Know your audience
Traditional forms of marketing just aren’t enough anymore, and they haven’t been for some time. Customers are far more savvy than they used to be, and with so much online information at their disposal they will no longer buy into your three word advert just because you tell them to – they are looking for real answers and solutions to their real problems, and want you to speak to them as an individual and not just as a consumer. This requires you to craft your marketing strategy around personas and consider what value you can bring to these personas through meaningful and relevant content. Consider how your product or service will address their needs and try to constantly create your content directly for your target audience.
Use emerging trends
Jumping on hot topics and creating fresh content around them (often known as ‘newsjacking’) is a great way to maximise exposure for your product or service, but you must strike while the iron is hot – if you’re too late on the bandwagon, you’re going to look behind the times, and your authority will be called into question by customers.
You can keep ahead by watching the trending topics on Twitter and Facebook, and set up Google alerts for certain keywords in your field. Social analysis tools such as Topsy and Buzzsumo also give a great overview of the types of content that users are engaging with for particular keywords.
When using trends to create content, there’s a fine line between just appeasing the zeitgeist and playing the long game in term of your content’s value – never lose sight of your consumer when working around a craze. Your content must appeal to your audience whilst simultaneously showing how your brand applies to this trend, and why your product or service is relevant and useful to these potential customers. Also, think about how this content may be of use to them after the trend has passed – and if you can, come back to it and rework it, to make it more pertinent as times change.
Sound like an authority
Do your research
Speak to your audience in a language that they will understand and use words that are directly relevant to your industry’s field. If possible, reference sources to show you know your stuff, and use your research to add value. Your audience needs to trust you before they will become customers, so help them with that trust by making your content accurate, informative and authoritative.
Check your spelling and grammar
This may sound obvious, but there’s nothing more off-putting than coming across a spelling mistake or a misplaced apostrophe when reading content. It makes both the writer, and the brand, look unprofessional, and undermines their authority. It’s true that not everyone will notice errors like these, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth playing to the grammar nazis out there – they love nothing more than spotting mistakes and broadcasting them over social media, so don’t help them weaken your marketing position. If you’re unsure of any spelling or grammar points, double check them online and make sure your work is proofread by a colleague before it is published – this is good practice for even the most experienced of writers, as it’s always possible to miss mistakes in a high pressured office environment.
Make your content stand out
Start by creating an attention grabbing headline – would your audience want to read it?… Would you want to read it? What does it offer, and how does it convey that this content is worth the time that it will take to read it? Secondly, consider how you can bring your content alive with images, infographics or video. Research which forms of content perform best with your audience and what you have personally found engaging. Finally, don’t copy content! You won’t be offering your audience anything new if you do, and it will also negatively impact your SEO. It’s fine to get ideas from competitors and industry leaders, but put your spin on it, and think about how you can improve existing concepts and ideas.
If you’d like to find out more about content marketing you’ve come to the right place – we’ve helped clients from a multitude of different industries to refine and reinvent their content strategies. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can help you to do the same.