The cupcake. That sweet, iced goodie that continues to evolve in the baked treat industry and that spans our cravings from classic vanilla to gourmet chocolate infused with edible gold. (Yes, there are really cupcakes with gold inside.) Whatever your taste, there are many ingredients that go into making that perfect cupcake. This is the case, too, when it comes to content marketing. If you want to produce an end product that your audience just can’t resist consuming, you need to make sure you are including the right ingredients.
To help you get started, here are four key ingredients that you need to create the ultimate content marketing cupcake.
Ingredient #1: Know who’s consuming your content
Give your brand a voice by creating content about issues of interest among your target audience members. On what topics can you provide an expert opinion? What is your audience interested in? What do your competitors write about and how can you differentiate yourself from the voice of their brands? You already share content on your social media profiles (if you don’t, start today!), so why not take it a step further toward gold and write your own? By doing so, you give your brand not only a stronger professional identity but also credibility. Your prospects and your clients will come to know that they can look to you for knowledge and expertise. Think of this step as the classic vanilla cupcake: it’s yummy, but it’s only the beginning.
Ingredient #2: Have a direction for publishing
What good is the insightful content you write if you don’t publish where it can be consumed? Use your website and your social media profiles to share your expertise and continue to improve your online presence. Post your content to a blog space and then tweet the link to your brand’s Twitter followers with appropriate hashtags. (Studies show that more than two hashtags diminish your chance for interaction, so use them sparingly.) Use your LinkedIn publishing privileges to share content with company leaders and decision makers. (Don’t have these privileges? Check out LinkedIn’s statement on when they will be available.) Post video content to your brand’s Facebook page to connect with those interested in your business on a more personal level. (Your content does not need to be text each time. The power of video content is undeniable.) Think of this step as the chocolate cupcake with sprinkles: it’s yummy and it looks cute, but if it’s hidden away, no one will ever know how delicious it tastes.
Ingredient #3: Plan your content and stay relevant within your industry
Creating content that will be read and shared is quite a task and takes planning. Besides being professional in tone and targeted at your specific audience, your content should focus on building connections, developing a reputation of expertise and engaging in interaction with your followers. Plan your content around important events or trends within your industry. For instance, June is Annuity Awareness Month for the financial services industry. During that month, financial advisors could focus on content about how annuities work, tax advantages involved with them or how clients should evaluate them. Think of this as the chocolate cupcake with gourmet toppings and decorations a la Pinterest: it’s yummy, it looks cute and it’s fancy, but you don’t taste the gold yet.
Ingredient #4: Maintain and persist
You’ve created content, you’ve posted it, you’ve interacted with prospects and clients and you’ve developed an impressive reputation. Great! Now maintain it. Your content should reflect your brand’s philosophies and practices as well as be maintained consistently. In the same way that videos can go viral on the web, your reputation can go viral as well—but that knife cuts both ways. Devote time to and develop a strategy for your brand’s content marketing. Invest in your efforts so that your strategy works twofold: 1) to build your online presence and 2) to earn you more business. Think of this as the elusive gold-infused cupcake: it’s yummy, it looks cute, it’s fancy and it’s GOLD! Does it get much better?
What other ingredients do you like to use to add flavor to your content marketing cupcake? Let us know in the comments below.
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