Content marketing is a hot topic these days, and businesses are finding great success from publishing content both online and offline. However, much of that success is coming through sheer luck because the vast majority of businesses don’t have the content marketing expertise that they need to drive long-term, sustainable, organic growth through their efforts.
Many of those businesses are missing one or more of the essential ingredients for content marketing success, which are described below:
Just like any form of marketing, your audience is made up of a diverse group of people. Segmenting that audience and delivering brand messages, communications, and content is critical to engaging them. Your content must be customized to each segment of your audience or you’ll miss opportunities to connect with people, spread your messages, raise brand awareness, and boost your business.
A fundamental rule of successful branding is focus, and that rule applies to content marketing, too. Identify your specific goals for each piece of content or you’ll accomplish nothing more than perfecting your ability to cast a net with big holes in it. You can’t attract and catch the right audience if you don’t know why you’re publishing or sharing each piece of content that helps to spread that net.
All content that you publish should be “shareworthy” (source: Content Marketing for Dummies). That means it’s so meaningful, useful, and interesting to your specific target audience that they want to share it with their own friends, families, and other connections. High quality content trumps a lot of low quality clutter every day of the week, so make sure your content is shareworthy. If it’s not, figure out how to make it shareworthy or don’t publish it.
Your content marketing efforts must be fully integrated into your larger business marketing plan. There is perhaps no better way to surround consumers with branded experiences than through an integrated marketing plan that includes both online and offline content marketing as a driver of conversations, sharing, and powerful word-of-mouth and brand loyalty.
Content that isn’t consistent to your brand promise will do more harm than good. Marketers know that consumer confusion is the biggest brand killer, so follow the three steps of brand building in all of your content marketing efforts — be consistent, be persistent, and exercise restraint.