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We’re past the era when businesses of all sizes had to be convinced of the value of content marketing. That era wasn’t long ago; even just five years ago, a much greater percentage of small businesses and startups didn’t use it to connect with customers.
However, now that we’re all sold on leveraging the power of content marketing, it’s getting harder to stand out in a crowded space. Everyone is using content marketing, so how can your startup take a unique approach?
Here, I’d like to give you some really useful tips to make sure that your content marketing does its job to engage your audience and convert them into customers.
Write to an audience of one
When asked, “Who is your audience,” what is your answer?
Maybe it’s pretty general, like, “anyone who likes technology,” or a bit more specific, like “teenagers.” But if you really consider the question a bit longer, I’m pretty confident that you could break that group of people down even further.
Let’s say you sell youth apparel, and you recognize that in addition to working to appeal to your teen audience (who is still diverse), you also have to get mom’s seal of approval.
You could break down your audience like this:
- Mothers (fathers too!) of teens who do the shopping
- Fashion-conscious teen girls
- Fashion-conscious teen boys
Even in this simplified example, you see that you have three target markets. You can’t write the same content and expect to appeal to all three. Instead, really elaborate on just one demographic that you’re trying to connect with in a particular piece of content. Maybe you’re writing a “Back-to-School Tips” article for mom. Before you can write it, you need to know who she is and what she cares about.
Beyond general demographics about her income and education, try to understand that:
- She’s stressed and overwhelmed with back-to-school shopping
- She may have multiple kids to shop for
- She wants to get the best value while spending the least amount of money
Now it feels more like you’re talking to one person rather than many, right? This is the person you need to write this content for.
You can even create a buyer persona, going so far as to give her a name (Molly Mom), fleshing out her qualities, personality and problems.
Education is great, but action is better
I’m a big believer in educating your audience through great content. For example: in this article, I’m educating you on how to improve your content marketing. You likely came here either by searching for content marketing tips on a search engine, or you browsed StartupNation and found this article.
When it comes to writing content on your own blog, you have a few objectives:
- Introduce new customers to your brand
- Provide them value through educational and informative content
- Get them to take an action (subscribe, buy, call, etc.)
Before you sit down to write a blog post, consider what your goal is for objective number three, above. If you have a new product and want to give a few examples of ways to use it, clearly this would be an excellent opportunity to try to sell the product. After all, once they’ve read your article, your potential customers are primed to buy.
Include a call to action at the end of your blog post. In this example, it could be a link to buy the product at 10 percent off. You could also encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or provide a phone number to receive coupons via text message.
Take a multi-pronged approach
Getting people to your blog and reading your content isn’t your end goal, and likely it won’t result in many sales. Today’s customers need to be touched by a brand’s message at least seven times before they’ll take action on it.
Your blog content is just one component of a bigger strategy. You should be curating both your blog’s content as well as other useful articles on your social media profiles, as well as connecting with potential clients via email marketing. The more places you provide relevant and useful content, the more a lead will warm up to your brand and be more likely to buy from you.
Content marketing isn’t a one-and-done strategy. No marketing tactic is. It requires you to continually get to know your audience, deliver content they find valuable, and repeat across channels. But the great news is: consumers are loyal to brands that do content marketing right! Find the right formula for topics your audience cares about, and you’ll thrive.