Do you struggle to develop engaging, effective content for your marketing efforts? Follow-up question: are you planning your marketing content ahead of time or sitting down at your computer and attempting to write blogs, emails, and social media posts on the spot?
Very few people can write effective content quickly unless they already have a plan in place. To be successful, most businesses create a content calendar for the upcoming week, month, or campaign. This tells them what type of content to post on which date and usually states the topic the content should cover.
If you’re not already planning your content in advance, it’s time to start. It streamlines content creation so you can post effective, targeted content more frequently and consistently.
Traditional ads and commercials are no longer effective means of attracting new customers. Because most adults constantly navigate a constant influx of media, they have learned to tune out hollow, insincere sales pitches.
Content marketing, also called inbound marketing, feels more natural. Effective content marketing should make your customers feel like you are adding value to their lives before they even purchase your products. Content marketing aims to establish a relationship with your customers, educate leads about your products or services and demonstrate how they will solve their problems, and build a community around your brand. The most effective content marketing strategies tell a story about the brand.
Content marketing is highly specific. You have a target market—a specific subset of the population who has the most to gain from your services and, thus, is most likely to buy from you. You want to tailor your content to appeal to this group of people. This means posting on the channels they use most frequently, addressing their unique pain points, and branding yourself to align with their goals and values.
Many business owners, especially those who weren’t trained in marketing or digital media, struggle to create marketing content that resonates with their audience. Many feel that it is too time-consuming and skip it altogether. Planning content out in advance helps mitigate the stresses of content marketing and makes the process more efficient.
It’s not enough to produce content—you have to produce high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. Taking time to plan out your content in advance can help you develop content that actually converts.
When you were in school, you probably learned to outline your essays before you started writing. Did you ever skip the outline and try to dive right in? You might have found yourself freezing up with no ideas about what to write or veered completely off-topic.
When you plan your content in advance, you go into your writing session knowing exactly what you will say. You may even have some time between the initial brainstorming and content creation process to flesh out your initial ideas. When you sit down to create your content, you’ll save time by giving yourself a clear direction.
As a business owner, you already have a lengthy to-do list. Setting aside time to plan out your content is just one more hour of time that you already don’t have enough of. Of course, your first priority should be perfecting your product line or service offerings, but remember that in today’s crowded market, you need a solid marketing strategy to stand out for your competitors. If you’re not taking the time to craft effective content, someone else will.
Customers want to shop from brands they trust. One of the best ways to establish trust is to be present and active on as many channels as possible. When your customers see that you are actively online and sharing new information, they feel comfortable coming to you with their questions or concerns. This gives you the opportunity to provide excellent customer service and build a stronger relationship with your customers.
The more exposure your customers have to your brand, the more likely they will remember you. This means you have to consistently post new, interesting content to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds. It is possible to have a piece of content go viral and bring in a large wave of new business, but that’s not something you can bet on. The odds that you will create a hit piece of content on your first try are very small. It is more likely that out of dozens or hundreds of pieces of content you create, one might go viral. Even if this were to happen, it would not be a sustainable business strategy. Eventually, the internet would move on to the next shiny new thing.
As a business owner, you want to have a say in how your brand is presented to the rest of the world. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills, time, or interest to develop creative assets and write copy for your marketing campaigns. Planning ahead lets you decide what kind of content you want to put out—how many social posts, how many blogs, how many emails, and what the topic of each one should be. You can then hand your content calendar over to an experienced copywriter or designer to take care of actually creating the content. This allows you to actively participate in the content creation process without wasting your time.
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