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A Beginner’s Guide To Content Marketing

You may have heard the expression ‘Content is King’ but what exactly does that mean and why should you take note of it as a local business?

Content marketing could revolutionise how you promote your business, so it’s important you understand what it is, how to use it and consider the value it could add to your business. Here, we’ll take you through the concept of content marketing step-by-step so you can understand how it can work for your local business.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing involves creating and sharing any piece of quality content, such as articles, guides and videos. The number one rule is that it should always be something that your customers would find useful, educational or interesting, rather than a sales pitch.

Sharing content can be a great way to attract new customers and increase loyalty from existing customers as you become a trusted provider of quality advice and hence an expert in your industry, helping you to build a strong reputation within the local community.

Online content works best, as you can easily promote your material and encourage your customers to share it. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach and engage a much wider audience.

What can be achieved with content marketing?

Content can help you achieve specific marketing objectives, which all lead up to the ultimate goal of your business. It can help you:

  • Raise awareness – you can produce content to help inform and educate people about what you do. By demonstrating your expertise, it will help to increase your profile as a trustworthy and reputable business. Plus, raising awareness helps to generate more interest in your business, giving you the opportunity to achieve goals such as increasing website visitors
  • Engage your customers – use content to make your business stand out from the crowd and become a memorable provider of products or services. There are various ways to keep people engaged using content; for example you could distribute it through a monthly newsletter to encourage people to hear from you regularly or post across social media to reach more people, encourage sharing and start conversations through commenting
  • Generate new sales – by sharing content consistently and becoming known as a trusted provider, it can help you become the first choice when people are ready to buy helping you to win more customers

How do you create a content marketing campaign?

Before you create a content marketing plan, always remember to ask yourself, ‘what do I want to achieve?’ Don’t create more work for yourself by producing content that isn’t going to give you the results you want. For example, if a sandwich shop’s goal is to get more mums on maternity leave in for coffee, the content they might want to communicate is ‘Six quick cake recipes for mums on the go’. But if their goal is to increase bookings for event catering, then something like ‘Top buffet food to impress your CEO’ would be more appropriate.

Here are some other key things to consider when creating your content plan:

  1. What will your content be? It could be articles to demonstrate your expertise, or perhaps videos to promote a series of ‘how to’ advice
  2. What is the goal for each type of content? Are you looking to raise awareness of your business or maybe engage new customers with thought-provoking posts?
  3. Who is it targeted at? Think about who you’re trying to appeal to specifically. For example, if you’re a plumber you might want to target people who may need a new boiler with tips on what to look out for if they have an old boiler
  4. How will you promote it? Social media might be the best way to promote sharing for example, or sending a newsletter direct to your subscribers could be the best way to reach them
  5. When will you publish it? How often will your audience want to receive content? A monthly newsletter might be sufficient to send a variety of content whereas you may want to post daily on social media with snippets of content to stay top of mind with your followers

Once you’ve established your goals, have a look at what your competitors are doing and identify any techniques that you might find useful in your own campaign. It’s then useful to think about the time scale of your content plan. Three months? Six months? A year? Having decided on your goals, this should help you decide on the length of your campaign.

What types of content can be used?

The possibilities are wide and varied when it comes to different types of content which gives you scope to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t work with your audience. For example, posting content on Instagram may be more effective for a florist than a finance advisor as a florist lends itself much more to visual content whereas a finance advisor may find articles to be more effective in demonstrating their expertise.

Other examples of content include blog posts, guides, videos, reviews and podcasts to name a few. But if you’re just starting out, think about the amount of time you can invest into content on a continual basis and use the channels that will best fit your schedule. It’s better to offer content consistently so that your customers start to see you as a reliable and trustworthy business. However, if you do lack time, there are various providers out there that can offer to manage your content needs, such as our own sponsored content service.

The world of content marketing holds endless opportunities for your business to showcase its knowledge and expertise to potential customers. Ensure you set out your business goals and think about your plan with these in mind and then you’ll really understand what it means to say ‘Content is King’.

To find out more about creating content to drive engagement, read the following articles:

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