I didn’t know much about the ins and outs of content marketing before I began working for ecomdash. I was majoring in business administration. My marketing experience was limited to random commercials I had seen in my lifetime. That’s why I was terrified when I was assigned the task of writing articles for the ecomdash blog. On the outside, I put on my intern smile, but on the inside I was confused. What does writing a blog even have to do with marketing? How is blogging supposed to get customers to purchase our product? I wrote outlines for blogs on subjects like ways to increase holiday sales and how to improve your website photography, subjects that were fun to write and learn about, but I still wondered if writing blogs really reached customers.
After a few weeks of research, I stumbled across the term content marketing for the first time. Content marketing is marketing that’s focused on strategic creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It is an increasingly popular strategy that allows businesses to forge connections with customers and encourage purchases without directly selling a product or service. 88% of B2B businesses and 76% of B2C businesses utilize content marketing in their overall marketing strategy. Here are four things I learned that helped me survive (and succeed) in my internship in content marketing. Let’s call them the four D’s: Develop, Define, Decide, and Duh.
Tip 1: Develop A Goal
Knowing what you want to achieve before creating content for a business will make developing a strategy easier. A great tip is to a see if you can align your content marketing goals with the overall company goals. If the business is unified under the goal of selling 10,000 handmade sun hats this year, make sure your content is aimed toward attracting new customer eyes to the website. If the current goal is to make the CEO into an influencer in the industry, write blogs that use deep niche market terminology to project expertise.
Tip 2: Define The Audience
Your target market is a specific subgroup of consumers at which your product or service is aimed. By understanding your market you can know what outlets and publications would be most effective in reaching them. If the business hasn’t defined its target market, some of our articles about niche marketing and finding your target market can help make your search easier.
Tip 3: Decide On A Tactic
Once you have properly defined your target audience and their preferences, you can chose an outlet (or outlets) to reach the customer base. There are a wide range of outlets that a business can utilize to reach its target audience. For example, a Forbes article showed that the most popular content marketing tactic among B2C businesses is social media. Other popular tactics are illustrations and photos (87%), eNewsletters (83%), videos (82%), and website articles (81%). You don’t have to limit your content marketing efforts to those few tactics. Hubspot provided readers with 44 formats you can use when creating content.
Tip 4: Duh! Write!
You can’t be lazy about your content marketing. It’d be great if we could all write one evergreen, viral article that consistently brought eyeballs to our website. But unless you’re lucky enough to be DJ Khaled, you ain’t going viral over and over again. That’s why you constantly need fresh content. Whether its blog posts, eBooks, or social media, make sure that you are up-to-date on your content and constantly updating. Research industry trends to provide fresh content at least weekly to your readers.
My experience as a content creator has provided me with the insight to see marketing as more than just convincing people to spend money. Content marketing is about making a connection with your customer base and forming a relationship with them which will in turn result in consistent sales. Whether you’re a small business getting your feet wet in content marketing or a terrified intern like I was, hopefully these tips inspire you to write your heart out and win new customers.