Welcome back to our Content Marketing 101! In Part I, we discussed the different types of content that can help you create a relationship with your audience. Today let’s talk about what makes valuable content and how Elastic can help you create it.
What makes good content?
The goal of content marketing is to provide value to your customers. If you provide them with value, they’ll reward you by doing business with you. Therefore, the best indicator for good content is how valuable it is to your audience.
Here are 4 tips you can use to make sure your content is chock full of value.
Tip 1: Define your personas
Unsure who your main target is? Try to come up with a loose description of the audience you want to reach and use it to tailor your content to suit their specific wants and needs. Defining personas is a key part of our brand workshops, and influences every marketing decision we make for the businesses we work with.
Make sure you really get into the nitty-gritty of what motivates your persona by asking questions like:
- What social media channels do they use?
- What are their biggest concerns in life?
- What sort of language do they use?
- What do they want out of life?
- What are they interested in?
Having this type of knowledge means you’ll better be able to communicate with them in a fulfilling, valuable way.
Tip 2: Make it relevant
If you did the persona work from the previous tip, you’ll have a deep understanding of your target audience. And, since you’ll know their wants and needs, you’ll be able to create content that engages them.
For instance, if you’re a B2B tech business targeting SME IT Directors, you’re unlikely to see a huge return from video content on Buzzfeed. But put that same content on LinkedIn, a platform you now know your audience uses every day, and that video is more likely to generate interest.
You’ll also want to make sure your content covers topics that are relevant to your audience. Most IT Directors will face similar challenges in their line of work. If you can create blog and video content that address those unique challenges, you’re likely to earn their trust. And that could mean that after a few interactions with your brand, they spread the word to their colleagues, or even become a valued customer.
Tip 3: Make it interesting
The internet is littered with boring content. If you want your content marketing to be effective, you’ll need to make it interesting.
Interesting doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be filled with jokes, humour or fancy words. It just needs to be relevant and different from what everyone else in your field is doing.
Let’s go back to the example from the previous tip. Most B2B tech companies have probably covered every tech-related subject imaginable. But how many of them do you think are addressing the personal struggles of IT Directors? Not many. Set your brand apart by becoming the go-to destination for your specific audience and you’ll see results.
Tip 4: Learn from your mistakes
Like most things, content marketing has plenty of best practices, but there aren’t many hard and fast rules about what you can and can’t do. So it’s important to experiment and then analyse what works (and what doesn’t!) for your business.
To give you a little content marketing inspiration, here’s a few examples of content marketing in action.
Take a look at this screengrab from the SA&T website:
See those 4 questions in the banner? That’s content marketing at its finest.
SA&T worked with Elastic to clearly define their personas and what those personas are looking for. Each call-to-action takes users to a specific landing page tailored to their unique needs. Doing this will ultimately keep their web visitors engaged longer and help start the process of building a relationship with them. Why? Because potential clients can quickly establish what SA&T do and how they can help them.
We also work with CDS to create custom blog content that highlights their expertise in the data storage industry. Take a look at this image of their recent blog content:
Many businesses make the mistake of using their blog as a sales tool, but this can be a costly mistake. When consumers feel like they’re being sold to, your content will come across as inauthentic, and that will result in them going elsewhere.
Successful content marketing requires your blog content to be valuable, not sales-driven. Rather than creating another platform for a sales pitch, CDS’s blog offers users valuable content that addresses common issues within the industry, news headlines & more.
A lot of the standard practices in content marketing seem counterintuitive. “Giving away valuable, non-sales-led content for free? Surely that’s a waste of time, energy and money.”
This counterintuitiveness is exactly why you need expert help to address your content marketing plans from the outset. Elastic has a strong history of working with brands to create content that drives engagement and interest, no matter your target audience.
So whether you need help defining your audience, creating valuable content or finding ways to strategically disperse it across the web, then make sure you get in touch!