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Everything you do and say about your business is ‘content’, so you are already a content marketer. 
What you might not be doing is harnessing the power of your content to build your reputation, gain new customers and create loyalty with existing customers. 
The secret to content marketing is a fair exchange of interesting and valuable content for information and feedback. Good content establishes your credibility as an expert and the value of your products and services. This is all good for your business. Your content must also be relevant and valuable to your audience (more on this later) and give them interesting information and advice they can use. 
By providing valuable content, people will be willing to engage with you to receive it. This is important because it opens up a direct line of communication with people who are interested in what you say and do. 
Once you’re connected with them, they are much more likely to carry on providing you with useful information that can help you to grow your business. 
Here are five things that you can do today to check out the effectiveness of your content marketing and improve it for the future. 
Action one: Be clear 
Describe your goals, the benefits you deliver and what people need to know in a clear and simple statement – distil it to just a few sentences. This is at the heart of your content, so make sure it can be easily and consistently included in all your communications. See our blog about key messages
Action two: Know your audience 
Part of your audience will be your existing customers. You can use what you know about them to make informed decisions about what might be valuable to others. 
To start with, you might only receive an email address in exchange, but this is how your dialogue with your audience will begin. 
As your relationship grows, it is likely that some or your audience will become your customers. When they do, their experience must live up to the promises your content has made. 
Action three: Tell your story 
A traditional marketing message will focus on how a product or service meets a need. Your story is about what motivates you and the difference you make to your customers. 
People will engage with your story because it is clear that you are inspired by the idea of giving your customers value. 
Action four: Be organised 
Creating high quality content that really reflects your character and your business can be time consuming. The key to successful content marketing is planning when and how you will deliver it. 
This will help you to make sure that you don’t create a greedy content monster that you can’t manage or a timid creature that nobody notices. 
When members of your audience become customers, be ready to acknowledge the value of your new relationship with them. This is the place for special offers and promotions and rewards for introducing new customers and contacts. 
Action five: Measure your results 
The information you collect from your audience is invaluable. 
Break down the steps towards your business goals, so that you can identify how the information you collect will make a difference. 
Use what you know to find out things you don’t know. 
You will be collecting new information all the time. Use it regularly to sense-check your goals, review the composition of your audience and the relevance of your story. 
Please give us a call if you would like to know more about how content marketing and improve your business.  
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