Building influence in your industry can greatly emphasize and amplify your marketing efforts. Becoming a trusted, credible and meaningful source of information and knowledge is crucial for establishing your business influence, impacting the attitude of people about your brand, and has the potential to change people’s minds and their purchasing behavior. One of the most effective ways of building influence and differentiating your brand from the pack is through the use of content marketing. We believe it actually is one of the most powerful tools that every business should include in their marketing arsenal.
Content marketing can be the means for achieving many end. It can help you position your brand as an industry leader and provide sales leads, but it can also build trust and influence among your audience.
In order to do so, you need to follow a few essential steps that we consider vital in generating content that’s valuable enough to turn you into “the best answer” out there.
Recognize your audience’s needs
In order to be able to recognize your audience’s needs, first you need to take a step back and ask yourself whether you know who your target audience is. It can be one group, or several different customer segments, and that is fine as long as you identify key traits for the people in each group.
Next, you need to learn what they care about. You can simply go and ask them directly through surveys or polls, reviews your analytics data or do a keyword research. Then, you should find out who influences them, and try to include some of the influencers or their work in your content in order to maximize exposure and build credibility.
Now that you have a clearer picture of who you are addressing, and are ready to move on to the next step: content creating, you need to keep in mind that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Preferences vary, from content types to topics and goals.
Create content that answers your audience’s needs
If your audience research is complete and you have a full customer profile, you can begin planning content creation. You can lay down a content plan, including content topics and types. This is step where must be careful and make sure you are answering key customer’s concerns, and that the content meets the needs of every step in the buying cycle. The basic model includes content which addresses three key stages: attract, engage and convert.
In this step of the process it is important to identify few content specs:
– the channel where you’ll publish the content
– keywords and phrases you intend to use
– which devices the content should be optimized for
– content topics for each stage
As we noted before, different people have different content preferences. This means you need to test different content types and find out which ones appeal most to your audience. There are numerous content marketing tactics you can try and use in order to engage your audience and build influence.
Make an impact
To make your efforts count, and get you the desired results, you need to create content that leaves a strong impression and has maximum impact on your audience, and your marketing goals too. The main difference between content and great content most often lies in storytelling.
When you incorporate storytelling in your content you deepen the connection between your brand and the reader/viewer. Don’t look at story telling as an extra effort, look at is a source of multiple benefits including:
– Sharing a mutual experience with your audience
– Developing an emotional reaction and connection
– Differentiating yourself from the competition
– Giving meaning to the content and message
Additionally, great stories are sharable and very often accompanied with compelling visuals. Simply adding creative images, gifs or short videos alongside your written content can make it stand out, and more desirable (clickable). If you are sharing on different platforms, adapt your visuals and message accordingly. And lastly, make sure you add social sharing buttons to help increase exposure.
We believe more and more businesses choose to utilize content marketing as an influence building tool because it creates a connection and strengthens relations. And building influence with your audience is about providing as much value as possible. If you can offer content that provides value and benefits, you will grow your audience.
Even though building influence takes time, when done right, content marketing can generate results sooner than expected. If you find putting together a content marketing plan to be the hardest part of the process, you don’t have to struggle with all the work on your own. Let us help you build your content marketing strategy. Share with us your knowledge about your audience and your main marketing goals, and we can help you plan and execute the best and most effective content marketing strategy for your brand.