How do you make your content stand out from the crowd and work for your business? Keeping an emphasis on the word “valuable” is a good start. Your aim is to inform your target market by providing relevant and valuable information with the intention of creating loyal customers. An informed audience should offer its loyalty and business in return for your efforts.

That’s the theory, but how do you get it right when so many others get it wrong? If you think of content marketing as a way of communicating without the hard sell, it will steer you in the right direction.

How Content Marketing Can Shape Your Business

We can be bombarded on a daily basis with poor content and information that is irrelevant to our lives. That’s why the good stuff, the kind of content that influences the way we think and behave, stands out and gets powerful results for the company that delivers it.

Content marketing must be part of the marketing practice rather than something that sits outside of your marketing activity. Content should be of high quality within all areas and is vital to drive inbound traffic and leads, create successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, ensure an engaging social media strategy, and gain and maintain successful PR coverage. Moreover, fresh, high-quality content is essential for search engine optimization (SEO).

Audience and Goals

Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your audiences is crucial at the planning stage. If you want to connect with viewers, you need to speak their language and create content that they will find appealing.

Just as vital as knowing your audience is being clear about what you want your viewers to achieve from your content. If your goals are clear, then this will assist in the creation of relevant content to get the desired results that will eventually help grow your business.

Give Them What They Want and Need

Once you understand your target market, you need to find out what they need and fill the gap. Is there a problem that you can solve, some information you can share that can enhance their lives? What benefits will they feel? Ensure your content is relevant, informative and it will be seen as a source of value.

You also have to make sure it’s exciting. There is so much out there that you have to be sure that what you write is going to get noticed. So, get creative! Put your educational hat on so you don’t put people off with too much of a sales-driven approach. By doing this, you will encourage connection with your business becoming a trusted source of valuable information for potential customers. This in turn increases brand awareness and will boost traffic to your website.

Choose Your Channels and Maximize Potential

One size does not fit all, and choosing the right platform and medium for your content is key to building success. Think outside the box when it comes to your organization. Would a video be a way of reaching a new audience, or would an interview with an industry expert offer exciting new insights?

Be innovative and creative with your offer, and your business will become known as one to watch for the latest industry news. Make the content work for you, and use multiple channels to share with different types of audiences.

What Next?

So, your sparkling and innovative content has gotten some attention. Now, you need to capture that interest and momentum with the next step, a call to action. If viewers want more, you must provide more, and it’s a great way to ensure a continued relationship with your prospective customers.

Offer viewers additional resources such as reports or the opportunity to subscribe to a newsletter as well as the option to share the information and comment on what they have read. Engagement followed by involvement helps encourage your audience to further develop a relationship with your business.

The success of any content strategy is consistency. Ensuring every bit of content you produce is relevant, high quality and meaningful to your audience is vital. If you become a source of constructive information, then you must also take the responsibility of being a dependable source that can be relied upon to offer value.

Don’t become lazy or boring in the production of content, as this will reflect badly on your business, and you could lose loyal customers as a result. Offering takeaways such as tips, advice or solutions relevant to your business, industry and audience will help keep your content in demand and your business in the forefront for potential customers, creating relationships that will last.

Karen James is a marketing expert and Director of Lilac James, a full services marketing agency and a Certified Google Partner. Karen founded Lilac James in 2008 following a successful corporate career as a Sales and Marketing Director. She has a passion for business and enjoys working with SMEs and supporting their growth.