What people want to read

Chris Pepper, director of Time54 Marketing, discusses the importance of content marketing.

Content marketing isn’t a brochure, or an advert. It’s about marketing your business via the sharing of focused, timely and relevant educational, enjoyable, or insightful information.

It’s not about imposing a definitive sales pitch about every element of your product or services, it’s about guiding them towards the best course of action.

Specifically, within a business environment, effective content marketing will assist or change client behaviour in the form of a purchase decision.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, consistent, relevant content to entice and keep a clearly defined audience. And ultimately, to drive profitable customer interaction.

According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behaviour. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.”

The beauty of content marketing is that it enables unfamiliar audiences to find you through your interesting and informative content. If the content is particularly engaging, quite often they can find you before they are even ready to make a decision to purchase, meaning, your competition isn’t even on the radar.

There are many elements to effective content marketing, following are four of our key recommendations.

Create content your audiences want. Don’t give your audience the hard sell or force your customers to see the worth in the content. It will put people off.

Build trust. Don’t be tempted to overload the content with specific company or brand information – you risk alienating your audience. Build trust by creating interesting articles that people are likely to share with others. By creating and sharing more content with your audience, over time it will become apparent to your target audience that you are knowledgeable and reliable for providing interesting and relevant content from your discipline. People trust industry specialists and may request your help to solve an issue. When you deliver informative content, you’re starting to build a relationship. You become a trusted resource and people return to sites that they know and trust.

Cover a variety of topics that you or your business are knowledgeable about and deliver content on a regular basis. There isn’t much point in writing content about cakes if you are a specialist glass balustrade manufacturer (unless you’ve recently starred on The British Bake Off). Don’t go off topic; write about what you know and your experiences, whether personal or from a business perspective. Your audience will soon suss out uniformed content and their trust in what you have to say will falter. Equally variation and regularity are key, don’t keep banging the same old drum, look for a diverse range of topics to keep your audience interested. Share content as often as you can, ensuring its relevant. This might be once a week or month depending on what you have to say.

Share your content on social networks. Get your content out there. You know about your products and services, and you know things most others don’t. Great content will give people a reason to come back to your site or social media platform, especially if your content solves a problem, or the topic is on trend regarding a development or legislation. People will share content that helps make them look well informed or knowledgeable. Social media, like search engines, is one of the best ways for getting content to reach consumers.