Businesses are starting to get it: producing content is an essential part of reaching your audience because it offers them something potentially interesting and worthy of their attention.
In today's digital world, your customer demands more than direct selling messages to inspire them to take heed of your brand.
The problem now is that, in knowing that, it's tempting to go with quantity over quality. Businesses are often churning out content for the sake of it, and as a result, it's becoming a graveyard of unnoticed chaos and ignored clutter.
So, how does your business' content cut through the deafening noise?
The Inconvenient Truth About Content
Here's the reality:
You can't just produce content and expect results. Your audience actually has to care.
There it is! It's not rocket science, but this fact gets ignored all too frequently because we are time poor, under the pressure of a lot of deadlines, and very ingrained in the day-to-day of our businesses. Because of the opposing pull between producing content and seeing to our priorities, it's easy to just whip up something on a whim and quickly send out to our customers to 'tick that box'.
The issue is, most of the time when we do this, it ends up getting the mediocre results it deserves.
I give a summary of this in my Content Marketing and Copywriting classes when I say:
We all know we need to produce content, and we are aware of the potential results it can achieve on so many levels, however some businesses don't seem to make it much of a priority. As a result, they cut corners, and then wonder why their content traffic is so poor.
Garbage in, garbage out
And this certainly applies to content creation.
To cut through the clutter, you need to put the time and effort in. You really do get out what you put in, and both you and your audience will notice the difference between poorly executed material and well-written, strategically focused content.
The former is uninspiring and damaging to your brand, as customers lose interest and judge you as a waste of their time. This is a unfulfilling path to getting nowhere, while wasting your precious resources and energy. It is also the main reason why there is a build up of ignored content clutter scattered about.
However, deciding to make the creation of articles, white papers, videos, podcasts, blogs, newsletters, etc, which offer your customers actual value and are extensions of your overall Marketing Plan, is how you effectively reach them and produce inspiring results though effective calls to action.
So, how do you get your content to stand out?
A comprehensive strategy!
Yes, that means having a documented content marketing strategy, and No, it's not a boring waste of time! A lack of a clear, written out strategy means that you're guessing your way through trying to reach your customer, and that's never going to connect you with them in a valuable way, especially over the long-run.
Think of reputable businesses like Coca-Cola, Apple and Amazon. These brands are known for the content they distribute out to their audiences, and the positive responses they get as a result. Do you think they wing it? Or have that sat down, thought about their audience and then developed a core, consistent message to communicate out to raise awareness and evoke a response?
I would bet on the second option!
What impact does a content marketing strategy actually have?
A content marketing strategy is a way to correctly plan out and unify your content over several days, weeks and months, so that you can effectively tie in your messaging with key dates, cycles and business events, to leverage off their relevance to your target customers.
It's worth the effort, because it creates a common goal for your team to strive to, and plenty of time to plan the best execution to gain the most traction.
The thing is, we take the time to do these kinds of steps for many other aspects of our business, such as expensive advertising campaigns, tactical projects and big picture executions, yet when it comes to content, it's deemed as a throw-away exercise. A 'nice-to-have'. Then people wonder why their audiences never relate to anything they post up on social media, and this creates a vicious cycle.
Valuing a content approach is the key to better outcomes by giving it the attention it requires to produce effective results.
For example, March 8th is International Women's Day. If your business posts content adhoc, then the kind of things your audience is going to see from your business is perhaps a photo of a woman and a bit of a throw away tagline. This could be a missed opportunity. However, having a content strategy mapped out means that your Marketing team can research the right message to capitalise on the theme of the day and build a more complete brand awareness campaign. They can then hire a copywriter to produce a blog about inspiring female professionals, a designer to carry that same message over onto social media, and a videographer to create a short video about how the brand supports women.
This is just an example, but it demonstrates that your opportunities are endless when you take a more thorough approach. Having a formulated plan to coincide with your business expansion, educational event or new product launch will give you the cut-through you need to speak to your audience.
These well-executed content pieces help you stand out from the clutter and make lasting impact on your customers, so that they pay attention and remember your brand.
But never fear! A content strategy is doesn't have to be arduous or complicated. Just follow the following steps!
How do you create a Content Marketing Strategy?
Here are the elements of a content marketing strategy that will help you develop content that cuts through the noise and stands out from the crowd.
You will notice that these tie in closely with your overarching Marketing Plan. That's because they should! Your Content Marketing Plan should be a cornerstone of your main Plan and use content as a way to achieve your businesses goals.
1. Who is your audience?
Be specific as possible here. Defining who they are well help you identify their pain points and what solutions they need from your business.
2. What can your business offer them?
How can your products and services fulfil the needs that you have identified?
3. What core theme and message unites the above two points?
In other words, develop a central idea which brings together your audience and your product offering. This could be like Bunnings' "Lowest prices is just the beginning", or L'Oreal's "you're worth it". It doesn't have to be a slogan - more a concept that unites your customer to your product and can be communicated.
4. What content types do they like?
Research how, what, when, where and why your audience prefers to interact with content. This should help you decide which forms to create to spread your message to reach them best. For example, if they like LinkedIn, then they like formal and in-depth content, whereas if they prefer Instagram, then short videos and photos are the way to go.
Just make sure you are creating content that matches what they want, but with your message.
5. What is your call to action?
In other words, what do you want your audience to be doing after they interact with your content? Download your app? Call your sales team? Visit a website? Sign up for your course? Whatever it is, this needs to come through so your efforts are not wasted.
6. Start planning out your content
Now is the time to plan out the next couple of months by tying all of the above together into a long-term approach. You will start to see how much power this has very quickly when you take a more bird's eye view.
7. Produce that content
Allocate the required tasks to your team to deliver on the above plan, or hire talent externally.
8. How will you track your results?
Return on Investment is always important with business, so make sure you set out your goals with measurable metrics and then measure them along the way. Adjust your strategy if it needs it.
Going through and answering all of these steps will help you create content that will stand out from the clutter, produce the results you need, achieve your goals and engage your audience effectively.
How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need quality copywriting and consistent content. However, we understand that this is easier said than done.
You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!
Melotti Media Copywriting and Message Marketing Bureau
DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.