Content Marketing Tip: Focus on Educating Your Target Audience
Posted by Guest Author on October 20, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, Marketing, SEO [ 6 Comments ]
Content marketing, alongside SEO and social media marketing, are the three sides of the inbound marketing pyramid. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting a potential customer that is already looking for your products/services as opposed to traditional marketing, which works to interrupt the daily life of that customer in the hopes that remember you down the road. Content marketing refers to any and all forms of content created to engage with your target audience. Meanwhile, content is anything that is public and shareable, including: blog posts, articles and whitepapers, videos, infographics and charts, webinars, podcasts and more. Whatever form it takes, content can often be broken down into the following categories:
Every company has to indentify which type of content is most useful for meeting its business objectives. For instance, a department store would probably create more promotional content announcing sales and specials while a software company might focus more on informational and educational content. Whether your company prefers to concentrate on one or a combination of all four types of content, educational content is often some of the most valuable content a business can produce. Consider three reasons to incorporate educational posts into your content marketing:
3 Reasons Every Company Should Use Educational Posts When Marketing
1. The market is flooded with “experts,” and clients don’t know who to trust.
Every industry has its fair share of “gurus” or “specialists” whether it is in social media marketing or interior design. Some industries have a much lower threshold to entry (you don’t need a PhD to call yourself a matchmaker), meaning those markets are flooded with experts, some of which are much less qualified than others. How is an unknowing customer supposed to recognize the real deal from the snake oil salesman? By educating themselves with your content!
These days, most people turn to the search engines for answers. Whether they are searching for a great tuna casserole recipe or tips on balancing their small business budget, people are looking to educate themselves online. By creating great, valuable content you are setting up your brand as a trusted expert, someone your target audience can count on as their go-to-source for related information. They learn that your company is one of the real experts in your industry. This helps builds your authority and trust level, making you a much more valuable resource in the long run.
2. You create better customers for your brand.
Your target audience might be incredibly broad or extremely niche, but most business owners can narrow in on their “perfect” customer without much thought. For example, my perfect client is a mid-sized B2B company that has been online for at least five years and has the basics of SEO under their belt. They are looking for an SEO firm like mine to take their SEO to the next level and are committed to a long-term strategy. Here’s the catch, there are plenty of mid-sized B2B companies out there, but not all of them have the SEO fundamentals down pat. So I write blog posts that work to educate my target audience, one nugget of information at a time. I want to help get them to a level where they feel like they have a strong SEO foundation in place, but need someone with my experience to run with it or take it off their hands. By creating educational content, I am helping create my own perfect customer.
3. Educational content can target each stop of the B2B buying cycle.
The more tuned in your content can be, the better. Although highly specific content might attract a smaller audience, it means it’s attracting a more targeted reader. Educational content can be written to address the needs of your customer at each point in the B2B buying cycle (identifying the problem, outlining ideal solution, searching options, testing top choices and choosing a vendor). Since your customer is looking for different information at each step, your educational content provides them with the exact content they need exactly when they need it. The more times a potential client can interact with your brand during the buying cycle, the better.
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Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a Social SEO agency based in Boston, MA. With over 12 years of search engine marketing experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips in his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal (or SEO Journal) and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, ready by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers. You can contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.