Almost all businesses rely on the internet to reach their customers. Whether it's client communication, company branding or ecommerce – the internet is an ever-growing hub of noise and activity with companies desperately trying to grab the attention of growing audiences and prospective customers.With a wealth of competitors to battle against, it has become increasingly important for digital marketers to create targeted and engaging strategies that communicate with their customers, build brand relations and ensure visibility across paid and organic channels.
According to a recent report by The Content Marketing Institute, only 37% of marketers have a documented content strategy, and only 32% have a documented marketing mission statement. Considering the growth of content marketing as an entity, and 66% of UK marketers expecting their digital marketing budget to greatly increase in 2016 – we need to make sure that our efforts are maximised.
Content marketing requires consistent creation and distribution of relevant and engaging information to your target audience. In order to reach consumers in the right way and at the right time; companies need to research, plan and prepare all online content to not only retain, but attract as many new customers as possible. So what's the plan?
To help explain the importance of a clearly defined content marketing strategy, we've listed 5 key reasons why planning ahead can help grow your business and a loyal customer base;
1 ) Brand awareness
Sharing and producing consistent, fresh and relevant content is vital to building your business' brand awareness online. Whether it's through email, social, organic or paid channels, you need to ensure you're in-tune with your target audience and customer base by continually reaching out to them with a clear brand message. A consistent tone of voice and use of quality imagery will help create a sense of familiarity. Target audiences that get to know your brand will begin to trust in your business and therefore become more likely to think of you next time they need your services.
2 ) Share that content
Simply publishing new content on your blog, for example, won't drive traffic to your website; unless you've built up a large list of subscribers that regularly visit for updates. If you have something valuable to say, you need to make sure it reaches the right people and achieves maximum exposure. Making sure content and marketing collateral is shared across all channels will help to achieve this; but remember to make sure your posts are tailored to the channel and target audience, whilst maintaining a consistent tone of voice and message.
3 ) Become an expert
Staying abreast of your industry news whilst consistently offering helpful information and insight will help consumers build trust in your business. Create a plan based around important events in the calendar, then build out an editorial which targets your prospective audience by reaching out at key moments. Remember, offering the right help at the right time will increase user engagement and therefore the success of your campaign.
4 ) Interactive website
Your website is often the first touch-point a prospective customer has with your business. No matter whether they've arrive via paid or organic channels, a customer's first impression of your business is one of the most important to get right. From the offset they need to be able to quickly access the information they require, as undecided audiences will move onto your competitors if they can't find what they're looking for. From ecommerce to corporate banking – ensuring a consistent, responsive and smooth experience online will do wonders for brand relations and performance.
5 ) Build your audience
Almost three out of four UK digital marketers will ask their audience to subscribe to a monthly e-newsletter, and around half will ask audiences to subscribe to their blog. Using your fresh, relevant content to build a wider audience not only increases brand awareness, but will also help you to diversify your customer base. If you can collect relevant customer data, you may be able to discover new avenues for sales and optimisation. Newsletters and blogs are not the only ways to display content: online forums, videos, digital magazines or even podcasts are tried and tested ways to reach all generations. Start by finding the channels your audience prefer, then identify how best to reach out and engage with them.
Content Marketing is thriving in 2016. With the right foundations and strategy for outreach, the possibilities for your online success are endless. For help with implementing a data driven digital marketing strategy, call our team today on 01344 266 844.