There’s no question these days, that at the heart of every great Marketing Strategy, there’s a great Content Marketing Plan that has been crafted with your consumers’ needs at the heart. If this isn’t the case for your business, fear not, help is at hand…

You don’t need me to tell you that marketing has made a seismic shift from the ways of old. Traditional marketing approaches such as TV advertising or direct mail, no longer pull in the results they once did. Instead consumers are instinctively looking online to do their research, before parting with their hard earned cash. So, if that’s were your consumers are heading for information, that’s where you (as a brand) must be to provide them with answers to their questions. It’s not good enough to simply advertise your product or service online, consumers are looking for informative and relevant content to gain insight from before purchasing anything. Your job is to create the content that does this, and if it also serves to entertain your audience whilst they have their questions answered, then that’s even better!

Content Marketing is about creating content that helps to solve questions for your potential consumers. Essentially, if you as a brand are consistently creating and publishing content that resonates with your audience, (whilst resisting the urge to directly sell to them), then you can inform and enlighten them about the areas they are searching for information on. Think of the old adage – ‘Knowledge is Power’. If you are helping to arm your audience with answers (knowledge), then you stand a much better chance of winning their custom (purchasing power). Essentially, the more informed a consumer is from the content they are consuming about a brand, the higher the chance that they will buy from you, as hopefully all their questions will be answered through your content and they won’t even need to speak to a sales person! Simple right!?

So how do you plan the subjects to base your content around?

It stands to reason that the more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can market to them. But how on earth can you identify all the questions that your customer base has around your product/ service area? Unless you are mind reader, or have undertaken a lot of consumer research, this can be tricky. However, this is where this handy website comes in – ‘Answer the Public’. Simply pop in your key words and it will provide you with a whole host of relevant questions that the public want answers for. To explain the concept behind ‘Answer the Public’ better than I can, here’s a short video:

Now that you get the idea, let’s pretend you run an online business selling a wide range of trendy and breathable bamboo socks. You want to understand what your customers’ main questions are around bamboo socks, so you simply pop in the key phrase ‘Bamboo Socks’ into the search function of the website. You’ll be provided with a whole host of potential content ideas; everything from ‘How are bamboo socks made?’ to ‘Are bamboo socks warm?’ Here’s an example:

question-visualisationWith this arsenal of content ideas now at your disposal, your mission is to weave answers to these many questions into your social posts, blogs, webpages, videos etc. in order to give the public the answers they are looking for. Hopefully, if you do a good job of providing a range of great content around the key questions your public have (and if all your other business functions and products are up to scratch too), then you’ll soon have the industry all sewn up!

We’d love to hear how you get on with developing your own content plan for your business.