How to make your content marketing sing (in four steps)

How to make your content marketing sing (in four steps)

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Content marketing is not just about creating eloquent blog posts and absorbing social videos. The key to effective content marketing is ensuring that all of your content has a clear and defined purpose; it needs to compel core audiences to take action.

How? By following four simple rules, brands can ramp up the effectiveness of their content marketing…

Only by knowing what your audience needs, the challenges they face and, crucially, where they are on their journey to selecting your brand, can you deliver compelling, valuable content. This knowledge allows you to add real value, enabling customers, and moving them seamlessly from awareness to final conversion.

When award-winning hi-fi speaker brand, DALI wanted to micro-target consumers who engaged with a particular piece of content on social media, Mediablaze worked with the company to present its core audience with a series of targeted pieces. The campaign prompted a 569% increase in searches for its portable DALI KATCH speakers, and a 128% increase in ecommerce visits. This success came from understanding the customer journey and identifying the audience’s needs prior to purchase. Our content was genuinely useful to them, helping to inform their next click.

To truly understand your audience, you must first create accurate personas of the ideal customers you want to reach. These semi-fictional characters are based on a combination of research, data and intuition, and enable you to create highly relevant content based on the proven needs of your customer.

Buyer personas can also be used to help brands to analyse user behaviour, using each segment to understand how people interact with their website, which content they consume, how they navigate the site, and what actions they take — as well as at which points they drop off. Brands who are able to fully understand different audience segments, including their preferences and behaviours, are able to personalise content to users, demonstrating exactly how they can fulfil their needs.

There are multiple platforms for content sharing, and today’s purchase journey is fragmented and circuitous, encompassing multiple sites (and devices). Brands need to think carefully about on which platforms they post content, and they must be clear about the role played by each one in the customer journey.

For example, a brand might know that a certain segment of its audience is more likely to buy after visiting from Instagram, or via a particular search term on Google. Understanding your customers’ journeys, and how they behave on certain sites — for example, expectations for content on Twitter differ to those on a brand’s YouTube channel— should inform what content is created for which channel, and this should be matched to the user’s stage in the journey. What does your audience need from you and when?

Armed with the knowledge of who your customers are, what they want and need, where they expect to find it, and how they want it delivered, brands must produce content that fuels product desire…

For a sports footwear brand this might range from a general ‘awareness’ blog post on a football web site, looking at the importance of wearing the right trainers or football boots, to a technical ‘how the footwear technology works’ video on its branded YouTube channel, delivering what a certain customer segment needs to make the final purchase decision.

Ensure content is shareable too — challenge, invite or even incentivise users to share the added value with friends.

Every piece of content should be rooted in who, when, how and why.

Last, but certainly not least, brands must continually monitor what is working and what isn’t. Clear metrics must be put in place to measure against, enabling marketers to visualise what success look like. Goals might vary from generating traffic to conversion or engagement, for example. Being clear about your goals from the outset will allow you to identify which content is best performing and which is failing to deliver, allowing continual iteration.

Be alert to unexpected opportunities too. Campaign data might reveal a previously untapped audience which is responding to your content, for example, or unexpected demand/engagement for more technical videos on YouTube. Brands must continually test, track, learn and adjust to optimise their content marketing.

Aligning your content with your customers’ purchase journey, and putting the right attribution and measurement in place, will pay off.

How advanced is your company in its content marketing strategy, and is there an opportunity to optimise your efforts and, importantly, maximise return? Want to improve the effectiveness of your content marketing?

Take Mediablaze’s content marketing maturity test to see how prepared you are…