This post was guest authored by Malia Keirsey
Content is not king, no matter how many times you have heard this.
It may be entertaining, full of great information, and it may be inspirational.
But if no one reads it after publication, what’s the point?
If your content is a part of your business marketing, then it has to do more than fulfilling your need to create it. It has to have a purpose.
And that purpose should directly relate to your business goals. Then you will know what to create, how to create it, and when and where it will be published.
Here are seven content marketing goals that can relate to your business goals. You alone know your niche, so start with those that are most relevant.
#1 Building Relationships and Trust
This is a process that occurs over time. Think of your target audience not as customers but as individuals who you want to get to know and who you want to know you better.
This only happens as they have experiences with you, and that will happen through your content.
Do you have expertise that you can give them? Do you have a sense of humor that they will enjoy? Can you inspire them? Can you relate the personal you to them? Can you offer them something of value?
These things must happen before you ask them to buy something.
This should be a high priority no matter what you are selling.
#2 You Have to Be Amazing
If you want your content read/viewed and shared, it has to be amazing. It has to engage your target customers and your current ones. It has to compel them to share it with their communities. It has to solve a problem; it has to be entertaining, or it has to be inspirational.
When Michael Dubin and Mark Levine founded Dollar Shave club, they had a great idea. A subscription-based razor blade delivery. How convenient!
One of their first pieces of content was a video on their home page that was amazing – humorous, entertaining, and presented the VALUE of their service to potential customers. That $2,500 video went viral – millions of views.
It is still on the homepage of the website – check it out.
To be amazing in this competitive content world, you have to be creative; you have to use visuals instead of text.
And when you do use text, it has to be amazingly written too.
If you struggle with creative writing, get some creative freelance writers. Find a list of top writing services, read the reviews, and order an article or a social media post as a “test.” You’ll eventually find the perfect one to help craft your content.
Remember, people are busy. They want to see and hear your amazing stuff, love it, share it, and move on.
#3 You Have to Be Responsive
Once you have established yourself on social media (and please, just choose a couple of platforms that you can really maintain with constant content), you need to know what others say about you and you need to respond when they do.
Businesses that respond promptly get a reputation for being “connected” with their customers and that is the reputation you definitely want. Get a good social mention tool that will alert you whenever your brand is mentioned – you can access the comments and respond appropriately.
#4 You Have to Solve Problems
You have customers because they see your product or service as solving a problem they have.
Maybe it’s a type of deck stain; maybe it’s a piece of software; maybe its cleaning products that don’t harm the environment; maybe it clothing that allows large women to be stylish.
Show this solution by all of the content you produce.
When you “get” what your audiences’ pain points are, you can address them with your content.
ModCloth is a millennial-focused clothier. It provides business and casual clothing solutions to young women of all body types.
How does it convey this to its customers?
It uses them as models all over social media and on its website. It engages customers and potential customers in conversations about their clothing needs and choices. Those customers share their photos – petite, skinny, large, tall, short – it doesn’t matter.
And the “win” for ModCloth is exposure to its solutions.
Businesses that are successful solve problems and get those solutions out to their target audiences on their blogs, on their sites, and on their social media platforms. You can create content that includes “how to” videos, that provides lists of tips, and that shows how others have solved their problems with your solution.
#5 You Have to Be a Storyteller
Whether you are telling the story of your company, of a team member or of a customer, storytelling adds a personal, intimate aspect to your brand. People love stories and they share them. They find emotional connections in stories.
When you can tell stories visually, all the better.
Toms shoes tell amazing stories. Its business model is “one-for-one,” a model that has been adopted by many other brands. When a customer buys a pair of shoes, a pair is donated to a child in need somewhere in the world. And oh, the stories Toms has to tell.
Customers flock to this brand; they share the stories; they encourage their communities to participate by purchasing a pair. And the founder, who just wants to do good, is also a very rich man today.
#6 You Have to Seek Strategic Partners
Businesses grow through recommendations and referrals these days.
Consumers are wary of direct advertising and hard sells by companies. They want to know what others think about products and services.
So, they post questions on social media; they read review sites, like Yotpo; they are interested in what friends, family, and even strangers have to say about a product or service.
Developing strategic partnerships is a good way to get those referrals and recommendations that a company needs to spread its reputation. These partners can come in a few ways:
- Trusted brands that are related to your niche is a good place to start. If a business owner can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with another business that is related but not in direct competition, the two can provide recommendations for one another; they can re-publish each others’ content on their platforms.
- Strategic partners can also be current satisfied customers. These individuals can become “brand ambassadors” on social media – sharing your content and recommending your product or service. Offering incentives for them to do this is a strategy that should be utilized as much as possible.
- Find influencers in your niche and ask them to review our product or service. Send them a free sample; offer them a free trial of your service. They have an audience that you may not have tapped into yet.
#7 You Have to Show the Love to Your Current Customers
The research has been done. It can cost up to 5X as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. To keep your current customer base loyal, you have to do many things – provide great customer service, offer special deals and VIP treatment, and reward them for their loyalty.
Why do you think there are so many rewards programs out there now?
Businesses have read the research; they have crunched the numbers. They know they need to keep their current customers happy and satisfied so they keep coming back for the product or renew the service.
Giving discounts, giving points for price breaks, and finding other ways to reward loyalty can all be done through email content. Personalizing those rewards and offers through a great email tool will result in that loyalty.
And the other thing about a great email marketing tool? You can segment your audiences out and provide different content based on where they are in your sales funnel. Do not discount the power of email when you can create amazing subject lines that will compel targets to open.
Which Ones are for You?
There you have it – seven content marketing goals that will absolutely support your business goals. Depending on where you are in your business journey, choose a few that will have the most impact on your growth right now.
Work them. And as they begin to support your growth, add others. Content is not king, but getting it out there in the right ways will certainly expand your kingdom.
Malia Keirsey is an independent author, freelance writer, blogger, and web designer from Chicago. She has a master’s degree in sociology and likes to learn social media marketing. Follow @MaliaKeirsey on Twitter.
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