Content marketing is more about engagement and relationship-building than direct selling. However, the ultimate aim in any marketing is of course to grow your business and create a loyal client base.

Here are 5 ways to use content to your advantage.

1. Define your audience

Who are you writing for?

I once worked for a very generous fellow who provided excellent bookkeeping services to small-to-medium sized businesses of all kinds. He decided that he wanted to write blogs to help other bookkeepers – which really made no sense since those “other bookkeepers” were the competition! Instead, he should have been writing for his clients – both existing and potential.

This demonstrates the importance of defining your target audience from the start. This should be done for each post. For example, you might target a post to your tradie clients one week, your retail clients the next, and so on. But in any case the important thing is to know who you are speaking to.

And by all means be generous – just not to a fault like my friend!

2. Choose relevant topics

This follows on from knowing your target audiences. When you know who you’re talking to, and you know them well, you know what to talk about.

It all starts with empathy – putting yourself in their shoes. That way you can better understand their pain points and needs and offer the best solutions.

For example, small business owners often get baffled by the GST, or frustrated about taxation. If that’s the case with your clients, use these issues to create content topics.

So listen to your clients, take note of their frustrations and confusions, and use this information to come up with topic ideas.

3. Formulate great headlines

With a good headline, you are already about three-quarters of the way there.

Your headlines should be concise, explanatory, and not contain wasted words.

Headlines that hone in on the benefit to the reader tend to have more traction. Here are some examples:

  • “How to” guides – such as “How to do X to achieve Y”.
  • Lists – e.g. “5 things you can do to save money today”.
  • Personal testimonials – e.g. “This software saves me $X a month. Check it out”.

But whatever you put in your headline, it needs to be truthful and deliver on what it promises. People can get pretty cranky when they feel they’ve been duped by “clickbait” or wasted their time reading an article that doesn’t match the title.

4. Share your content on social platforms

Some business owners scoff at the idea of social media but can be a great tool for business when you know how to use it. For example, you can use it to share news, interact with your audience, see what people care about, build an online community, check out what the competition is up to, and do some low-cost advertising.

When using it to share content it’s best to do so judiciously. This means rather than scattering your content far and wide and hoping for the best, it’s best to first find out where your target audiences hang out and when. That way you have a good idea about where to post and share and at what times of the week.

Read more: Digital Marketing Blog – 10 reasons to use social media marketing in business

5. Vary your content

Here are some content type ideas you might want to consider:

  • Weekly blog posts.
  • e-books on specific topics – such as cloud accounting, bookkeeping for not-for-profits, or taxation tips for small businesses.
  • e-newsletters to share news, tips, insights, and ATO updates.
  • Daily social media posts.
  • ‘How-to’ PDF guides.
  • Downloadable business templates.
  • Case studies and testimonials.
  • Infographics showing interesting facts and stats.
  • Instructional videos – such as on how to use a particular XERO automation feature.

Further reading: Copyblogger’s 7 tips for making content more shareable

Need an affordable content writer?

Hopefully the above tips can help you get started with content marketing. However, if writing is not your thing, or you just don’t have the time, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message!