Web Hosting Blog
Content marketing is one of the ‘new’ buzzwords, but do you really know what it means? Well, instead of filling your digital marketing communications with sales information on your company and products, content marketing relies on creating interesting content and sharing information that is of value to your target audience, to engage and inform them, rather than simply to sell to them. Creating interesting content will engage your audience, positioning you as a thought leader rather than a salesman.
In order to create a comprehensive content marketing strategy as part of your digital marketing plan, you first need to identify your objectives.
- Are you simply raising awareness of your brand?
- Do you have a specific product to sell?
- Are you connecting with existing customers or trying to develop new leads?
- Perhaps you want to build your email database
- or are you encouraging existing contacts to share more information to widen your readership base?
Every component of a digital marketing plan should be given the same treatment as a traditional marketing plan – namely have a plan, a goal, a strategy and to be measurable, and that includes your content strategy.
One way to forge an effective content marketing strategy is to develop a brand story and identity. For example, at CWCS Hosting we decided to focus our content marketing strategy on sharing news from the world of technology and providing insights into what business needs to know about online security, data protection and digital marketing. We do this through regular updates on our website and topical blog posts, supported by a social media strategy. Together with regular blog posts on the more technical aspects of our industry (web hosting and security), we also share advice on how to improve digital marketing. Many of our customers manage small to medium sized businesses, and appreciate some of the insights we can offer, even though digital marketing is not our core business. It does however go hand in hand with what we do – host websites and ensure online security.
Social Media Marketing
Through our social media marketing strategy, we link content from the website and the blog to our social media posts, as well as sharing news from respected sources relevant to our selected keywords (#onlinesecurity; #dataprotection; #digitalmarketingtips). With this strategy, we create our own content, share content from trusted sources, and at the same time inform our audience about our core business activities. All with the objective of widening our readership base, and thus increasing our potential customer base.
The channels used in sharing the content created should be carefully selected to appeal to your core audience. For example, Snapchat is the domain of the young, with its time-limited posts, so if you wish your messaging to be searchable and available, Snapchat would not necessarily be worth investing time in. If your target audience is predominantly reading technical blog posts and whitepapers, and using LinkedIn, then that is the medium and channel you should focus on.
Content creation in your digital marketing plan can take the form of updating your website, regular blog posts, YouTube videos, whitepapers, infographics, magazine publishing, and social media – it is up to you to select the channels and the methods most suited to your audience, and then to consistently provide content via those channels. Do not however, over extend yourself.
Once you have a strategy and plan in place, it is important to ensure that adequate resources are available to carry out the plan in a consistent manner. There is nothing worse than having a blog on your website, which was last updated six months ago! To keep people coming back, you must provide regularly updated content. Consistency and relevance are of paramount importance to remain true to your brand identity.
Finally, ensure that your content is aligned across all channels you select. Too many differing messages at one time will confuse your audience and dilute the effectiveness of your strategy.