If you’re struggling to reach and connect with your target audience in today’s market, you are not alone. Businesses large and small have difficulty standing out in today’s crowded digital market and reaching their target customers.
Here’s the secret: content marketing. This is a powerful strategy to not only help you stand out and reach your audience and customers, but to position your company or organization as experts in your industry.
The key to an effective content marketing strategy is creating engaging and valuable content. This can come in the form of blog posts, short-form video, long-form video, podcasts, or other types of social media content. It is through this content that your customers will learn about your brand and decide whether to purchase from you or not.
Let’s break down what engaging content looks like:
The first thing to consider is where your target audience is and how they are spending your time. To spend your time effectively and reach your audience, you need to understand what they value and where they are. For example, if you are a B2B software company, LinkedIn most likely going to be your strongest platform. If you’re targeting a younger generation, Instagram and TikTok should be your focus.
If you don’t determine where your target audience is spending their time, you’ll waste your time creating content that isn’t engaging and is misplaced, which will lead to burnout and a weak content strategy.
After you determine your platform, you’ll need to figure out what works on that platform. The content that works on LinkedIn doesn’t work on TikTok and Instagram, and vice versa. Creating content that is native to that platform will create better rapport with your audience and also lead to better reach through the platform’s algorithm. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are much more likely to promote and give increased reach to content native to that platform.
Now let’s break down what valuable content looks like:
One of the biggest problems brands face, especially when they are first starting out on social media and creative content, is that they try to sell their product with every piece of content. Every post is promoting a new product, an offer, or other sales tactic. While sales are important, especially when you are starting out, that type of content makes your brand’s social media presence look greedy and inauthentic.
Your content, whether it’s blog posts, podcasts, or social media video, should provide value to your audience and support your brand without the constant expectation of sales. Here are some ways to create valuable content and present an authentic brand:
- Showcase your employees: When a potential customer interfaces with your brand, whether it be in the office, on the phone, or over chat or email, having that familiarity with who they are speaking to will help the conversation flow more comfortably. Whether it’s an employee highlight post, shouting out your staff when they hit milestones, or involving them in content, this will help you present a more authentic and friendly brand.
- Educate your audience: One of the easiest ways to provide value through your content is through education. Many times, you’re customers are coming to you because they see you as an expert in that industry. Producing educational content will help solidify your position as an industry expert, and will also allow your audience to be more educated when they talk to you about their needs.For example, if a home-buyer comes to a real estate agent and asks, “What type of loan is best for me?”, you can run through the different types of loans and find out what is best for them, but they may get confused along the way if they don’t know terms related to home loans. However, if a home-buyer saw your video or post about FHA loans, they can come to you and say, “I saw your video on an FHA loan, and I think that would fit me best, but I’d love to hear your opinion.” This directs the conversation into a specific recommendation and eliminates the need to start from the beginning.
A common hesitation with producing educational content or resources revolves around giving too much away and eliminating the need for customers to hire you. However, this is rarely the case.
While your audience and customers may be more educated, they are still hiring you for your expertise and for the value you provide relative to the time they are spending. Time is extremely valuable, and for many brands, it’s a much better use of their money to hire an agency, a real estate agent, an accountant, etc.
By educating your audience through content, your audience will be able to have more effective conversations about their needs with you, and they will find your brand more valuable and authentic.
When developing your content strategy, it’s important to determine how you will effectively engage your audience, and how you will provide value to your audience. By doing these things, you will build and execute an effective content strategy, leading to more reach, leads, sales.