#ContentWritingChat, content marketing tips

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Your Best Content Marketing Tips with Barry Feldman

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? You can get caught up with our recap of the chat! If you want to step up your game when it comes to your content marketing, this is one recap you’ll want to read through!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Your Best Content Marketing Tips with Barry Feldman

Our guest host this week was Barry Feldman. Barry is a content marketing consultant, copywriter, creative director, social media advisor, and an author. We were thrilled to have him joining us this week to talk about content marketing.

Q1: Define “content marketing.”

To kick off the chat, we asked participants to define content marketing. While it’s a pretty common phrase, it’s not one everyone is familiar with, so don’t feel bad if you don’t fully understand it yet. This recap will help! Here are some of the answers we received:

Barry defined content marketing as publishing content to pull prospects closer to your brand. When creating a content marketing strategy for your brand, you want to make sure what you publish online serves a purpose and helps you achieve your goals.

Having a strategic plan for your content will help you see major results within your business.

It’s all about creating quality, valuable content that will help you reach your goals.

Tracy said it’s about providing content that meets the needs of your audience. Your content should add value and answer their questions.

As Tara said, content marketing is about getting the right content to the right people. That’s a must!

Bill has a pretty handy reminder of the definition of content marketing.

Q2: Could content marketing be a more powerful strategy than any other form of online marketing?

What are your thoughts? Is content marketing more powerful than other forms of marketing? Here’s what some of the participants in Tuesday’s chat had to say:

Barry definitely feels content marketing is powerful, but you have to commit to it.

Jacob feels the reason content marketing is so powerful is because it’s changed the conversation to understanding your buyers’ problems.

As Scott said, content marketing is important because it helps your brand connect and engage with your audience.

Liliana said that it’s impossible to acquire and nurture audiences without content.

Connecting with your audience is key!

Julia knows firsthand how powerful content marketing can be since she’s seen the results in growing Express Writers.

Q3: Define “content strategy.”

What does “content strategy” mean? Check out these responses:

Barry said content strategy is about creating a plan that answers the who, what, where, and why.

Sarah said content strategy is the planning/execution of useful, relevant, and shareable content for your audience. Great answer!

It’s all about finding the perfect audience for your stories, just like playing matchmaker. We like the way you look at this, Bill!

Andy said planning your content is about making sure the right audience sees your content.

You want to create unique content with your audience in mind. Focus on engaging them and teaching, then distribute it.

Content strategy is also about the development and collaboration process that comes along with content creation.

A content strategy shows how you will provide value to your audience and how you’re going to share what you create.

Cheryl and FirstFound shared some great answers for this question. They both agreed that it starts with knowing you audience. Who are you writing for? Figure out what they want and choose the best platform for creating and sharing that content.

Q4: Discuss the elements of an effective content marketing strategy.

What makes up an effective content marketing strategy? Check out these tips:

A key element of your content marketing strategy is knowing who your content will appeal to. You have to understand your audience and keep them in mind as you create. You also have to figure out what content you’ll publish. Figure out where you will publish your content and the purpose it will serve.

Jacob and Zachary know it all goes back to understand your audience. You have to start there.

It’s all about those goals! Have clear goals in mind for your content so you know what you’re working toward. Figure out who your audience is and how you’ll get conversions so you can see amazing results.

Brittany agrees. You need to understand your goals, your audience, and how you’re going to measure your efforts.

Bill said your content must be relevant and valuable. Define your target audience and create content with them in mind.

Your content should be engaging. Incorporating visuals is always a great way to grab the attention of your audience. You should also be informative and provide your audience with the content they’d want to see.

Tara said an effective content marketing strategy should address the pain points your buyers are facing.

Jenn shared a few questions that are important to ask yourself when creating a content marketing strategy. What are you saying? Who are you saying it to? Where/when are you saying it? Why are you saying it? How should you say it? It’s a lot of questions, but they’re important to answer.

Creating content that resonates with your audience is an absolute must!

Q5: What are ways to be consistent at and maintain a great content marketing strategy for your brand?

How can you be consistent and maintain your content marketing strategy? Take a look at this advice from Tuesday’s chat:

Barry feels it’s important to create a content marketing culture within your company. Get your team on board! He also said you should stick to your strategy, but don’t be afraid to experiment with new things.

An editorial calendar is a must to help you plan out your content. You also want to have resources and experience content assistance so you can grow.

Create an editorial calendar every month so you can enter each new month prepared. It helps to eliminate any stress. It allows helps ensure your content is strategic and serves a purpose.

Check in with your strategy on a regular basis and ask yourself a few important questions. Am I giving my audience what they want? Is my content converting? Am I getting there before my competition?

Justine said you should always be yourself. Speak with your unique voice and your audience will embrace it.

Keep the voice of your brand consistent. Even when you bring new writers on board, make sure they are aligned with your goals and maintain the vibe of your brand.

Debi also knows brand consistency is key.

Michael said a consistent content marketing strategy requires planning, scheduling, and monitoring.

If you want to be consistent, you have to make content marketing a priority.

Q6: How can you track the value of your content marketing strategy?

Once you’ve created a content marketing strategy, you need to be able to track your results. Here’s how:

Know what success means to you. What goals are you trying to reach? That will help you determine how you should track results.

Julia knows that social media shares aren’t necessarily the best reflection of your success with content marketing. Conversations and interactions are much more valuable.

Keep an eye on your analytics. Track number of shares, how many visitors you received, and which pieces of content are the most popular.

Track visitors, potential leads, and conversions on your content.

Keep an eye on pageviews, average time on page, and referral traffic to see how people are responding to your content and where traffic is coming from.

Take feedback from your readers into consideration. What are they saying in your blog comments? What are they saying in response to your emails? What are they posting on social media?

Google Analytics is definitely a must!

Brandie likes to use a tool called Sniply to track her conversions.

Q7: What are the major don’ts in content marketing?

When it comes to content marketing, what should you avoid? Check out these responses:

Barry said you shouldn’t expect fast results. If you stay dedicated and are consistent, you’ll see the rewards in time.

Don’t assume anything. Don’t forget to track and set your goals. Don’t create crappy content. Don’t stop trying for more success.

Don’t ignore your testing phase. You need to keep an eye on your metrics to know what’s working and what’s not.

Don’t oversell, create dry or boring content, ignore your audience, or offend anyone. Those are all no-nos!

Don’t put out content for the sake of putting out content. It’s more important to have quality content than a quantity of content.

Lack of consistency is a huge don’t.

Don’t forget to make your business stand out from the crowd. Find ways to differentiate yourself from others.

That’s one strategy you’d be smart to avoid!

Don’t give your audience what you want to give them. You have to give them what they want.

Don’t leave your audience hanging if they engage with your content. Respond to them!

Q8: Share a few wins you’ve had from your own content marketing.

We asked chat participants to share some wins they’ve experience. Here’s what they said:

For Barry, guest blogging has exploded his reach online. It’s definitely a powerful way to connect with a new audience. He’s also had great results with Slideshare and infographics.

Julia shared her major wins with Express Writers. Awesome!

That’s definitely a win, Jenn!

High-quality, high domain authority links are a win in Sarah’s book.

Great job, Andy!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

Want a free strategy call to discover what kind of content you need to reach your online goals? Contact us today! 

customer buying intent

7 Ways To Create Content Marketing For Buying Intent

Have you made a great content campaign, but struggle with making it successful? One of the main reasons a great content marketing setup isn’t working is simply that you might not be directly marketing for your customer’s intent and needs. You need to change this up, and tweak your campaign, but how? You can understand what your client wants by simply researching and getting to know them. I am going to walk with you to help you figure out just how to achieve this and make that incredible campaign a successful one!

How Can You Get To Know Your Customers?

Getting to know your customers isn’t as daunting as it sounds. You’ll find that it can actually be quite easy if you take a few simple steps and apply them to your content campaign. Here are a few excellent ways I’ve found that you can get to know your client base:

1. Send Out Email Surveys For Clients To Complete. According to an infographic from QuickSprout, a great way to get to know your client base is to ask them questions. You can always do this via social media or blogs, but you might not get the response you want or need. Instead, you should consider doing email campaigns with a complete survey. Allow your clients to answer both multiple choice and opinion questions. This will help you get several participants, as some people might prefer multiple-choice answers, and others might want to make sure their voices are heard through comment boxes. A few questions you can ask are:

  • Do they like what your company has to offer?
  • What do they want to see from your company?
  • Why do they want these changes?
  • Is there anything that makes them unhappy? What about happy?
  • Find out if there is anything they’d suggest to make your content more effective.
  • Ask them their favorite websites (outside of social media) to gather information from.These websites can help you tailor your content to suit your audience, especially if multiple people in your client base visit similar pages.

2. Be Part Of The Buying Process As Soon As Possible. There are several times where you might feel that things could’ve gone a lot smoother for you and the customer if they had only brought you in sooner. This is something several businesses miss the mark on, but by becoming involved in the buying process as soon as possible, you are able to learn more about your customers. This can help you see any problem areas in the buying process, and how you can make things easier for future clients. A few ways to do this are to always allow your clients the ability to contact you throughout the buying process or have them talk to a sales associate for larger products or services. This will help both of you out while also helping you learn about your customer base.

3. Pretend You Are The Customer. This is vital because it can show you areas in your business that need to be improved. When you are starting to gather information about your customers, you should take the opportunity to stand in their shoes and pretend you are interested in your product. Ask yourself the questions a customer would ask and look to see if you have the answers readily available. If you are having a difficult time with this, head over to a site you’d be interested in buying something from and think about what questions you want to ask that company. You can see from their layout whether or not they’ll have the answers, showing you any holes in your own content marketing or what you are actually doing right. Just be willing to notice when you’re doing something wrong. This is one of the best ways to learn, even if it does hurt your pride a bit.

A great strategy big businesses take is creating a buyer or client persona. A buyer or client persona is a fictional “character” that you create to help you figure out what your customers want, and tweak your content for them. While this isn’t always exact, it can help direct you in the way you should go with your company. It can help you better craft surveys, getting the best information possible, and it can help you create new marketing campaigns that you can tweak as you learn more about your live client base.

How Can You Market For Your Customer’s Intent And Needs?

Now that you know a few ways to gather information about your clients, just how can you market to them with this information? I am going to look at a few great ways to incorporate your knowledge to better market for your customer’s intent and needs.

4. Publically Answer Frequently Asked Questions. Don’t just leave this up to your FAQ page, but actively answer them. First of all, this can offer excellent blog content. Secondly, you have the opportunity to give clients a more in-depth answer to certain questions. This might not be the case with all of your FAQs, but you might find that the more you answer frequently asked questions, the more likely you are to receive other questions from your clients. You can even consider hosting a blog series of “ask us anything” where you answer questions sent in by clients. This is not only a great way to answer questions people have, but also might help with improving blog engagement. This also offers you the ability to teach your clients through your blog, which is something that is vital for engagement and keeping a strong client base.

5. Use Your Social Media Accounts To Answer Questions. Another great way to market to your customer’s needs is to utilize social media. It offers you a great opportunity to answer questions, but it also helps you learn more about your clients through how they interact with you and what they feel is more important. While surveys can give you concrete data, you can also use intuition, basing things off of how a client reacts to a post. You might find this handy to help create a better social media campaign, tweaking things to meet what your clients want and need.

However, don’t fall victim to having a lot of traffic, and not engaging with your clients. One company I came across had incredible client traffic on their Facebook. It was amazing! However, the company wasn’t taking the opportunity to answer questions and engage with clients who were more than willing to engage with the company. The company did a great job at publishing and promoting content that clients liked, but failed at actually engaging with their clients.

6. Make Your Client Feel Important; Get To Know Them. You can make clients feel important whether you respond to them on social media, send emails to them, or respond to blog comments. You can also make them feel important if you take the time to get to know them. Many might feel that you are far too busy to talk with them, yet if you make an effort, they will greatly appreciate it. This is a great way to make sure you get an incredible client base, as well as maintain it. If you have a strong client base, you might find that they are willing to tell their coworkers, friends, and family about your business.

7. Never Be Afraid To Try Out New Things. According to the article I used earlier from Ideally Marketing, you should also never be afraid to experiment with your content marketing. Sometimes, you might find it difficult to get adequate answers, which means you should experiment with a few things to see what works. Oftentimes, companies are afraid to do this because they prefer staying in a comfortable setting, but it can be greatly beneficial. You never know when you are going to find that one magical idea that is really going to make your business hit that successful boom.

When you experiment, you can always tell your client base that you are trying something new. Take this as another great opportunity to survey your clients and find out how they feel about your new methods. This will help you find out if it will be successful, and can also help you figure out a few small tweaks to make it perfect.

In Closing, Be Thorough, But Always Ethical in Your Content Marketing

As you start to research your client base more, you will be able to tweak and tailor all of your content perfectly for them. One thing to be careful of is that you handle all of your research in an ethical manner through surveys, data collection from your own site, and other ethical ways. You’ll be quite happy to see just how well your content marketing campaigns do the more you learn about and work with your client base!

Photo credit: LDProd  / iStock