ontent is King they say but very few of us are equipped with an understanding of what it is and the critical role it plays in our digital marketing mix. I would like to share a few thoughts on this subject matter and hopefully bring to light key elements often overlooked in a digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing is a fairly recent concept and advances have been made to define it as a marketing discipline of it’s own. According to the content marketing institute, content marketing has been defined as “A marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action (Content Marketing Institute, 2013).” To break it down in simple terms, content marketing is all about creating and sharing content to a defined target audience in order to achieve set objectives. I’m convinced that now more than ever with the rapid adoption of social networking, we need content marketers and in fact every marketer should be a content specialist.
I strongly believe one of the most important elements in marketing is understanding your target audience, who is your customer? What do they do? What do they like? What are their interests? Where do they stay etc, and these are all pillars of content marketing. The reason why most companies are finding the going tough on social media is because of content deficiencies, if your content is not compelling enough, enticing enough, if it’s not shareable then don’t expect your fans to engage. This leads me to believe that one of the most important metrics on social media is share and retweet because they speak of the quality of your content. If your content is good then everyone wants to share it and rebroadcast it to their followers simple as that.
So if you’re finding the going tough with regards to your digital marketing efforts, your fans are not engaging, it might be necessary to invest in a workshop on content strategy. Below is a few steps you can take to develop your content strategy:
- Content Audit
A content audit basically analyzes your current content efforts, what are you saying? How are you saying it and on which platforms? how is it being disseminated and received, are you bragging about what you’ve done or you’re listening and connecting with their needs etc. the challenge with most of us is that we love to talk about ourselves and sell sell sell but our customers want to chat, hear exciting stories, jokes etc. Locally most companies have basic channels, website and social media and it is important to analyze and evaluate how you’re developing and sharing content on these platforms.
- Persona definition
Persona definition is fundamentally defining your target audience on the various content sharing platforms you’ve. If you have a website define who visits your website and what sort of information are they looking for? If it’s social media, define the persona who’s following you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn etc, what type of content appeals to them? In Zimbabwe, I’ve studied and discovered that they are two different personas with regards to social media, first, the Facebook persona is loves to post, share, comment etc and view the nice pictures but the Twitter persona is more of an educated folk, their interests are mainly business news, financial news, they like to follow personalities, hear and be heard, broadcast their own content etc. Persona definition must be done to the minute details and parameters like demographics and interests must be analyzed, evaluated so as to accurately define your persona.
- Develop content strategy
Once you’re equipped with information on whom you’re “talking” to and where you “talk” to them the next step is to develop your content strategy for every channel that you’ve. If it’s on the company website, you know customers are looking for more information about your products and services and thus your site needs to be optimized for search and enticing content should be quickly visible on the homepage.
On social media it is important to take note of the nature of content you share for both Twitter and Facebook, if your brand is about health beverages then, it’s important you share things like health tips etc. Further to that and equally important is the time to share content, through social media analytics you can ascertain the times which your audience engages you better, which normally in Zimbabwe is between 5 and 8pm. All of your content should be contained and defined in a content schedule, a dashboard that shows the type of content, when it will posted and on which platforms. A content schedule will help you plan and determine content requirements for the week and or month.
Other tips for your content strategy relate to CTAs, what are you asking the consumer to do after reading your Facebook post or Tweet? Where are you leading them to? Your website or blog play an important bit in directing traffic from social media so that they can get full information.
In conclusion content marketing is the art of digital marketing! Content marketing is all about developing a strong understanding of your target audience, creating the right content and sharing it on the right platforms timeously and compellingly. Now is the time to invest in content marketing because content is king and it shall remain at throne as long as there’s digital marketing.
If you would like to get some advice on developing your content strategy, contact me on +263782 404 379 or email email@example.com