What is content marketing? Part 2: The tactics
Before we delve deeper into the world of content marketing, if you haven’t already taken a look at part 1 of our epic Content Marketing trilogy, then you may want to switch over and read that before getting too stuck into this article). If you’ve already digested part one, then let’s carry on!
In this post, we’ll be looking at the different types of creative content you can use to help tell your brand’s story. Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, there are lots of options out there and the trick is making sure you choose the ones that you think will resonate best with your target audience.
In our last post, we touched on the No Brainer BOSE model and the importance of an integrated strategy. Now that we’ve hopefully got you thinking about multiple channels, it’s time to start thinking about which tactics are best for you. Here’s a list of commonly used content marketing tactics to get you started:
- Lists (top 10s etc)
- News releases
- Case studies
- Customer reviews
- Opinions on an industry developments
- Video or audio recordings
- User generated content
- How-to guides
It’s up to you to decide from the list above which tactics are appropriate for your business, audience and product or service, but these 20 are a great starting point. The challenge is deciding which ones are best for your brand, but that’s where target personas come in to play…
Crafting your target personas
You should already have a good picture in your mind of what your target customer looks like, but creating target personas of all your ‘typical’ customers is an exercise well worth doing to really pin down the finer details. There’s a great guide to this from HubSpot that you can find here.
Between three and five is the ideal number of personas and completing this step should help you identify which tactics may work best. It’s definitely a good idea to coordinate some research into your customers through a questionnaire or maybe a focus group to see what forms of content they like to consume too. Also take a look at what your competitors are doing and see if there’s any insight you can gain from their efforts – good and bad!
The guys behind Hubspot also released some data a little while back (see below), which asked the general public what content types they’d like to see more of, and this may also prove useful when prioritising which tactics to put your time and energy into. They also asked participants about how they consume their content, which again is extremely useful to have in mind when thinking through new ideas.
Ensure you also do your research on what each specific demographic is asking or searching for in Google to find your site or others like it. You can do this by looking at your current Google Analytics data as well as the related search function on Google itself, and there are some great free tools out there such as Answer The Public that can help.
Getting your ideas mapped out
Before you begin the fun part of coming up with lots of new ideas, we recommend building a digital content calendar so that as things arise you can drop them in to some kind of order (we’ve got a fantastic Excel template that we use internally – drop us an email and we’ll send you one for free!).
Add in any promotions you know are coming up, seasonal peaks, relevant celebration days, events, tradeshows etc so that you don’t forget anything important in your industry.
When it comes to mapping ideas, we find it easier to work physically with post it notes. Start to map out all of the things that are happening in your business over the next few months, such as new product launches, new appointments, investments etc and then think about how you could apply those stories to the various tactics you’ve decided are right for you.
If you’re struggling for ideas there are loads of great resources online, in particular the Hubspot ‘how to’ section, this post from Search Engine Watch and this from the Content Marketing Institute that will point you towards some great tools to help you.
Using the BOSE model we referred to in Part 1 of this blog, you can then use the ideas you’ve thought of and apply them to the relevant Bought, Owned, Shared or Earned sections. The vast majority of content marketing tactics sit in the Owned space, but are there opportunities to secure earned coverage on something that you previously thought was just a blog? Or are there opportunities to develop an infographic for your website from something you thought was just a customer survey? Consider the merits of everything and you’ll be well on your way to creating an integrated content marketing strategy.
Get ready for Part 3!
In the finale to our series, join us to explore ways to analyse whether the right people are seeing your content as well as gain an insight on how to continuously improve your content marketing efforts.
As always, we’re happy to chat through ideas and answer any questions you might have, so if this article has inspired you, please feel free to get in touch with us here and let us know!