Every business has a story. A ‘why’ it was started and ‘what’ problems it was started to solve. But you see, your business can only succeed if your clients know that your business exists and how it can solve their problems.
The way to do that is by putting the efforts to tell your story. This is what Content Marketing is all about.
Great content marketing establishes trust with your audience, makes them keep coming back to you, helps with generating leads and increases conversion rate. - Forbes.com.
What Content Marketing is Not.
You may already be making some efforts, but content marketing is just not about posting on social media or writing blog posts. That is just a tiny part of telling your brand’s story. There are key principles that will help you give an accurate picture of your business to customers, that is what this article will show you.
This article is a summary of everything you need to know about content marketing. It is long and detailed, but definitely, one to read if you are serious about your content marketing efforts.
It contains the secrets I use to help businesses double their reach in less than 6 months. Nothing has shaped my skills more than these 5 steps I am about to share with you. Get ready to dive in.
1. Decide the Goal You want to Achieve.
Like every skill, content marketing involves understanding the underlying principles. How does it work? Content marketing is more than just stringing words together or posting on social media.
Understanding the goal you want to achieve, is the first step to excellent content marketing.
The truth is your business goals are what will inform the type of story you tell and how you tell it. Do you want to increase brand awareness, or is your goal to get more leads that will eventually buy from you? Your goals will guide the type of content you create.
2. Get to Know your Audience.
The next thing to know about telling your story is knowing the people you are telling it to.
For example, imagine another business reached out to you to help them create a spice mix for people allergic to onions. Already because you know that business, you know adding onions to the mix is a no for them.
You’re probably wondering; how does this apply to my business? Knowing exactly who you're talking to, will help you determine what their problems are, what pitfalls to avoid, and how exactly your products can solve their problem
The fastest way for you to fail is to assume you’re serving everybody as a business owner. Take the time to do proper audience research. The goal of telling your business story well is to ensure that the right people listen to and buy from you.
Hear me out: When you speak directly to the problems they have because you’ve done your audience research, you can be sure they will listen to you and eventually buy from you. Next, I’ll be showing you the two major pillars of content marketing.
3. Pillars of Great Content Marketing
The next thing to know after clarifying your goals is the pillars of Content Marketing: the tools and the team.
The first part is choosing a team. Depending on the size of your business and what goals you hope to achieve, you can decide whether you want to build an in-house team of content managers, writers and editors or you want to consult a content marketing expert for your needs.
The next part is choosing your tools and strategy. This technical part involves knowing what strategy, tools and platforms to use in telling your story. For example, if you want to blog as a part of your strategy, then you want to focus on choosing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools that will guide make sure your blog posts are visible on the first page of search engines.
You may be wondering; what is next after choosing a team and tools to use? I’ll show you now.
4. Write to Be Understood.
After you’ve decided on which team and tools to use, it is time to decide how you want to be heard.
Do you want to come across as a friendly, people-centred business? Or is your goal to be authoritative, speaking as a thought leader in your field? This is what will determine your voice and tone.
When you are telling your brand story, focus on being understood. The essence of communication is understanding. Writing big grammar does not equate to good content marketing.
You want to break down complex concepts in a simple way so that the least tech-inclined person can understand.
The goal is to focus on creating a smooth reading experience. Try writing as simple as you can, while still communicating your key lessons. Finally, here’s the last thing you want to do.
5. Content Distribution is Very Important.
Imagine you have a great product, but it is hidden, never to be shared with the buyers?
You’ll admit it’s all a waste right? That is the same thing with creating content without distributing it to where the people you want can read it.
Content Marketing doesn’t stop at writing, so you must learn how to share your content across channels. Based on what you’ve learnt about audience research, go to where your audience is and share your stories there.
Finally, everything good takes time and requires effort. You can start your content marketing efforts in a day, but you can’t get perfect in a day. Also, admit you may need the help of an expert in figuring out how and where to start. Follow these 5 steps, and watch your content marketing efforts begin to yield results.
Folasade Daini is known for helping businesses tell better stories.
She spends her time creating the type of content that positions brands as thought leaders.