For many businesses content marketing has become just as important, if not more so, than traditional forms of marketing such as display advertising.
Content marketing is all about communicating directly with your customers by creating and sharing content that your target market may find useful or entertaining.
According to a recent report from The Content Marketing Institute, marketers are finding more and more consumers are open to this kind of marketing, especially on social media where the effectiveness of content marketing has increased by up to 21% for promoted posts.
But producing successful content marketing requires a different approach and strategy than developing a television commercial or print advertisement, according to US business consultant and author of the Digital Tonto blog, Greg Satell.
Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Satell says not having a dedicated content marketing strategy is likely the reason why no one is reading your marketing content.
Satell says answering the following four questions will help your business create a content marketing strategy and put you on the path to success.
1. Why do you need content?
Traditional forms of marketing are seemingly becoming less effective but Satell says this does not automatically mean content marketing is the answer.
Instead businesses need to determine exactly what it is they want to achieve.
“Don’t treat content as a long-form version of an ad campaign,” he says.
“Think seriously about what it is you expect to achieve. If the only reason that you are doing content is to replace traditional marketing efforts, you are almost certain to fail.”
2. What value are you offering for exchange?
Satell says business must be clear on what value the content they produce will bring to consumers.
“Marketers have been trained to be consumer focused. But successful producers and publishers are mission focused and that makes all the difference,” he says.
3. What’s your anchor?
Content marketing are usually open-ended and do not have a defined use-by date like a traditional advertising campaign. So in order to give your content longevity, Satell recommends anchoring the content to an editorial or creative mission.
4. What type of experience do you want to deliver?
Forget about just crafting a message to your audience, focus on creating an experience for them instead, says Satell.
“Successful publishers pay close attention to their things like format, structure, and voice,” he says.
“It goes without saying that you write a different article for a daily newspaper than you would for a feature in a magazine, just as you would approach a TV pilot differently than you would a full-length film.
“Delivering a consistent experience matters, and successful content efforts put significant effort into creating and documenting standards.”