Compared with most other forms of marketing, content marketing is a slow burner. For it to work effectively, raising brand awareness, increasing loyalty and boosting sales, it needs investment of time and money. But creating fantastic content is one thing – keeping your customers hooked day after day, week after week, month after month is another.
Like all successful products, you need to create a desire within your customer base for the product – in this case, useful, practical and entertaining content – so that when it’s released, you have an audience ready and waiting to consume it. That desire is formed using the experience and expertise of your editorial teams, who know exactly which buttons to press to keep your customers hooked. Here are just five.
1. Knowing your audience
Whether through research, publishing experience or industry knowledge, your editorial teams will have a clear understanding of your customer and what their needs are. They will use that understanding to tailor the editorial to providing answers to questions they know the reader has, whether it’s stripes or spots for their summer wardrobe or the chances of civil unrest in the Middle East.
2. Content serialisation
Like TV dramas set over a number of episodes or books featuring the same central characters, great content always has a number of consistent elements that the reader comes to know and trust. Those elements could be entertaining writers, insightful columnists, provocative designs or themed issues – whatever they are, their popularity will keep your customers coming back for more.
3. Defined objectives
All areas of brand marketing require clear objectives and content marketing is no different. You need to know what you expect to achieve from your content over a period of time – and make sure your agency knows what these objectives are. They can then focus the different stages of the process – strategy, production, distribution, measurement – on achieving those objectives. Every stage plays its own part in making your brand a success and demands equal consideration.
Making your customers feel a valuable part of your content is vital if they’re to create a relationship with your brand. They need to feel part of an exclusive community and the more opportunities you give them to interact with your content, the more involved they will feel. So ask for their opinion, see what they want from your brand, start a debate, use your customers in the content itself. There are so many ways a customer can voice their opinion, so use them to create compelling and relevant content.
5. Consistent quality
The most important and easiest way to keep your customers hooked is simply to create fantastic content. If they know that you can be relied upon to give them content that will entertain and enthral them time and time again, they will seek your content out, making a regular date to log on, check in or go in-store to pick up your latest publication. Make your content frequent, make it relevant, and above all, make it good.