The Changing World of Content Marketing: How Social, Mobile and Local Are Affecting Startup Companies
“Remember the future. Remember the past.” – The Replacements
Content marketing is at a crossroads. At this moment in time, content marketing is becoming more important than ever before but also much more difficult to pull off successfully. There are so many changes taking place all around us that it can be challenging to keep up to date with what’s going on surrounding your industry let alone where you fit into the current marketing mix.
However, depending on what industry you work within or what you do at your own company, the approach may vary drastically from your peers who are in similar situations to yourself. This can be anything from how often you post new content to where exactly it’s posted along with how it’s shared with others if applicable. Another factor that has come into play during recent years which directly affects the manner in which a company approaches content creation and distribution is the rise of mobile usage.
According to Peter DeCaprio the way people search for information, interact with others and consume media from sources all around them is through their smartphones or other small hand held devices such as tablet computers or e-readers. In fact, Statista reports that there were over 1 billion unique users who used smartphones worldwide during 2014 alone. That number has certainly increased since then due to the steady growth of this popular technology segment so it’s safe to assume that these numbers will continue to explode even further throughout the coming years. Couple this with how tablets are now often used instead of traditional laptops or desktops when performing searches online alongside how many people use their phones for everything from following breaking news stories to watching video clips of something they just saw on television and you’ve got yourself some very strong evidence as to why so much change is currently taking place.
The Content Marketing Pathway
It’s fairly safe right now to say that if your business doesn’t have a content marketing strategy in place, you’re most likely getting left behind. This has become such a widespread practice all around the world that it can be quite beneficial for those companies who rely on an active and engaged customer base through the use of online marketing initiatives. As far as how this process looks from beginning to end, branding expert Marcus Sheridan (of The Sales Lion ) gave us his take on what exactly goes into creating and promoting quality content which will benefit a company in the long run.
Marcus Sheridan’s Content Marketing Pathway
Marcus illustrates his perspective on this subject with what he calls “The Content Marketing Pathway” which shows how to write down your goals and then work backwards from there like a map for your content marketing efforts.
Here is the process that Marcus has put together:
1. Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
What you should do here is identify who exactly will be interested in the product or service that you offer. This can include anything from demographic information like age, gender and geographical location to various interests and other traits unique to each person who visits your site.
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Once you’ve determined these things, it can help you further when it comes to the type of content you create and in what way you choose to distribute it throughout a variety of channels.
2. Focus on Their Desired Outcome
Once you know exactly who will be seeing your content, Marcus suggests that it’s important to determine what each person hopes to gain from their visit to your website. This is because simply showing them generic messages about how great your business is or listing all of the benefits they get out of using what you sell won’t matter much if they’re not coming back for more than just an initial look around. You want every visitor that comes through your virtual doors to return at least once, preferably on a daily basis so as not lose interest which can keep them buying things from you over time.
3. Answer Questions and Solve Problems People Are Searching For
The internet is essentially a sort of public library that can be accessed by virtually anyone at any given time thanks to the widespread growth in the use of technology among everyday citizens. As such, this has led them to using search engines more often than ever before when looking for information about certain topics including their own personal problems which can include anything from physical or mental ailments to wanting help with something they don’t know how to do.
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
In a situation where you’ve determined the desirable outcome which your target audience is looking for and know what questions they may have regarding your company, products or services, you can then focus on creating content that answers these questions and solves any problems which your customers may be experiencing. This not only includes things like blog posts but various other types of material including video tutorials, infographics and social media campaigns.