You may well be dabbling with a half-hearted content marketing strategy in 2018. Most often than not it means writing a blog. That’s cool. If you share that blog on social media then that’s great too. But let me tell you; a content marketing strategy in 2018 and ever after will not stop there.
You need a content marketing strategy
Before you do that you need to consider the purpose of why your company is utilising content marketing. Remember you are considering what your target customer, or existing customer needs. That way you can develop valuable, informative, relevant content that is reliable and consistent. It also needs to be highly engaging. If you can do that then it’s likely you will retain your audience and even attract a new one. The aim of the game is to drive profitable customer action. It’s not enough for readers to ingest your content; they need to act upon it. You content marketing strategy in 2018 has to be far more subtle, but highly engaging too.
What audiences are not interested in is overtly ego centric content
Forget trying to sell, sell, sell. People are too savvy for that. Go about promoting yourself this way and people will zone out. What you are aiming to do is stimulate interest. This way you might well generate some leads and hopefully some sales too. Let me remind you, your content marketing strategy 2018 has to be sophisticated to work.
Be interesting, aspirational and inspirational
So, let’s imagine you sell garden furniture and sundries. Yes you will have pictures and descriptions of your chairs or decorative pots with their price but what people want to see first is inspiration. What would happen if you created some fabulous pictures of gardens that included your goods? The aim is to be interesting, inspirational and aspirational. You want your audience to say ‘I love that garden, it’s so cute. I’d like to have something like that in my garden. Where can I find the stuff? How much does it cost? Will the company deliver? Answer these questions, having whetted their appetites, and you’ll see the difference in sales.
Be subtle, be original, be innovative with your content
Yes you are selling in one sense but it’s not a 50% flash sale on garden furniture type of communication it much more subtle. What you don’t want is a thinly veiled advert. People know exactly what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean you cant include a call to action but don’t let it dominate. Be aware of your audience. You might be creating content to existing customers. The last things we want when we’ve bought a black jumper is to be bombarded with other offers for black jumpers. Be more subtle create content like ’10 ways to spice up a black jumper for Spring.’ That way you can upsell. “I have the jumper now find me the scarf, necklace, earrings, jacket, sunglasses and hat.”
Variety is the spice of life
People will seek information and advice at different times when they are looking to buy. If you buy a car you might be looking months in advance of delivery. Basically that person would be in the valuation stage. However, if you are looking for a pizza it’s likely you want to buy one and eat it within the hour. You will most definitely be in the buying stage. Therefore the way you buy and what you information you need is very different. You also have to think about the niche your business is in and what stages of the buying journey are relevant. You need to consider whether your customers are evaluating, purchasing or whether they might be nurtured. Depending on the stage different types of content will be appropriate. It will definitely help improve your conversion rates.
What content do you need in a content marketing strategy 2018?
How many times have you seen something on social media and thought; ‘wow that looks exciting, useful, just what I never knew I needed.’ A social media post or advertisement might be enough to get you to buy. Job done. Make room for simple things too within your content marketing strategy 2018.
You might want to communicate you have a new range of cakes available or a new beauty treatment or special offers this week only. Social media is quick, newsworthy and often quite personal. You could even try marketing through text messaging and chatbots.Your messaging needs to align with your content marketing mission.Create and craft experiences that are useful, valuable and help to amplify the kind of story your brand wants to tell. Click To Tweet
Blogs and articles can be used for all kinds of purposes:
Perhaps you want to develop a mixture of content for people who are evaluating, pondering and/or buying. They want inspiration perhaps, information, education and excitement. How you choose to achieve any of these is down to what you are selling. We can advise you on the most effective types of content for your business if that helps. You can also read about how to get more blog reads here too.
E-mail marketing should not be underestimated:
If you have a subscription list they want to be entertained, informed, inspired and given something new. You are nurturing potential fans. You are hoping they look forward to your emails. It takes style, beautiful design and original content to keep people subscribed.
White papers and e-books are useful too:
They are an opportunity for you to be seen as a thought leader and generous too. After all an e-book is available for an e-mail address swap – simple but powerful. You have a chance to show off what you know about the relevant subject and demonstrate you are the best person for the job.
Visual marketing and video are so successful and attractive:
Yes, they cost more to produce but there are lots of software platforms to help you create good looking animated videos and infographics. So if you have time to train yourself you can save a lot of money. People love video, they want to learn how to do things on YouTube so why isn’t your product there?
Landing Pages are a chance to hone your offering:
You can show a problem, agitate that problem and then offer a solution; it’s a very simple template to work from but oh so powerful. If you have a landing page designed and written by professionals you can reap the rewards. When people are on a landing page (not your home page necessarily) they are looking for a specific offer that suits them right now. They see, they are impressed, they buy and may not even look at the rest of your website.
Podcasts are exciting too:
You can develop a radio show which works so well for people who offer consultancy but also people who bake cakes. You can create an audience of people who need the information you are giving out. They are cheap, effective and exciting and really can develop loyalty.
So How do I create a top quality content strategy in 2018?
You will need to have the capacity to undertake:
- Graphic design
- Content optimisation
- Content distribution and promotion
- Someone to develop a content strategy
- Video production
- Audio production
- Reporting and analytics
- Social media management
Here’s a great infographic outlining a lead generation ecosystem you might find interesting. It’s from our friends at Straight North.
You may well have people to do all this on your team but if you don’t never fear at VKN Digital we have a wealth of specialists who can help you. We will take on full management or just deal with graphic design or content writing. We have the capacity to undertake content distribution and promotion and manage your SEO. Just contact us and find out how we can transform your content strategy in 2018.Tags: content marketing, content marketing strategy, content marketing strategy 2018, content marketing strategy for SMEs