1. Know Your Customer
Content Marketing isn’t about your product– it’s about your customers’ interests. If you don’t have customers or users yet, make sure you have a clearly defined target customer before you continue with content marketing (or product development, for that matter). If you have customers or users, find out who they are and build a primary archetype for that person. Give that person a first name, a profession, age, gender, how they like to spend their time and waste it, and what they aspire to. It doesn’t have to be true for every customer, but it should feel like the average person.
2. Listen To Them
What does this target customer like to talk about and share on social media? Which social networks are they using most? If your target customer is Jessica, a 30 year old urban professional, chances are you will find some Pinterest posts about fashion, health and home decorating.
3. Add Value To Their Conversation
Here’s where your company voice and brand message should fit into the conversation: what angle do you want to take when approaching the topics that are interesting to your target user? For instance, does your company sell fashionable jewelry without breaking the bank?
4. Get Broadly Social
A lot of small businesses neglect other social networks because they don’t think they are as relevant to their customers. This creates 2 problems. First, social media posts show up on search engine results. That means by not being on Google Plus you are missing out on an opportunity to be found through search. Second, many people underestimate the value other social networks can have for their business.
5. Hone Your Funnel
If you thought of a beer funnel when I said this, you need to get with the program. I’m talking about a customer funnel.
Content marketing accomplishes two things: it increases the number of engaged users and builds a brand loyalty among them. The increase in brand loyalty should translate to a higher conversation rate in the funnel compared to the world without content marketing. That means a lower cost of customer acquisition– and for startups, that’s the golden ticket.