You may have heard that content marketing is all the rage: it’s relatively cheap, it can help with SEO and it can drive thousands of interested people to your website.
But before you jump on the bandwagon, consider your overall content marketing strategy, and whether it is helping or hindering your brand credibility: are you creating a marriage made in heaven, or a match made in hell?
1. What Is Content Marketing?
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page by considering this great definition from the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The main pointers here are:
Strategic Approach – When trying to attract new customers, and keep existing customers loyal by virtue of your content, you’re going to be far more efficient and successful if you follow a well defined strategy. So rather than posting a few puppy videos on Facebook and Twitter each week, a robust action plan is a necessity:
- WHAT content will you create?
- WHERE will you share it?
- WHEN will you share it?
- HOW do you want customers to take action?
Valuable, Relevant and Consistent Content – there’s no point sharing weak content and hoping new customers will be lining up to purchase from you.
- It has to be of value to your audience – will it tell them something they don’t already know?
- It has to be relevant to what you sell – or really it makes little point sharing it.
- It should be consistent – in quality, tone of voice, looks, frequency of sharing and overall message.
Clearly Defined Audience – if you don’t know who you want to read/view your content, then you can’t possible create content to appeal to them.
Drive Customer Action – the ultimate objective with any marketing strategy is to make sales. Plain and simple. And if your content is merely fun or informative, without encouraging people to get out their cash or credit card and buy from you, it’s not going to be a long-term, sustainable strategy.
2. How Your Content Affects Credibility
So let’s say you have your strategy…. now you decide if its implementation is going to be a marriage made in heaven, or a match made in hell by following these pointers:
- use skilled native writers
- well researched articles with links to reliable sources
- designs by graphic designers; videos by video experts
- proofread until perfection
- using foreign writers with poor language skills
- badly written articles which are as boring as hell
- blogs containing incorrect facts or simply silly suppositions
- amateur designs on infographics, thumbnails and videos
- articles not proofread so peppered with typos
- not all sales orientated
- mix of chatty blogs, thought-provoking articles, videos and visuals
- the hard sell all the way
- same old visuals, same old sales message
- tone of voice appropriate to your brand
- clear messages to sum up exactly what you want to say
- clear CTA to encourage your audience to take the desired action
- tone of voice inappropriate to what you sell and for your audience
- no real message – just some content for the sake of sharing something
- no CTA – no click to website, no sign up now – just nothing
- shared on social media sites where your audience hang out
- uploaded to your website and checked for layout and links
- sent to your database in your eNewsletters
- shared regularly so your audience doesn’t forget you
- shared randomly and occasionally on social media here and there
- uploaded to website without a check on layout and links
- rarely sent to your database
- dramatic swings from sharing content once a month to over sharing five times a day
Companies who take their content marketing seriously will follow the guidance to boost their credibility; those who think it’s merely something they should be seen to be doing, will cut corners and end up by making themselves look unprofessional, sloppy and not a company to do business with.
It’s a fact of life – the type of content you choose to create, share and upload directly affects your audience’s perception of you.
Get it right and you’ll impress people and they’ll be sure to remember your brand for the right reasons. Get it all horribly wrong, and they won’t give your brand a second thought.
If you want to know more about content marketing or need help with any aspect of digital marketing, please feel free to drop us a line.