Updated: Jan 18
I have high respect for business owners and in particular, start-up entrepreneurs. As a start-up myself, we carry many responsibilities and face multiple challenges. We work long hours, and while it can be exhausting, it is also gratifying.
In my interaction with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, we can relate on the importance of developing clear business plans, planning financial projections and producing a solid marketing strategy. Regardless of the size of our business, we need to keep up with our customers’ expectations.
Customers today have access to a plethora of communication messages through various forms, whether on traditional or online media – and getting their attention is a big challenge. I am often asked – how do we engage our customers and earn their trust to believe that our products or services are the best choices for them?
In my opinion, this is where developing an effective content marketing strategy comes in.
However, before we discuss how to produce content, let us define what content marketing is.
What is content marketing?
According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
As described above, content marketing is a strategic component of a successful business. A good communication message should then consist of the following attributes:
Valuable – we need to ensure our customers walk away more informed, knowledgeable and have confidence in our products and services to make their purchase.
Relevant – with the ever-changing demands of our customers, we need to offer relevant content, bring value and help solve their problems.
Consistent – developing a consistent style or tone in your communication messages to build trust, increase followers and lead to paid customers.
The following are five tips on how to develop content for your marketing campaign.
#1 Differentiate your offering from your competitors. Just like we have different types of businesses, we have different types of customers. Produce content on your website and social media platforms to highlight your unique selling propositions. This is a sure and effective way to engage your target audience and build relationships with them. As a business owner, do research on what your customers are seeking and create that bridge for them to your business. For example, if you are in the business of selling nasi lemak, the Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, you probably want to consider having an extra special ingredient or item your competitors do not offer and customers appreciate. What is the big thing on online chatter among customers? Offer the ‘what’s in it for me’ for our customers, and it will be a success factor in your marketing campaign.
#2 Building brand authority. Once your customers have built trust in your product or service, the next step is to make them see you as an authority in your brand. Curate social media posts, blogs, or long-form articles that will show your customers your influence in the industry. Creating regular content on these platforms will help your brand get noticed by your customers and hence, a higher chance of them considering your products or services. Tap on third party publications to provide thought-leadership pieces to highlight your deep knowledge, expertise and understanding of your brand in the industry. Don’t have a content writer to help you? Consider hiring one that will save you the headache.
#3 Consider Search Engine Optimised (SEO) friendly content. Writing good content is one thing. Writing good SEO-friendly content is another. With more content being produced online, it is essential to produce content containing keywords that is easily found on search engines. How do we do this? One way is to use keyword search tools such as keywordtool.io to look up words or terms that your customers will enter in Google to look for a similar topic. I did a quick search on #nasilemak on keywoordtool.io, and the top terms were #nasilemak and #nasilemakkopio. You may wish to add these keywords in your content to boost the chances of having your content ranked higher in Google search.
#4 Write engaging headlines or headers. Never underestimate the importance of an appealing and SEO optimised headline. Consider these few tips to engage your audience.
Use numbers: Three Best Crab Nasi Lemak in Town
Add an adjective: Simple Mom’s Nasi Lemak Recipe
Use Call-to-Action: Get Your $10 Coupon Today!
According to the Content Marketing Institute, headlines with eight words are the best. Keep your headline short, snappy and can be read quickly. That way, you get your audience to click act almost immediately. Don’t have the capacity to have a content writer to produce your blogs or social media posts? Consider one that can fit your budget and saves your time as well.
#5. Create a social media content calendar. A social media calendar helps you to organise your posts on your social media platforms. A good calendar helps you plan what content goes to which platform on different days. For example, if you are in the property business, offer the latest property news and how it will impact your readers’ decision on their property purchase on Monday on Facebook. Include statistics, facts and infographics, and video content on Instagram and Twitter. on Tuesdays and so on. Include light-hearted topics such as motivational quotes on other days and on other platforms to maintain consistent interest in your readers.
We all know that content marketing takes a lot of time, but it is also important to note that it will take time to see results. Don’t give up if it does not show any results as yet. Producing direct email mailers, writing social media posts, producing blogs on your website or, contributing to influential magazines and publications are good leads to providing the information your customers need.
Content marketing is the heart that holds your campaign together and makes them successful. Take advantage of uploading content on various platforms and regularly to set yourself apart from your competitors and show your customers why and what makes your brand stand out.
If visual is king, content are the walls that hold your castle. Not sure how to drive your brand awareness or have a following? Feel free to contact us to discuss your content marketing plan and how we can help you ease that burden.
(This article was first published on Marketing in Asia)