Your brand needs a clear business goal. In the absence of goals, digital marketing will not yield the desired results. Goals help create a focus for direct content marketing services like content marketing strategy, social media content creation, content optimisation, content promotion, content maintenance, and content reporting.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves the creation of relevant, valuable content to a target audience, getting the target audience’s attention, and making them your customers. Content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing that uses engaging words and pictures. Great content will attract new customers, drive sales, and increase brand loyalty. When creative content is of real value to a clearly defined target audience, customers take actions that will lead to the growth of your business.
Content marketing and traditional product marketing are not equal. In content marketing, your brand makes your product stand out, and your business provides your prospective target audience with something unique. Your brand’s high quality e-books, blog posts, videos and webinars need to offer intrinsic value.
Instead of direct advertising, your brand provides your target audience and customers with relevant content that helps them solve issues your clients have. This is why content marketing remains one of the most effective means of marketing. Potential clients will want to view something of value. If your brand’s website, blog or e-book helps your target audience solve a problem, they are likely to recommend your business to others. Referrals lead to growth of your brand’s active and engaged customer base. Content marketing will be impossible if the content of your blog posts or e-book is not relevant or valuable.
Is Content Marketing Right For You?
Today there’s hardly any businesses that aren’t utilising some kind of content marketing strategies. According to CMI’s latest study, 76% of B2C marketers and 86% of B2B marketers use content marketing strategies. However, there are still companies that fail to see the results of their content marketing efforts. Yet not seeing results does not necessarily mean content marketing wont work for your company.
All businesses can benefit from a robust content marketing strategy, as long as content creation is done right. Should your brand produce content marketing internally or outsource the content creation? It is not less expensive or “free” to undertake content creation internally. If your brand doesn’t have anyone explicitly dedicated to producing content, then your company has to allocate resources for content management or hire staff to create content. Your business might also need the services of website developers and content marketers to manage your website. Successful content marketing requires great content and your brand needs to have the right resources to create that content.
Being an expert on a given topic doesn’t mean your brand will be able to share that knowledge in a comprehensive and interesting manner. The more practical option is to outsource content creation to a skilled content marketer, who produces high quality content.
How Can Content Marketing Help Your brand Get More Customers?
The goal of content marketing is to attract potential customers to your company, and build a relationship with clients to generate sales. Your business’s content has to be compelling, and search engine optimized (SEO) to attract customers — search engine optimization helps your business achieve a high ranking in search engine results.
When your brand’s blog posts, piece content, video content or social media posts contain great content that helps your targeted audience and expresses the authority to solve problems, converting viewers to customers is easy.
Content marketing helps your business win new customers, as it enables your brand to create brand awareness through strategic content creation. Existing customers that are benefiting from your company website will usually refer your services to their circle of influence, leading to increased web traffic. Through content marketing, your business also gets to develop relationships with customers, leading to stronger brand loyalty and in-turn business growth.
Attracting More Web Traffic
The more people that view and visit your brand’s website, the higher the chances of attracting customers. Increasing your brand’s online visibility means your company has to take content marketing seriously. Patience and dedication are required to execute a good content marketing strategy. The following tips should help keep your business on the right track:
Your website’s click-through rate will increase using killer headlines in your business’s blog posts because your brand’s audience are likely to share the article. Your brand can make use of a killer adjective, or start with a number. ‘Research’ and ‘How to’ are not bad phrases either. When your blog post headlines are catchy, and the content of your brand’s post is engaging, clients will normally share your content.
Optimise Your Company Pages:
Not just your website’s landing pages, your company blog or even your product pages too. Drawing traffic to your business’s product pages makes it easier to convert your audience. Optimise both your company’s new and existing pages, so they rank higher in Google’s search results. Don’t forget the importance of writing good quality content for the reader.
To improve the conversion rate of your company website, make sure you run A/B tests regularly. With an increase in your conversion rates, your business has a higher chance of experiencing a significant difference to the bottom line.
Satisfy The Desires Of Your Brand’s Audience:
Giving your brand’s target audience what they want helps your business. Your company can conduct keyword research, use Google analytics to check demographics data, or use Google Trends to find topics in your brand’s niche that are in high demand.
Achieving success in online marketing is impossible without competitor analysis. Your company needs to know your competitors to generate clever ideas for your brand’s content marketing campaigns. Your company can find this information using tools like SEMRush, BuzzSumo, and Majestic.
Open Up Your Brand’s Content To A Broader Audience:
Your brand’s content doesn’t have to be limited to a blog. High quality content can be suitable for platforms like Slideshare, Pinterest, Flickr, Reddit, or Quora. Try to connect with innovative content writers in the same niche by commenting on their blog posts.
Better Quality Leads
High-quality content is a prerequisite to successfully generating quality leads for your business. Your brand’s content will achieve higher visibility in search engines if the content is of high-value. Your company’s consumers will trust your brand and be open to your business’s marketing campaigns if you fulfil a genuine need. The type of content your company delivers determines the leads your brand then generates. Your business will be able to create inbound leads when the following is met:
Conduct extensive market research:
Before your brand starts producing content, first conduct extensive marketing research. Your business has to be sure the product has potential customers. It’s necessary that your company makes use of available studies of other content marketers, to accelerate the marketing process. Potential customers can be assessed by using commercial keywords. Keywords will help your brand in creating content that answers client questions and, by meeting demands, your brand will grow a loyal audience over time.
Use Facebook ads to offer lead magnets:
The advanced technology of Facebook has made it easier to target leads. Facebook knows the personal information, preferences, and hobbies of your audience. Encourage people to provide your company with personal data, like an email address, by offering relevant information in exchange. Content could be a video tutorial that teaches a skill to your clients, as an example.
Create unique and valuable content:
The content your company delivers should set your brand apart from your competitors. Let the weak points of your target market be the driving force for creating content. Establish your brand as a mentor, or trusted advisor, so prospective customers will know not to lump your business with your competitors. Your company should exceed the expectations of prospective clients. When customers give your company their email addresses, the expectation is to get services in return. Email marketing still remains one of the most productive means of online marketing.
Improved Brand Awareness
Brand awareness shows the level of familiarity consumers have with your brand and company. Brand awareness is essential because when consumers recognize and trust your brand, they are more likely to buy from your company. Writing interesting content is a great way to let customers know about your company, and what your brand stands for.
To boost brand awareness, your business has to make content that adds value. There’s more to becoming a recognised brand than a great logo.
Nike and Coca-Cola are recognised for their iconic swoosh logo and red/white script respectively, but there’s more to their stories. These brands deliver on what is promised — earning the trust of their consumers. How does your company plan to improve brand awareness through content marketing?
Revisit Your Brand Strategy:
State your brand’s mission, values, promises, how services are delivered and show the aspects of your business that’s worthy of sharing. Write the story about your brand at the initial stage.
Choose The Right Content And The Right Platform:
Find out the interests your target audience and the social media platforms that they use. Knowing this will help your business in creating content your potential customers find appealing. Your company can decide whether to focus mor on your brand’s landing pages, video content, webinar, or blog posts.
The kind of content produced is a reflection of your business. If your business’s content is generic and boring, people will view your business in that manner. Let your brand’s content answer your users’ questions.
Focus On Micro Conversions:
Even if your business goals are grand, start small. It takes time to build brand sentiment and trust. Focus on actions like increasing your company’s web traffic, building a social media following, increasing engagement, and driving your brand’s reach.
Develop Long-Lasting Relationships
Potential customers will run if pushed to buy a product immediately. Potential customers don’t know your brand yet, and they have no reason to trust your company. Take the time to earn the attention of your brand’s customers through value-driven content. Your brand should form stronger relationships with customers, and subsequently increase your sales. So, how does your brand earn customer attention and trust?
Your brand’s potential customers need information. Provide information for your brand’s clients and they won’t go to your competitors. Make your company website and social media channels the go-to place for existing and potential customers. When your brand provides educational value to people, your business becomes a thought leader in your brand’s niche. Customers appreciate when they are provided knowledge for free, and are more likely to patronize your company’s services.
Never underestimate the power of storytelling. Stories evoke strong emotions, and make people feel drawn to the storyteller. That’s why testimonials have potency; testimonials are the stories of those who have used a service or product. The content your business deliver shouldn’t feel like a drag. Entertaining your brand’s target audience will keep customers engaged, and your company will have a higher chance of gaining new customers.
Social media marketing research can indicate which topics are likely to go viral or which topics are trending. Research helps your company create the most concise and accurate content.
Keep Your Customers Coming Back
How can your business use content marketing to keep customers engaged and loyal? Content flow should remain consistent, even after a sale. Customers trusted your brand, that’s why they bought your product, so your company needs to deepen that trust. Your business can prevent your brand’s competitors from stealing them by :
- Delivering excellent services/products:
The FAQs section should strictly address questions new and existing customers are asking. This way your company can tweak services or products to meet their ever-changing demands. Customers will also see that your brand listens to them.
- Providing excellent customer service: Your business’s goal should be to make sure that customers are happy with the product or service purchased. Web content requires a detailed explanation of how your brand and your customers can communicate. Hire a team to guide your brand’s customers through the step-by-step process of using your commodity.
- Offering a memorable customer experience: If customers enjoy the experience they have with your brand, they won’t want to leave. Soon, customers will become your brand ambassadors, telling others about your company’s products and services. There’s no marketing medium greater than referrals from satisfied customers.
Attention-Grabbing Authority Content
To produce attention-grabbing authoritative content, your brand’s content strategy needs a unique voice. Know the topic well, know your brand’s audience and how to approach the delivery of your brand’s message. The success of your content marketing relies on gaining the attention of your target audience so customers view your brand as an authority. This status requires a lot of time, skilled writers and editors, and a clever content marketing strategy.
Your business’s blog posts or social media posts need great headlines. A good headline will grab the attention of your brand’s audience, and encourage clicks. Craft sentences that are interesting, and hook readers from the beginning of your high quality content. Ensure the content of your blog posts are written in an easy-to-read manner. The importance of value in high quality content cannot be overemphasised. Great content solves the problems of your brand’s audience. Your business’s ability to solve problems shows the readers your brand’s expertise. Great content grabs target audience attention and cements your brand as an authority.
Try to make content scannable, so reading doesn’t seem like a huge task. Your company’s piece content should contain short paragraphs, short sentences, subheadings, and images. In all writing, remember that quality is principal, not quantity.
Results-driven content marketing should ask why and who. Why is the business creating content? Who is the content targeting, and why should your brand’s target audience choose your company?
What information will your brand release through content marketing — the message and values your target audience will get, and how will your company spread the word?
A content strategy is likely to fail if not given enough thought. That’s why it is crucial for your company to have a clear understanding of target goals in the initial stage.Research extensively, so your brand doesn’t give outdated information. It is vital that your business keeps track of the content marketing process, to weigh the results. Results will help you know which areas need to be scrapped and which need more effort. Your business can then explore new ideas and update your content production.
Creating Authentic, Inspiring Content
Why is it essential to create authentic and inspiring content? Because content for content’s sake does not work. If your content is not authentic your brand will not earn the trust of potential customers, and if the content does not inspire, people will not engage. To create authentic content your brand has to approach content creation authentically. Content shouldn’t center on just your brand. Reply to your brand’s target audience when they ask about other products.
Let your brand’s personality shine through in everything published; this will set your company apart from other brands. If your brand’s opinions, posts and videos are the same, viewers will not be engaged. Create a unique voice, and write in unique language, so that your brand’s messages will get attention. Furthermore, the image of your brand has to be distinguishable, don’t confuse your brand’s audience. Pepsi would confuse their audience if they use red for their brand image because everyone already associates Coca-Cola with red.
Lastly, be smart and bold, think thoughts through, before you share it, and don’t be scared to discuss controversial topics.
Content That Ranks
For content to gain a high ranking on search engines, your business needs to pay attention to creating unique content, valuable content, high-quality pages, comprehensive markup language, keywords optimised for search engines, and high-authority links.
Your content could have links to many high-authority resources and still rank poorly in search engines because of below average material. Try to create unique, helpful, and relevant content.
The quality of your company website matters because Google notices. Ensure the website maintains a balance of backlinks, being mobile-optimized, fast loading speed, excellent user experience, relevant content, and unique content. Don’t overstuff content with keywords. Always make sure you remain in touch with the marketplace because things change — an SEO content strategy can fast become outdated.
Rankbrain, Semantically Optimised For Voice Search And SEO
It’s wise to have a plan for voice search because it is growing in popularity. Many technology-savvy people would prefer to use voice search commands to search the internet, instead of typing out queries, because voice search is more accessible to use. Voice search is beginning to change the way Google’s rank braid handles search queries. With a little input from users using voice search, Google delivers accurate and intelligent results. And, it is able to determine the intent of your subsequent searches from your first query.
Google now has a semantic understanding of your query, so when asked a series of related and ambiguous questions after an initial search, Google can provide accurate answers. For instance, if searching for Brad Pitt using the voice command, then searching, ‘how old is he?’, without mentioning Brad Pitt’s name, Google will understand the search query os referring to Brad Pitt, and open a page with information about Brad Pitt’s age. The question then is how your brand can optimise your company website for voice search?
Data-Driven Content Marketing
Content marketing has to be both creative and data-driven to be great. Your data should help your business assess the degree to which content is reaching its audience, and inform or guide the creation of content. Choose key performance indicators that will help your business measure traffic, engagement rates, and conversions. Your business won’t waste time and resources trying to reach the wrong audience if your brand’s content strategy follows the right data-driven approach.
Data helps identify a target audience, their preferred channels, trending topics, and their relevant influencers.
Why You Need Long-Form Content
Producing longer articles is a great way to offer audiences true value. Articles of 1200 words and above qualify as long-form content. It’s normal to be skeptical about the ability of long-form content to keep users engaged, given the fact many people have short attention spans. The fact remains long-form content fuels direct traffic, return traffic, and user engagement metrics. The idea is to offer your brand’s target audience meatier content, packed with value. Providing an audience with knowledge makes them see your brand as an authority in a specific field. Long-form content not only resonates with readers, but search engines also reward long-form content. The ranking of your company page in the SERP will increase as a result.
Telling A Story With Data
Data analysis shouldn’t be solely about visualisations and graphics. Data analysis should tell a story; a meaningful story that strikes your brand’s audience intellectually and emotionally. Hire skilled analysts and developers to do this for your company. Data visualization is powerful, but data backed with a good story is unforgettable. People respond better to messages when delivered through stories.
View the data as a mystery that needs to be solved, and after arriving at a solution, present the data through a map, chart, or single number. The most important thing is to focus on the story.
Content Promotion is about boosting the shares and traffic of blog posts. Your business’s work doesn’t end when amazing content is posted to social channels. Your business needs to consider promotion, from first post to reaching your brand’s target audience. To connect content with the audience, your brand has to build an audience, then develop relationships with your audience’s influencers. Your company can then engage content marketing — conversing with social influencers writing valuable things that are similar to your brand’s content. Post a link back to an article written that relates to an influencer’s content.
There’s also the option of guest posting, and creating unique and interesting content for sites with more significant reach and a related audience. Outreach/PR is another kind of promotion, which involves asking bloggers or the media to write about you, by sending them a pitch. Other ways you can promote your content include sharing it on social media, paid ads on social media platforms, paid searches, display ads, and email marketing.
What Is Blogger Outreach?
Blogger outreach is a form of a marketing campaign in which companies bargain with influencers with large followings, to help them write about products or services in exchange for a free product or service.
Ego Bait is content on a website that features or promotes industry influencers, to encourage them to share or link the post in their network. The goal is to increase the visibility of your brand’s blog and create more brand awareness.
What Does Content Marketing Cost?
Investing in content marketing is the best way to make your business known to the world. However, understand your brand’s options, don’t just throw money at content and expect to get the best results. Go for services that are suitable for your business. The range of services and prices available makes it challenging to know the exact cost of content marketing. Staffing model, and type of content, also affect pricing.
How much content marketing will cost your company depends on what exactly your brand wants. There’s content strategy, keyword research, competitive analysis, content distribution, and content monitoring and improvement. The kind of service your business want also matters: in-house staff, content writing services, contractors, and content marketing agencies will all attract different costs.
While the cost of content marketing is a crucial concern, don’t forget that you’re investing in broader visibility, more website traffic, and more customers.
Instead of looking at the difference between content strategy and content marketing strategy look at how the two can work together to make it run smoothly and deliver the best customer experience.
Think of the content strategy part as the planning aspect. That starts with the discovery phase; identifying your ideal customers, what content they consume and where they consume it. It should establish which channels you need to be across, how do these fit in with your ultimate goals and help you create sustainable and consistent messaging on every medium.
Following that, the content marketing strategy should then put the wheels in motion and distribute your content. This is the part where you find relevant bloggers, journalists etc to write about your product. It is crucial to build relationships and networks at this stage as it will help you get consistent and sustained coverage. Then you can amplify that on the relevant social channels decided in the content strategy.
With that in mind, the first thing to do is define your topic. This has to be something your customers will find interesting/engaging. The information you curate has to be relevant and useful to your audience, whether that is industry news, customer reviews, top 10 lists, interviews, presentations the list is endless.
Once you have established your audiences’ interests, it’s then time to collect the content. With vast mediums of digital content now readily available, it is easy to obtain interesting content from videos, articles, webinars, social media posts, infographics etc. Utilising the best content out there will help your audience find answers efficiently and reward you with higher engagement levels.
Adding your voice is the next step. Let the audience know why they should engage with the content you curated and how they can get the most out of it.
Then publish it! Again, keeping your customers in mind, which marketing channels gets the best engagement from?
Firstly, who exactly is your target audience? Is there an age range? Is it gender specific? Are you targeting children, teenagers, adults? Build the best picture possible of the target audience.
What’s the main purpose/goal? This could be to increase sales, create brand awareness, collect new leads, drive traffic to the website.
There are endless possibilities of what this could be, but it is important to define a specific goal/purpose before starting a campaign.
Answering these questions will help you achieve your goals quicker.
Simply sharing on social platforms or the website isn’t really enough to get maximum reach. Pitching the content to relevant industry newsletters should be part of your distribution plans. If the content is good, you should have no issue getting coverage from industry newsletters, as most are usually on the lookout for quality relevant content. Should you fail though, ask what content they are usually interested in and maintain good relationships with the editors – this will increase your chances of future coverage.
Don’t be scared to pitch to top publishers too, but it is important not to make your story too much like an advertisement or promotion. Instead, an interesting angle or opinion is much more interesting and likely to be picked up.
Make sure the content isn’t too technical for the masses because the audience for top publications is obviously very different to industry related publications.
Recycling content is also a potential avenue to explore. This does not mean posting the content as it is again though. Looking for a new angle, changing the format (e.g. using a different infographic) or posting on new channels are all ways of recycling content and gaining more coverage.
What questions do you need to ask? What data can you use to answer these questions? What kinds of things do you wish you knew already? How do you think about social media marketing for instance?
Try to think about this in terms of a large business’ staff member (a developer) who has to create a new tool for its social media managers, what should he build? What would you find useful to know?
All content created should align with what services or products you are promoting. So if you are promoting a specific product the content you create should either teach, educate or inform something that lends a prospect to realising they need the relevant service you actually offer. So if you’re selling a horse training manual, your content should be aligned with training horses (i.e. common misconceptions, best methods and the other myths etc).
Having this in-depth knowledge of your target market allows you to create content that resonates with them, using it to create brand awareness, expand the customer base, increase sales, engage an online community of users and more.
Defining your content marketing strategy requires this depth overview of your target audience as well as knowledge of competitors, a SWOT analysis of your solution and how it relates to the prospective audience’s needs.