Keeping your finger on the pulse of industry developments, the competition, market trends or customer feedback can be challenging when you’re trying to grow your business. Research is a vital business component and can help evolve strategies, explore new opportunities or provide marketing content. So if you don’t have time for research why not consider using a virtual research assistant!
But what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
- You need to target your online presence. VA researches where your potential clients congregate online and industry-related groups and organizations you can join. VA helps you brainstorm about questions you can answer to establish you as an expert in your field.
- You want to find out what your competition is doing. VA sets up tracking systems to determine what is going on with your competition and to monitor what other people are saying about you.
- You sell business success tools and seminars. VA researches a target industry, prepares list of companies, calls to identify a contact individual, then prepares and mails introductory material. After specified time, VA calls to verify information has been received and to schedule sales call.
- You’re interested as to who your competition is and what they’re doing. VA does search online and compiles list of appropriate websites for you to look at.
- You’re considering adding to your advertising. VA contacts possible advertising resources from Internet, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, etc. and acquires information on pricing, publishing dates, publishing deadlines, payment policies, etc. Information is compiled into report for you to review.
- You want to publish a quarterly newsletter. You provide content to VA or VA helps with articles. VA designs and prepares newsletter, prepares labels, and mails or e-mails to your mailing list using an electronic newsletter program.
- You want to increase the number of subscribers to your electronic newsletter. VA lists newsletter with a variety of online directories, contacts other subject-related list owners to inquire about mutual cross-promotion, and follows up to make sure listings are accurate.
Marketing is impossible without great content!
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy. Content marketing is enhanced by social media but can also survive without it. Social media on the other hand, would not be popular without interesting, informative or humorous content. Before entering the social media space, you need a plan to figure out how to deliver interesting content on a consistent basis so that you may attract and retain the attention of your target audience. That is your content strategy.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
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