With the Internet, reaching potential customers has become easier than ever before. Search engines, social media, podcasts and video gives your company access to a massive market of consumers.
One of the best long-term methods to reach that market is through publishing content online. Content published online builds your company’s authority, brand awareness, and sales.
By reaching communities through content, your business can create brand advocates who will purchase your products for years, as well as recommend your products to their friends and family. They might learn from your blog or social media content, share your products to their followers, or make a purchase when you announce a new product line.
Content can be posted on your website or repurposed across platforms. It can be sent directly to your audience’s email inboxes. If they subscribe to your podcast, they can receive notifications every time you release a new episode.
Content helps your business get:
- Increased exposure
- Stronger brand awareness
- Visibility and authority
Content is the versatile engine to run the online marketing of your business.
Here’s what you need to know when publishing content online:
1. Lead with value. Giving value (free information, advice, tips) builds the credibility of your business and keeps your company at the front of consumer’s minds.
2. Map the customer journey. Content marketing is storytelling that brings customers through different stages:
- This is the stage when potential customers learn about you and your business. Lead customers from this “Awareness” stage to the next stage with a call-to-action to subscribe to your newsletter. At this stage, the content can be:
- Tutorial (from search like Google or Pinterest)
- Viral post (something people will share or retweet)
- Expert content or analysis reports
- At this stage, potential customers already know about you and would consider buying from you. They are already in your circle. Content can be half educational and half promotional. You’ll reach customers at this stage via content such as newsletters, case studies, and podcasts.
- At the decision stage, customers trust your business and are considering making a purchase from you. Content here isn’t to educate or build brand awareness. It’s to address the benefits of your products or services. At this stage, the call-to-action leads the customer to either make a purchase or start a free trial.
3. Create a strategy. A strategy is essential to ensuring your team reaches your goals.
- What is your goal when publishing content?
- What is the monetization plan?
- How are you going to achieve your goals?
- For every platform, set an audience intent. Does your audience look at Pinterest for inspiration? Instagram for tutorials?
4. Interact with your community. Use content as a way to interact with and engage your community! Make them feel like they are part of something
Create content that gets them involved with what you stand for. Post community-generated content.
5. Become a category leader. You can also use content to distinguish your business in your industry. How is your business different from the rest, and how can you create content that reflects that?
6. Have a brand style guide that covers brand voice and tone. A brand style guide ensures that your team stays consistent when you publish. It can also be a frame of reference when you’re thinking about content ideas to publish.
When you are educational and helpful, customers move through the customer journey. When you go beyond publishing content about your products, customers start to see you as a part of their everyday lives beyond your products or services.
Social media gives us free access to a massive market. Through shareable content, you can build a timeless brand awareness that goes beyond the products you sell today.