No matter what your business is—and who your target audience is—you need content. Your content is how you continue to educate and engage buyers. How do they know what your business is all about, unless they can read your website, study your blogs, watch your videos, and engage with you on social media? Maybe you’ve gotten to this point with your business and haven’t really considered the importance of your content and its role in your overall marketing strategy. After all, you made it this far, right? Well, whether you’re just now discovering the importance of a marketing strategy or you’ve had one in place for years, it’s never a bad idea to learn new and better ways to reach your audience. Before you can get started, it’s important to really understand what a content marketing strategy is, because it’s so much more than just starting a blog.
Content Strategy: DefinedFirst, let’s define content. Many businesses have spent far too long considering their blog their “content.” In reality, your content is every piece of media that you create for your business—from your website pages to your blog, from your social media posts to your newsletters, and even direct mail pieces. It also includes your images, videos, infographics, press releases, articles in professional publications, podcasts, radio spots, commercials… Whew! That’s a lot of content you may not be considering. Now that we know what your content is, let’s talk about a strategy. Your strategy is when you create content with a well-planned purpose in mind in order to attain a particular goal. Your strategy could cover the course of a single day, a month, or an entire year. Now, how do we go about creating a content marketing strategy?
Creating a Content StrategyThere are several questions you need to answer. With those answers you’ll have the first steps of your content strategy created. Let’s focus on the easy stuff first:
Who Is My Target Audience?Do you know your buyer personas inside and out? Without a full understanding of who you’re trying to reach, you won’t know how to reach them.
What Problem Am I Solving?Knowing your buyers means knowing their pain points. Your content should be created with the sole purpose of solving those pain points.
How Am I Unique?Your Unique Selling Proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors. Your content is how you convey that USP to your buyers.
Where Will I Post?Now that you know your buyers, their pain points, and how you plan to stand out from the crowd, it’s time to start reaching them. Do you know where your buyers live online? Start finding out if they’re Facebookers or LinkedIn fans. Do they use Twitter? Would they prefer to get information from Snapchat or Instagram?
What Will I Post?The type of content you post can vary according to your platform. Short and snappy for Twitter, with images designed to stop someone in their tracks and click through to your site. Facebook likes to see longer posts and, in particular, video. On your own website, you can mix things up between blogs, lists, videos, and infographics to keep things lively.
How Will I Manage This?You have a lot on your plate now, so it’s important to determine how you can manage the content for the best results. Scheduling tools help, but it’s important to always have an eye on your content so you can see opportunities for engagement.
The Unanswered Question: Do I Need a Content StrategyThe simplest answer to this question is yes. Your buyers deserve to have access to all the information they can get their hands on before they make purchasing decisions. The only way that can happen is if you have a defined content strategy that focuses on providing that information any time a buyer needs it. Are you ready to create your content strategy? We’re always here to help, so just give us a call.
Video advertising is a great way to get your buyers’ attention. Whether you release snippets of organic video on your social media accounts or spend thousands on professional video production, the important thing is, simply, that you’re marketing through video. The statistics support this, too.
- 4 times as many buyers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it
- 50% of internet users search for video about products before visiting a store
- 55% of consumers watch videos all the way through
- 43% of people want more video content from marketers
Keep It RelevantIf you’ve ever watched a commercial and had no clue what was being sold, then you know the pain buyers feel when they consume video that isn’t relevant to their needs. Consumers really do want more content, but it must be relevant. Confusing or generic messages will turn your buyers off. What’s worse, generic or confusing messages won’t work to help buyers remember you later. Studies show that people can retain 65% of information that’s paired with relevant images three days after consuming that content. See? Relevance is key.
Keep It SocialFacebook’s introduction of video has changed the way consumers watch. This native form of marketing means that buyers are exposed to video without needing to search for it. This also means you enjoy more organic awareness of your products and services. YouTube is still the king of online video, but Facebook gets up to 100 million hours per day in front of users. Twitter is catching up, too, with 82% of Twitter users consuming video content. YouTube is great if your buyers know what to look for, but social platforms ensure that you’re seen.
Keep it EducationalStudies show that 47% of buyers will consume three to five pieces of content before they reach out to talk about making a purchase. That includes your videos, yes, but also blogs and ebooks. Your goal should be to tell them everything they need to know about your products or services in every piece of content. How will you use video marketing this year to reach your buyers? With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to providing a relevant, educational marketing experience that reaches consumers that don’t even know they need you yet. If we can help you provide a better brand experience through video marketing, give us a call.
With over one billion users on YouTube, it’s easy to see that video content isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, as Gen Y and Gen Z continue to explore their own spending power, brands have discovered that video content is often the preferred medium for engagement. Does that mean you should set out right away to start creating video content for your buyers? Well, possibly. But before you do, you should make sure you know those buyers well, because each generation wants something a little different from their video.
Who’s Watching?It’s safe to say that Generations X, Y, and Z all find video content to be valuable. However, Gen Z is more likely to be found on YouTube than Gen X, with 70% of teens and young adults visiting the video site daily. Still, 35% of Gen X stops by daily, 31% several times per week, and 22% are watching several times per month. In other words, everyone’s watching, from teens to men and women in their mid-forties. If you’re looking to get your products or services in front of buyers within this age range, then you can’t go wrong with video.
What Are They Watching?So, now that you know who’s most likely to watch your videos, you probably need to know what type of videos to make. Not everyone is likely to watch the same type, so your content should be geared toward your target audience. For instance, Gen X and Gen Y, or Millennials, still like to see tutorials and how-to videos. Generation Z, however, prefers to watch unboxing videos or “haul” videos, where brands are displayed by influencers. All of the generational groups still want to see product reviews, though. No matter who you’re trying to reach, they want to know if your products work.
Where Are They Watching?As with the types of videos consumed, the generation also determines where they’ll consume them. YouTube is the biggest platform, as you might guess, with 78% of Generation X, 86% of Millennials, and 93% of Generation Z using it. Other platforms, however, shift in popularity according to the age of the user. For instance, Generation Z doesn’t really seem to use Facebook for video consumption, while 57% of Generation X is still checking out videos on the social network. If you want Generation Z, you have to go to Snapchat, where 41% of Generation Z checks out video content. The real surprise, perhaps, is that Instagram is a big favorite among all three generations, especially with the new Instagram Stories feature. There’s no question that video content is an excellent tool for reaching your audience, regardless of their ages. However, understanding that audience will definitely help you target the types of videos and the platform for sharing so that you can always experience the best possible engagement with your buyers. If you’d like to explore your audience for video marketing campaigns, let us know. We’re happy to help you create marketing that will resonate with your buyers.
The podcast medium has been growing at a steady pace for the last few years. You probably have a few that you like to listen to on your daily commute, or while working out or doing household chores. That’s one of the reasons podcasts have seen such a steady growth. It’s a medium that allows listeners to multi-task while consuming content. Let’s just take a look at the numbers over the past few years. According to a Pew Research study, the amount of people that listen to at least one podcast per month doubled from 2008 to 2014. 2015 numbers were up an additional two points from 2014 with no signs of slowing down or flatlining anytime soon. Another reason for the growth in podcast usage is that they are highly consumable. So we know podcasts are popular, and we know they are convenient. The real question though is should your business have a podcast? Is there a place for it in your buyer’s journey? Here are a few benefits to consider.Strengthen Your Authority You are probably already using your content to place yourself as an authority within your space. Having a voice that can be heard instead of just read can help your prospects to identify you as a source to come back to for information throughout their buying journey. With a podcast, you can speak about your industry in a tone that can’t be read. A voice is personable and can build a level of trust and familiarity. Your listener can hear you being knowledgeable and confident.This can become powerful leverage as your prospect is nearing the end of their buying cycle. Let’s say one of the last steps in that cycle is a conversation between you and your prospect over the phone. If your prospect has listened to any of your podcasts then they already identify your voice as a trusted source for valuable information. Open New Channels of Content Distribution No matter how relevant your content is, it won’t matter unless that content gets in front of your targeted audience. That’s a given. Podcasting allows you to get in front of prospects that you could be missing. Here’s how: by submitting your podcast to directories. iTunes alone has over a billion subscribers. Podcast content providers like Stitcher and Tunein Radio also have millions of users and have apps that come pre-loaded on many mobile phones. There are several others and getting your podcast listed in their directories is free and only takes a few minutes. When you list your podcast with these directories you choose the topic, the genre and a handful of tags. There are a lot of podcast addicts out there that will find you just by searching for your keywords. Those are prospects that may not have found you by a google search or a social media post. Of course, during each podcast you are going to be a good marketer and give them a reason to visit your site or give them another call to action so that you can place them in the buyer’s journey. Level Up Your Network As the host of a podcast you have a platform that can be used to build strong relationships with influencers within your industry. Having an occasional (or regular) guest expert on your show provides variety to your format. An appearance from a good guest is mutually beneficial. Your audience gets to hear another voice. Your guest gets exposure to your listeners. And the best part? Your guest will most likely promote their appearance to their audience and social media followers, bringing in a new wave of listeners to your show. Not only has everyone involved benefited from your guest’s appearance, you have also made a connection with an influencer that may come in handy in the future. As you can see, harnessing the power of podcasting can have its benefits. As with all content you want to remember to make your episodes informative, targeted and aligned with your prospect’s journey. If you need assistance getting started, here is a simple how-to guide. The best thing about podcasting is that it can be a lot of fun. And if you are having fun, then your listener probably be will, too.