Whether blogging, or just posting on social media, content is crucial for your brand to make an impact on your audience. Communications experts have realized this therefore invest on content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
This is when you create your brand presence online through engaging and informative content. This could be through videos, blogs, or social media posts. You don’t necessarily sell your product or service directly but your content stimulates interest in your products or services.
So what does it entail to post online?
With advancement in technology anybody can access information at anytime therefore it is important that you strategize and importantly invest time. Keep your message simple and memorable. It also needs to reach the intended target audience for it to be effective.
Here is a checklist before posting your content.
1) Research. Research. Research.
If you are to capture and present what your niche market needs at a particular time then research is basic. Therefore:
a) Research on your target audience.
Get to know your target audience; who they are and what they consume. The social media networks they use and the different platforms they engage with.
Get to know what they do. Understand their priorities. This will enable you to tailor your content to suit their needs.
Get to know and understand their schedules. This will enable you to know when they would be receptive to your content and more likely to consume your content.
The type of content and approach falls in to place if you know your target audiences demographics, priorities, education, and daily schedules because this will enable you to know and understand specifically who you are talking to.
b) Research on your content
In order to have an impact on your target audience then a deep knowledge and understanding of your content will be an added advantage. This can be achieved by doing thorough research on a topic. This will also give you an edge over your competitors; research will enable you to know if there are any gaps that exist and how to approach them.
Being authoritative in your content will enable your target audience identify with you. This can be achieved through getting facts or figures that support your content.
2) Lay out your goals
Goals are a map work on where you need to start, your route and the direction to follow. Write down what you intent to achieve with your content. Write both short and long term goals. Goals will enable you to schedule on what to prioritize and when.
They will enable you to keep in check and be able to monitor and measure your progress.
3) Do Networking
Interact with your peers; this will enable you to know of opportunities that arise within your field and help you plan on how to tap into that avenue.
This will also enable you to build your reputation as credible and knowledgeable.
One needs to identify platforms targeting the same audience and develop relationships. You need to network whether it’s on blogging sites, email groups or social media platforms. This will also enable you to keep in touch by extension with your target audience.
4) Interact with your Target audience.
This could be done through different platforms; twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google plus, Pinterest or even emails. This can be through replying their mails, taking time to answer their tweets or simply acknowledging them. This will create a rapport even before you release your content and in return grant you access to their circles.
These processes will enable you to draw a road map of the path that you need to follow and to understand the audience that you are targeting and know what is important to them. Also understand the approach to use to ensure maximum reach.
You have to give props to this quote by William Arruda (Personal Branding Guru) “Personal Branding is not about you. It’s about putting your stamp on the value you deliver to others.” I can’t emphasize this enough ‘creating a personal brand is not about you, it’s solely about what value you deliver!’ This the sum of experience that people expect and will get by interacting with your brand.
In building your personal brand you firstly need to identify what you want it to be centered on. Key questions you can ask yourself are what you are good at? What is it that you aspire to achieve? What are you passionate about?
"Share valuable content, this builds your audience confidence in your expertise."
After you identify that then you need to establish what makes you stand out. What is your niche? What makes you stand out from the rest of the experts in your category? That unique value that you bring to the table. Your passion, strengths values and skills combined is what will make you stand out. Tap in to that.
Then you need to create a profile across all social media platform. Firstly choose the platform that your niche audience identify with. If they are several platforms ensure that this profile is consistent throughout the platforms. Remember your posts should be aligned to the niche market that you are targeting.
Key Messages are exactly what you want your audience to take home. It’ your ‘drop the mic’ line. Whether launching a campaign or a generic message for your brand or product it is important to have your key messages in place. You need to have a strategic communication plan by ensuring you develop effective key messages. Here are key guidelines to developing your key messages:
What to do:
Identify your target audience
Research on your audience and ensure that you are targeting a particular group of audience. Ensure you have your primary and secondary audience well defined. Remember if you are targeting everyone chances are you are not targeting anyone.
Know What You Want To Say
Keep your messages simple and still provocative enough to create interest and deliver the message. The messages need to be short and specific. Remember determining your key messages depends on your goal; what you need to achieve and the duration you have.
Have a plan
Apart from having a clear and specific goal you need to have a step by step plan on how to get there. Ensure these steps are realistic and measurable. Be able to answer in a sentence “what do you want to achieve?” determine if your key messages are meant to be a one off kind of message or is it a long term message for your product or brand?
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.
If you are managing or running a campaign ensure that all the messages that are launched across all platforms are uniform. Consistency ensures that your message is repeated over and over again and this helps strengthen your message.