On-target content is indeed a critical factor in terms of a brand’s ability to capture attention from targeted audiences (and pull it away from competitors).

Today’s buyers of products and services want to be informed not only about your organization’s product and service benefits, but also about your deeper expertise behind those products, as well as your opinions about where you believe your industry is headed in the future and what that means to them.

An excellent way to showcase your unique expertise and your in-depth industry knowledge is through content marketing. Here are some ways to enhance your online presence as well as your credibility in this regard:

  1. Be not only consistent across all of your communications platforms but be likeable. Develop a “voice” that allows your audiences to really get to know you and connect emotionally with you. This means adopting a helpful, friendly tone and knowing when it is appropriate to insert humor and/or personal anecdotes . . . and when it is not.
  2. Be regularly present online and post with some degree of frequency, so that your audiences can count on receiving your content on an anticipated basis. You need to consistently “feed the beast,” adding and distributing new content according to a predetermined schedule. Every successful brand today is also a publisher, so you can’t ignore that part of your marketing outreach.
  3. Be sure your content is useful. Think about how it can help, educate and/or entertain your audiences of importance.
  4. Your audiences need to trust you. What you tell them should always be accurate, and you should be able to back up your information with research and proof points, as appropriate.
  5. Your voice must be authentic, and you need to “mean what you say” and be able to clearly demonstrate that through the content you share.
  6. It is helpful to understand what your prospects and customers value most and tap into what resonates with them emotionally (beyond your factual “products specs,” etc.).
  7. Be where your audiences are – that is, share your content in the right places and on the platforms that are most relevant to your particular customers.

The good thing about content marketing is that you don’t have to have a large advertising budget in order to consistently reach your targeted customers. You just have to know who they are, what they value, and how they prefer to receive information. A little front-end research, combined with targeted and consistent messaging, as well as continually studying what is working (or not) are the keys to successfully reaching your critical audiences cost-effectively through content marketing.

Cathy Ackermann, founder and president of Ackermann Marketing and PR, may be reached at cackermann@thinkackermann.com For the online version of this column, please visit www.thinkackermann.com

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