Establishing a content strategy begins with asking basic questions, such as:
- Which customers are you trying to reach?
- What are your content marketing goals?
- What are your customer retention goals?
- Will you be up-selling to current clients?
- Or are you primarily concerned with raising awareness of your brand?
Once those basic questions have been answered, there are several core best practices to keep in mind:
1. Authenticity: Content must be authentic; it can’t focus just on the sale. If the content isn’t informative, engaging, or entertaining, then consumers will view the communication as an annoying disruption that negatively impacts their dialogue with the brand.
2. Frequency and variety: To create a solid pipeline of fresh, engaging content, a mix of content types can be an effective approach — such as combining text, images, and videos across topics. As long as there is tangential relevance to the brand, the diversity of content keeps consumers clicking.
3. Relevance: Social media, email, mobile, or websites are all effective channels that can be used to heighten interaction with customers. Your choice of channel should depend on who your customers are and what interests they have expressed. Content that speaks to them as individuals and relates to their everyday interests will keep them engaged and encourage them to participate in conversations.
4. Transparency: While positive content and feedback is always welcome, negative comments are inevitable. Brands that seek to cover up or hide those unpleasant realities only do themselves a disservice. Instead, remaining transparent and showing other consumers how your brand responds to negative feedback and experiences provides a way to actually increase loyalty and positive sentiments.
For brands struggling with establishing a sustainable content marketing strategy, it may be worth enlisting the assistance of a third-party partner that specializes in content curation. But whether brands choose to partner or go it alone, there is no debate: Relevant, meaningful, authentic content is key to keeping customers engaged. It’s a means of building loyal relationships that last.