Content marketing has become a necessity for any company. Whether you’re a plumbing, HVAC, or construction company, you most likely provide software, supplies, or services for your customers. Also, you probably want to attract new prospects, nurture customers, and forge new relationships.
If this is the case for your company, then content marketing can be very beneficial. Content marketing is proven to:
- Generate 3x more leads than traditional marketing, while costing 62% less
- Contribute to 6x higher conversion rates
Therefore, content marketing might be the missing piece you need to attract new customers. But where should you start? And how do you decide what types of topics are meaningful for your customers? Here, we’ll discuss essential content marketing basics that can help your company get started.
Essential Content Tips
Know who your customers are and what they want
Take some time to do a quick brainstorm of your target audience. What are their interests and hobbies? Regarding your industry, what might they need help with or more information on? What are some common concerns or troubles that they might have? Answering these types of questions can help you in deciding what content is right for your customers.
Establish goals for your content
What are your goals for your content marketing efforts? Maybe you want to:
- Build trust and loyalty
- Build brand awareness
- Appear in local search engines
- Increase customer retention
- Gain new leads
- Boost email newsletter subscriptions
It’s important to keep your goals in mind because you don’t want to forget why you’re creating content in the first place. Also, you want to make sure that your content is aligned with your company objectives.
Know your competitor
Your company isn’t the only company in the market; you’ll compete with other similar companies. Visit your competitor’s websites and social media platforms and decide what content has worked well for them. These pieces of content can easily be reworked into something new for your company.
Secondly, examine what is missing in their content. They might have an excellent post on reasons to use a programmable thermostat, but don’t mention the different types of programmable thermostats available, and which kind is best for each home. This gap provides an opportunity to create a more tailored and in-depth post.
Lastly, consider the topics that they haven’t covered. Go back to the brainstorm of what your customers want. If there’s a topic that answers your customers’ questions and concerns but hasn’t been covered by your competitor, this could be a huge opportunity to set your company apart.
Research what your customers are talking about
It’s a good idea to visit websites, threads, and forums where your customers gather to talk about relevant topics to your business or industry. Also, review sites can help provide insight into problems that your customers may be facing.
Types of Content Formats
Content marketing isn’t only blog posts — it includes many other types of content, with blog posts being the most popular. However, the type of content format that you choose depends on the situation and your business. The different types include:
- White papers (best for B2B companies)
- Social media posts or threads
- Email newsletters
When deciding what type of content format to use, ask yourself these questions:
- Which format is best for your target audience?
- What format is best for each specific topic?
- What format is best for the time and skills that we currently have?
These questions will help determine the best content formats for your content creation, and will also ensure that there’s variety.
Once you have these content marketing basics down, you’ll be able to begin creating a content strategy for your business. Not only will your company provide a service, but your company will also be at the forefront of industry knowledge and insight, which will help build relationships, establish loyalty and trust, and usher in new customers.