Following on from Gus' previous blog 'you don't have to be everywhere online'
Guest Blog by Gus Bhandal | Aug 2023
Compelling your audience to take action is a necessity for your organisation. However, it is so much more than simply telling them what you do, or constantly selling your services.
An effective content marketing strategy is efficient in its output.
A long-term strategy focuses on telling a story – a story which heightens emotions and resonates with your intended audience – ultimately encouraging them to take an action.
What is content marketing?
According to Wikipedia: ‘content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online’.
The key element is a ‘targeted audience’. Essentially, as the old cliché says: if you try selling to everyone, you end up selling to no one. You must have your ideal clients in mind when creating any content – whether online or otherwise.
The purpose of content marketing is to get people to know, like, and trust you – and once they trust you, they will intrinsically feel part of your cause, as long as you keep them engaged.
The content formula
There are only three steps to the ideal content formula: find the pain that your ideal clients want to fix; agitate that pain in your content (in terms of highlighting what happens if a fix isn’t found); and then fix the pain by showing them your solution.
In other words, what would lead your ideal audience to trust you, and therefore appreciate and understand that you provide the solution to their pain points.
Pain points are usually based upon a number of influences, such as money, family, time, occasions, and much more. For example, a pet owner is more likely to donate to a pet rescue charity because they empathise with the cause.
We need the pillars
Marketers often refer to content pillars. These are over-arching themes under which we can create content.
For example, your content pillars could be ‘services, testimonials, case studies’. In other words, over a particular time frame, you will create content around each service you offer; share a testimonial you received; and write a case study about someone who used your services.
Content pillars could be anything related to your organisation or an outside influence. The key to pillars is that they help you to be efficient in your thinking as well as streamlined in your output. Ultimately, sticking to content pillars over a period of time will tell a story, and that story conveys your organisation values and mission to your audience.
For example, the Innocent Drinks brand share jovial content about their products, but also serious content about having B Corp status. Then, under the products, they have sub-pillars for each type of drink. Together, these different elements tell a story about the brand.
Have a look at those around – content is everywhere. From governing bodies and legislation, to peers and competitors – and everything in between – there is always content to be found.
Why do we need to be efficient?
Unless marketing is your full-time day job, you most likely have lots of things to do.
To be efficient means that you have more time to spend on the organisation needs – i.e. to actually raise funds and finances.
By finding ideal clients and creating content that they want to see, in the places that they hang out, means that you will create a group of brand advocates and ambassadors – people who will support your organisation but also talk about you to others.
By being efficient with your content and the places that you put that content, you are removing the feeling of choice paralysis, and not only streamlining your work, but also streamlining the thought processes of your ideal clients.
Of course, don’t forget to reciprocate. Support others, give value, and support those around you. Give back to the stakeholders, partners, clients and donors – make them feel wanted and share stories with them. It all goes back to the ‘know, like, trust’ factor. Digital marketing is built upon long-term reciprocity.
Ultimately, you are telling the right story to the right audience at the right time.