According to research by HubSpot, 82% of marketers actively use content marketing.
Since the beginning of time, humans have gravitated towards people who can tell great stories. Content marketing involves a brand using the power of storytelling to build long-term relationships with customers.
But in a world where attention is at a premium, how do you create something worth reading, watching or hearing?
In this blog, we’ll cover five key rules for creating content that brings value to your consumer and, in turn, your brand.
1. Focus on the customer
It goes without saying that in order to create content that is valuable to your customer, you need to have them in mind at the beginning of the process. But, all too often, companies get caught up in desperately sharing what is great about them and their product or service.
A good piece of content should be educational, entertaining or inspirational in a way that is easy for your customer to digest.
2. Be original
Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are sent and there are more than 1.5 billion websites on the internet today. That’s a lot of content.
But here’s the thing: nobody has your story to tell. Original content not only helps you stand out, but it also increases engagement and improves credibility.
If you’re not sure how to make your content more original, talk to your employees, customers and partners about your brand. Ask customers why they chose you and what worked in favour of a competitor.
The more you talk to people, the more unique stories you will uncover.
3. Be multichannel
One of the biggest challenges of content marketing is remaining consistent and generating enough content to serve your audience. One of the most effective ways to mitigate this is to create content that works across multiple channels or to ‘chunk down’ larger pieces of content to repurpose them. You can create round-up posts leveraging existing content, update old content or present the same information in different formats.
Don’t just think digitally, either – roundtable events can be turned into blogs, trade shows can be a great opportunity to capture video snippets and breakfast briefings can be filmed and turned into on-demand webinars.
4. Think long-term
Making a friend you can trust who gives good advice and has something interesting to say themselves doesn’t happen overnight. When building a content marketing strategy, think about building a position in the market that is long-term. You need to become that credible, trusted friend.
It takes time for Google to rank your content and it takes time for your audience to start to expect your content. Try to stay consistent and promote your content on multiple platforms.
It’s hard to get noticed, but once you begin to see the results of inbound leads, it’s worth it!
5. Sell solutions and knowledge, not products
When investing in content marketing, you need to balance the short-term needs of selling a product or service with the long-term strategy of building credibility and engagement.
The problem with product-focused content is twofold. Firstly, it can be overly self-serving. By talking about the features and functions of a product, you are trying to circumvent human psychology and buying behaviour – it leaves out the emotional hook.
Secondly, it can become out of date. If you invest time and money in ranking for a specific product name or writing blogs about it, what happens when upgrades come around?
By focusing your content on knowledge sharing or solutions to problems, it can stay relevant to your brand much longer.
In summary, in a more virtual post-pandemic world, content marketing is more important than ever. But it’s increasingly difficult to get right.
By following these five simple rules, you’ll be better equipped to make content that brings your audience – and you – value.