How to master content marketing
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are turning to content marketing to draw in potential customers, without directly selling or advertising to them.
This marketing method involves text articles, videos or social media posts about a business’s product or service that aren’t explicitly promotional. It’s about stimulating interest around a relevant subject, rather than posting about a promotion or product launch.
Here, SME owners and experts share their tips on how to master your next piece of content marketing.
It’s all about value
A common mistake that many businesses make when it comes to content marketing is not adding any value to their product or service, thinks Janet Murray, the founder of online business PR community, Soulful PR.
“Effective content marketing should be about answering customer questions more generally about the area in which you operate,”
she explains. This not only gives you an opportunity to help customers, but also talk about what you sell at the same time.
“For example, if you offer accountancy services, you might create a blog post about how to find a great accountant – or if you make laundry bags, you might one that compares the costs and features of different bags, including those of competitors.”
It’s an approach that worked well for online photo printing company, PhotoBox, which created a guide to hanging canvas prints, which
it also sells, says the firm’s search engine optimisation (SEO) executive, Matt Johnson. “We broke it down into simple steps and even created a video, which is the most digestible and shareable type of content for this kind of topic. We received more than 12,000 views in just under a month,” he says.
As a result of the content, sales increased by 50pc in three weeks.
For content that will be better read and shared, stay on top of what’s taking place in the news and on social media, advises Laure Moye, owner of boutique cake and chocolate business, Pudding Fairy.
“If a relevant topic comes up in the news, I use it to create a new, fresh and current piece of content that can be distributed quickly.”
She suggests taking 15 minutes each morning to research the top trends of the day. “I set up Google Alerts (a service that sends a list of daily articles to the user that match certain search terms) for keywords such as ‘wedding trends’ and ‘cake trends’ – and chefs whom I admire.
“For example, an alert once brought up a report on the cost of weddings, so I used that idea for a blog post about how much a cake might cost.”
To attract attention to these posts, use trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram when posting your content,
so that as many people as possible see your article or video, she adds.
Focus on results
SMEs must keep track of how many products or services were sold as a result of their content marketing, explains Tim Gibbon, founder and editor of news information directory, the Social Media Portal.
Record the metrics that demonstrate how audiences reacted to an article, video or series, he says. “The very nature of the activity
or campaign needs to be defined beforehand to assign the right key performance indicators (KPIs) and in turn calculate the return on investment.”
Importantly, measure campaigns in ways that relate to the type of content. For example, video content should be measured by at least view counts, social media shares and comments.
Mr Gibbon adds that, ideally, businesses should be looking at the traffic driven back to a defined destination, such as a product purchase or information page.
He suggests using web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to record the data.
However, warns Mr Gibbon, SMEs should remember that while results are the goal, they shouldn’t be at the expense of content that won’t resonate with your target audience. If a story doesn’t have a meaning or purpose, people won’t read it, which doesn’t help them or you.
Article written by Hajra Rahim0