Consumers encounter from 3,500 to 5,000 marketing messages per day and everyone seems to have email inboxes overflowing with pitches, newsletters, junk and spam.
Overwhelm is the action word of the times.
If you’re in business, breaking through the noise to connect with your market is the most important task to accomplish. If your business or start-up lacks funding, what can you do? Your marketing budget is small and that restricts your plans. The good news is you can still get a lot accomplished with content.
Content is still King
However, if you’re hoping something you write, do or say will go viral, you should know that’s not a plan. Trying to make something go viral is not a marketing strategy.
Let’s look at the who, what, when, where and how of strategic content marketing.
Learn about your market
You can spread a wide net of content across the web but until you answer key questions about your target market, you’re wasting precious time. Do your research before you do anything else.
WHO should you develop your content for?
- Who needs to hear your message?
- Who has inﬂuence over your market?
- Who needs be prompted to action?
- Who would be ready to buy right away?
Once you’ve identiﬁed who your target audience is, you’re far more prepared to develop content strategies that will reach them. Your efforts of communication will be focused and more effective because you are targeting the right people.
WHAT subject matter would best serve your market?
- What problem(s) do they have that requires a solution you can deliver?
- What – in your story – can you say that would give them something to relate to?
- What benefits can you talk about that would have the greatest impact on the outcome?
- What do they need to do to take action?
Use your content to make a connection between your business and the things that matter to your market. The more frequently you deliver highly relevant content, meaning content that meets their wants, needs and expectation, the more relevant you become to them.
WHEN should you schedule or release your content?
- When is the time that they are “reachable”?
- When do you get the most traffic to your site?
- When do you get the most responses on social media?
Evaluate probability of the correct timing.
WHERE can your prospects be found?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work or play?
- Where do they get their information (content) from now?
- Where do they need to go next?
Start by searching your niche and market. That will give you clues as to where to find them.
WHY would they want to know?
- Why would they care about what you have to offer?
- Why should they listen to you?
- Why do you want to tell them?
- Why should they buy from you?
HOW can you get them to take action?
- How can you solve their problems?
- How can they learn more?
- How can they get started / make a purchase?
How can you get them to take the next step? Tell them. A big thing I see lacking in a lot of marketing efforts is the all-important call to action. If your prospects are not entirely clear what you want them to do, they aren’t going to ask or try to figure it out for themselves.