. Yes, it’s cheaper and comes with the great perk of already being established, but! There are some noteworthy down sides too. We all know the saying, “my house, my rules” and that is essentially what it comes down to. When choosing to use someone else’s domain not only can they limit your creative freedom and time, they can use your ideas and hard work for their own gains, so at the end of the day you could stand to lose a lot more than the cost of having your very own domain. It is now also very possible to have a domain created for you should you have the money and the need, some professionals offer very competitive pricing as well.
Decorate Your Soapbox
You may of heard the term “cornerstone”, it can have different meanings depending on its use, but in this case it refers to marketing content that generates the highest levels of interest from an audience. No two cornerstones are the same, it all depends on your targeted audience, e.g. a beautiful blog about tiger lilies will not do that well when sent to the construction industry no matter how intricately it is written, and vice versa.
Though, having a defined cornerstone is essential to any successful content marketing plans, they have the power to not only make you more interesting; they gain you a higher level of relevance and notability. In many things, people appreciate familiarity and there is a much higher possibility for success when it comes to being known for doing something specific very well.
Don’t Lose Your Beautiful Ideas to an Ugly Presentation
One of the more common mistakes made, especially by beginners; is taking a great idea and putting it out badly e.g. badly written content, cluttered or overworked approaches, or tacky sales pitches. Yes, the point of marketing is to make money as quickly and creatively as possible, however this side of business should always be handled with a touch of professional pride.Each marketing piece should be pre-planned and checked for any errors or possible improvements.
Another aspect of this is the security and comfort level of your website or company portal. Ever felt that sense of dread running down your spine when a message pops up warning you of the safety levels at a website you have been navigated to? Imagine if your client’s and audience had to go through that because you’ve neglected the server security on your sight!
At the end of the day, filling your website with interesting content is only as effective as the platform you display it on, so a word to the wise; always keep your presentation up to scratch, even if it takes a little longer or costs a little more.
The Benefits of Email
Statistics have shown that up to 93% of B2B marketers use email as their main form of communication and interaction. And with good reason, Flashy content and pop-up ads on a website are fantastic at grabbing people’s attention, but for a more tailored approach and relationship building, personalised emails have shown an astounding success rate. Recent surveys have shown that this old school method can still be up to 40% more effective than social media. You may find yourself asking why, it actually comes down to a few very simple reasons.
In a world filled with so many people and industries using numbers to categorize us (ticket numbers, flight numbers, seat numbers - even your Identity card!) Being recognized as a person with a name and reason has actually become a very rare and coveted gift. This is one of the things that still set personalised emails apart from the rest, you have to admit you feel a little more recognised when you see your name at the top.
And finally one of the best reasons is that emails are usually a lot neater and to the point. We all enjoy web-surfing but within reason! Sometimes it's nice to be able to get to the point quickly, not to mention that any decent marketing company takes steps to ensure their legitimacy reflects in their emails, so no more scam! (unless you don’t pay attention to where you click)
Keep Your Approach Convenient and Catchy
So what’s the most important part of marketing and advertising? No one cares more about what is happening right now then the mass public, especially if it affects them directly. After years of evolution humanity has caught the convenience bug and it stuck, we are constantly looking for better and faster ways to do things, and that is the very loophole marketing professional like to look for. Benefits, benefits, benefits! The public’s favourite word. So when designing your content always try to look at it from the customer’s perspective. Ask yourself what do they want to hear, what questions could they possibly have and ensure to supply the answers. But most of all make convenience your main characteristic.
Remember, most people still believe that money can actually buy happiness; and as a professional marketing specialist it's your job to prove them right!