Where to start content marketing. A step-by-step guide
There’s an opinion that content marketing is some kind of magic. It is not. Content marketing is a step-by-step and cyclical work with its own tools, tasks and types. I distinguish 5 methods or stages of content marketing:
- Audience research
- Writing questions and selecting formats
- Bottom line analysis
- Repetition of steps along the chain
More often than not, the main goal of content marketing comes down to sales, webinar registrations or sign-ups for services. Let’s talk about the objectives at each step.
1. Conduct audience research
The first step is to understand who our customers are. Start by researching your channels: social media, website, or blog. Then, ask around with those who work directly with customers – call center, sales, or salespeople.
To make it easier, here’s a short list of questions:
- – who are our customers?
- – What are their problems or concerns?
- – How can we help solve them?
Then, research your competitors. Keep asking yourself questions from their customers’ point of view: what are they doing? Why is it this way? Why is it popular and why not?
Even basic answers, without in-depth research, will set the stage for future content. An example of competitor analysis for fresh food delivery Wo!Milk in Google Charts
Audience research in our cases
– Petrovka. How audience research helped improve service
– Eurostroy: elite real estate. How audience research helped reduce the cost of conversions by 10 times
2. Write down readers’ questions and propose their solution in a convenient way
Articles, videos, podcasts are all content formats with different labor costs: in terms of time, budget and complexity of production. We recommend starting with simple formats like articles, social media posts and Medusa-style cards.
To make it easier to select formats, write down the audience’s questions and break them down into three solutions: pragmatic, social or emotional. An example is a Montessori content table for kindergarten and school.
When creating this model, we were inspired by a variant from editor Maxim Ilyakhov, and before that we used a rubric distribution. Unlike rubrics, here we are guided not by the “rubric formats” themselves, but by the tasks of potential clients.
The main thing – to collect as many as possible, at first glance, crazy ideas. When you start creating content, you’ll understand what you can take now, and what you can’t.
3. Start gathering questions for future content
Comments under posts are the source of topics
In order to keep your “casket” of customers’ questions and concerns flowing, you need to try to organize their inflow. There are several options here:
– Take questions and concerns from the CRM system. Most often, it is linked to all platforms: online chat on the site, mail, messengers of social networks. Once a day, we look through the correspondence and pull interesting situations into the table.
– Start a separate section on the site or in social networks – with questions to your experts. To spur communication, write some questions and answers yourself. One option for the site is Google Form.
– Keep track of your audience’s resources. Almost always, your audience is reading and researching something else on a similar topic. Sign up with them to draw new questions and deal with situations with your expertise.
4. Invest in content distribution
All content needs promotion.
Imagine a client receiving hundreds of messages in a day-from family and friends, Telegram feeds, work email and Facebook feeds. Breaking through this information noise is not easy.
So, your content needs advertising: to get more subscribers and new viewers to see it in your social media feeds, search engine results and email views.
We recommend starting with case study advertising, if your business can do it. In cases, you have the opportunity to maximize your value – to talk about the customer who contacted you, their problem, the joint solution, and the intricacies of implementation. The reader sees your actions in action.
5. Repeat all the steps.
Going through all the steps once is a win. But you have to go through them each time to understand the bottlenecks at each step: did we get the CA right? And their problems and challenges? Did we get the format right? And the sites of placement? And the audience for advertising? Does the content help our business goals: coverage, consultations, sales?