What’s the point of content marketing anyway?

If you’ve got a website and social media accounts, you’re probably producing a constant stream of content for them, but do you ever stop to think about what content you’re creating and why you’re doing it?

I’ve come to the alarming realisation that for lots of brands – from established product companies right down to small salons – the answer to that is NO!

I recently attended a video shoot for a new client.

The plan was to shoot some content for a new site and they’d enlisted the help of a respected – and very talented – creative agency.

In total there were about 8 videos shot in the day about topics that had been agreed in advance. I’ve got no doubt that they’re going to be very beautiful, but is that enough in the very noisy digital world?

Creating content is a big investment – even if you keep the costs down by doing it yourself using Canva and other content creation apps, it’s a huge time investment – so you really need your content to work for you.

So here’s my guide of what you need to think about.

  • Who are you trying to attract?

You don’t have to create personas – although they can help – but you do need to think in advance about who you are trying to target with your content. Then you need to think about including the elements that will work for them.

If it’s a video shoot, that means using the language they would use and understand. No jargon!

If it’s a photo shoot or photos for your Instagram feed think about the clothes, bags and accessories that reflect the value set of your target audience. It’s ok to be aspirational, but it’s important to be relateable too

  • What’s the bigger picture?

Are you looking for sales for your products? New clients for your salons? A way to generate traffic to your website? Maybe it is simply about raising awareness.

Thinking about why you are doing it not only helps you to generate the right content, it also enables you to measure if  worked at the end.

  • Where am I going to use it?

Short and sharp almost always works best for digital content, but you may be able to get away with a little longer on your website. Don’t forget to shoot it in the right format for the platform too. For your website that means landscape, but get some portrait content for your InstaStories too.

If you’re filming a video for your website, have a think about how you expect people to find it. Remember that search engines are clever – and getting more clever – but they still need you to give context to your images and videos so be sure to use clear descriptive text to explain what it’s about.

  • What is going to make this stand out from the crowd?

There is LOADS of content out there. You name the topic and someone will have produced a video, or a blog post, or a slideshow, or a handy downloadable fact book, or an online course, about that topic, so what’s your plan to make yours stand out?

Maybe ‘You’ are your USP, but one way or another you’re going to need to find some gems that are going to make people want to buy what you have on offer.

  • Don’t forget your ‘pay to play’ budget

If you want to get eyeballs on your content, you’re either going to need to come up with something completely amazing or you’re going to have to spend a little money on targeted ads to make sure the right people see your fruits of your labour.

Some people still think it’s ok to just put your content on social media and it will be seen. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

  • What does success look like?

This rather fits into point 2. Are you going to be happy if you get a load of likes and even some new followers, but no new clients? Or are new clients or sales your end game?

It may be a bit of a cliche, but where you put your focus is where you’ll get you results. So if you don’t have a focus, guess what….

What’s your secret for creating content that catches the eye and achieves your business goals? Let us know what’s on your checklist.