Content Marketing

What is it?

Content marketing is about creating and sharing different types of online material that is intended on providing relevant and valuable content to your audience, that doesn’t focus on endorsing or selling your brand.

 

Why?

A quick breakdown of the reasons you need content marketing are as follows:

  • Improves SEO
  • Awareness of you and your brand
  • Organic growth
  • Creates solid brand identity
  • Building strong relationships with your audience
  • Easy access to sharing through social media

 

What types of material can you use?

The key with content marketing is finding what works for your audience, you’ll have much more success if your content is aimed at pleasing your audience who may love watching vlogs, oppose to you writing out blogs weekly because that’s how you as a company prefer to create content. It’s all about the customer and how you can help them. The different ways you can do this is through:

  • Webpages
  • Books/eBooks
  • Photographics
  • Videos/vlogs
  • Podcasts
  • Social Media

 

How and where should your content be shared?

Content marketing really puts the focus on quality over quantity, one incredible blog post a week is going to help capture the attention of your audience better than 5 average blog posts in a week that they skim past. The aim with content marketing is finding what your audience wants, and then providing the content for them.

If your audience finds video more appealing, start a YouTube channel and share the videos through social media sites such as Facebook and twitter, use Snapchat and Instagram stories so your audience is updated on what you’re up to and are engaging with you. Is your audience more relaxed and laid back? Or are they serious in what they do? These sorts of questions should help you specify your content aim, whether it is funny daily puns on twitter about the world/relevant topics to your business or a twitter account solely based on Q&A so you can help your audience with issues they’re having.

This is when a content marketing strategy really comes into play, you need to do the research about your clientele and put that into your plan of how you can provide content that they want.

 

What is the aim?

The aim is to provide content that people want to view for themselves and share with others either because it’s helpful, powerful, funny or relevant. The content you create needs to be unique and personalised so it will stand out from the crowd and become a resource people return to regularly.

Social Media Platforms

There are many different social media platforms out there to use for your business, social media has become one of best ways to advertise your business to both current and future customers. The first thing to cover in this blog is, what is a social media platform? A social media platform is a tool that provides users the means to build, mix and promote community engagement, conversation and user-generated material. When used correctly social media is a great way to gain customers/clients while also allowing users to get to know your business on a more personal level and for you to show how you are different to your competitors. In this blog we won’t cover all social media platforms but we’ll talk about a main few and how you could use them to assist your business.

 

Facebook is one of the better known social media platforms that people use for both personal and business to reach other users. It is a great source to build an audience through regular posts with strong content and visuals, while also providing an easy step by step guide to advertise your business. Facebook allows you to advertise your posts or page for a minimum of $1 a day and also has features for you to specify your target audience whether it be by age, location, hobbies and interests and many other categories. Now this doesn’t guarantee you’ll gain massive amounts of business in return, however it is an avenue for your business to be noticed as well as allowing you to engage with an audience with common interests. Some post ideas could be about new clients, portfolios of past work, articles relevant to your business or ‘checking in’ at the office.

 

Instagram is a social media platform solely based on visual content, it is quick and easy to take a photo or video, caption it and post for your current or possible new followers to see. The key to using instagram is proper use of hashtags, hashtags allow other users to find your photo/page by typing in a keyword such as ‘digitalagency’ into the search bar. This will then bring up thousands of photos other accounts have posted using the same hashtag, this provides a channel for you to engage with similar accounts and to see what people are posting in regards to your relevant industry. Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms for both business and personal as it creates a page for people to visually express who they are and what they do, and to create a connection with their audience with little work involved.

 

Twitter can be a hard social media platform when it comes to personally engaging with others as you can only use 140 characters per post. The best way to use twitter for your business is to post regularly and to insure you’re posting/sharing content that is relevant and interesting for those following you. Follow your customers, peers, business partners, suppliers and any other big name accounts who are sharing posts that you and possibly those around you would be interested in. As well as coming up with your own quick tips/statements which could catch on with other users who have similar interests.

 

Google+ isn’t as mainstream as the other platforms mentioned however it does have some benefits that Facebook and twitter lack. Google my business is a feature that Google+ has that helps increase your business listing on local and mobile searches on google, as well as allows customers to contact you more easily. Although there aren’t as many people using google+ compared to other social platforms, it’s great for joining communities and networking as there are many users who are passionate about specific subjects or people, as well as fields such as photography and tech.

 

The only minor downside to LinkedIn is that it is a business platform and is mostly beneficial for those working in the business/corporate world as it is largely a networking forum. One of the most important parts to LinkedIn is setting up your profile, ensure it is completed with work experience, certification, interests, awards as well as a thorough summary of who you are and what you do. This will increase visibility to your page, it will also assist in being found by possible customers and prospects as people are more likely to connect with you when they can see detail about you. Think of LinkedIn as a live resume, so in that instance updates are important, as well as consistent and relative blogs/comments which help to reinforce business knowledge.

The more social presence you have the more beneficial it will be for your business, every social platform you’re active on is another way for people to discover you and your business and allows you to advertise your product/business in a new and exciting way.

Building your own Website: Pros & Cons

There are so many articles, tutorials and programs out there to help you create your own online platform for your business/blog. Even though it is cheaper to DIY it, sometimes there could be alternative options that would benefit you and your business more especially if you aren’t overly experienced when it comes to technology. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of building your own website and topics you need to consider;

Website Builders

Sites like Squarespace and Wix are simple and easy to use for those of you who want an aesthetically pleasing website with little design and advanced tech input. They are drag and drop site creators and have themes ready to use for free or very little cost. It’s as easy as picking your theme, uploading your logo and images, entering your content and dragging them into place to create a neat and simple web platform. However, they do offer limited support when you have questions or issues with your site.They also don’t offer as many plugin/widget options to make your site stand out and to make it easier for your customers to move around the pages compared to a site like WordPress. WordPress can be used for free or for a monthly fee when you purchase your domain/hosting. Having your own domain and hosting is an extra cost however you won’t have any of the Squarespace or Wix logos and it will look more professional and give you more versatility.

Skill Set

You may be a tech wizard when it comes to website building and therefore know how to add in all the necessary plugins and hyperlinks to make the site come together exactly how you want, however most people don’t. The backend coding thats involved with making websites and producing a high quality product with new and advanced features is more difficult than you probably think. If you are just after a very basic layout with the main purpose to explain who you are and what you do, then building your site will most likely work for you. The time and effort it takes to learn the necessary skills to make your site shine and have the specific features you want, it may be easier in the long run to invest your money in a web building company who are able to customise your site to exactly how you want.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The whole point of having a website is for people to notice your business and have a way to find you, white pages is no longer the main tool used for finding a business or service, instead people have moved to online searching. Google is now the main search engine people use when they are looking for anything from a recipe to a local plumber and a very little percentage of people will look past the first page of google when their results pop up. This is where SEO comes in and plays a huge role in your website’s success. SEO is understanding the algorithms google uses in order to find a page that the searcher is looking for, and in doing so implementing them into your website and content could mean your page will pop up in that first page of search results. However, it is not an easy task and can be a long and tedious process. If you’re planning on building your own website you need to consider how important it is for your site to appear in potential customers search results (hopefully very important) and if so, it is much more beneficial for you to use a web design company. For the time and money you invest in a web design company you will see better results from your website and will more likely be more satisfied with its design. It’s dependent on how important the site is to your business.

Cost

Like most DIY projects it is cheaper to create a website yourself instead of going through a web design company to build it for you. Whether you do it yourself or seek some help is a matter of how much you are willing to spend on your business’ website. When it comes to building a website, you get what you pay for. You can easily make a simple site for little to no cost however if you do want customisation and the benefits that come with professional work you have to pay the price.