How to Use Content to Build an Audience

With so much emphasis on brand awareness and building a brand name, many marketing gurus have come up with a brilliant marketing concept called content marketing. A content marketing strategy is a strategy that takes your business goals and then uses content as a primary means to achieve those goals (HubSpot). Marketers and brands have successfully used content marketing to engage and build audiences, and drive business growth. Successful content marketing strategies involve publishing a high volume of relevant, up-to-date content that’s customer-centric and built around the specific needs of a target audience.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing should be considered an integrated marketing strategy, which involves creating brand awareness through publication of useful content on several platforms, such as social media, content hubs, your own website, and digital magazines. Content marketing has grown in popularity as a strategic approach to building an audience, as it keeps prospects updated on the latest product or service developments, and industry insights.

What does content marketing entail?

The core component of content marketing revolves around creating content in various formats that applies to your target audience and will keep your audience informed about your company. It emphasises a good brand image- you want people to perceive you as a professional, or an industry expert and content marketing gives you this opportunity. Other opportunities content marketing provides are; increasing the amount of demand for your services or products; and decreasing the conversion time.

The steps you should follow in order to build an audience are:

  1. Define your goal. Here, it will be to build an audience.
  2. Research. You should conduct research into your audience’s pains, needs, and interests, as well as keyword research that should become the foundation of your content.
  3. Chose your publication platforms. You should consider which platforms your audience is most likely to engage with. This could vary based on location, gender, and age.
  4. Create a content schedule. Content marketing requires a high volume of content, so it’s always good to have targets and goals.

The Importance of Integrated Marketing Strategy

To ensure maximum visibility of said content, have a comprehensive marketing plan that supports the content. Without an excellent marketing strategy, the content could get lost in the ether, and nobody will ever find it. As content marketing revolves around building an audience, if you don’t have a solid marketing plan in place, your audience will not notice your content, and your business may go unnoticed.

Your wider marketing plan will include a list of keywords that you want to be associated with your brand, and that your audience is likely to plug into Google to find your site and your content. The more relevant keywords you have, the better your chances are of ranking high on Google’s search engine.

Once you have a thorough keyword list, then you can start creating content that is optimized for those keywords. The content must be well written, with the perfect amount of keyword optimised content.

If you are publishing your content on your website, it’s important not to forget onsite search engine optimisation (SEO). There are several aspects and considerations in SEO, but one of the most important areas of focus should be on-site SEO. If your website, or platform, is not SEO optimised, our built around the needs of your users, then the content within won’t be shown in Google’s SERP.

Content marketing is establishing trust between your brand and your prospects. This certainly shouldn’t be rushed, but to reduce the time required to establish this trust, lead generation activities within content strategy programs should be developed to gain user information and promote your content.

Content Marketing Considerations & Best Practices

We should develop content to reach prospects at all stages of the buyer journey; from awareness to decision. Using data, gain insight into what causes your audience to look for information associated with your business offering, and then create content based on these criteria.

Gone are the days of broadcasting one message to a vast audience, hoping to generate some sort of demand for your services. Marketers can now personalise and micro-target marketing strategies like never. By aligning your content and messaging with your customers’ interests, pains and needs, you naturally attract audiences, connect with stakeholders, and build a culture around your brand (HubSpot, What is Demand Generation?).

We should focus your content strategy around increasing brand awareness. This means you should create content that educates your users and sparks interest in your brand (LeadBoxer). The content produced should be free, and should be published in the forms listed below:

  • Resource pages
  • Blog posts or articles
  • Infographics
  • YouTube videos
  • Social media posts
  • Press releases
  • Slideshare
  • Podcasts and interviews
  • Free tools
  • Case studies

B2C brands can often get more creative with their content, and focus on publishing ‘off topic’ pieces, whereas B2B brands often focus on creating content based on adding value and educating their audiences. Whichever category you fall into, your content should be as shareable as possible.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is a pivotal facet of any marketing strategy. Online marketing provides insight into your target audience’s needs , and knowing this means you can create corresponding content that engages and resonates with them. This tailored content, which is targeted to the refined persona of your audience, will lead to increased brand awareness, increased conversion rates, and a decrease in wasted marketing efforts.

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Joe Allen

Joe has vast experience and knowledge accumulated and honed as a New Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager. Presently the Director at Belu Media.

Responsible for generating new business clients, looking after existing clients, sourcing new ventures and managing the company.

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