The internet is a big place, and it all revolves around content.
Text, audio and video that provide value to the viewer are king. The variety and quality of content is the reason why people spend an average of 6.5 hours online every day, with over 4.5 billion active internet users. The sheer range and availability of content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make content easily accessible, shareable, and engageable.
In this sea of information, how can your brand stand out? It’s simple: by making engaging and quality content.
Content marketing is a type of digital marketing that revolves around creating value-adding materials to win new business.
Be it through blogs, social media content, podcasts, or videos, content marketing seeks to engage with your customer base. Give them something they need, as opposed to interrupting them with a traditional advertisement.
For modern businesses, content marketing is essential to drawing and holding an audience’s attention long enough to convert them from prospects into sales.
This article will go over five strategies for content marketing that will serve your business well in 2020 and beyond.
The world is full of marketers, websites and personalities vying for attention on the internet.
It’s tough to stand out.
To set yourself apart from the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day, the smart marketer looks to understand the motivations and interests of their target viewers.
Today’s marketers build their content strategies around a handful of market segments.
What is a market segment?
To put it simply, market segments are ways to split large markets (such as the 4.5 billion internet users) into manageable chunks. This allows you to make tailored content that fits your client’s needs and preferences.
Here are some ways you can create meaningful market segments:
One no-brainer method is to split your segments geographically. For example, customers in rural areas are more likely to need generators, while city-based visitors to your website are more likely to be shopping for something else.
Another technique is to use demographics such as income, occupation, gender, and age. This is a broad method, but when done thoughtfully, can be very effective.
Moving into specifics, you can also use behavioural segmentation. A classic case of this would be how Blackberry phones were marketed for business executives. This also includes marketing for special events such as Valentines or Christmas.
Lastly, you can use psychographic segmentation, a combination of behavioural segmentation that takes activities, interests, and opinions (also known as AIO) into consideration. This can be thought of as marketing based on lifestyle.
In any case, you cannot market effectively to too many segments. Most marketers create content for anywhere between one to three.
The strategy of market segmentation is rooted in marketers’ need to identify what kind of content will stand out and win the attention of future customers. That’s why it’s key to invest in understanding your audience, either by dividing them into market segments or conducting other forms of research and categorisation.
It’s a fact of life in 2020 that if you’re working with digital media, then you have access to many different ways of tracking and measuring your performance. You can find analytics dashboards everywhere, from your website to your social media channels.
Working with data gives you a great advantage, allowing you to:
Mastering your data analytics tools will also give you the opportunity to run tests to see how variations in your content can affect their performance. One of these tests, and a valuable one to have in your toolkit, is the simple A/B test.
In this test, a group of respondents is split into two groups at random and exposed to some marketing, be it a video, blog post, or landing page. Here’s the catch: there’s one variable changed between the two versions. Monitoring which gets better engagement allows you to fine-tune your content to get an ideal response from your clients. A/B testing is one of our favoured tactics to consistently improve our conversations and revenue.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the internet is a very big place. Facebook alone boasts over 2.6 billion monthly active users, each of whom has their own interests and preferences for content. Make sure you have content to match your specified customer personas.
There are many ways to diversify your content marketing:
Work across many different platforms. Limiting yourself to a single social media page, a single form of content (ex. just blogs, or just videos), and a single approach to creating your content means missing out on hundreds of thousands of potential views. Test different platforms, and then customise your content to best fit the nature and layout of those platforms.
Get creative with your messaging. No matter how small you think your niche may be, each of your viewers is a unique case.
Your overall lead base is bound to be composed of various segments with common interests and/or features. Tailoring messages to speak to each of them will give you a better chance of winning their attention. Have a look at your segments. Do you have content to match each of their needs?
Ultimately, diversity in content marketing is about keeping your brand identity fresh and vibrant (without sacrificing the consistent values and features you ought to be known for).
We know it’s a bit ironic to recommend diversity and focus, but hear us out.
Anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can create content for YouTube—but as the sordid side of internet history shows us, not everyone who tries their hand with a camera will be any good at it.
Your marketing should set itself apart from all the others by virtue of excellence: simply being 一better than other content marketers.
Expertise in one area of focus is something you should definitely pay attention to. It’s your brand’s ability to prove mastery over the solutions you offer, or the problems you’re out to solve. It’s literally a matter of coming across as the best possible solution, and you can achieve this by creating content that informs your viewers of the problem.
If you can address bits and pieces of their pain points for free 一and effectively, they’ll likely trust that the paid solution should solve their problems for good.
Much like a free trial, your content should be able to demonstrate your solutions to your customers-to-be, and entice them to contact you to get the full version.
Another aspect of specialisation is being on the right platform. Some businesses seem built to do better on some platforms than others, and what platform to focus on is something you should keep in mind.
What content does your business produce? Instagram, for example, looks like it was made for the fashion industry. On the other hand, marketing companies do well on blogs.
While we recommend being present wherever your business can land positive attention, it’s a good idea to evaluate your platforms and make the biggest investments where your content is performing best.
Think of the sales process as courtship. You don’t lock eyes with a stranger then immediately propose marriage—there’s often a drawn-out process of getting to know one another before you’re sure. Content marketing works the same way. Content isn’t a magic wand you wave and expect people to spend just like that.
Instead, content serves you best as one or more sections of the funnel that leads from “stranger” to “loyal customer”.
How so? Different kinds of content work to assist leads at different stages along that funnel. Strangers likely want to be informed that solutions exist to solve certain problems they have. This means capturing attention and generating awareness through your marketing.
People who are somewhat interested would want to compare your solutions: how they work and why they’re better than others on the market. This means keeping their interest and persuading them over time.
People who are on the brink of converting into a sale are just waiting to decide whether to spend on your solutions. Capturing them can often mean giving them a free trial of a product or pitching a limited-time offer—whatever it takes to convince them that they’re best off purchasing now.
It’s not just good writing or production value that makes good content; it’s having the right content for each part of the marketing funnel.
There’s a lot of potential for you to grow your brand and connect with a wider audience using content marketing. By being aware of who your audience is, how they behave, and what they want, you can create engaging and shareable content. At the end of the day, this is content that drives leads and increases conversions.
That being said, making good content, and knowing who you should make that content for is no easy task.
If you want to know more about your target market and the different ways you can make content for them, contact us at Emedia Creative.