Earning the trust of a customer is hard work, especially in our digital world. A 2016 survey completed by Hubspot found that only 3 percent of respondents considered marketers to be trustworthy. How do you overcome that hurdle and build a relationship of trust if you can’t physically shake a customer’s hand in your brick-and-mortar store? Through a content marketing plan that includes relevant content only.
I am defining relevant content as transparent, purposeful and authoritative material that establishes your brand as a leader and influencer. Sounds simple enough, right? Not really. According to one survey, around 60 percent of businesses said that producing relevant and engaging content is a top challenge for them.
Content marketing can take many forms depending on the industry or audience, so you must figure out what is best for your customers and your brand. If creating relevant content is a challenge for you or your business, here are a few steps you can take to get started down the right path.
Identify key topics
Get your employees, customers and other stakeholders involved in content creation. Ask them for ideas and listen to what they have to say. Chances are, ideas for relevant content are sitting right there in your customer comments on Facebook or in your product reviews. These ideas will lead you to develop content that will address the needs of your customers and add value, as opposed to serving as an online brochure for your product. Content should focus on what’s best for your customers, not what’s best for your brand. Practice this and it usually works out in favor of your customer and your organization.
Choose the right platform and delivery
Maybe you have an e-newsletter that you want to keep sending or you’re trying to grow your business’ presence on social media. Email, social media, blogs and the like are pretty standard platforms to deliver content these days. But are they best options for your customers? Do a little research on where your customers spend their time and how they prefer to consume content. It might be through one or a combination of different platforms. You want to make sure that your audience doesn’t have to go out of its way to access the content you produce. So again, do what is best for your customers, not your brand. Check out a few other ideas for delivering content
Create a content calendar
Decide how often you will publish content and when and where – then write it down and plan ahead for three months or more. A content calendar should include who’s responsible for writing, supporting and publishing content. With a quick Google search, you can find plenty of good content calendar templates that you can download and customize. Complete this with your team so that everyone knows their role and your expectations.
Just start writing
After you go through the previous steps, sit down (or stand like the cool kids do these days) and write. It might be a bit intimidating but find a method that works for you and give it a try. You will feel quite the sense of accomplishment when you finish. Just like I do now that I am wrapping up this post…
We know that a big challenge to content marketing is the lack of staff or time to dedicate to it. Or maybe you can’t decide where to start. Whatever the reason that you’re not producing relevant content, Vela is here to help. Send us a note to learn how we can support your content marketing efforts.