The success of your online content marketing always rests on whether you're getting the right message in the right format to the right audience and in the right way.
It sounds simple in theory but you'd be amazed at how many (small!) businesses can't work this out.
Identify your audience?
Are you selling services, consulting, products, you name it? Before you know who to target, you need to clarify what you're actually selling in the first place. Other wise how will you know what online content to create in the first place?
Identify your audience?
The next step to achieving success with your content marketing is to figure out where you're prospective clients actually are! Small businesses in Stockholm? B2B marketers in Chicago? French-speaking CEOs? It doesn't matter what you're selling if you're not actually talking to the right people in the first place.
Find out where they are online, create a content marketing strategy document that includes details of where prospects hang out online and let your people know about this. You and your people need to understand exactly who you're company is targeting.
Get the medium right for your message!
Some people struggle with words or don't have time (or energy) to read online content. They'd rather hear from you in short bursts. Or better still, not even wade through readily identifiable marketing content in the first place.
If you're a cafÃ©, for example, why not reward Foursquare mayors with a 10 percent discount on your lunch of the day or coffee? That way, you're just using a location-based service as a punch-in. You don't even have to have a website or blog, to make the most of this kind of online marketing.
Alternatively, create a YouTube channel if your clients don't have time to read. Video content on the web is increasing and often the preferred choice of many, especially those looking for help or tips on how to use your products. It's getting so much easier to create video content what with the Flip camera and ScreenFlow for screencasts. iMovie on a Mac even makes it simple to edit and upload your video to YouTube.
Also, don't forget audio podcasts â€“ even for B2B. There's nothing more personal than getting up close and personal with someone in their earbuds! With smartphones and iPods increasingly ubiquitous, you could be wasting all that time blogging when you should be investing time, energy and resources in talking to people over audio.
The Bottom Line
If you're working to a small budget, it's vital you work out very quickly how your audience are going to consume your content and connect with your content.
If you can, talk to customers â€“ either in person or on social media sites. If not, gather data like nobody's business and track what's working and what's not. There's no secret answer to what form of online content marketing is best; you just need to find the right content form that works for your customers.
What do you think?
What channel should you invest in if you're on a limited budget? Is blogging better than a YouTube channel? Or do you have to have both to succeed?