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How to Market Within Your Content

Marketing is certainly not a new idea. Content marketing, however, is changing the way that businesses operate, connect with clients and bring in leads. Content marketing is just what the name implies: It is both content and marketing!

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On one hand, content should bring value to your readers and consumers. The content you create should be appealing, and it should provide users with the information or entertainment they want. On the other hand, that content should showcase the value of your company, your ideas and the services or products you have to offer. Balancing those two aspects is tricky, but the effort is well worth it.

Developing Content That Informs and Attracts


Most businesses already know that they want their content to be attractive, appealing and helpful to consumers. Ideally, the content would be relevant to their target audience. Unfortunately, far too many businesses, bloggers and marketing directors create content and then hope it fits their audience. A much smarter strategy is to find out what your audience wants and then tailor your content accordingly.

A great place to start is by asking yourself some questions regarding your current and future content. Some important questions to consider include:

• Who is the current audience of your existing content?
• Who do you want to reach through your content?
• What is the target demographic for your products, ideas or services?

When answering these key questions, don’t guess. Instead, look at the facts. You may already have an accumulation of data that reveals all the answers you need. Perhaps your current content audience lives primarily on the West Coast of the United States, but you’re trying to reach a national audience. If your readers are overwhelmingly young and female and that’s also your company’s target demographic, then you’re on the right track.

Armed with information about your desired audience and consumers, you can create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional description of a person who might fit your ideal demographic. An example of a buyer persona for a woman’s clothing company might be as follows:

Sarah is 29. She works in finance and wants to be taken seriously as a professional. She struggles to find affordable clothes that fit well and look upscale. She is single and has a dog, and she likes being active on the weekends.

Now, you can create content with people just like Sarah in mind. You might offer stylish suggestions that allow women to re-wear pieces of clothing across multiple outfits. You can also offer shopping tips that help women find affordable clothing on sale. All of this information can support your brand while informing and appealing to your target audience.

Gaining Leads Through CTAs

If you’re successful with content creation, then you’ll have a lot of eyes on the articles, blogs, posts and videos that you create. That in and of itself is an achievement, but it is only the first step in your content marketing campaign. In addition to being widely viewed, your content should be generating leads for your business. An effective way to do just that is through the use of CTAs, or calls to action.

A CTA urges the user, reader or consumer to take the next step. Typically, a CTA in digital content will include a hyperlink that takes readers to a landing page where they can complete that next step. CTAs can do all of the following:

• Ask readers to make a purchase
• Encourage readers to download something
• Request that readers learn more on another page
• Ask readers to sign up for a newsletter
• Suggest that readers view related content

Sometimes, individuals consume content and then ignore or skip over the CTA entirely. While that is to be expected, there are some ways to make a CTA more appealing so that it doesn’t get ignored. To start, you should aim to have a very clear CTA. What exactly do you want the user to do? Include at least one verb so the message is hard to misinterpret.

Then, consider how easy the next step is and how much time it might take. If there is a long, complex form involved, then a lot of people will close the page and move on. Keep it simple in order to generate more leads. You may also opt to include the CTA in a different color or create a button to make the action even easier. It might take some tweaking until you find the method and message that gets you the most interest and the most clicks.

Making an Exchange by Providing Something of Value to the Client

The traditional marketing campaigns of the past sometimes felt like a one-way conversation. Companies simply presented a message to consumers, and those consumers may or may not have valued that message. Content marketing should aim to be different. Think of it more like a true conversation. It should be a win-win situation in which marketers get data, leads and potential customers while users receive information, entertainment or advice.

If you have something of particular value to share with your audience, you don’t have to give it away for nothing. Instead, you can exchange that valuable content for data that would be useful for your business. Let’s imagine that you have an e-book that is filled with information that certain users would love to have. Those users can download that e-book for free, but first, they will need to sign up for your company newsletter and supply an email address.

Whether you have writing templates, e-books, infographics or video content to offer, find a way to make it an exchange of information. Users will still get something of value at no cost to them, but they will be helping you generate a lead for the future.

Creating content and marketing your business don’t have to be two completely separate activities. Ideally, content marketing can benefit your audience while also helping you generate leads and gain potential customers.

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