Are you using content to communicate with your customers?
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Are you using content to communicate with your customers?

Posted on 26 November 2013

Have you ever gone online to find the answer to a question, research a company, or make a purchase? Have you ever read an article on social media, laughed at a viral video, or shared an infographic? If you have, chances are a good proportion of that content was created by a business just like yours.

Why? Because content sells. Just like you, consumers are looking for information and value. Be the one to provide it to them and you've got the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Content also is a big winner for Google.  So much so, it will be one of the fastest and more effective ways to move up the search results for your business and keywords.

Content marketing is the latest digital marketing trend and it's growing exponentially. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity, but you're unsure where to start creating content for your website and social media channels, here are a few questions to get you thinking about how to share your story.

1. What are your objectives?

Setting goals should always be the first step when planning your content strategy. Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll use content to do it. You may want to share your knowledge and experience with customers, build your profile in the market, drive leads, or improve conversion rates. Whatever your goals are, try explaining them in one simple sentence. That way it will be very clear to you and anyone you're working with.

2. How well do you know your audience?

The flip side to knowing your own goals is knowing what your audience wants and needs. What are their concerns, interests and pain points? How can you help them? You'll need to know the demographics you're targeting, as well as some of their habits,so that you understand how to communicate with them. Ultimately the audience is at the centre of both your content strategy and your business, so the better you know them, the better you can serve them.

3. What resources do you have?

Like any marketing tool, your content efforts will require time and energy to be effective, so ask yourself if you have the resources in place to write that weekly blog, or whether you'd be better outsourcing the work. Fortunately, content marketing is generally low cost and very effective, compared with offline marketing methods. One study found that 82 per cent of marketers who blog daily, and 57 per cent of businesses who blog monthly acquired a customer using their blog.

4. Are you open to an editorial strategy?

Creating great content is not a PR exercise, neither is it an advertisement for your business. Today's B2B and B2C consumers do the majority of their research online, and make the decision to buy before ever speaking to anyone from your organisation. They expect to be able to find the information, advice or answers they need, when they need it and that's what you, with all your expertise, can provide.

5. How soon do you want results?

Building enduring relationships with consumers, that yield a growing amount of business over time is not an overnight strategy. Unless you're starting from a large base a huge, engaged mailing list or social media community it will take some months for your marketing efforts to build momentum. Don't be discouraged, play the long game for sustainable results.

6. How will you measure your success?

The great thing about digital marketing is that it's very easy to track and measure the behaviour of your audience, giving you greater insight than with an offline campaign. That means it's easy to respond to your audience and adapt your strategy as you go, so that you can deliver the most relevant content and hone in on your target market.

To start off with you'll keep track of simple metrics like increased web traffic, page views, social media likes or retweets, and time spent on your website through your Google Analytics account. Once your strategy has been up and running long enough to gain real traction, you'll be able to measure the return on investment (ROI) in terms of sales leads, conversions and average sales value.

The good news is that it's not hard. Connecting with your consumers through content is simple, low-cost and effective. Bloomtools consultants can even help you get started with our expert content writing services for your website or business blog.

Tracey VoyceAuthor:Tracey Voyce
About: With more than 30 years business management experience, Tracey Voyce is the CEO of Bloomtools. Tracey has owned and managed many businesses and spent several years training and motivating coaches at the world’s largest business coaching franchise.
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