Content Marketing Step 1: Selecting the right topic
We already shared the 6 steps to build a content strategy in a pragmatic way. In the next few days, we’ll talk more in-depth about each of the steps and the consequences for your organisation(s). Today we will share more info about topic selection.
Social media are forcing companies to move away from campaign-based thinking. If your company is happy with sharing content on your Twitter and Facebook pages only twice per year, the level of interaction is likely to be very low. People will soon forget your company and Facebook ? search tool? searches will mention you less frequently than more active pages: that is how the system works. In addition, the impact of traditional advertising is decreasing every day so that your offline campaign-based way of thinking is coming under pressure from all sides. That is why modern companies convert to the idea of content management. A content strategy has various objectives:
- Being recognised as an expert in your field: Strong and relevant contact will enhance the positioning of your company. Show that you are aware of the latest trends and that you are interested in innovation. This will help you to be seen as an expert in your field and will increase general awareness of your brand.
- Maintaining relations with the customer in a positive manner: Share new content at regular intervals. This will encourage your customers to keep in touch with your brand. Do not bother them with new offers every five minutes, but provide them with information that is interesting and useful. If you offer them relevant content of value, this will make it more acceptable to launch a promotion with a strong storyline every once in a while.
- Attracting new customers: Your content is shared with existing customers and fans. If the content is strong enough, they will share it with their family and friends. This is how your company comes into contact with new people. Relevant content can arouse the curiosity of new prospects, so that they may want to discover more about your brand.
- Increasing social media reach: Finally, good content will automatically ensure that your company has a wider reach on social media. This will increase support for your content and heighten its impact. A wider reach also makes it easier to achieve the first three objectives.
CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECTS WISELY
Our modern world is awash with information. It has even been contended that the information added to the internet in a single day is equivalent to all the information in all the libraries in the world. Whether this is true or not, your company must make its content stand out amongst this huge mass of data. And the only way to do so is to develop a clear and well-considered content strategy.
Bearing this situation in mind, it is essential that your company only offers relevant content. The choice of the fields on which you wish to focus will determine whether you are successful or not. In order to make the right decision, you must carry out both an internal (What can you do and what can make you different?) and an external (What is the market looking for?) analysis.
First and foremost, look for areas where your company can offer unique content. Of course, this content must be in keeping with your company’s culture and values. Examine your own expertise and focus on the things that could make you stand out in your sector. Also look carefully at what the market wants. What topics are of particular interest to your target group? You can track these topics down by conducting a netnographic investigation or through conversation mapping research. Combine all these elements together into a coherent content strategy. For example, if you are a company in the home nursing sector, offer content about illnesses you are a specialist in and look for subjects that online information is currently lacking for, or for which people have expressed an interest via their search enquiries. This way you can almost guarantee yourself an interested audience.
By combining the internal (the extent to which you are unique) and external (what people are looking for) dimensions, it is possible to create four main content categories:
- To be avoided: Content in which you are not unique and for which there is little demand. In other words, a waste of time and money. This category must form 0% of your total content.
- Competitive: Content which interests the market, but in which you are not unique. In view of the level of market demand, you will occasionally, perhaps even regularly, need to make use of content of this kind. Bear in mind that your competitors will also be sharing this kind of content, so limit your efforts to a maximum of 25% of your total content.
- Niche: Not many people are interested in this content, but it does differentiate you in the market. Invest where necessary, but limit your efforts to 15% of your total content.
- Focus: Content where you can really make a difference. There is market interest, but your competitors are not able to satisfy this interest. 60% of your total content should fall into this category.
The concrete implementation of your content strategy can take place at many different levels. Talk about your industry in general. Show that you know which direction the sector is moving in. Mention new trends and fashionable insights that will confirm your expert status in the field. Your customers will be interested in sharing specific content about your company. Facts, figures and â€˜did-you-knows’ can all be very useful. Furthermore, you will also be able to generate large amounts of informal content through your own staff. Make your culture tangible. Tell â€˜human interest’ stories about your activities. And, last but not least, remember to talk about your products. You can even use content which compares your products with those of your competitors, as long as you do so in an objective manner.