Quick refresh. What is content marketing?
Putting it simply, content marketing is a type of marketing used to pique the interest of an intended audience with the help of educational content without being explicitly promotional. It is a great way to plant your brand’s name in the mind of your target market without seemingly putting too much effort into it. If you follow the right strategy, it establishes your business as a credible source of expert advice and information in your niche, helping you earn your target group’s trust and loyalty.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, "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. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy."
Because of this, the amount of content written and shared is always increasing - making it a very competitive, ever-changing tactic. Not to mention the constant changes to social media and sharing. Which is why if you wish to continue generating traffic, leads, and sales from your content marketing efforts, creating the same old boring content won’t do. You need to try harder and create more entertaining and educative content that stands out and convinces readers to return to YOU for more.
Know Your Goals
This is nothing new, but it matters just as much.
To start, it’s a good idea to define the type of goals that matter the most, and each piece of content should have a goal assigned to it.
What types of goals should you consider?
- Brand awareness: you can measure this in several ways, like social media mentions.
- Engagement: there are different types of engagement, including social media and website visits.
- Lead generation: for this goal, you should be able to tie content marketing to the actual conversion.
- Thought leadership: using content to gain trust and spotlighting your brand’s subject matter experts can be as important as generating leads.
Keep in mind: Sometimes you may find you’re focusing too much on a metric like page views when the more valuable metric is time on the page. Having fewer people stay longer on a blog page is often better than a large volume of views with a quick exit rate.
Know Your Audience
Again, this is nothing new, but key.
Your audience should always define your content; addressing your audience’s needs, preferences, and challenges. Your customers know better than you how your solutions meet their needs. Use this insight for developing targeted content.
Run A Content Audit
Depending on how niche your industry is, content topics can either be narrow or broad. To determine where your library of topics falls, you can perform a content audit.
Keep doing these audits at least annually, if not every quarter. If you are in a fast-moving industry that’s regularly impacted externally, doing them more often is recommended.
Update Your Content
Maintain a smart content strategy by re-using the content you already have. Stay in the mind of your target market with newer formats. For instance, if you haven’t yet implemented videos, start converting successful blogs into educational videos in 2020. If you have yet to the immense potential of podcasts, stand out by creating insightful podcasts your audience and potential clients can enjoy on to go.
Create Interactive Content
Use Graphics in Your Blogs
Content marketers prefer publishing more blog posts because they are easy to create and most of the high ranking content on search engines is blog posts. This is because pages with around 2,000 words rank higher in search engines and it is easy to create blog posts of this length when compared to other types of content.
But along with the content on the page, you also need to build backlinks. One way to accomplish this is to accompany your posts with infographics. These graphics can also be used to share the same information across your social platforms.
Writing long-form posts and then summarizing the contents in an infographic will generate both short term traffic from social media and long term traffic from search engines.
Run a Contest
Whether through your website, email newsletter, or social media, a fun and engaging method you can use to generate leads is by running a contest. You can create a simple contest by giving away one of your products or one from another company (that your audience wants).
Depending on the platform your website runs on, you may be able to include quizzes within your blogs. Quizzes can be used as a simple form of fun, or they can be used to gather helpful information about your products and/or audience. Quizzes can also be used to help grow your email list, extending the engagement with potential customers/clients.
Leverage Social Media
Engaging your target audience across social media platforms can be a great opportunity to widen your avenues. Focus on creating value for these audiences. Just like on your other platforms, you can do this by sharing images, insightful infographics and videos to solve the problems of your prospective clients.
You can repurpose the same content and graphics from your blogs across your social media platforms in unique and creative ways with stories, videos, polls, photos, etc.
Social media allows you to take it one step further by staying engaged with followers on a much more personal level (comments, direct messages, live videos, stories, etc.). Make sure you are covering all avenues and tools of social media in your content marketing plan.
Why It All Matters
Content serves a dual purpose: It attracts users’ attention, and caters to their problem and fills the curiosity gap by providing a solution to a problem or conflict.
Content marketing goes far beyond getting immediate leads. It helps you to establish a distinguished brand identity and creates lasting relationships that make your brand the first name that comes into your audience’s mind when it comes to the products or services you offer.
But remember, creating high-quality content is only half of the battle won. To use it to its full potential in 2020, make sure that it reaches the audience for whom it was created.
Content marketing is becoming very competitive. More and more businesses are implementing it every day. This is why if you want to continue generating the same results you generate today, you need to make some changes and plan for the future.