Sunday, March 03 2019

The 5 W's of Content Marketing

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Think back to your elementary school days.

You were likely taught five questions that would help you investigate a topic: who, what, when, where, and why. The answers to these questions would allow you to write about the topic and cover all of the important information regarding it. It was a simple but effective method of explaining everything your reader needed to know.

Can you apply these basic principles to marketing concepts? You betcha! So, let's keep it simple and check out the five "W's" of using content marketing in your business strategy. We'll even use everyone's favorite math problem product- widgets- for our content marketing strategy example.

Who?

Every business can benefit from content marketing. In fact, you're likely engaging in a precursor to content marketing already. For example, imagine you run a company that produces widgets. A consumer sends you an email asking a question about your most popular widget and you reply with an answer that is helpful and informative. You’re building a relationship with this consumer and promoting your widgets at the same time.

What?

High-quality content in the form of articles, blogs, social media, white papers, videos, and anything else that is consumable. This content should be relevant and valuable to your target audience. Good content doesn't just get read, it gets absorbed.



Continuing with our example from above, you have noticed this particular question on your widget gets asks a lot, so you decide to publish a product guide that answers the question. You've now created a piece of useful content for your target audience.

When?

One of the main aspects of successful content marketing is consistency. Just giving your target audience good content once isn't enough. Updating existing content and producing new content keeps readers coming back for more. Think about HBO’s Game of Thrones. Even if you’re not a fan, you’re sure to have a friend or two blowing up social media as they hungrily await the final season of the show. In a perfect world, your brand’s audience would be just as eager as GOT fans for your next video, social media giveaway, or article.

Not only does the consistent posting of useful content produce brand awareness, but it also helps to organically grow search engine ranking. Following our widget selling example, you might make a second guide for a different widget that you sell. After publishing the second guide, you realize that the first guide is outdated, as the widget has been updated. You update the first widget’s guide and find that more people are coming back to reread the guide with the new updates.

Where?

Content should be published anywhere it makes sense. Not helpful, right? Well, “anywhere it makes sense” usually consists of social media profiles and a blog or web page. Depending on your content, it may also make sense to publish in online forums, video channels, or even take the content to the printer.

In our example, we've created two product guides for different widgets. You've published the guides on your product description pages as well as in your blog, and you've gotten great engagement on your social media posts. You decide to have the guides printed into pamphlets and offer them at a widget-buyers convention where you know many visitors fall into your target audience.

Why?

Ultimately, effective content marketing leads to a sale, but it doesn't use flashy sales materials to get there. According to The Economist Group, 71% of B2B buyers/readers did not make a purchase because the content felt like a sales pitch. Instead, good content marketing seeks to build a relationship with consumers, guiding them back to your content. This produces ongoing brand loyalty. Rather than buying once and walking away, consumers continue to seek your brand the next time they need your products or services.

In our running example, you have created guides for a couple of widgets and consumers have since absorbed your content. When a consumer is thinking about buying a widget like yours, your brand comes to mind instantly. Knowing your business is an authority in the widget business, this consumer chooses to purchase from you instead of a competitor. Woo!

Bonus! How?

How are you supposed to do all of these things while also running the day to day operations of a successful business? A 2018 study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that only 33% of B2C businesses had a documented content marketing strategy. It’s understandable that you don’t have time to put together a complete content marketing strategy. This is most easily remedied by hiring a professional content marketing agency to research, write, and market the content your business needs. By outsourcing your content marketing efforts, you’ll be able to focus on running your business. Then you can sit back and watch as professional content creators not only reach your target audience but connect with them.

The process of creating and marketing new and useful content to your consumers increases your sales by building honest, valuable relationships. Ready to get started building these relationships and finding those loyal, engaged clients? Give us a shout and we'll help you learn more about content marketing and how it can help your business!

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Tara Seboldt

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