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Content is King in Social Media

  • July 3, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

According to a 2015 Content Marketing Institute (CMI) report, 86 per cent of B2B and 77 per cent of B2C survey respondents use content marketing.

If you don’t already know it, content marketing, or as it is sometimes referred to inbound marketing, is the number one form of marketing for most businesses today. You may not realize it but your competitors are probably already using it to woo your customers. If it’s not on your marketing strategy radar, it should be.

So, what is content marketing? CMI’s definition is, “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.”

A majority of businesses are increasingly using content marketing; 70 per cent of B2B businesses and 69 per cent of B2C businesses surveyed are creating more content than last year. Content marketing is a massive and increasingly sophisticated topic; here is a short guide to some of the key elements to help get you up to speed.

What is ‘content’?

First, what the devil is this ‘content’ anyway? Well it’s pretty much any information you distribute to people who could potentially be interested in what you sell, or who are already customers. Be aware this content is far more than just the material you would use in a typical blog post.

Information needs to demonstrate you have a high level of expertise in the topics you are discussing. One of the aims of this content is to increase your industry and market credibility.

Content quality is rising exponentially – it’s no good repurposing old material, or regurgitating material others have published. Content marketing today is about producing engaging, useful, informative, educational NEW material that is directly relevant to your market.

This content can manifest itself in eNewsletters, blog posts, videos, infographics – just about anywhere you and your company appear in social media.

This eNewsletter, for instance, is content marketing!

How does content marketing help your business?

So, you have content, but how does it help you sell more? Good content promotes brand awareness, generates leads, keeps existing prospects and customers interested, promotes loyalty, and allows you to subtly pitch to your market.

So you have great information - how do you get it to your market?

Once you have content, there are many ways to get it out to customers. In the B2B world, the most popular, and most effective, according to CMI’s survey is LinkedIn; 94 per cent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and 63 per cent found it effective. Alternately 94 per cent of B2C businesses use Facebook and 58 per cent found it effective. Basically, your content has to appear in places your typical customers visit. Other avenues include; YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Google+ and just about anywhere your prospects are likely to hang out.

Once you have decided content marketing is a necessary part of your overall marketing strategy you need to: research how it works; which companies do it well; what your competitors are doing; and how you are going to handle content marketing for your business. If you have the budget, hire someone who has the expertise, or choose someone in your marketing department who has some knowledge of content marketing and get them trained. If you haven’t got the budget find it!

Next on your agenda, develop a documented content strategy. Businesses that have a documented strategy report their content marketing is more effective; 35 per cent of B2B and 27 per cent B2C businesses have a fully documented strategy, with 48 and 50 per cent respectively reporting they have a non-documented strategy.

What are the challenges?

Evaluating success – Use Google Analytics or similar to watch website visits; also record numbers of leads, sales, and customer feedback. Build these measurements into your strategy. Finding quality content – provide diverse information which your target market will find useful, educational and engaging. Remember content is king! Budget – there’s a cost to everything and content marketing is no exception. B2C businesses spend approximately 25 per cent, and B2B businesses 28 per cent, of their overall marketing budget on content marketing (including staffing costs). Keeping the hopper full of quality material – this is major challenge. Everyone starts off with best intentions, but you need to keep it up - this is a long-game strategy. That’s why considering buying content is often a good idea.

A good content marketing strategy is one that makes you a magnet company, a company people gravitate to for information when looking to purchase products or services in your marketplace or industry. You need to make your company the first port of call - the go-to company.

Is this a flash in the pan, or a marketing strategy that will stick around? That’s hard to say with any degree of certainty but CMI’s study shows 59 per cent of B2C businesses and 55 per cent of B2B polled plan to spend more this year than last and only 2 per cent across all businesses will decrease spending.

Taking your place as an expert in your field has never been more important