American adults spend an average of nearly 2.5 hours a day on social media. Time spent scrolling is only increasing, which means marketers need to find a way to reduce clutter and grab attention. The good news is that there is a way to get the attention your business deserves: with content that your audience finds valuable.
Whether informative or entertaining, content drives everything we do. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive customer action. profitable”.
In other words, content marketing breaks the mold of standard advertisements by delivering advertisements in more subtle and relevant ways – via blog posts, articles, infographics and more that will grab your audience’s attention. public. Boring or repetitive content or content that fails to meet customer needs can do more harm than good.
Here are five guiding principles for crafting stunning content strategies based on years of customer optimization, channel proliferation, and coming-of-age data:
1. Create once; publish everywhere – and reuse often. In most cases, the content is not unique. It can be versatile and take different forms depending on the distribution channel. While long-form articles or white papers are usually designed to be read on your website, succinct information from longer content can be converted into graphics that pair well with social posts.
2. Stick to content that makes sense for your brand. Develop simple, direct and factual content that educates and informs about topics that make sense for your brand. Provide additional context with timely and appropriate responses to questions and comments. Becoming a trusted source of information is an important step in establishing trust. By contrast, hyperbole, clickbait, and misinformation can do far more damage to a reputation than good content can do to establish it. The same can be said for polarizing topics: stay away from politics or hot topics, especially if they have nothing to do with your brand.
3. Anticipate the needs of your audience to be more effective. Content should meet the needs of your audience and provide them with a reason to continue engaging with your brand. Never miss an opportunity to use reach and engagement data to refine your approach and ensure the type of content provided is valuable to your customers. Look at your channel’s analytics such as Google, your website, organic searches, and social media, and determine what content resonates most with your audience. By reviewing this data, you can better understand the topics that matter most to your audience.
4. Prioritize your audience. Center your customers as the content hero. Many brands ask us, “What should we tell our audience about our brand?” We ask: “What does the public want to know?” A consumer-centric approach is essential to success. Content marketing is a form of customer service that should build trust and foster loyalty. Whether offline through call centers or online on social media, quantify your audience’s most common questions, then provide easily accessible answers to their needs. Once brands prioritize audience needs, they should see results when customers engage with content and share what they find valuable with their own communities.
5. Content must serve a larger purpose: to entertain, inform or engage. It’s important to remember that while digital channels provide an environment for sharing and interaction, brands can quickly ruin an experience with too much self-promotion. In fact, 71% of readers say they are turned off by content that looks like a sales pitch. Provide a mix of content that informs and entertains readers so they stay engaged and eager to learn more. Make your content worth your audience’s time.
A successful content strategy drives brand awareness, brand selection, and brand loyalty by serving as key touchpoints and engagement points in your ongoing relationship with customers. When content successfully informs and connects with people on an emotional level, it will continually leave them wanting more.