The saying 'content is king' is popular for a reason. And in today's day and age, those who know how to harness and leverage it will position themselves for success.
This article will discuss why content marketing is valuable for building a community, and how you can use it to acquire and engage your members.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content is perhaps one of the most popular and influential forms of marketing in the 21st century. In fact, IAB reports that it’s used by over 93% of B2B marketers, and has been proven to be highly effective in grabbing consumer attention and generating leads.
It's an important online advertising tool that you can use to reach new audiences, build communities, and generate brand awareness. The internet's viral nature has proven highly effective in grabbing consumer attention and generating leads.
Broadly defined, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach involving creating and distributing original media content to attract and engage audiences. People and businesses of all sizes can leverage it to gain exposure and build reputability online.
The Benefits of Content Marketing for Building an Online Community
Content marketing can be a powerful tool for building and engaging online communities in more ways than one.
Acquiring New Members or Customers
Content marketing is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get your business seen by relevant audiences online. Therefore, it's an excellent means to find new customers and leads.
Generating Brand Awareness
The exposure that comes with producing popular digital content shouldn't be underestimated; content marketing allows brands to circulate their names en masse and generate visibility.
Valuable and informative content grabs people's attention. Businesses can leverage this engagement to connect with consumers deeper and increase their conversion rates.
A study by Aberdeen backs this up, finding that organizations whose primary focus is content marketing increase their website conversion rates by a factor of five.
Improving Domain Authority
Rich with keywords, links, and market relevance, digital content is loved by search engines. By regularly publishing online, brands can enhance their reputability and chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
Engaging Existing Members
Acquiring new leads is great, but the value of maintaining existing customers is just as – if not more – significant. Through a content marketing strategy, companies can continually engage with their audiences and remind them of the value of being a part of a community.
How to Use Content Marketing to Acquire and Engage Your Community Members?
As has already been covered, content offers marketers a variety of benefits when it comes to engaging their target audiences. But how, exactly, can one go about using it successfully?
Here's a compilation of some of the most common content strategies marketers use and some examples of how you can use them to reach and engage consumers.
Inform and Educate
When acquiring new members, it's important to offer value to your audience. Create content that educates those looking for relevant info or insights about getting involved in your community.
By providing your community members with helpful information, you'll be seen as experts and thought leaders in your industry – building trust, credibility, and respect.
This strategy usually works best for B2B companies – rather than looking for a quick sale, it focuses on building long-term relationships with their community.
When executed effectively, informative and educational content – such as articles, blog posts, tutorials, member's guides, FAQ pages, or webinars – can be an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority and educate potential members on everything they need to know.
However, it's important not to get too 'sales-y' with this approach – if your goal is to come across as helpful, bombarding new members with calls-to-action and overt sales pitches will only make you look pushy and inauthentic.
Create Shareable Content
Today's world is extremely digital – so take advantage of it!
To create an effective content marketing strategy, aim to create content that your members can share across social media and other digital platforms.
One of the main benefits of this approach is that it allows you to tap into other relevant online communities and circulate your business in front of new potential leads.
Social media users are more likely to engage with content that they find appealing, relevant, and easy to consume. If your target audience is active on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, ensure you're producing content tailored for those channels – such as videos, infographics, quotes, articles, or even memes.
This could boost your viewership by as much as 94%, as reported by business2community.
Source Community Feedback
An excellent way to produce relevant and valuable content for your target audience is to source feedback directly from your community members.
According to a study by Qualtrix, 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
You can also gain your members’ feedback through surveys, social media polls, testimonials or reviews, focus groups, or even by asking customers for their thoughts and opinions on specific topics.
Not only will this ensure that the content you're producing is directly tailored to the needs and wants of your audience, but it also shows that you value what they have to say. It will also help to generate authentic word-of-mouth marketing for your community via a third party
Of course, this isn't to say you should do whatever your community tells you to – you're still the expert. But by considering their feedback and using it to inform your content strategy, you can create a more collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship with your community members.
Recognize & Reward Community Members
Everyone likes to feel special and appreciated – and your community members are no different.
One way to ensure that your content marketing strategy resonates with your audience is to recognize and reward those most engaged with your brand. You can do this through social media shout-outs, customer-of-the-month features, blogs or articles, and community competitions or contests.
This doesn't necessarily mean giving away freebies or discounts (although those things can help!) Simply taking the time to thank your community members for their support, or featuring their feedback or accomplishments in your content, can go a long way in making them feel valued.
In today's age of constant distraction, capturing and keeping people's attention can be difficult.
One way to combat this is to make your content more interactive and engaging with your community. You can do this by posting webinars, launching a podcast, or hosting live Q&As or interactive sessions with your members.
This lets you directly connect with your audience and answer any questions they might have, making your content more exciting and interesting to consume.
Use Influencers & Brand Ambassadors
Influencer marketing involves working with popular online personalities to promote your service, brand, or product. You can create sponsored posts, organize social media takeovers, and generate product reviews.
This approach allows you to reach a whole new audience of potential leads and tap into the existing fanbases of the influencers you partner with. You can even utilize user-generated content – tapping into your existing community to create content for you.
It's essential to ensure the people you work with are relevant to your industry and have a good reputation – you don't want to be associated with someone who might damage your image.
Keep Members Interested
Not all content is created equal. Your content marketing strategy should make use of a variety of different content types to be truly effective.
Using a mixture of mediums will keep things fresh and help reach and engage with your community in multiple ways to keep them interested. Mix it up by creating a combination of blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, illustrations, and images. Using social media templates is an easy way to align various types of content with your branding.
Create a Call-to-Action
Your content should always have a purpose, which should be made clear through a strong call-to-action (CTA).
A CTA is a statement or button that prompts readers to take a specific action, like inquiring about products and services or signing up for a newsletter.
Ensure that your CTAs are clear, concise, and relevant to the content they're featured in; otherwise, you risk confusing or alienating your readers.
Some common CTAs include:
"Sign up now!"
"Download our free guide!"
"Click here to learn more."
Just because the content is a powerful digital marketing tool doesn't mean it's inherently effective. Content campaigns require a great deal of planning and consideration to be successful.
The most important thing to remember is that your audience should always be at the forefront of your mind – prioritize creating engaging, helpful, and relevant content for your community members.
Want to read more about content marketing? Check out this article.
Author Bio: Hi, my name is Rin! I write about topics like digital marketing and design. I have a diverse background in both fields and enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I hope you found this article helpful!