How to optimise your content marketing

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With “content marketing” becoming a well-used phrase these days, it’s clear to see that it has a key place in marketing generally; whether for timber or tableware. So let’s take a quick look at what it is, how it fits amongst the marketing mix and how best to optimise your efforts.

What is content marketing?

Whatever your business, you’ll have a target audience, made up of customers and prospective customers. Perhaps influencers, suppliers and stakeholders too. You need to communicate with them. Keep in touch. Tell them about your business and develop a relationship with them – interactive where possible. So what do you say? What advice do you give? What stories do you tell to demonstrate the character of your company? This is all content.

Content might be written copy, images, video, infographics and more. Without it, we have little to say. It needs to be great quality, resonate with your audience and accurately reflect your brand values and brand positioning.

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The most common types of content include: press releases, editorial copy, emails, blogs and news pieces. This list is of course, far from exhaustive.

Is content marketing the new marketing?

No, is the short answer. Content has always been used in marketing communications and always will be. Available communication channels are developing at a rapid rate with technological advance, allowing more cost effective, more immediate and more frequent communication with an audience. Years ago, marketers would create a hard copy brochure or leaflet, perhaps a sales letter or a newsletter and then post it out, using the Royal Mail. Remember the olden days? Whilst these channels are clearly still relevant to many businesses today, the phrase “content marketing” has arisen following the growth of email, social media, blogging and more.

Marketing is a much larger and more complex subject than just content marketing. Content marketing simply relates to the aspect of marketing communications, which is just one activity available to achieve your marketing objectives.

That said, using high quality content in your marketing is increasingly important. Undertaken with focus and consistency, it’s a very powerful marketing tool.

How to optimise your content marketing

By this, I mean how to make it work as hard as possible for you, using no additional amount of time, effort and resource.

First things first – have you established the right audience? No point going on about the virtues of your new dog beds to people that don’t have dogs! A simple example, but you get the point.

Second: don’t just make a noise for the sake of it. Quality and not quantity is always a better approach. We can all schedule 10 or 20 tweets a day but do they demonstrate your core values? Are they justified in what they are trying to achieve? If you write a blog, write a decent blog which will be of relevance and interest to your audience. Better to write one really good blog a week or fortnight, than a handful that don’t demonstrate the quality of your content.

And thirdly: are you maximising the reach of each piece of content? For example, you have a story about some research that you carried out with your customers, highlighting what people actually looked for when buying dog beds. This content could become a press release, an email, a blog or news item, an infographic and even a video! And of course, your social media channels can help to widen the reach of many aspects of it. This might be a little extreme, but my point is to ensure that you identify all possible channels to fully utilize your content.

Creating a content marketing plan can be a great way to achieve this in an organised fashion, offering a useful checklist and planning system. Such plans will be the subject of a future post as we actively create them for our clients.

If you would like to discuss content marketing in more detail with us, or learn more about our content marketing services, please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help.