How-to Guide: Content Marketing for Businesses
Praise Sim, Copywriter, GENIA
27 May 2020
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience.”
It is an attempt to connect your audience to your brand by providing useful and educational content, with a notably smaller emphasis on selling. It is the bridge of trust between you and your audience that effectively destroys the awkward need to mention your product in every other sentence.
Every brand has the potential to create fresh, industry-related content and to provide the answers your audiences are looking for!
Why is Content Marketing so important?
Content Marketing is easily the most important strategy for any business, and its applications are universal across all industries. Be it for a start-up to large multinationals, content marketing plays a huge role in establishing strong brand awareness and connects your audience to your brand in a powerful and insightful way.
Many businesses often mistake marketing as adopting aggressive sales tactics, driving repeated information to the same target audiences at high volume and frequencies. While this method is effective for some products, it sorely fails to build a relationship between the audience and the brand, and face it, most of us can’t afford to sustain these aggressive forms of advertising.
Why is a good content marketing strategy important for your business?
Every business should have two types of goals, ongoing goals and campaign goals.
Ongoing goals measure the results your business wants to achieve on a regular basis. For example, having consistent twitter interactions with consumers or monthly podcast listenings.
Whereas campaign goals are those that your business wants to achieve within a limited time, such as hitting 100 conversions through your Facebook or Google Ad campaigns for a Christmas Sale.
While both are not mutually exclusive, paying attention to them individually can help your brand to diversify and improve the quality of your marketing game. The best part is, once you have the momentum going, you’ll find your efforts working for itself, boosting the quality of your brand and campaign efforts.
And honestly, it’s not that hard to begin with.
How can your business develop a good content marketing strategy?
While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for content marketing, a good yardstick for success looks a little like this:
- Define your audience
A common mistake many businesses make is casting the net too wide. You are not going to capture the attention of everyone, and that is ok! In fact, knowing who your audience is, what they want and how you can best serve their needs is the making of quality content.
The idea is to create content that your audience can resonate so strongly with, that they want to come back to you for more! Identifying their background, interests and preference allow you to create the best content that your audience wants.
If you do this correctly, you’ll see them spending more time on your site, clicking on related posts and sharing your content! Needless to say, it’ll make your marketing efforts much easier.
2. Choosing the right topics
There is no need to knock your head for ideas if you already know what your audience wants. Rule of Thumb is, you create content that answers the industry-related questions that your audience is asking.
This process is fairly simple.
Firstly, take note of the patterns in the feedback from your customers. You’d notice recurring topics and questions that often go unaddressed and these pain points are what you want to address through your content. Best of all, you’d know for sure that you have an audience for it.
If you have inbuilt conversion trackers in your website, put them to good use! They tell you which topics keep your audience coming back for more and where they are spending the most time on! Creating related topics or building on these existing content is an important element of good content marketing that not only enhances the reader experience but makes content creation more natural and simply much easier.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is using good keyword research to identify what your audience is searching for on search engines like Google. These are what we call “high intent searches”, users who are looking for immediate answers to their questions and are more likely to respond to your content. ‘Research’ may sound daunting, but it can be done with time and the right tools! Tools such as UBERSUGGEST and Google Trends are free and user-friendly, with the most up-to-date statistics that your business can leverage on!
3. Produce Content
Ever come across a useful piece but it was simply too dry that you bailed half-way through?
Storytelling is a writing technique that applies to almost any industry and it forms the basis of most content marketing. It is a way to connect with your audience beyond just selling and promoting your products and services, and it is a powerful tool to set the tone for the post, be it educational, humorous or urgent.
The first step to good storytelling is identifying a core message: what is the main idea you want your audience to take away from the post?
This message should be unmistakable and it will effectively guide the rest of your content. Your headings, body, images and tone should build upon this core message, leaving a stronger impression on your readers.
Next, you’d want to set the tone for your readers. Are they reading something educational? Something Personal? Breaking News? When writing a how-to guide, you’d want to sound professional but succinct. With a humorous piece, you’d use metaphors, sarcasm and keep it generally light-hearted so that your audience knows not to take it too seriously. And with storytelling, you can apply it to any tone or setting and find that your ideas flow easily.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly – structure your content! This is so important because humans have an average attention span of 8 seconds.
That’s right, 8 seconds.
Most readers only want to extract what they need, and as content producers, we do our best to facilitate this process by structuring our content. This can be as simple as using sub-headings, focusing on one idea per paragraph and highlighting words or phrases that encapsulate the idea of the paragraph. When users click in and see big chunky paragraphs, they will click away.
The #1 driver of traffic to websites comes from search engines, with 3.5 billion searches every day on Google. However, 71% of users do not go past the first page of Google.
You’d be missing out on a huge pie of the market if you do not optimise your content to rank well!
The keywords you incorporate into your content serves as indicators to Google that your content is relevant to a particular search query. Your headings and sub-headings, also known as H1 and H2 tags allow Google to display your site whenever they deem relevant.
Not only does Google give you the greatest volume in terms of traffic, but they also sift out irrelevant audiences. This leaves you with the audience that matches your product or service and has the intent to acquire what you have to offer!
This heavily under-utilised marketing tool can save you thousands on ad spend while reaping you even better results. Don’t miss out!
What’s the point in making great content if nobody gets to see it?
Distributing content is integral to any content marketing campaign, and the final objective is to get your content in front of the right audience at the right time.
That being said, what works for one business may not necessarily work for another and what works for one campaign may not necessarily work for another either. Hence, it is crucial to explore all avenues of distribution through secondary research, trial and error.
You may not find the best fit immediately, but every mistake made or money spent on advertising is also money spent on market research – getting to know your audience.
Three key avenues for the distribution of content are: Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media. The integration of these avenues allows you to organise and strategise your marketing strategies to achieve the best results for your business.
Most businesses have owned media such as websites, podcasts and social media. These are assets or distribution channels that you have good control of, and they are typically established over the long-term.
Paid media are the channels you engage for a fee to distribute your owned media and assets. Platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook and Influencers, amplify your content to a wider audience at a cost.
Earned media is the exchange of content through a third party. When your business is featured in a press release, that is earned media.
Although these avenues are not mutually exclusive, they provide a framework for your business to explore the different channels of content distribution to find the best fit your particular goal.
Creating content is a long-term commitment. A commitment to blogging, publishing videos, infographics and conducting podcasts frequently and regularly!
Consistency is the basic rule of engagement.
Firstly, it allows you to remain in touch with your audience and create a following base that can look forward to your weekly or even daily postings!
Secondly, quality content created on a regular basis conveys expertise and credibility for your business. It tells your audience that you are a credible and up-to-date content source with information or news pertaining to your industry!
Lastly, and most importantly, it builds brand awareness! The more you create content, the more traffic you garner, the more leads generated and the higher the prospects of conversion.
- Content Marketing has the potential to bring your business to greater heights by connecting with a wider audience on a deeper level.
Many businesses aspire to build brand awareness but lack a good content strategy. In fact, as many as 70% of marketers lack a content strategy, not to mention a content distribution strategy. This is because many of them do not recognise the potential that great content marketing can bring. From establishing deeper customer relationships to generating more and higher quality conversion – the opportunities are endless.
What if I can’t write well or articulate my ideas clearly?
At GENIA our copywriters are dedicated to delivering your ideas to your audience in a clear and articulate manner. We believe that no business can succeed without great content.
We conduct thorough market research on your behalf to produce the content that we know your audience will respond to. In fact, it is our mission to turn all our clients into content hubs – a credible point of reference for all information pertaining to their industry. Industry leaders and experts are what we aspire to build!
If you have the ideas but don’t have the words, we will find them for you!
For many small business owners, getting started on social media can be a little daunting, especially when you are boot-strapped or face lack of manpower and time. However, it does not have to cost very much to grow your business on social media such as LinkedIn.
Here are 15 ways on how small businesses can grow their connections organically on LinkedIn.
- Define your purpose.
Identify at which stage of your marketing funnel you want your business to focus on and set goals to reach them. Is it to build awareness of your business, garner more engagement or convert people to transact with you? Knowing your business goal will help you work on a strategic social media strategy that will produce successful outcomes at every stage of the funnel.
- Build a LinkedIn business page.
According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have business pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue. A business page allows you to post content, advertise your solutions and how it can alleviate your target audience’s pain points. While building your own LinkedIn personal page is important, a business page allows you to focus on providing value-added information that your customers can relate to.
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