Content marketing has created a shift in the way businesses reach customers. Critically looking at how the words content and marketing go together, however,  provides a fresh perspective on what content marketing really is.

It's impossible to do any marketing without content, but it's possible to have content that serves no marketing purpose. Marketing is dependent on content. Content is independent of marketing.

Merging the 2 words to categorize a new way to reach customers has increased the amount of meaningless online content. This has inevitably led to overstimulated customers and often lackluster results for digital marketing initiatives.

Countless articles and eBooks have been created to guide hopeful entrepreneurs and marketers through the endless maze of the content marketing world. Despite the great access to information, effective implementation of the strategies by the average entrepreneur is mediocre at best.

Even the best ads typically don't receive above average results. It's, therefore, no surprise that Clever Clicks reports that "the average click-through rate of a paid ad is 2%, yet ads in the first position earn an average click-through rate of almost 8%."

What's the point of it all? Why pay so much money if the results aren't going to be worth the investment? The answers to these questions depend on how effectively the campaign is structured. This article explains how you can create content that contributes to your marketing efforts instead of using wasteful space on your digital platforms.

Know Your Audience

One thing that may be affecting your digital marketing is that your audience may be too broadly defined. What works for Tom won't necessarily work for Jerry. This branding tends to look something like the cartoon shown below.

 

Targeted content marketing requires multiple approaches to reach the desired audience. Campaigns must be created for each subset of individuals within a brand's broader target audience. For instance, if you own a content writing company targeting people in America, you must divide this broad group into smaller sub groups. Some possible subgroups are:

- small business owners between 25 and 35 years based in New York, New York

- small business owners between 25 and 40 years old interested in eBooks based in New York, New York

-business owners between 25 and 50 years old interested in business development based in Silicon Valley, California

Several iterations are possible and it's important to create a strategy that suits each group of people. That's when you'll get the best response. 

Remember the WIIFM Rule

Consumers are only interested in what they can get from investing in your product or service. This is the What's In It For Me (WIIFM) rule.

Each targeted campaign should focus on the unique characteristics of each sub-group and provide a direct answer to the WIIFM question for that subgroup. These questions can guide you towards answering the WIIFM question.

1. What specific problem are you trying to solve for this groups of people?

2. What proven results are you able to deliver?

3. What testimonials can you share to establish proof-of-concept?

Have a Role for Each Content Piece

All of your content doesn't have to bombard viewers and readers with a constant appeal to, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" Some content can be used to establish your brand as an authority in its niche, provide useful information to potential customers, and increase brand awareness. 

However, you must be clear about the role each piece serves so that it can achieve the desired purpose. The likelihood of the desired result being produced is greatly diminished when there is no clear goal. In the grand scheme of things, it's more important to create content that adds value and portrays your brand in the right light than to churn out a copious volume of meaningless content.

Pay Attention to the Quality

Quality always trumps quantity. It's nonsensical to create or use sub-par videos, infographics, articles, podcasts, and images. Too many entrepreneurs are afraid, or unwilling to take the risk, to invest in quality content creators.

The investment pays for itself within a few weeks to 3 months if the content is used strategically. It is the content marketer's role to use the content in the right way to achieve maximum results. You need a content marketer on your team to create and use quality content in the right ways for your brand.

 

It's time to move away from the mindless use of content. Your content should always be serving a marketing purpose. These 4 tips are pivotal to getting the highest possible  return on investment for your content marketing initiatives. Contact an experienced content marketer to learn more. 

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