Creating A Customer Focused Content Marketing Strategy That Works
Yes – Your Customer Focused Content Needs a Marketing Strategy!
You may have heard the news… Content is King! Oh wait, that isn’t really news is it? We’ve been saying “Content is King” for several years now! So why all the hustle and bustle around content these days? A couple of hard pressing reasons including 1) your customers demand it, 2) it is an essential part of your brand experience, and 3) it can be one of the most effective tools in your arsenal to build brand loyalty. Creating content for the sake of creating content isn’t a strategy though… it’s a temporary solution that isn’t sustainable. Rather, you should focus on developing a content marketing strategy that ties three critical elements together: Solid content that is optimized for social and search.
Not just words. Definitely not just sales. If content is king… who is your queen? Your customers, prospects and target audience reign supreme here. You must have customer focused content. It must be valuable, relevant and timely to your audience… otherwise, what is the point?
When you create informational, educational, inspirational or entertaining content that your audience WANTS to indulge in, then you have a good start to your strategy. Why? Because the act and deliberate thought of creating customer-focused content will force you to understand your customers better… and when you understand your customers, you create content that matters… and when you create content that matters, your content gets shared… and when your content gets shared, you grow your audience… and when you grown your audience, you increase your brand awareness… and when you increase your brand awareness, you have the power to be an authoritative thought leader and influencer… and when you are an authoritative thought leader and influencer, you are respected and sought out… and when you are respected and sought out, you have the opportunity to then market your products and services to an engaged audience… and when you market your products and services to an engaged audience, you sell more and thus increase your ROI.
Whew! Good content results in positive ROI. Simple, right? Not really. Creating an effective content marketing strategy is a complex and time consuming process, but one that can payoff greatly to those who are dedicated to doing it right.
Be effective in getting your content in front of the right audience! One critical piece of creating rich content is that it is socially shareable. People want to share good content – they want to be the one to forward it on in their network. Use the power of social networks and word of mouth marketing to increase the likelihood of your content being spread. Make it easy for your audience to access and share your content and be consistent in publishing so that your audience learns to expect your content.
Creating an editorial publishing calendar will allow you to manage your content effectively and keep you on track. You can also incorporate analytics to measure the effectiveness of your content and make adjustments to better suit the needs of your audience. If your content isn’t being shared socially and coming up short on metrics, then it’s time to take a step back and look at the richness of your content to determine if it is really what your customers are seeking.
Not old school search optimization. It’s all about creating an optimized content marketing strategy that leads to increased consumption and sharing consistently. When you optimize your content for your audience (and keeping in mind the elements of making it shareable), you are in effect focusing on the search-ability of your content. Again, it all goes back to creating that amazing content that is desired by your audience. When you do so, you become an authentic and authoritative thought leader and influencer in your category, and thus will be rewarded with higher search rankings.
Bottom line: Creating a content marketing strategy is a must. Focusing on the type of information that your audience finds most valuable is critical. Optimizing your content for social sharing and search cannot be an after-thought. These three elements must be carefully woven together for content marketing success. The tactics to get there are varied, but with a focus on these key components, content marketing can become an effective strategy for your business.
Do you approach content marketing from a strategic perspective? Please share your thoughts below!