Times have changed.
Back in the day, companies just needed to buy an advertisement slot close to that NTA 9 ‘o’ clock news and voila, instant customer acquisition.
Or they could advertise on Rhythm 93.7 and easily create awareness around their product, get sales, etc.
Today, any business that wants to create brand awareness and attract customers needs to do something different.
They need to be create content.
Because in this day of the internet, the customers have all the power and all they care about is content that provides them with some form of value.
And that’s why… Content Marketing.
But one does not just go into content marketing blindly. Thou needest a strategy, which we shall discuss later on in this post.
… But first, what in the name of blogging is Content marketing?
I’m sure a simple Google search for “What is content marketing?” will give you a ton of definitions.
But here’s my own simple definition:
Content marketing is using content to attract potential customers, build trust with them and sell to them.
And here’s the breakdown:
#1. Attracting potential customers
In any business, this is usually the first step of the conversion funnel – attracting potential customers. Nowadays, people practically google their problems before they ask a physical person for help.
And because of that, you can attract them to your business by creating content that solves a problem they’re dealing with.
#2. Build Trust With Potential Customers
When you consistently create content in your area of expertise, overtime you will come to be seen as an expert in your niche online.
That will translate to authority and earning the trust of your potential customers.
And trust is important, because without it, you cannot…
#3. Sell To Them
When your potential customers trust you, they will buy from you.
But the sale will only happen because you produced content that solved a problem they had or provided them value in one way or the other.
That’s the basic gist of content marketing. Obviously, there’s more to it than that but that’s not what this post is about.
For now, let’s talk about how to come up with a content marketing strategy for your business.
The 4 Questions of Content Marketing Strategy
Copyblogger introduced to me a concept known as The Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey has been a central theme of many movies like The Star Wars Franchise, The Matrix and Kick-Ass.
Basically, it uses the journey of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies from when he was on that bare wasteland of a planet, to him meeting Obi Wan and Yoda who then help him to become a Jedi and defeat Darth Vader as an analogy for content marketing.
If we bring it back to content marketing, it means your potential customer is Luke Skywalker and your content is Obi Wan/ Yoda.
Your content should take your customer from the point where he or she knew nothing (Jon Snow… sorry, I couldn’t resist) to a point where they’re not only knowledgeable but also transformed.
Now, while that’s a great analogy, it’s not exactly specific which is why I’m writing this post about the 4 Big Questions.
I don’t know if I read this somewhere, but somehow today it clicked for me, so I’m going to share it anyway.
P.S. If na you I get this idea from, abeg no vex.
The questions are:
It all begins with your customer.
Who is your customer?
This covers everything from age ranges, to gender, to lifestyle, income, etc.
To create content to attract your customers, you need to first know who they are. Create 1- 3 buyer personas based on who your target customer is.
This covers all the “whats” in your strategy.
What problems are they facing? What are their desires, goals and objectives?
What do they want to achieve?
Once you know this, you then have an idea of what problems your content needs to address and what solutions your content needs to provide.
This refers to where your target customer spends time online.
It’s important, because where your target customer spends time is where you need to reach them.
If you’re marketing a B2C product or service, you can focus on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For B2B products and services, you’re better off focusing on LinkedIn or any niche social networks.
You can also find forums where your target audience is likely to be and market to them through your content there.
The idea is wherever they are, there you must be as well.
This is about your business.
How is your business going to solve their problem?
How are you going to inform and educate them about the available solutions?
How are you going to deliver your content? Will it be video, text or audio?
How often are you going to put out content?
How are you going to convince them that you’re the right choice for them?
It’s all about how.
Once you can answer these 4 questions, you’ll have a good idea of who your target customer is and what your content marketing strategy needs to be in order to reach them.
Also, there’s a reason why 3 of the 4 questions focus on your customer and only 1 focuses on your business. That’s because content marketing is mainly about giving value to your target customer, drawing him in and overtime, getting him to buy from you.
What Do You Think?
Was this oversimplified? Got Any Questions?
Let’s talk in the comments.
That’s my 2 kobos for now.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.