Every thriving business knows the importance and indispensability of content in the growth of their business especially as a part of a sound marketing strategy. To facilitate the growth of your brand, you need to produce content of a high-quality for your website, social media channels, and email campaigns.
Before that, however, you need to have a clear business goal. Because in the absence of goals, content marketing will not yield the desired results. Goals will help create a focus for direct content marketing services like content marketing strategy, content creation, content optimisation, content promotion, content maintenance, and content reporting.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves the creation and consistent distribution of relevant and valuable content to a target audience, with the purpose of getting their attention and turning them into customers. It is a strategic approach to marketing that deals with engaging words and pictures. Great content will attract new customers, drive sales, and increase brand loyalty. When the created content is of real value to a clearly defined audience, they will then take actions that will lead to the growth of your business.
You should know that content marketing and traditional efforts of product marketing are not the same. In content marketing, you make your product stand out. You provide your prospective customers with something they can’t get elsewhere. Your e-books, educational articles, videos and webinars offer answers to specific questions they may have.
Instead of directly advertising your products or services, you provide your prospects and customers with useful and relevant content that will help them solve the issues that are of concern to them. This is why content marketing remains one of the most effective means of marketing, in comparison to other methods of marketing. People will always want to visit a place that gives them value. If your website, blog or e-book helps them solve their problems, they’ll hold it close and recommend it to others. This, in turn, leads to the growth of an active and engaged customer base. However, marketing will be impossible if the content of your blog or e-book is not relevant or valuable.
Is Content Marketing Right For You?
These days, there’s hardly anyone that isn’t doing content marketing. According to CMI’s latest study, 76% of B2C marketers and 86% of B2B marketers make use of content marketing. However, there are still companies that are finding it difficult to see the results of their content marketing efforts. Does this mean that content marketing is not right for their businesses? The answer is no.
All kinds of businesses can benefit from content marketing, as long as it is done the right way. The real question here should be whether to do content marketing internally or to outsource it. You have to throw away the idea that it’s less expensive or “free” to undertake content marketing internally. If you don’t have anyone explicitly dedicated to producing content, then you have to allocate resources for content management or hire staff to create content. You might also need the services of website developers and designers, to enable the smooth running of your website. Don’t forget that successful content marketing requires great content and, to make that possible; you need to have the right resources.
The fact that you are an expert on a given topic doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to share that knowledge in a comprehensive and interesting way. Instead of spending the time you don’t have in gaining a new skill, it’s wiser to outsource work to a skilled writer, who will carry out the research to produce quality content.
How Can Content Marketing Help You Get More Customers?
The principal goal of content marketing is to attract potential customers to your company, and then build a stable relationship with them that will generate sales. Your 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 articles, podcasts, videos or social media posts contain content that addresses the problems of your targeted audience and expresses the ability and authority to solve these problems, converting them to customers won’t be difficult.
Content marketing helps you win over new customers, as it enables you to create brand awareness through strategic content creation. Existing customers who are benefiting from your website will refer you to their circle of influence, leading to increased web traffic for you. Through content marketing, you also get to develop long-lasting relationships with your customers, and this also leads to brand loyalty and business growth.
Attracting More Web Traffic
The higher the number of people that can view and visit your site, the higher your chances of getting more customers. However, increasing your online visibility means you have to take your content marketing strategy seriously. It takes patience and dedication to execute a good content marketing strategy. The following tips should help keep you on the right track:
Your click-through rate will increase if you use killer headlines in your articles because your audience are more likely to share the article socially as a result. You can make use of a killer adjective, or start with a number. ‘Research’ and ‘How to’ are not bad phrases either. When your headlines are catchy, and the content of your article strikes a chord in your audience’s hearts, they will be moved to share your article.
Optimise your pages:
Not just your landing pages, your blog or product pages too. Drawing traffic to your product pages makes it easier to convert new users. Optimise both your new and existing pages so that they will have a higher ranking in Google’s search results. As you do so, don’t forget the importance of writing for the reader.
To improve the conversion rate and performance of your website as a whole, run A/B tests on a regular basis. With just a little increase in your conversion rate, you have a higher chance of experiencing a significant difference to your bottom line at the end of the year.
Satisfy the desires of your audience:
Knowing and giving your audience what they want, will help your business massively. You can do keyword research, use Google analytics to check demographics data, or use Google Trends to find topics in your niche that are currently in demand.
Achieving success in any kind of online marketing form is almost impossible without competitor analysis. You need to know the successful undertakings of your competitors, to generate better ideas that will foster your content marketing campaigns. You can find this information out using tools like SEMRush, BuzzSumo, and Majestic.
Open up your content to a broader audience:
Your content doesn’t have to be limited to only your blog. You can develop it in such a way that it will be suitable for platforms like Slideshare, Pinterest, Flickr, Reddit, or Quora. In addition to this, try to connect with other innovative content writers in the same niche as you, by commenting on their posts
Better Quality Leads
High-quality content is a prerequisite to successfully generating quality leads for your business. In recent times, your content will only achieve higher visibility in search engines if it’s of high-value. Your consumers will come to trust you and be more open to your marketing campaigns if you fulfil a need. In essence, the type of content you deliver determines the number of leads you generate. You will be able to create massive inbound leads when you do the following:
Conduct extensive market research:
Before you start producing anything, first conduct exclusive and extensive marketing research. You have to be sure that the product you’re creating has potential customers. Also, it’s necessary that you make use of available studies of other marketers, to accelerate your marketing process. You can assess potential customers by finding commercial keywords; this will help you in creating content that will answer their questions and, by meeting their demands, you will establish your brand and grow a loyal audience over time.
Use Facebook ads to offer lead magnets:
The advanced technology of Facebook has made it easier to target qualified leads. Facebook knows the personal information, preferences, and hobbies of your target leads. Encourage people to provide you with their personal data, like their email address, by offering them relevant information in exchange for it. It could be a video tutorial, or a white paper, that teaches them how to get better at doing a particular task. Be soft and natural, don’t overdo it.
Create unique and valuable content:
The content you deliver should set you apart from your competitors, and also solve a problem. Let the weak points of your target market be a driving force for you while creating content. Establish your brand as a mentor or trusted advisor, so that your prospects will know not to lump you together with your competitors. You should also exceed the expectations of your prospects. When they give you their email addresses, they expect to get something good in return, but provide them with something fantastic. Email marketing remains one of the most productive ways of marketing online.
Improved Brand Awareness
Brand awareness shows the level of familiarity consumers have with your brand and company. It is essential because when consumers recognize and trust your brand, they are much more likely to buy from you. Writing strong content is a great way to let customers know about your company, and what your brand stands for.
However, to boost brand awareness, you have to make your content more about adding value, than purely turning users to customers. In case you didn’t know, there’s more to becoming a recognised brand than just having 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. They deliver on what they promise — earning the trust of their consumers. How do you plan to improve brand awareness through content marketing?
Revisit your strategy:
Know your mission, values, what you promise to deliver, how you will deliver those services and the aspect of your business that’s more worthy of sharing. Write the story about your brand at the initial stage.
Choose the right content and the right platform:
This is all about finding out what interests your target audience and the social media platforms that they like to hang out on. Knowing this will help you in creating content that your potential customers will find appealing. You can then know whether to focus more of your efforts on your landing page, video, webinar, blog posts, or high-value downloadable.
The kind of content you produce is a reflection of your business. If your content is generic and boring, people will view your business in that manner too. Let your content answer your users’ questions.
Focus on micro conversions:
Even if your ideas are grand, start small. It takes time to build brand sentiment and trust. Focus on actions like increasing your web traffic, getting a larger social media following, increasing engagement, and driving your reach.
Develop Long-Lasting Relationships Potential customers are likely to run if you push them to buy your product immediately. They don’t know you yet, and they have no reason to trust you. You have to take the time to earn the attention of your customers through value-driven content. That way, you can form a stronger relationship with them, and subsequently increase your sales and revenue. So, how do you earn their attention and build their trust?
Your potential customers need buying information. Provide that for them, and they won’t go to your competitors for it. Make your website and social media channels the go-to place for your existing and potential customers. When you provide educational value to your audience, you will become a thought leader in your niche. They will appreciate the fact that you provide them with this knowledge for free, and will be more likely to patronize your services.
Never underestimate the power of storytelling. Stories can evoke strong emotions, and make people feel drawn to you. That’s why testimonials have massive potency because they’re the stories of those who have used a service or product. The content you deliver shouldn’t feel like a drag. Entertaining your audience will keep them engaged, and you will have a higher chance of making them your customers.
If you don’t do any research, how will you know which topic is likely to go viral or which topic is trending? Research also helps you create only the most concise and accurate content.
Keep Your Customers Coming Back
How can you use content marketing to keep your customers engaged and loyal? Your content flow should remain consistent, even after you make a sale. Your customers trusted you, that’s why they went through the process of buying, so you need to deepen that trust. You can prevent your competitors from snatching them away by :
- Delivering excellent services/products:
The FAQs section in your content should strictly address questions that new and existing customers are asking. This way, you can know how to tweak your services or products to meet their ever-changing demands. They will also see that you listen to them.
- Providing excellent customer service: Your goal should be to make sure that your customers are happy with the product or service they have purchased. Your content should have a detailed explanation of how you and your customers can communicate with each other. There should be a team available to guide your customers through the step-by-step process of using your commodity.
- Offering a memorable customer experience: If your customers enjoy the experience they have with you, they won’t want to leave. Soon, they will become your brand ambassadors, telling others about your products and services. And, there’s no other marketing medium greater than referrals from satisfied customers.
Attention-Grabbing Authority Content
To produce attention-grabbing authoritative content, it must have a unique voice. Know the topic of your material well, as well as your audience and how to approach the delivery of your message. The success of your content marketing relies on gaining the attention of your audience and making them view you as an authority in your field. Achieving this status requires a lot of time, skilled writers and editors, and a content marketing strategy.
Your blog posts or Ebooks should have great headlines. A good headline will grab the attention of your audience, and make them click to read. Craft sentences that are not boring, and hook your readers from the beginning to the end of your article. Ensure that the content of your blogs is written in an easy-to-read manner. The importance of value cannot be overemphasized. It solves the problems of your audience, even those they are not already aware. Your ability to do this shows the readers that you have a great deal of knowledge about their problems. This grabs their attention and cements you as an authority.
Try to make your content scannable, so that reading doesn’t seem like a huge task. Your content should contain short paragraphs, short sentences, subheadings, and images. In all your writing, remember that quality is the principal thing, and 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 prospects choose your company over others? You should know why you want to use content marketing above other forms of marketing.
What information you will make available through content marketing — the message and values your audience will get from it. Also, how will you spread the word? Through which channels?
A strategy is more likely to fail if it is not given enough thought. That’s why it is crucial for you to have a clear understanding of your target goals in the initial stage.Research extensively, so you don’t give outdated information. It is also vital that your business keeps track of the content marketing process, to weigh the results. This will help you know which areas need to be scrapped and which need more effort. You can then explore new ideas and update your content production.
Creating Authentic, Inspiring Content
Why is it essential that you create authentic and inspiring content? It’s because content for content’s sake does not work. If your content is not authentic, you can’t earn the trust of your potential customers, and if your content does not inspire them, you can’t keep them engaged. To create authentic content, you have to approach content creation authentically. Your content shouldn’t center on just you and your brand. Reply to your audience when they ask you about other products.
Let your personality shine through in everything you publish; this is what will set you apart from other brands. If you are more of the same in your opinions, posts and videos, there’s no way you will keep viewers engaged. Create your own voice, and write in a unique language, so that you can deliver messages that will get people’s attention. Furthermore, the image of your brand has to be distinguishable, don’t confuse your audience. Pepsi would confuse their audience if they were to use red for their brand image because everyone already associates Coca-Cola with red.
Lastly, be smart and bold, think your thought through, before you share it, and don’t be scared to discuss controversial topics.
Content that Ranks
For your content to gain a high ranking on search engines, you need to pay attention to creating unique content, valuable content, high-quality pages, comprehensive markup language, keywords optimized for search engines, and high-authority links.
Your content could have links to many high-authority resources, and yet still rank poorly in search engines because of your below average material. So, no matter what you do to make your content achieve a high ranking, try to create unique, helpful, and relevant content.
The quality of your website also matters because Google pays attention to that. Ensure that the website maintains a balance of backlinks, being mobile-optimized, fast loading speed, excellent user experience, relevant content, and unique content. Don’t overstuff your 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 their queries, because it’s less stressful and more accessible to utilize. Voice search is beginning to change the way Google’s rank braid handles search queries. With just a little input from users using voice search, Google delivers accurate and intelligent results. And, it is also able to determine the intent of your subsequent searches from your first query.
Google now has a semantic understanding of your query, so when you ask it a series of related and ambiguous questions after your initial search, it can provide accurate answers. For instance, if you search for the actor Brad Pitt using the voice command, then you go on to ask, ‘how old is he?’, without mentioning his name in another search, Google will understand you are referring to Brad Pitt, and open a page with information about Brad Pitt’s age. The question then, is how you can optimise your site for voice search? You have to utilise the best practices of current SEO if you’re not already doing so.
Data-Driven Content Marketing
Content marketing has to be both creative and data-driven to be great. Your data should help you assess the degree to which your content is reaching its audience, and also inform or guide the creation of your content. You have to choose key performance indicators that will help you measure traffic, engagement rates, and conversions. You won’t waste time and resources trying to reach the wrong audiences if your content strategy follows the right data-driven approach.
Data helps you identify your 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 your audience true value, and engage with them. 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 your users engaged, given the fact that many people have low attention spans. However, the fact remains that long-form content fuels your direct traffic, return traffic, and user engagement metrics. The idea is to offer your audience meatier content, that is packed with value. Providing them with that much knowledge soon makes them see you as an authority in your specific field. Long-form content not only resonates with readers, but search engines also reward it. The ranking of your page in the SERP will increase as a result.
Telling a Story with Data
Data analysis shouldn’t be solely about visualizations and graphics. It should tell a story; a meaningful story that strikes your audience intellectually and emotionally. You should hire skilled analysts and developers to do this job for you. Data visualization is powerful, we know that, 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 you’ve arrived at a solution, present the data through a map, chart, or single number, which won’t be difficult. The most important thing is to focus on the story.
This is about boosting the shares and traffic of your blog post. Your work doesn’t end when you post amazing content on your social channels; you are just one of many others waiting to be discovered. You have to consider promotion, from the moment you produce your first piece, to when it reaches your target audience. To connect your content with its audience, you have first of all to build an audience, then develop relationships with your audience’s influencers. You can also do content marketing — conversing with those writing valuable things that are similar to yours. If necessary, post a link back to an article you’ve written that relates to theirs.
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 who have a large following, to help them write about their product or services in exchange for a free product or service.
Link bait is content on your website designed to garner attention and encourage other sites to link to it. Because they want to and not because you asked. It could be a helpful Ebook, an evergreen blog post, or a viral video.
Ego Bait is content on your site 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 blog and create more brand awareness.
Connecting you with online influencers
You can connect with online influencers by establishing contact with them through Twitter and LinkedIn, offering to interview them, blogging for them, and providing your services to them for free.
What Does Content Marketing Cost?
Investing in content marketing is the best way to make your business known to the world. However, understand your 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 you depends on what exactly you want. There’s content strategy, keyword research, competitive analysis, content distribution, and content monitoring and improvement. The kind of service you 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.
Content development is an aspect of content marketing, in which you first develop the information before you market it.
A lot of great companies around the globe have used content marketing to garner a lot of interest. Companies like Wendy’s, a fast food restaurant chain in America used content marketing on Twitter to switch the attention of their target audience from rivals like Burger King and McDonald’s. Some other examples include Zomato, Nike, Rolex, Apple, Coca-Cola, Buffer, and Old Spice.
You can measure the success of content marketing by using Google Analytics to measure user demographics and behavior, using Hootsuite to track social media shares, follower growth and comments — the higher the dividends, comments, and followers, the higher the success of your content marketing. Use metrics like Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), MQLs per channel, MQLs to Sales Qualified Leads, open email rates, and click-through rates to determine the ROI of your marketing efforts.
It does, when you have the proper creation and promotion strategies. Many customers first engage in research before making a purchase. This is why content marketing will always work for brands that are adequately prepared. Content marketing doesn’t work without high-quality content and long-term commitment.